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View Full Version : Miniature philosophie - multi-part vs single-part - pros and cons



Gaebriel
07-05-2007, 15:58
The first pages of this thread appear as the last pages of this thread (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82366).

I'll spare me an introduction, but may add one later, when I have more time.


Please, give me back the dozen(!) of differently posed early metal Cadians, and I would gladly field a hundred of them.

To my way of thinking I would take 12 customizable models that allow me to make my own poses over single-pose metals, not matter how nice, because my poses are unique and created by me whereas there is nothing of my creativity in the single-part models (until you paint them but that works for the multi-parts too).

Do you wonder why my favorite armies are Zombie Pirates and LaTD? :)

I am genuinly shocked that so many people prefer a nice miniature that someone else has created over one that they had some input into, even if their own creation is less nice.

Ah but surely what you are talking about there is convertability, which doesn't seem to be what the other people are talking about.

Going back to Gaebriel's post (as an example) where he mentions cadians, i can fully understand that he is not looking at having them converted - he just wants some cadians. In that case, the models you can assemble with the plastic cadian boxed set look pretty much the same as anyone else who assembles those cadians from the box; and if thats the case then Gaebriel would prefer to do away with the plastics and just return to a dozen or so variant Metal cadian models that have better sculpt quality and poses than those achievable using vanilla plastic cadians.

apologies to Gaebriel if he doesn't appreciate me using him; its only as an example mate :)

Ash

ninja edit: As an afterthought this is getting well off-topic. If anyone wants to continue with it a new thread should be started.

Essentially I can understand your point of view, Bruen - your emphasis lies on creating something unique and truly yours, as well as let your creativity flow - let's call it the active artistic side.

In comparison I'm more on the passive artistic side - as I am content with looking at (or owning) pieces of art designed by others.

None of the ways is better than the other, they're just different.

So, for me to find fullfillment, it is enough to just get the models and paint them (sometimes ... :( ). That's where the practical side kicks in - I don't like putting too much work into my models - a conversion here, a conversion there, a little more on special models, but a lot less on rank&file. Then there is the straightly subjective part of what I like : I think the older Cadian models (for example) look a good deal more lively, and have much more natural poses than I could create with the new multipart sprues. I'll take the time to find them on the Onlineshop later and give examples of what I mean. Then they're metal, which is another bonuspoint in my book.

Templar Ben
07-05-2007, 16:55
I like the multipart models but I don't have a horde.

I have some metals in my army and the fact that I can't do much else with them doesn't really bother me but I perfer the plastics because it is something I can change up easily. Then again I am a big fan of green stuff so I will often cut a leg at the knee to bend it or the same with an arm. Doing that with metal is difficult. Not impossible I agree. I converted a Mephiston model into a Necron Lord so I have worked with metal.

I am sure if I had to run a hundred or so models I would take great pleasure in not having to glue. :D

Curufew
07-05-2007, 17:08
For WHFB, Single part minis are ok since most of the minis are ranked up anyway.

However in a skirmish game like 40K , the same few old models can be rather boring models tend to stand out more.

Hellebore
07-05-2007, 17:08
It depends. I love converting, it is my favourite aspect of the hobby. With my wulfen army (entirely of converted plastic wulfen), my ninja grotz, my admech, my undead lizardmen, it is the thing I want to do the most.

However, I like quality too. some of the newer plastics (especially for fantasy) are only more convertible than metal because they aren't as hard. They are single body models with a minimum of options.

Also there is alot of detail loss at the sides of the model (I think this has increased since the use of computer scanning).

If the plastics can maintain the detail level of the metals, AND have multi part options, then sure.

However nothing can beat a beautifully sculpted character model in metal, the moulding medium enables much greater detail, more undercuts and a nice weight. There is something aesthetically pleasing about holding a heavy model in your hands.

If they could make the plastic super heavy I would be even more happy (or make their bases out of metal/hard plastic).

I suppose we sacrifice some quality for quantity and ease of use with plastics.

However if the plastics could equal the metal detail I would have no complaints.

