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Mortogul
03-09-2013, 02:18
Hi all,

considering that GW has become lazy with their change from old Metal Models to Finecast even if this Army gets a new Book. Like

Codex Dark Angels: Azrael and Ezekiel
Army Book Lizardman: Skink Chiefs, Saurus Oldblood on Cold One, Oxyotl and Tehenhauin

and many other Models. Now we get Lords Hero and HQ Choices as Plastic Clampacks and with Kroq-Gar we have got a Special Character in Plastic. Would GW start to release every Model of them in Plastic? A Chat during German Games Day had hinted that Finecast had become quite expensive for GW and that they maybe are looking for alternatives.

Verm1s
03-09-2013, 02:57
I thought that was the point from the start.

blackcherry
03-09-2013, 09:41
As did I. Finecast has always looked to me, like either an alternative to metals, or a way to buy them time whilst they transitioned to plastics fully to keep the costs spread out over a manageable time period.

williamsond
03-09-2013, 10:16
lets hope they end up as all plastic range as i cant stand finecast.

13th guest
03-09-2013, 10:22
Pretty sure the plan was to move to the shoddiest material possible, with a massive price rise then move to plastic and charge even more for the new models because they are in a much better material. (Which they couldn't have done by doing a metal to plastic swap.)

Hengist
05-09-2013, 13:48
The recent drop-off in conversions to finecast from metal imply to me that Citadel have finally acknowledged the manifold problems with their material and process. It follows that their logical long-term objective would be to move to a single material and process, i.e. plastic. Ironically, finecast's quality does appear to have improved somewhat since its launch: I was bought a set of the new marine chapter masters by my gaming chums as a birthday present, and though most were in small ways flawed, none were irreparably so, unlike every finecast miniature I had previously bought.

Despite finecast's flaws, however, I'd be cautions about welcoming a move to all-plastic characters. If that happens, we will end up with one mono-pose plastic guy on a sprue for each HQ slot, and nothing else, and armies will become less varied and interesting.

redben
05-09-2013, 13:52
I thought that was the point from the start.

That's what it seemed like to me as well.

MarcoSkoll
08-09-2013, 00:54
It's been said it's the plan, but it seems an odd plan - the moulds for plastic models are not cheap. When compared to what are, as far as I know, moulds that are orders of magnitude cheaper for metal or finecast, it's illogical to produce small run units in plastic.

But then, we are now getting monopose plastic characters that price up way past Finecast, so I guess they are a bit loopy.

In any case, if it does happen, I'll probably lament it. I know Finecast has not been a big hit (at least not universally. I know some converters are quite keen), but to quote something that came up on the Infinity forums when someone suggested Corvus Belli should go plastic (http://infinitythegame.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16183-infinity-kickstarter/#entry326191):


... I think that the less actual appreciation of miniatures as pieces of art in their own right, the more likely people are to want plastics figs.
This response was one I very much agree with. The undercut, posing and detail limitations on plastics casting, particularly if trying to be a posable multi-part kit, mean the end results of anything I do with plastics are almost always less attractive than what I can do with metals or resins (unless I actually put in MORE work); this whole thing leaves me with little motivation to work on plastic models.

I can see it's generally going in a direction of inter-compatible parts, easier mass hordes and making kitbashing more feasible, but I'm afraid it always feels like a dumbing down to me: simpler-to-build armies at the cost of actual artistic merit.

lbecks
08-09-2013, 01:08
The level of detail on a model made for resin casting can be amazing. But I would disagree that plastic kits lack artistic integrity. The engineering for a plastic kit also induces a certain amount of wonder from me as viewing tiny detail on a resin kit.

MarcoSkoll
08-09-2013, 01:20
Breaking down plastic kits for the mould is impressive from an engineering point of view and may even be "an art" in its own right, but it still demands compromise on the actual design of the miniature.

This is not much of a problem for vehicles, as the limitations match with the demands of the miniature - but for more organic shapes, it's hard to argue that being unable to include any undercuts isn't a major limitation on design.

lbecks
08-09-2013, 01:29
Breaking down plastic kits for the mould is impressive from an engineering point of view and may even be "an art" in its own right, but it still demands compromise on the actual design of the miniature.

This is not much of a problem for vehicles, as the limitations match with the demands of the miniature - but for more organic shapes, it's hard to argue that being unable to include any undercuts isn't a major limitation on design.

