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rabblerouser
13-02-2011, 10:09
Sometimes I wish GW would take the less is more approach when it comes to their plastic kits. The little scrolls on the furioso dread front plate really bother me. If you look at the plate head on you can see how they are one with the armour. The obvious and easy solution would be to just undercut them a little with a knife, but I wish GW left this detail off altogether. I also wish that the little spools of cable on the magna grapple assembly were separate but that's a minor gripe. The detail like this that bothers me the most are the smoke stacks that look like they are coming out of the rhino's side armour. These should be separate pieces like they were on the MK I.

Hendarion
13-02-2011, 11:17
Welcome to the "we want all plastic" age and the pseudo-claim of "GW can do same details in plastic as in metal". Undercuts are still an issue and the reason why I still prefer metal over plastic a lot. Some models are just great in plastic, but not everything is possible after all.

Max Jet
13-02-2011, 11:25
You are wrong.

You can build injection molds with more than two slides. GW chooses not to because it is cheaper that way. You can have exactly the same detail on a plastic model.

Bunnahabhain
13-02-2011, 15:30
Moulds with lots of slides would cost a fortune (relative to the plain ones)

It would be easier, cheaper and better to, as the op says, keep some of the detail as separate bits.

Of course, this would generate kits with more bits, so making them less suitable to the younger market they seem to be aiming...

Chem-Dog
13-02-2011, 16:26
I dunno Bunny, the're already lots of tiny pieces in any number of pre-existing kits, if you got much smaller they would be impractical to use.

Off the top of my head there's the jewelery that can be attached to the SM Captain's chest jewel, tiny tiny detail, any smaller and it would be obliterated by the glue you attach it to the model.

Hendarion
13-02-2011, 16:29
You are wrong.
Nop. By reading my text again you will notice that I am talking about GW. And GW is not able to do lots of kits with slides in order to produce undercuts.
GW metal > GW plastic

Bunnahabhain
13-02-2011, 16:57
I dunno Bunny, the're already lots of tiny pieces in any number of pre-existing kits, if you got much smaller they would be impractical to use.

Off the top of my head there's the jewelery that can be attached to the SM Captain's chest jewel, tiny tiny detail, any smaller and it would be obliterated by the glue you attach it to the model.

True, I was mainly thinking about vehicle kits, where where is a distinct lack of small bits generally, and recent kits, i.e. the guard vehicle re-cuts have generally, as an overall trend, reduced the piece count and complexity of assembly.

Chem-Dog
13-02-2011, 17:31
True, I was mainly thinking about vehicle kits, where where is a distinct lack of small bits generally, and recent kits, i.e. the guard vehicle re-cuts have generally, as an overall trend, reduced the piece count and complexity of assembly.


The last (most recently released) vehicle kit I played about with was the Valkyrie and that had a few fiddly bits in it but the components are generally quite chunky, feedback from friends about things like the Russes is that the kits are simplified and that this is a good thing, I have to agree because 20 or so IG tanks down the line I've had as much as I can stomach of gluing individual track links into place and and getting that inevitable gap that's too small for another section but too large to simply leave.
So simplicity for ease of use isn't an indication of a lack of sophistication.

Azzy
13-02-2011, 22:04
When I look at the Ork kits, I just don't see any problem with detail. The problems you list don't really seem to be limitations of plastic molding, but limitations of how the kit itself is designed (e.g., not having more separate pieces). Also, I find the lack of undercut on the small bits like the scrolls and such that you mention isn't an issue for me. Like you said, it's easily corrected with a little undercutting with a knife or even sometimes a simple wash can give the impression that it's separate from the piece it's molded on.

rabblerouser
14-02-2011, 00:46
Also, I find the lack of undercut on the small bits like the scrolls and such that you mention isn't an issue for me. Like you said, it's easily corrected with a little undercutting with a knife or even sometimes a simple wash can give the impression that it's separate from the piece it's molded on.

Yeah but I shouldn't have to correct anything, considering the premium I am paying for the kit. It's 27 GBP for only 2 small frames!!! Compare that to the detail you get on a 1/32 scale tank in the same price range. I understand it's a different market and that GW has to keep things simple... so why not leave the scroll detail off altogether? I can clutter up the front plate myself with purity seals and scrolls.

ForgottenLore
14-02-2011, 00:59
The problems you list don't really seem to be limitations of plastic molding, but limitations of how the kit itself is designed

Exactly. For years now I have found the quality and quantity of detail on GW plastic kits to be far better than on the metal ones. Quite often on metal minis there will be a little blob that I simply have no idea what it is supposed to be. That does not happen with plastic. The detail on plastic is much sharper and with the current technology just as fine, if not finer.