Hellebore

GideonRavenor
07-05-2007, 17:12
As like the multipart mosels, as there are a variety of different ways to assemble them, and they come with plenty of extras.

Pokpoko
07-05-2007, 17:33
variety of different ways to assemble themwith maybe two-three really feasible, rest being too wierd/unnatural/impractical on the table. as i said on the other thread before it was closed-multiparts give you an illuison of creativity, and you end up with models that look the same anyway(oh,right that head in a slightly different angle is going to be soo visible once the models are put to table)

james1225
07-05-2007, 17:55
If the sculptor captures movement and character you dont always need multiple pieces.

t-tauri
07-05-2007, 17:58
The advantage of multipart plastic over single piece metal is that the limits of moulding mean the metal is often "flat" and lifeless as it basically needs to be designed in two dimensions to get it out of the mould. Arms are out at the side or the gun is held parallel with the body. Shields are flattened into the body with loss of detail. While the assembly takes a little longer the result is often better with plastics.

Pokpoko
07-05-2007, 18:07
but you can cast those pieces separately.assembly is just as quick as plastics, and the results are better in most cases, since there is no loss of depth as it is in case of plastic(say what you want, but since the "computer designing" all the GW plastics,with the exception of Carni, look a tad..flat to me,even compared to their own plastics from shortly before)

Longinus
07-05-2007, 18:39
Converting is easily my favourite part of the hobby. Thus, I prefer plastic over metal. It is not just that you can pose models yourself, you can swap parts with other kits and cut and reposition parts. Also, plastic is much easier to glue than metal and there is usually no need for pinning.

god octo
07-05-2007, 18:45
I would always pick multi piece models over single figures, but I wouldn't mind if the single pose model was easy to change- I play sisters and most of the models are the same, but it is quite easy to transform a flamer into a meltagun etc.

Gaebriel
07-05-2007, 19:54
The advantage of multipart plastic over single piece metal is that the limits of moulding mean the metal is often "flat" and lifeless as it basically needs to be designed in two dimensions to get it out of the mould. ...
I remember that especially from the 80ies. Though lately I have bought some new 15mm metals, and was struck with the 3D, and filigree (gr?) of these one-piece-casts - though perhaps they utilize another technique than 28mms?

Bruen
07-05-2007, 20:20
Essentially I can understand your point of view, Bruen - your emphasis lies on creating something unique and truly yours, as well as let your creativity flow - let's call it the active artistic side. In comparison I'm more on the passive artistic side - as I am content with looking at (or owning) pieces of art designed by others.

I think you have prety much summed up the difference there.

I want a figure to be my best effort (for better or worse) more than I want it to be a fabulous figure that someone else sculpted. The end result of that philosophy is sculpting my own figures of course and I have done that sometimes (I have a Tyranid flock for AI using "counts as Orks") but it takes forever and I'm not desperatly good at it. While I would love to sculpt all of my miniatures myself I will mostly settle for posing and converting where possible.

Hence why I like multi-part models so much, they are a happy medium between having enough models to play a game and having a reasonable degree of individuality (with part swaps, conversions and pose changes).


None of the ways is better than the other, they're just different.

I agree and apologise if I implied anything different.


So, for me to find fullfillment, it is enough to just get the models and paint them (sometimes ... :( ). That's where the practical side kicks in - I don't like putting too much work into my models - a conversion here, a conversion there, a little more on special models, but a lot less on rank&file.

I'm a terribly slow painter, the biggest problem that I have is getting started on an army or unit. Once I have the theme and colours down I do enjoy it though.

One big difference that I am seeing here is that I don't play Fantasy and my armies have a large variety of units (I try not to have the same kind of unit twice) so I don't have this "but they are just rank-and-file" issue. All my units are small, under 12 figures, and they all have a backstory and history.

The game is afoot
07-05-2007, 20:21
I take it we are talking about regular sized troops here not large models that by necessity must be multi-part in order to be manufactured.

