Overall, the reviews are very favourable and consensus seems to be that this new supplier offers a solid alternative to the existing Battlefront range particularly when it comes to vehicles.
The FiB range does, as you would expect, differ from Battlefront in the size of each model. But they are close enough to make them very workable and the differences are not that noticeable. More importantly they are significantly cheaper than the Battlefront products.
For example a FiB German PzIV Platoon of 4 tanks can be ordered from Maelstrom for £16.20 or at the current exchange rate NZ$32. An equivalent boxed set from Battlefront in New Zealand would cost you NZ$85 for 5 tanks, or purchased as individual models NZ$68 plus postage for 4 tanks.
FiB PzIV in white resin - Battlefront PzIV in black & metal (All FiB vehicles come mounted on bases)
The infantry ranges are also pretty good and offer range of poses different to those of Battlefront but again at a slightly different size. Although if you made up a full Platoon no-one is going to notice the difference.
Deciding to trust the various reviews I read I opted to buy a boxed set of Halftracks and a Heavy Mortar Platoon.
For £7 you get a set of 4 Mortars plus a couple of cool looking trailers to add detail to the basing. I won't use the figures as I have a lot of spare FJ mortar crews at home (thanks Les) which I will base up for them. £7 or NZ$14 is damn cheap and its a lot more cost-effective to buy them like this than to try and get individual mortars through Battlefront.
I also purchased a Platoon set of 4xSdKfz 251/1 halftracks. for £15 or NZ$30 which again is cheaper than Battlefront pricing (although this is higher now as Maelstrom is no longer allowed to stock FOW miniatures). A Platoon set of 4xSdKfz 250's costs NZ$58 and the equivalent SdKfz 251's which have to be purchased individually would cost you NZ$68 plus postage.
Hopefully they should be arriving soon as I can add these guys to my Hells Highway list or use them as the beginnings of a PzGr company.
The overall FiB range is not as extensive as Battlefront, being a newish company, and is heavily weighted towards Germany at the moment but they appear to be adding new models all the time. British & Soviet players will find very little to offer as yet, but American players have a reasonable range of armoured vehicles. Given that the next FOW army I want to start is an Irish Guards Armoured Company from Hells Highway the FiB Sherman Platoons (from the American range) at the same competitive pricing will be where I start.