While I will still settle for metal figs for certain specialty roles, like characters, I have basically sworn off metal for anything I have to buy more than one of.

I find, in absolutely every way, plastic is currently superior to metal miniatures.

Hellebore
14-02-2011, 01:14
I agree that the plastic kits are failed by their design, not by the detail. If they were layed out better then those issues wouldn't happen and the detail would still be good.

However, as GW are using a computer to slice up their models they aren't very user friendly. The computer finds the most efficient method of making a sprue, but it doesn't necessarily result in the most friendly kit to assemble, nor does it always leave specific items as whole pieces on the sprue (you can see this sort of thing on the loota models as one example, the horrors are another, but it happens on quite a lot). Thus if a gun is half on an arm, a leg is half connected to a torso, you end up with models that are harder to convert and swap pieces as they've all been cast to assemble that model, as opposed to a sprue of discrete pieces.

The best example of the modeller friendly sprue was the 2nd ed weapon sprues. They even came with complete handles on the weapons so you could model them slung.

Sadly I don't think GW will fix this problem as it's easier and cheaper to let the computer cut the model up into an efficient if abstract set of components than it is to have a person do it.

Hellebore

rabblerouser
14-02-2011, 02:37
Quite often on metal minis there will be a little blob that I simply have no idea what it is supposed to be.

OT, but does anyone know what causes these blobs? Tears in the rubber moulds? Metal splatter? They seem to have become more common in recent years... I don't remember seeing anything like this 10 years ago! Last metal kit I bought (vanguard) had 2 figures with the aforementioned blobs. I was going to pick up lemartes at the store, but the two that they had were covered in blobs - one had a blob at the bottom of the crozius and the other had it on the backpack where the purity seals are.

Azzy
14-02-2011, 03:06
Yeah but I shouldn't have to correct anything, considering the premium I am paying for the kit. It's 27 GBP for only 2 small frames!!! Compare that to the detail you get on a 1/32 scale tank in the same price range.

Whoa, whoaaa... Don't ask me to defend their prices 'cause I can bitch about the prices with the best of 'em. ;)


I understand it's a different market and that GW has to keep things simple... so why not leave the scroll detail off altogether? I can clutter up the front plate myself with purity seals and scrolls.

Because more 40K players are casual modelers than dedicated modelers, because they fear empty spaces on models, they don't see a problem with the lack of undercuts on certain details, because someone would complain that it's not "gothic enough" without such detail already there... I dunno, I can only guess.

Personally, I would love even more detail and bits... as long as it doesn't drive the price up any further than it is. Then again, I love building models.

Okuto
14-02-2011, 03:13
tell me about I hate the extra details on some of the models....uuurgghhhh empire state troops come to mind.....I refuse to buy those scrolled up mono posed men.....and one of them has no shoes, madness I say!

Also i miss getting the standing tank crewman in the IG tank kits, they use to come in them all but I quickly realized with a recent purchase of a chimera they arent included.....sigh just goes to show you how long I havent bought anything new

Born Again
14-02-2011, 03:13
Exactly. For years now I have found the quality and quantity of detail on GW plastic kits to be far better than on the metal ones. Quite often on metal minis there will be a little blob that I simply have no idea what it is supposed to be. That does not happen with plastic. The detail on plastic is much sharper and with the current technology just as fine, if not finer.

While I will still settle for metal figs for certain specialty roles, like characters, I have basically sworn off metal for anything I have to buy more than one of.

I find, in absolutely every way, plastic is currently superior to metal miniatures.

Agreed, once upon a time plastic models were generally plainer looking but not any more. In fact, I have often taken a metal model out the pack and just had no idea what some details are meant to be without referring to an 'eavy metal picture. Plastic is far superior in my eyes.

ForgottenLore
14-02-2011, 03:28
OT, but does anyone know what causes these blobs? Tears in the rubber moulds? Metal splatter? They seem to have become more common in recent years... I don't remember seeing anything like this 10 years ago!

I think you are talking about something different than I was.

It sounds like you are talking about flaws in the casting, bits of metal that aren't supposed to be there but show up in some models because of some flaw in the process.

I'm talking about detail that is supposed to be there, straps, buckles, holsters, medallions, gemstones, whatever, that because metal figs hold detail so much worse than plastic I can't figure out what the little piece of detail is supposed to be.