I like great models and at the moment it is very difficult to go past Gamezone or Freebooter. They make stunning models.
They make mostly two or thee part models at the standard trooper size with the bulk of the model coming in one piece.
As they are the best sculpted models I'll go with them. I've already got thousands of models to cover infantry and cavalry from a wide variety of manufacturers.
Oddly enough I am in the process of changing out my static posed multi-part plastic GW Dwarves with single pose metal Westwind Dwarves that blow the GW sculpts out of the water.

What I'm driving at is this, it doesn't matter whether it's a multi-part or single pose.
It's all about the quality of the finished sculpt.
You can change half a dozen aspects of a GW plastic Dwarf RaF model but to my eyes none of the new positions of the multi-part plastic will look as good as the single pose metal Westwind RaF sculpt that takes a fraction of the time to get ready for undercoating.
If the multi-parts were better sculpts I'd happily take the extra time to put together a multi-part kit for a regular trooper.

Also I prefer metal at every turn over the less detailed plastic.

On another note I recently made some Pigmy Centaurs from Pig riding pigmies.
Kallistra models.
Well I made 45 of them actually for three units of fifteen and they were all metal.
There was a lot of green stuff involved but it was easier in many respects cutting back the white metal than chopping brittle and fragile plastic.

Lets look at the largely one part GW plastic Wood elf models, I think there are some excellent sculpts in there that don't need multi-parts because they work as they are... they are considerably superior sculpts to the multi-part GW plastic Dwarves.
In this case I will go with the better piece of art.

Bruen
07-05-2007, 20:28
but you can cast those pieces separately

You can but how often do you actually see it on the shelf? I have seen seperate weapons and shields but rarely body parts except where needed due to mould restrictions. Plastics are actually available with all these parts seperate (heads, legs, upper body, lower body, arms, weapons, backpaks).

I don't play Marines but the basic plastic Marine is a fantastic model to my mind because it is so adaptable. The basic figure is what? 9 parts? All of which are interchangeable and offer a variety of poses. I have yet to see that in metal.

Also from the old days when I used to cast my own miniatures I know that very small metal parts are prone to miscast due to air bubbles (ugh bows and spears!).

Bruen
07-05-2007, 20:34
I take it we are talking about regular sized troops here not large models that by necessity must be multi-part in order to be manufactured.

I am.


What I'm driving at is this, it doesn't matter whether it's a multi-part or single pose. It's all about the quality of the finished sculpt.

To me it does matter because with a multipart that is my pose that I created rather than one that was chosen for me by the sculptor. OK, its not as good as sculpting the figure myself but its a lot better, in my eyes, than simply using a single-piece metal figure out of the blister.


In this case I will go with the better piece of art.

I respect your choice but for me I can never like single pose miniatures because I just don't think of them as mine, I have no emotional attachment in them.

ashc
07-05-2007, 20:34
What I'm driving at is this, it doesn't matter whether it's a multi-part or single pose.
It's all about the quality of the finished sculpt.
You can change half a dozen aspects of a GW plastic Dwarf RaF model but to my eyes none of the new positions of the multi-part plastic will look as good as the single pose metal Westwind RaF sculpt that takes a fraction of the time to get ready for undercoating.
If the multi-parts were better sculpts I'd happily take the extra time to put together a multi-part kit for a regular trooper.


I think TGIA is absolutely spot on. For me, its about the finished look of the unit and its practicality in a game, as well as perceived 'quality at a price you are willing to pay' - I do not consider many of the current GW plastics worth the prices GW charge as I do not think the quality of the finished sculpts are that great once you have put a unit of them together compared to other game ranges.

I think Bruen is correct in realising that perhaps his ideas are skewed by his desire for uniqueness and the fact that he only plays 40k - I think your ideas change a lot if you are playing ranked games (i.e. AOA or WHFB).

Ash

mistahsmoovelegs
07-05-2007, 21:05
i like the weight and the curability that metal miniatures afford. the sculpts are usually more detailed as well. given the choice between all metal and all plastic, i would metal.

Bloodknight
07-05-2007, 21:30
Agreed. Especially the newer computer designed plastics are a step back in sculpting quality in metal as well as plastic. Just look at the orc Warboss for WFB. Or the new Dark Angels in comparison to the metals.

