View Full Version : Metal or Plastic?

27-01-2009, 17:54

Simple Question, do you prefer metal or plastic models?

For me itís metal all the way. Yes itís more expensive, and yes itís harder to work with than plastic. On the plus side, weight of a metal figure jus makes it feel like you're getting more for your cash. I play many systems other than GW games, and maybe its jus the historical gamer in me coming out, but a metal model jus feels better to me. Thatís why my Daemon army is all metal :)

Whatís other peoples opinions? Do you think older gamers, or those with a historical gaming past prefer metal over plastic? Or is plastic the way forward?

Sorry if this really should have gone into the modeling forum, I thought it would get more responses here.

27-01-2009, 18:02
I personally prefer plastic models, mainly due to the expense of metal miniatures but also due to the fact I find plastic models easier to paint, and even though I'm not a converter, I can pose them with minimal effort to get a mini that is mine, not a static pose like a metal mini offers (without the help of heat or a hacksaw). Metal minies for characters by all mean, but RnF troops and cavalry are great in plastic.

And just look at the new stegadon and shadowsword kits... plastic is the way forward. If only they banish mould lines.

27-01-2009, 18:02
Moved to other GW as it's not Fantasy specific.

27-01-2009, 18:17
Generally? Metal. Holds deep/delicate details better. Obviously for 28mm mass combat games like Warhammer only heroes should be metal,since RnF don't have the details that would need metal, and well, plastic IS lighter, which starts to play a part when you have two cases of models to lug around.

27-01-2009, 18:17
Thanks t-tauri, I wasn't completely sure I'd posted in the right place :)

27-01-2009, 18:57
Metal to a degree that the prevalence of the new plastics drove me away from the newer products - I'll play with what I have untill my armies won't fit anymore ;)

But then I'm old school, so metal always carried a special meaning for me.

Crazy Harborc
27-01-2009, 19:49
Metal was the "only choice" when I started up. I was still in HS. 25mm was not a choice (yet) for much in the way of a good selection of minies. 54mm was the size of choice.

I "discovered" 25mm wargaming minies in the early 70s. I have bought 2-3 thousand metal minies. I still have 3-4 thousand minies now. These days several hundred (close to 1000??) of my minies are plastic.....40K, WHFB and now historical.;)

My hands are old......I much prefer plastic shavings to metal/lead dust that blackens my skin and requires scrubbing to remove.

On a retiree's income, the lower prices of plastic allow me to continue to buy more, more minies I say!!:D

27-01-2009, 20:03

Even though I do paint and play more these days, I still consider myself to be mostly a converter. I like building and converting miniatures, and there is just no alternative to plastic when it comes to that.

27-01-2009, 20:11
i love both...plastic is cheaper, easily getting a 300point unit for 12 sterling...but nothing feel better than stcking a metal character into the base, undercoating and starting to paint

27-01-2009, 21:30
metal all the way, mweh or resin exclusives.

27-01-2009, 22:49
If it's a single-part model, like an Imperial Guard Stormtooper, then I prefer it. If it has any gluing at all, I prefer plastic.

Khornies & milk
27-01-2009, 22:52
I like both, but my no.1 reason for liking metal minis is the fact that stripping them of paint is soooo easy...in brake fluid for a week, scrub with Toothbrush = spotless and just like brand new....not always the case with plastic ones.

27-01-2009, 22:52
I prefer metal on models I don't plan to convert, are small and don't have multiple weapons to choose from. I prefer my metal guarsmen to their plastic counterparts because they are all carrying lasguns, but I prefer plastic for my nids because they have tons of options and those really big carnifexes.

This is also why I hate my necromunda being all metal.

27-01-2009, 23:19
This is also why I hate my necromunda being all metal.

I'm with you on that, since using the WYSIWYG rule any gear that you buy for your squads should really be represented. I think that would be a lot more fun if they were made of plastic, with plastic weapons and bits, or as multipart gangs like with space marine tactical squads.

But alas since Necromunda are specialist I guess this will never happen.

Overall I love plastic for it's ease of conversions, but don't mind spending a bit of time pinning metal models as mine tend to me character ones. Recently spend two hours pinning the metal Chaos lord on Juggernaught!

27-01-2009, 23:57
Metal. I can't shrug off the impression that models from the plastic box all look alike. Perhaps it's because parts are made fo fit each other, visualy and physicaly, to allow many combinations - visual compability means none of these combinations looks mismatched, but all look similiar. It does work for some armies (Space Marines or Necrons are supposed to look like drones), but fails in individualistic armies (Imperial Guard, Bretonnians, Orks). I'll always prefere 20 unique metal Questing Knights, ten interesting poses of metal Cadians or tens upon tens of different metal Ork boyz to their clone brother equivalents from plastic regiments.