Just remembered, there have been several occasions when I have cut off a piece of a metal miniature only to discover later that it was actually supposed to be there but it just looked like flash to me so I snipped it off.

chromedog
14-02-2011, 04:32
METAL figures do not hold detail worse than plastic.

In both cases, it comes down to the details put into the master mould/die by the maker.

All things being equal, there should be no difference. ALL things are not equal. It is more expensive to make a set of steel dies for injection moulding to do a certain thing than it is for a silicon rubber mould for metal casting.
Silicon RTV rubber can resolve fingerprint ridges.

Yes, you can carve the same details into steel. You have to FORCE the plastic into that detail, though (injection implies required force. The plastic is FORCED into the moulds). Sometimes, a small air bubble is all that it takes to stuff either up.

Sgt John Keel
14-02-2011, 04:36
You are wrong.

You can build injection molds with more than two slides. GW chooses not to because it is cheaper that way. You can have exactly the same detail on a plastic model.

Can you do this with things that are not on the edges of the sprue? If not, it seems rather limited. (I.e. the Skaven Doom Bell and Warp Lightning cannon has wood grain on two sides, if placed on the edge of the sprue it would be trivial to have grain on a third side, but is it really possible to have grain on all four sides?)

ForgottenLore
14-02-2011, 04:49
It is more expensive to make a set of steel dies for injection moulding to do a certain thing than it is for a silicon rubber mould for metal casting.

What does that have to do with the ability or lack thereof of a given material to hold sharply defined detail?

As to the rest of your post, are you suggesting that GW's sculptors deliberately soften and blur the details on figures meant to be metal? Because that is what your post sounds like you are saying and I'm not buying that.

The detail on (high end) plastic miniatures like GW produces is much, much crisper and more defined than on their metal figs.

rabblerouser
14-02-2011, 05:35
It's not that metal holds detail better than plastic, but the dies of the plastic are inflexible metal so you cannot have undercuts at all. The metal models are spin-cast in a semi-flexible rubber so some undercuts are permitted... hence detail isn't as 2-dimensional. Those same scrolls would have looked MUCH better if that front plate was made of metal. The silicone used with resin is even more flexible hence all the crisp detail on forge world models.

Hendarion
14-02-2011, 06:01
The detail on (high end) plastic miniatures like GW produces is much, much crisper and more defined than on their metal figs.
Dunno what minis you are talking about, Eldar-Metal-Figs clearly look better than the plastic ones. Just compare plastic Guardians to the MKII metal-heavy-weapon-crew (the current ones are MKIII). Or compare the plastic Dire Avengers to Striking Scorpions. Clearly, the metal minis are way ahead because of more details (faces, hair) and especially because of undercuts (just check Dire Avenger legs and butts, they are horrible).

Azzy
14-02-2011, 06:42
On a (metal) PAGK that I have, the underside of the left arm/ammo feed not only lacks detail, but is also rough and blobby. The old metal Tankbusta and Stikkbomma Boyz also tend to have poor undercuts and less or equal detail as regular Boyz. The new plastic Nobs have as much detail than the older metal ones (the undercuts on the wires of the old PK are the only thing that the metals have going for them).

ForgottenLore
14-02-2011, 07:16
The guardians are pretty old sculpts and show it, not disputing that plastic figs used to have less detail than metal.

I don't have a Striking Scorpion handy to compare to so I have grabbed a scorpion exarch, a banshee and a swooping hawk.

Both the Dire Avenger and the Scorpion exarch have a spirit stone over their left breast, on the DA I can clearly see that the stone is on an elevated platform so that there is a definite raised ring around the main body of the stone. On the exarch I am not sure, around the lower edge of the stone there appears to be a ring, around the upper there doesn't. There is a little divot on the exarch's shurikin pistol, just above his thumb, not sure if that is supposed to be there or is a slight flaw in the casting. The exarch's abdomen armor, I'm not sure whether there is a vertical groove down the middle defining his abs or not. On the Dire Avenger there is no doubt whatsoever about a 6-pack there.