As for the posability: in WFB it doesnīt make much sense as many of the minis wonīt rank up correctly if you botch the pose so this really only applies to skirmishers.
Also you can almost always see that theyīre multiparts, the worst offenders being the Crapachans and the Cadians (which donīt have much posability because the guns come moulded to the arms and the Leg/Chest area is flat, not a ball joint). Also most of the "possible" poses look silly or are totally unnatural. I prefer good singlepose models to the multiparts, as long as there are enough variants. Once itīs on the table nobody will notice anyway.

grickherder
07-05-2007, 21:36
I'm another metal head. I'm also interesting primarily in the finished product. And while it is cool to repose a model to make it my pose, I find I'm not as skilled as the sculptors who made the original piece.

Multiple poses in metal so I can have some variety is my preferred way to go. Plastic multiparts are great for things like Space Marines where the uniform armour panels lend themselves to repositioning really easily.

That said, if I did get plastic marines, most of them would be Battle of Macragge marines as they look fine and can be had for quite cheap. As well, there's not a lot of time to be spent in assembling them.

I still have fond memories of the 2nd edition plastic Tactical squad. Pity I accidentally melted mine by stripping it with the wrong type of brake fluid.

Bruen
07-05-2007, 21:39
the sculpts are usually more detailed as well.

I keep hearing this but I just don't see it in real life so here is a challenge, link to the most detailed metal rank-and-file mini that you can find and I'll do the same for plastics so that we can compare the level of detail. No heros, characters, monsters, vehicles etc.

For mine I give you a GW plastic devastator (http://uk.games-workshop.com/spacemarines/painting-devastators/2/).

Now imho Warmachine has some of the nicest rank and file models like http://www.privateerpress.com/WARMACHINE/gallery/default.php?level=picture&id=61

Both these models, although based on different styles, can be seen to be capable of similar levels of detail.

mistahsmoovelegs
07-05-2007, 21:51
okie dokie smokie. heres one particular example: High Elf Shadow Warriors (http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=Individual&code=99060210100&orignav=13)

and as for your example, the old space marine devastators (http://store.us.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.us?do=List_Models&code=301130&orignav=301117&ParentID=1503&GameNav=301115) were way cooler and better detailed than that.

the one you posted is wearing a dress ;)

Gaebriel
07-05-2007, 22:00
I'll hand in some Rackham Confrontation

one (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=409&ref=FRLIBO02&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)
two (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=329&ref=UKLIRAG1&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)
three (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=108&ref=FRLIBO01&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)

Though I'm technically cheating, because these are metal but multi-part, and 'rank&file' but for a skirmish game :angel:

mistahsmoovelegs
07-05-2007, 22:01
I'll hand in some Rackham Confrontation

one (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=409&ref=FRLIBO02&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)
two (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=329&ref=UKLIRAG1&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)
three (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=108&ref=FRLIBO01&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=8)

Though I'm technically cheating, because these are metal but multi-part, and 'rank&file' but for a skirmish game :angel:

actually Gaebriel, this just goes to show you that metal miniatures can have alot of versatility, just like plastic figures.

Gaebriel
07-05-2007, 22:05
Yes, but ... the price ... :cries:

mistahsmoovelegs
07-05-2007, 22:07
Yes, but ... the price ... :cries:

yeah, but its worth it. i dont know how, but it is :confused:

ashc
07-05-2007, 22:40
OK i'll bite.

Metal Dwarf Longbeards (http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=Individual&code=99110205130&orignav=13) have long been a firm favourite of mine, very characterful, detailed, and very, well, longbearded!

Whereas the plastic Longbeards (http://uk.games-workshop.com/dwarfs/miniature-gallery/7/) (second picture down) suggested 'equivalents' i don't really think compare.

Similar can be seen within things like the wonderful Dark Elf metal ranges and the comparison to poorer counterparts, and also the old gobbo metals and the new plastic night goblins.