It may have something to do with Perry brothers (whose miniatures I prefere because of realistic and not overdone style) switching to LotR before most of my armies got plastic sets - many of miniatures I listed were made by them then replaced by plastics by less talented scupultors.

28-01-2009, 00:40

I like cutting and modifying my models.

28-01-2009, 03:25
I don't know that I have a preference. I like the heft and detail of metal. I love the ease of converting plastic, and hate the hassle of assembling multi-part metal miniatures - esp. when the manufacturer thinks it is a good thing to have a hand-to-wrist join.

Best plastics ever: the Mordheim human mercenaries/Empire militia figures. Lots of character, tons of options.

28-01-2009, 04:13
I really believe 'some people' don't have 'that much' of a problem filling out a 20 strong unit of metal figs because of the associated weight. Psycologically speaking, it seems like more value for your dollar. These are expensive and heavy- two adjectives that naturally fit together.

Moving a movement tray of 20 Empire Teutogen Guard or 18 Chaos Chosen is somewhat gratifying. Feels about as good moving my Hive Tyrant. Hell, one reason I despise my FW Flying Tyrant so much is resin weighs so little. Things that are 'not heavy' can easily be misclassified as fragile, rickety, dainty etc.

...and hate the hassle of assembling multi-part metal miniatures - esp. when the manufacturer thinks it is a good thing to have a hand-to-wrist join.

This guys whole body joins together where the base of the tail attaches to the base of the ****. Go go gadget JB WELD.


28-01-2009, 06:24
Metal. Plastic has it's uses but most of my figures are metal.

28-01-2009, 06:26
Metal's nice, and I like characters in that material. However, plastic's cheaper, and you need to fill those ranks out somehow.

28-01-2009, 06:39
for armies and conversions, plastic all the way - i cant remember the last time i built a metal model for an army.

but for showcase models, i prefer resin - more detail than metal and easier to work than plastic too.

28-01-2009, 07:38
Either I use and buy both.

28-01-2009, 07:56
plastic for me. a lot less hassle to put together, weighs less (I do not want to lug a double KR case around filled with metal!), and easier to modify.

case in point: Land Raider Crusader Hurricane Bolters.. do I need to say more? :p

28-01-2009, 08:18
Plastic by far. GW's newer plastic models (Stormboyz, CO Knights, Corsairs, Chaos Knights etc) are on another level detail and pose wise and easily beat the metals they replaced and are a fraction of the cost. On top of that, I love assembling a plastic kit, taking time to pose the models or customise a vehicle right.. it's much more fun than scraping the flash off a metal model and then pinning or greenstuffing it together and you can stamp a bit of your personality onto the models (maybe you prefer them to be standing and shooting, or moving forwards cautiously, or charging in a rage). Finally, I find them a lot easier to paint, especially as on a lot of metal sculpts, some of the areas (say WE Eternal guard spears and cloaks) tend to blend into eachother, where as plastic tends to be more defined, so for a dunce like me, it's a lot easier.

28-01-2009, 10:00
I prefer plastic for most things as I hate spending my money on metal troops. Plastics just easier to glue, paint and buy generally and you don't have to be as careful about picking them up.

I do like metal single part kits though for character models. Its nice to have that feel to them that metal provides. However, multi part metal kits is a huge NO . So likely to break once made and such. I have a Dwarf shield bearer to make which looks to be a pain in the a*** :p.

28-01-2009, 14:43
After spending the morning working on new Chosen with GW, multi part metal SUCKS! :cries:

28-01-2009, 14:47
Characters = Metal
Troops = Plastic/Metal

I hate mould lines and surprisingly I find metal easier to clean up than plastic.

28-01-2009, 15:06
Metal's nice, and I like characters in that material. However, plastic's cheaper, and you need to fill those ranks out somehow.
Play skirmish, no need to fill out anything:angel:

After spending the morning working on new Chosen with GW, multi part metal SUCKS!
GW's multipart metal,to be precise(well, and GZone's), i'v had no trouble gluing metals from other companies(like Asmodee,CorvusBelli,Anima Studio etc.);)

28-01-2009, 16:31
it helps to moisten the parts with a tidbit of water before glueing them (catalyses the glue-effect) also I found out that Revell's superglue does the best job so far for me.

28-01-2009, 17:21
I genuinely like both a lot.

Like many of the above have said, the weight of a unit in metal is nice. I always take my metal terminators more seriously than the plastic ones.. even though they are on smaller bases.

That said, working with plastic glue is a lot less hassle than superglue, and it's much easier to assemble even the legendarily badly fitting plastic land speeders than the old metal version.

28-01-2009, 20:57
Metal all the way. They have more detail so they look better whn I paint them. They also weigh more so they are more sturdy and stand up on the table better. I breathe on my plastic guys and they fall over. Then they fall apart since every head, arm, weapon, shield and chest part is a sepeartly glued piece. I also prefer the way paint adheres to the metal better and I find it easier to get rid of the mould lines.