Depends on where the undercut exists. Sometimes in plastic they'll just cast multiple pieces to form where an undercut would be. I view plastic miniatures as their own kind of style. It's like comparing Ryan Ottley's portrait work to Ryan Ottley's work as a comic book artist. His comic book art is not as detail oriented but comics have certain limitations/demands just like plastic miniatures have limitations and demands. Plastic also has certain advantages I like. I figure in 20 years we'll all be talking about how awesome mass produced 3d printed miniatures are.

redben
08-09-2013, 09:00
Don't underestimate the fact that plastic kits can be designed and marketed to under 14's as toys.

paddyalexander
08-09-2013, 11:08
Depends on where the undercut exists. Sometimes in plastic they'll just cast multiple pieces to form where an undercut would be.

We've seen this with Malifauxs' plastic miniatures, with 28mm plastic models that can look amazing when assembled but come in 20 plus parts, often being tiny. So while it is possible to replicate undercuts using multiple parts, each time it is needed on a model this approach adds much to the complexity of the assembly of it. There has been a vast improvement in eases of assembly with later releases over the first wave as their plastic producer gets to grip with the nuances of making models intended for a wargaming audience.

Darnok
08-09-2013, 11:45
Yes.

Letters...

MarcoSkoll
08-09-2013, 12:15
Depends on where the undercut exists. Sometimes in plastic they'll just cast multiple pieces to form where an undercut would be.
At increased design costs and the use of more sprue space - forcing the absence of other "bitz", other pieces to be cast in fewer pieces than ideal, or larger sprues that require more expensive moulds. And, as paddyalexander comments, this means a more complex build.

A typical example of an undercutting problem is the moulding of heads, which usually end up with flaps that only vaguely resemble ears and hair that looks "flat" - and, to be honest, even when they split the head into several parts (such as the Dark Elf sorceress), it still looks weird.


I view plastic miniatures as their own kind of style.
... which is something I hear elsewhere. Many amateur (and, in some cases, supposedly quite professional) artists will respond to criticisms of their work with "It's my style", implying anything wrong you think you see in their work is a deliberate "mistake".

This seems to be based on the conception something being a deliberate choice does renders it beyond critique or reproach... and I can't imagine many circumstances in which that's actually true. In fact, I'd probably consider deliberate choices MORE valid for critique in many cases.

In any case, suffice to say there's definitely a core of people who prefer the casting merits of metal or resin over the construction ease of plastic.

I felt somewhat different back when I still required masses of infantry, but I got fed up with the painting - now I don't play much past skirmish size gaming and would honestly prefer those models to be able to double as nice display pieces.

My 28mm Inquisitor stuff is primarily metal with a few resin or finecast models - there's just the one WIP plastic model, a "tall-scale" Marine being stitched together from some old Chaos Warrior and Marine bits from my bitz box (and, as previously mentioned, heavily armoured models tend to work better in plastic).
And I've even done something with an old metal along the way that a polystyrene maestro admitted just couldn't have been done as well with the replacement plastics.


I figure in 20 years we'll all be talking about how awesome mass produced 3d printed miniatures are.
It's possible... but that's an entirely separate technology to what we call "plastics", without the same limitations.

Many definitions of resins include polystyrene (as a form of synthetic resin), but we wouldn't consider the new Tactical Squad box to be "resin miniatures".

Verm1s
08-09-2013, 16:09
I think the design and cutting of some of the monopose plastic characters is kinda clever. (The sculpting quality of some of 'em is another matter *koff*oldblood*koff*) But I agree about a lot of plastic troops - too many bits, too often cut for the purpose of interchangeability, which can result in some odd connections and poses, and an ironic unimaginative air. Not so bad hidden in a unit and the impression of the mass, but not great for smaller numbers and characters (again, ironic that some that spring to mind were marketed for Mordheim, IIRC) and jar a bit with those sculpted for and cast in metal or resin. I think that's becoming a little less of an issue, though.


... which is something I hear elsewhere. Many amateur (and, in some cases, supposedly quite professional) artists will respond to criticisms of their work with "It's my style", implying anything wrong you think you see in their work is a deliberate "mistake".

Oh yes! I've seen plenty of this myself.


And I've even done something with an old metal along the way that a polystyrene maestro admitted just couldn't have been done as well with the replacement plastics.

Link plz. :p

MarcoSkoll
08-09-2013, 17:59
Link plz. :p
One link (http://s3.zetaboards.com/The_Ammobunker/single/?p=8300717&t=7539514), plus KrautScientist's credentials (http://eternalhunt.wordpress.com/).
That said, I admit that converting Space Marine scouts into women is a context that might not accurately represent the interests of the average GW buyer.

