Sunday, July 17, 2011

How Fine is Finecast?

Hello everyone. Today I wanted to talk about Citadel's new line of Finecast minis. As we are well aware, the new models use resin, replacing the pewter models of old. While at first I was celebrating GW for their perceived step forward... I have had to stop and really ponder their actions after a few looks into these new models.

Now, this isn't completely a rant on how terrible things are or another angry post concerning GW's market strategies, so there is some good. The one major benefit to come from this change is the heightened detail this new material brings to the model ranges. Take for example this comparison. A fantasy (yes I know it's square based, but it was the best comparison I could find) Chaos Lord. Look at the difference in detain in the chain mail as well as the leather straps on the weapon handle. This is the type of stuff I really love to see when new models from Forgeworld come out; it brings a tear to my eye when I see the crisp details brought out.

Another little benefit that comes from the new resin models is the weight. It's obvious that weight can be a pretty big factor when looking at keeping models upright, especially when terrain is involved. Perhaps no box set in the new Finecast line appreciates this more than that of the Chaos Raptors. Not only does it help keep them stable, but the new material comes into play with my next point of goodies.

Conversion is a breeze (relatively speaking) in comparison with that of the old metal versions. All of the models in the line are much more easily changed to fit more unique tastes these days. My big example here is the Hive Tyrant. What was once a huge chunk of flashed metal, is now resin.

Now there are the inevitable downsides to the use of resin. The first being the molding process. While the flash is much easier to remove, there is a lot more of it on the models. It can be annoying to prime a model you have cleaned, only to find a few bits of hidden flash here and there that still cling to the model just to ruin your day.

The other issue is fragility in the molding process. Sometimes the resin does not fill completely, breaks, or has air pockets that pock and ruin the models. After looking at some of the models being shipped out... I have to wonder if GW takes the time to really do a quality control check. Take a look at this portion of a model. This goes beyond the "minor fixes required" that GW mentions, and frankly for the price they ask for these minis is rather insulting.

But perhaps the biggest issue I take with the new Finecast minis is the problem with heat. Now, as a gamer who has to travel from one place to another to attend events, it is a given that my models must travel with me. The issue here is that the new resin that GW uses is cheap, and will actually bend and melt with very little heat. Even leaving the model in the sun on a cool summer day will cause bits of it to sag and bend. This sword from Skulltaker is a prime example of the effects of heat wear and tear.

All in all, I am glad to see GW is taking steps to update their line up. I have always been a huge fan of the use of resin in today's gaming circles. The detail they can achieve with this material is unbelievable, and the material itself it much easier to work with as a hobbyist. However, if GW can't get the issues with this material under control soon... they might find themselves without a player base to serve soon. With the popularity of Warmachine on the rise (especially around our neck of the woods) GW can't really afford many more of these foul-ups.

I open the floor to you the readers. I welcome any personal experiences or feelings towards Finecast, and how it may effect your experience in 40k.



  1. I haven't purchased any yet, but my concerns are similar.

    That said, the additional benefit unmentioned is that the paint will bond to the model much better, making chipping much less of an issue. Nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a metal model only for it to flake before you get to varnish...or to be dropped after varnish and chip anyway.

  2. Well said. Strange, that I missed that perk as it is usually my biggest gripe about metal models (apart from assembly :P)