On the Howling Banshee, she is holding a shuriken pistol in her left hand. On the outside I can clearly see all 4 of her fingers, but on the inside I am not sure whether that is supposed to be her trigger finger passing through and showing on the other side of the gun, on the DA there is no doubt. The Banshee's left leg is bent and slightly raised and has a holster. There is a strap securing the holster to her thigh but there is something at the end of the strap. right where the strap meets her robes, I can't figure out what. For that matter there is also something where the strap connects to the holster and the holster itself has an odd ridge toward the bottom that i can't figure out. On a DA leg with a similar strap I have not problem identifying a gemstone with a little furl of decorative cloth on it. there is a pouch on her right hip that I can only tell is a pouch because I can make out about half the rune on it, enough to tell that it is the same rune as on her other pouch, other than that it is sort of just a blob with a faint line where the flap is. On her banshee mask, the bits on either side of her mouth, it is kinda hard to tell where they stop and her hair begins. For that matter there are several section on the right side of her head where the hair and the helmet blend together. On the DA there is no question at all where the solid part of the helmet ends and the hair-like crest begins. Likewise on the DA's bare head I can clearly see where the hair ends and the lower portion of the mostly removed helmet begins, also the pointy ears are readily identified.

On the swooping hawks, the grill work on his face is slightly uneven, that does not happen with plastic. I am not sure whether the eyes are supposed to have an additional triangular area or not in them, on the DA I can clearly see the difference between helmet, face plate and eyes. On his left thigh there is a trio of gadgets, I can't tell if they are supposed to be hanging off his belt or are part of his gun. And the Swooping Hawks are among the best metal figs I have seen, and I can still find problem areas like that.

Conversely, on the Dire Avengers every little bit of detail is easily visible and clear, even if you don't know what a bit is supposed to be fluff wise, you can see it and be certain of its shape. Hell, I can even make out the Eldar characters on the DA exarch's arm thingy (I think its a force field generator?), those characters can't be more than 1/16th of an inch tall and if they were in english I would still be able to read them. No chance of getting detail that crisp in metal.

As for their legs and butts, that is a matter of the sculpting, not the quality of the details that plastic can hold.

On the subject of undercuts. I do recall reading in a White Dwarf a year or so ago how GW has upgraded some of their mold making capabilities to allow them to do limited undercuts on some plastic models. I have no idea what the limitations are there or how much that adds to the cost of the whole procedure but that can do it to some extent.

Chem-Dog
14-02-2011, 07:16
Those same scrolls would have looked MUCH better if that front plate was made of metal.


And infinitely more difficult to remove ;)

Hendarion
14-02-2011, 07:38
I don't have a Striking Scorpion handy to compare to so I have grabbed a scorpion exarch, a banshee and a swooping hawk.
(...)
Did you prime the models? Metal details are often hard to see, but once the model is primed (I use white, as black makes it even harder), you can see and identify the details much better.
However, I agree that some things are not perfect. But clearly the metal models do have undercuts where undercuts are required, whereas the plastic ones do not.


As for their legs and butts, that is a matter of the sculpting, not the quality of the details that plastic can hold.
No, the things I am talking about are related to undercuts which are *not* possible the way that GW is casting their plastic sprues.

And as I said earlier, the current Striking Scorpion heads are *not* possible to be casted in plastic *at all* with GW's two-slice-method.

Mercutius
14-02-2011, 08:37
Isn't it funny, that FW starts to bring etched brass out, so that wie can add all the details that GW lost on the plastics... :-)

As you have allready pointed out, it's all just a question of the shareholder value. GW plastics are horrible for their price, when you compere them with 'normal' platic kits in the same price range.

So it is not a technical question of possibillity, its just the question: did they want the plastics as good as possible? In the end: just no...

I have only two examples: the new platic Chaos Terminators, IMO not as good as the old pewter ones, instead of that they are bigger, and the plastic CSMs, the generic ones, are IMO also not as good as the old pewter ones.

And the models themselves become bigger and bigger (Chaos Knights for example, or the CSM Termis), perhaps that is the only chance for the actual possibillity for GW to make the plastics halfway decent...

Born Again
14-02-2011, 10:14
It's not that metal holds detail better than plastic, but the dies of the plastic are inflexible metal so you cannot have undercuts at all. The metal models are spin-cast in a semi-flexible rubber so some undercuts are permitted... hence detail isn't as 2-dimensional. Those same scrolls would have looked MUCH better if that front plate was made of metal. The silicone used with resin is even more flexible hence all the crisp detail on forge world models.

If it's a matter of a slight undercut around the edge of a purity seal, I will take the ease of conversion, ease of assembly, cost, flexibility and better painting surface of plastic any day.

Hendarion
14-02-2011, 14:38
If it's a matter of a slight undercut around the edge of a purity seal, I will take the ease of conversion, ease of assembly, cost, flexibility and better painting surface of plastic any day.
You do. I don't. Many people, different opinions.
I don't care how long I'll need to assemble it as long as it looks good afterwards.