Still, I'm counting it anyway. :p

lbecks
08-09-2013, 23:41
At increased design costs and the use of more sprue space - forcing the absence of other "bitz", other pieces to be cast in fewer pieces than ideal, or larger sprues that require more expensive moulds. And, as paddyalexander comments, this means a more complex build.

A typical example of an undercutting problem is the moulding of heads, which usually end up with flaps that only vaguely resemble ears and hair that looks "flat" - and, to be honest, even when they split the head into several parts (such as the Dark Elf sorceress), it still looks weird.

Most of the design decisions I dislike from plastic kits are when they put what are supposed to be two different units/monsters in 1 kit. I find that deprives me of the extra bitz that I usually like. Examples: The high elf Averlorn/Shadow Warriors Kits.



... which is something I hear elsewhere. Many amateur (and, in some cases, supposedly quite professional) artists will respond to criticisms of their work with "It's my style", implying anything wrong you think you see in their work is a deliberate "mistake".

This seems to be based on the conception something being a deliberate choice does renders it beyond critique or reproach... and I can't imagine many circumstances in which that's actually true. In fact, I'd probably consider deliberate choices MORE valid for critique in many cases.

In any case, suffice to say there's definitely a core of people who prefer the casting merits of metal or resin over the construction ease of plastic.

I felt somewhat different back when I still required masses of infantry, but I got fed up with the painting - now I don't play much past skirmish size gaming and would honestly prefer those models to be able to double as nice display pieces.

My 28mm Inquisitor stuff is primarily metal with a few resin or finecast models - there's just the one WIP plastic model, a "tall-scale" Marine being stitched together from some old Chaos Warrior and Marine bits from my bitz box (and, as previously mentioned, heavily armoured models tend to work better in plastic).
And I've even done something with an old metal along the way that a polystyrene maestro admitted just couldn't have been done as well with the replacement plastics.

Amateur artists get flack for hiding behind "it's my style" because they're often viewed as stopping at a point in their artistic education rather than becoming better or reaching their potential. Plastic as a material is what sets the boundaries for the artist in the case we're talking about. That's what I mean by plastic being a style. And that was my point about comic books and Ryan Ottley. As a comic book artist he has to do a comic book sized page a day every month and that's his limitation. Plastic limitations include 2 part casting and they have to fit into a certain sprue size depending on kit size. Now, to the sculptors, do I think they're being amateurish by being lazy or uneducated with the plastic medium? For the most part: No, and going back to my original point, I don't think what they do lacks artistic merit.



It's possible... but that's an entirely separate technology to what we call "plastics", without the same limitations.

Many definitions of resins include polystyrene (as a form of synthetic resin), but we wouldn't consider the new Tactical Squad box to be "resin miniatures".

I never mentioned that 3d printing would be plastic. I think it'll be its own thing, its own style for the sculptor to work within. I'm also not anti Resin, though I do like Resin more than metal.

MarcoSkoll
09-09-2013, 01:09
Most of the design decisions I dislike from plastic kits are when they put what are supposed to be two different units/monsters in 1 kit. I find that deprives me of the extra bitz that I usually like. Examples: The high elf Averlorn/Shadow Warriors Kits.
Personally, my objection to that kit is that the Maidens are men with fake boobs and long hair. Apparently, Games Workshop's definition of "androgynous elves" is that they all look square and chunky - it could have worked if the elves were slender and frail like the actual art, but they (regrettably, as it's a cool look) aren't.


Now, to the sculptors, do I think they're being amateurish by being lazy or uneducated with the plastic medium? For the most part: No, and going back to my original point, I don't think what they do lacks artistic merit.
I think it is very skilled work, which is fantastically interesting and highly impressive from the perspective of designing within those limitations. I do not, however, find it as visually appealing as what can be done with other materials.


I never mentioned that 3d printing would be plastic.
It seems you didn't... but with the distinct majority of 3D printing being plastic, the context in which you used it did rather imply that was what you were going for.

lbecks
09-09-2013, 01:55
Personally, my objection to that kit is that the Maidens are men with fake boobs and long hair. Apparently, Games Workshop's definition of "androgynous elves" is that they all look square and chunky - it could have worked if the elves were slender and frail like the actual art, but they (regrettably, as it's a cool look) aren't.

I have that same objection to that kit and would categorize it as compromising unique design. But its born out of their desire to stuff two kits into one box.



I think it is very skilled work, which is fantastically interesting and highly impressive from the perspective of designing within those limitations. I do not, however, find it as visually appealing as what can be done with other materials.

We'll just agree to disagree. I don't find the limitations so hampering that I would say they're lacking in artistic merit.


It seems you didn't... but with the distinct majority of 3D printing being plastic, the context in which you used it did rather imply that was what you were going for.