While metal is more expensive $35 for 10-16 plastic men still seems steep for what you get. when I compare how much a plastic car model costs which is about the same complexity and way more pieces I suspect GW is making a killing off the profit margin.

Plastics are better for conversions but I don't do that much. The thing I hate the most is when they have plastic bits for metal models, its so freaking hard to glue and the models usually end up lopsided. I have this stupid skeleton standard bearer who is plastic with a metal banner - WTF? worst model design ever as it always tips over - need to make a conversion but so many models so little time.

29-01-2009, 00:13
Plastic for me; I find it much easier to work with, plus it's cheaper.

29-01-2009, 06:01

They don't fall over, and always I feel like I get more value for my money.

29-01-2009, 06:13
Both for different applications, although plastic with weighted bases would come out in front for me. :)

29-01-2009, 07:40
Since I use magnetic bases they are a bit heavier (with the magnetic material on the bottom) and they are also (magnetically) stuck to their movement trays. So the weight is not a problem.

29-01-2009, 16:43
I even weigh down the bases of my metals ;)

And agreed, it is much harder to build multipart metals, but a well pinned and converted metal model is a work of beauty (well, to me it is...).

(but then at 1,90m/90kg I have no problem carrying my army :angel: )

30-01-2009, 09:01
Plastic is easier to convert and is good for Vehicles.
I prefer metal for troops, however most of mine are plastic because that is what they sell.

30-01-2009, 12:10
Both. Metal for detail, plastic for (relatively) cheaper rank 'n' file and ease of conversion. And some of the newer plastic kits aren't bad, IMO.

The 'metal is heavier' argument always sounded utterly ridiculous to me and always will. I'd make a few points against it but I don't think I need to. It's bizarre.

I could just say 'yeah, well, plastic is lighter. So there'.

30-01-2009, 12:17
Plastic for sure. Easy to work with it.
But as I begin to collect DH,SL and WH I like also the metal one's...Except that they are expensive:).

Desert Rain
30-01-2009, 13:53
Easily plastic, it's cheaper, easier to use, doesn't break as easily. Personally I don't think that metal has any advantages over plastic.

03-02-2009, 04:45

I loathe the 'one solid lump' look of metal models.

ard boy stu
03-02-2009, 15:46
Plastic: lots easier to assemble, can be posed diffrently and often can be given a feriaty of heads/weapons/legs etc...

03-02-2009, 16:06
doesn't break as easily.Stop chewing on models, or invest in decent carrying case:p

I loathe the 'one solid lump' look of metal models.

One solid lump,really?:angel:

03-02-2009, 23:16
PLastic but i love painting and converting resin miniatures, i have a very odd disliking for metal minis, it's usually chipping thats put me off but it also the difficulty i find trying to chop up and convert one. And most of my the stuff i dowith minis is hacking up bits and making conversions.

04-02-2009, 00:06
I used to be firmly wedged in the metal category since the plastic kits were pretty bad overall. However in the last few years, since the skill level of the mold building and computer planning technology has improved I have shifted to plastic as my preferred material.

Plastic doesn't chip paint off nearly as easily
Plastic is much easier to convert
An all Plastic army is much lighter to carry
If you drop a plastic mini on the ground or from a 2nd story balcony, it is much less likely to break or suffer severe damage (don't look at me like that)
It is cheaper to work with and cheaper to build an army with.
It is easier to clean up a plastic miniature for priming, you don't have all those little threads of pewter flying everywhere
Since the molds are much sturdier, you also don't end up with huge mold lines on highly detailed pieces as well, having a face split in half by a 16th of an inch offset due to the mold being bent sucks to try and repair.

04-02-2009, 09:51
Since the molds are much sturdier, you also don't end up with huge mold lines on highly detailed pieces as well, having a face split in half by a 16th of an inch offset due to the mold being bent sucks to try and repair.
The only metal models i'v repeatedly had trouble with in this regard were GW and PP models(and GZ)-for some reason rest of the world can maintian high quality in casting metals:angel:

Fist of Crimson
04-02-2009, 14:34
Eversince I've had my Sisters of Battle army I have disliked metal. That army has more chips than Harry Ramsden.

Plastic all the way, especially in recent years when the quality of Gw plastic has improved so much.

04-02-2009, 15:15
Metal just edges it for me. But the plastics have come a long way since I used to field 60 identical gretchin and 40 identical Orks! What I really don't like is part-metal, part-plastic. And the worst models are metal ones with crap arm/shoulder joints (Black Knights make me mad, as did the old Deathskull Lootas).

Crazy Harborc
04-02-2009, 19:21
Fact, the last 20 metal minies I assembled and painted took me a couple of weeks/14 plus days to have ready for the table. I finished 24 plastic foot last night. Total time spent was less than 8 days (We were gone Fri-Sun).