Now you're talking about plastic as an actual material regardless of casting. The limitations of the plastic casting process is the model has to be cut into sheets essentially and also those sheet are only formed from a 2 sided inflexible mold. If Games Workshop found a way to layer plastic in a 3d printer where it had as many undercuts as something cast in a soft mold (probably more undercuts due to the way 3d printing is) and also had the strength of plastic and great consistent casting results, it would be better than current plastic, resin, and metal.

MarcoSkoll
09-09-2013, 17:58
We'll just agree to disagree. I don't find the limitations so hampering that I would say they're lacking in artistic merit.
I'm not saying they're without artistic merit, but my preference will almost invariably be for models that have fewer design limitations.

Fear Ghoul
10-09-2013, 21:29
I'm not saying they're without artistic merit, but my preference will almost invariably be for models that have fewer design limitations.

Then why is it you don't prefer plastic? The only disadvantage of plastic is the issue of undercuts, but that can be mostly mitigated by multi-piece models. Metal and resin models on the other hand have far greater (and more imposing) disadvantages than plastic. Metal is heavy meaning models have to be smaller and mass transport is more onerous, clean-up and assembly takes longer than for equivalent multi-piece plastic or resin models, metal pieces have to be thick otherwise they can break or bend out of shape, the models themselves can attack your fingers with sharp points, reflection of metal surface makes details indistinct and therefore the difference between flash and detail can often be hard to distinguish, and finally metal models are more expensive (generally) than either plastic or resin. Resin solves most of the above issues that plague metal, but unfortunately can often be more susceptible to breakage and is still more expensive than plastic.

maze ironheart
10-09-2013, 21:59
Imagine the price hike if they did do all model's as plastic and it would cost them almost a fraction of the price.

MarcoSkoll
11-09-2013, 02:25
Then why is it you don't prefer plastic? The only disadvantage of plastic is the issue of undercuts, but that can be mostly mitigated by multi-piece models.
Why does artistic merit have to be treated as a binary yes/no matter? It's entirely possible for one model to be nice but another to be nicer.

Aside from my point about detail limitations - polystyrene has quite a high expansion coefficient, so shrinks more than metal or resin after casting, even before the fact that machining has a minimum tool radius - you actually have to cut a model into a LOT of parts to truly deal with undercuts and multi-piece models have their own problems. Every joint is a tolerance that has to be taken into account.

When it comes down to it, if I consider the Games Workshop models I consider my favourites, it's almost exclusively metal infantry (or Finecast, but the few I have are designs that were originally metal), with plastic only really impressing me for the vehicles.


Metal is heavy meaning models have to be smaller and mass transport is more onerous
From a personal perspective, I play mostly skirmish-level games. But in a more general sense, a few metal character models in a collection doesn't exactly strike me as making an intolerable difference to weight.

(But that said, it's really funny watching someone trying to "accidentally" leave with someone else's model case when it's full of 3rd edition Grey Knights).


clean-up and assembly takes longer than for equivalent multi-piece plastic or resin models
As a fraction of the total man-hours put into a model (particularly character models that tend to get more painting attention), a longer clean-up and assembly is still a trivial portion of the process.


metal pieces have to be thick otherwise they can break or bend out of shape
No more so than plastic - in fact, probably less so, and metal is more likely to bend back afterwards.


the models themselves can attack your fingers with sharp points
Yeah, they can be ruthless. I stop watching them for a second and they'll be stabbing my fingers, and then there's blood all over the table and I have to get out the vice, clamp them down and keep cutting and cutting and cutting with the Dremel until their tiny little voices finally go silent.

... I'm sorry, totally zoned out there for a moment. What were we talking about again? :)


reflection of metal surface makes details indistinct and therefore the difference between flash and detail can often be hard to distinguish
I'm slightly long-sighted (according to my eyetest from last Thursday, anyway) but still - I have no particular problem with such things.


and finally metal models are more expensive (generally) than either plastic or resin.
I'm not sure GW's pricing policy pays much attention to that suggestion.

Fear Ghoul
11-09-2013, 17:37
Why does artistic merit have to be treated as a binary yes/no matter? It's entirely possible for one model to be nice but another to be nicer.

You said that you preferred the material with the least limitations. That implies that there is a material with the least limitations.


Aside from my point about detail limitations - polystyrene has quite a high expansion coefficient, so shrinks more than metal or resin after casting, even before the fact that machining has a minimum tool radius - you actually have to cut a model into a LOT of parts to truly deal with undercuts and multi-piece models have their own problems. Every joint is a tolerance that has to be taken into account.

I don't think anyone has ever looked at a plastic miniature and thought that they would like it if only it didn't shrink so much. If you want plastic to shrink less you apply higher pressure during cooling to maintain the same volume, which so far as I understand it is exactly the way GW does it.


From a personal perspective, I play mostly skirmish-level games. But in a more general sense, a few metal character models in a collection doesn't exactly strike me as making an intolerable difference to weight.

That may be so, but it doesn't change the fact that metal miniatures have a lower volume limitation, so the weight is an issue regardless of why you purchase the miniatures.


As a fraction of the total man-hours put into a model (particularly character models that tend to get more painting attention), a longer clean-up and assembly is still a trivial portion of the process.

If you paint to Eavy Metal standards perhaps, but for most that simply isn't the case. Incidentally, the added time is still a negative for metal. Every minute spent preparing a metal miniature is one less minute spent doing something much more productive (and fun).


No more so than plastic - in fact, probably less so, and metal is more likely to bend back afterwards.

I've never seen a plastic or resin miniatures break because somebody dropped it or packed it too tightly in their case. Metal miniatures on the hand suffer this fate frequently unless you pin even your infantry models. (leads back to the added time problem above). Plastic or resin pieces can break if too much pressure is applied on a thin section such as a pole or sword, but these pieces can simply be glued back on in their original shape. Metal on the other hand bends but because it is not elastic it is night impossible to convincingly recreate the original shape. If a sword gets bent, bending it some more just tends to create a weird looking sword.


I'm slightly long-sighted (according to my eyetest from last Thursday, anyway) but still - I have no particular problem with such things.

Remember when Finecast came out and people pawed all over the images and exclaimed how the resin brought out all the glorious details much better than metal? Well that's the same effect but in reverse, because darker materials actually allow a greater degree of individual details to be seen by the human eye than bright materials. The fact that this has never bothered you is probably because you don't care or have never thought about it, but it certainly remains a disadvantage of metal nonetheless.


I'm not sure GW's pricing policy pays much attention to that suggestion.

Conversions to plastic usually have come out cheaper than their metal predecessors. Chaos Knights, Black Knights, Ghouls, Space Marine Scouts, Grave Guard, etc. The only example I can think of where a plastic conversion wasn't cheaper was the Daemon Prince, which I believe came out slightly more expensive for some reason.

MarcoSkoll
11-09-2013, 22:33
You said that you preferred the material with the least limitations. That implies that there is a material with the least limitations.
What does that have to do with it? Liking A and B does not mean I have to like them equally. Similarly, preferring A to B doesn't mean I think B is bad - nor does it necessarily mean I like A!
It's a comparison of A to B, not of either A or B to any threshold that may or may not exist.


I don't think anyone has ever looked at a plastic miniature and thought that they would like it if only it didn't shrink so much.
That's a strawman that ignores my mentions of tooling radius and the issues with multi-part tolerances.


That may be so, but it doesn't change the fact that metal miniatures have a lower volume limitation, so the weight is an issue regardless of why you purchase the miniatures.
Given that skirmish games of any sort rarely include large miniatures (almost never anything metal can't cast), and many large miniatures are vehicles (for which plastic does work well), I cannot see the issue you're alluding to.


Incidentally, the added time is still a negative for metal. Every minute spent preparing a metal miniature is one less minute spent doing something much more productive (and fun).
I'm sure some people consider more time a negative - however, the existence of the word "pastime" would seem pertinent. Time occupied with modelling is, for me, both productive and fun.


I've never seen a plastic or resin miniatures break because somebody dropped it or packed it too tightly in their case.
And I've seen plastic, metal and resin break. Individual anecdotes are not all powerful.


The fact that this has never bothered you is probably because you don't care or have never thought about it
Or perhaps I don't work under stadium floodlighting. :P
I know all the apparent logic, but I seriously don't have any such problems. It's not like I get out the metal polish to get them really shiny before I start...


Conversions to plastic usually have come out cheaper than their metal predecessors.
That's mostly units. If we look at the costs of plastic vs. finecast character models, it's not at all clear cut.

azza88
13-09-2013, 06:15
I'm not sure if this has been said before but at games day last year they did say that going forward EVERY generic HQ would be plastic and EVERY named character in finecast.

MajorWesJanson
20-09-2013, 01:44
I'm not sure if this has been said before but at games day last year they did say that going forward EVERY generic HQ would be plastic and EVERY named character in finecast.

Probably not including the named SCs they can reasonably get to combine into a plastic kit (Swarmlord, Karl Franz, Tiq Taq To)