Ash

grickherder
07-05-2007, 22:50
Once again, I'll pull out Thunderbolt Mountain:

https://www.thunderboltmountain.com/images/painted_figs/rhooper/Thunderbolt_Female.jpg

A female warrior in reasonable clothing to boot.

mistahsmoovelegs
07-05-2007, 22:57
Once again, I'll pull out Thunderbolt Mountain:

https://www.thunderboltmountain.com/images/painted_figs/rhooper/Thunderbolt_Female.jpg

A female warrior in reasonable clothing to boot.

her face looks like a corpse's.

The game is afoot
07-05-2007, 23:04
What a fantastic model Grick, is that Tom Meier coming up with another winner.?
The proportions, the dynamics, the accuracy of the clothing, the finely sculpted facial features, the realism, it all amounts to a beautiful piece of art.
He really is one of the old masters.

generulpoleaxe
07-05-2007, 23:11
if multipart minis means i have to put up with poor detail and wallace and gromit faces then i'll stick with single piece minis.

wether a mini is multi part or not, it's the detail i am interested in.
gw's plastics (as well as rackhams pre paints) are low quality, i'll happily pay for quality any day, single piece or multi piece.

Thommy H
07-05-2007, 23:23
her face looks like a corpse's.

No, her face looks like an actual person's face scaled down to that size. Tom Meier sculpts his Thunderbolt Mountain range in true-scale 30mm (but he measures to the top of the head instead of the eyes apparently, so they are actually 28mm...)

But anyway...

I don't think I've ever seen a photograph of a plastic, multi-part figure and though "wow, that's beautiful and I need to own it" - they're always just a box of troops I need for my army. Useful, sure, but works or art? Well, maybe the original green was...I dunno, you can't see the figure for what it was when it's in bits, ready to be stuck together with too much superglue by my spastic hands...

But I've bought metal figures on sight before now because they look incredible. Is a paintjob not enough individuality for someone? Perhaps it's a problem with the way GW displays its figures - painted, and in the case of something like Space Marines, with a fairly high chance that they're in the same colours as you'll be painting them. So they don't feel 'individual' for that reason.

I tend to buy non-GW figures for display purposes though, and obviously they get my own colour schemes.

Pokpoko
07-05-2007, 23:33
yeah, but its worth it. i dont know how, but it is :confused:
three of these for 15E (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=447&ref=UKCYEL01&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=38)
or
three of these, for11.5E (http://fr.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.fr?do=Individual&code=99060210049&orignav=13)?
Rackham is bloody expensive(funnily enough in Poland 3 Rack minis are actually tad cheaper than 3 GW minis in blisters it seems:eek: ) but the minis look like they are worth the money in most instances

Adept
07-05-2007, 23:59
I don't play Marines but the basic plastic Marine is a fantastic model to my mind because it is so adaptable. The basic figure is what? 9 parts? All of which are interchangeable and offer a variety of poses. I have yet to see that in metal.

The way I look at it is, multi-part plastics really only give the illusion of creativity, as someone pointed out earlier.

If I assemble a box of cadians, and someone else assembles a box of cadians, both of our units will be exactly the same.

Now, there will of course be minor differences. Some of my heads may be looking in different directions, some of his arms may be pointed slightly up or down, or maybe he used the flamer instead of the grenade launcher. But either way, despite all those extra pieces, they were still assembled the same way, with the same results.

Plastic is easier to convert, though. When it comes to cutting, filing, bending and glue-ing it is much easier to work with plastic, and in those instances having multiple pieces is a boon, as simple arm/torso swaps are very quick and easy.

But my personal preference, especially when building large forces, is for two or three piece models. Take the metal High Elves for LotR as an example. Metal bodies, with a seperate shield and spear. Just about perfect.

mistahsmoovelegs
08-05-2007, 00:45
No, her face looks like an actual person's face scaled down to that size. Tom Meier sculpts his Thunderbolt Mountain range in true-scale 30mm (but he measures to the top of the head instead of the eyes apparently, so they are actually 28mm...)



have you ever seen a corpse?:skull:. yeah i guess you're right.

mistahsmoovelegs
08-05-2007, 00:47
three of these for 15E (http://www.rackham-store.com/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?type=447&ref=UKCYEL01&code_lg=lg_us&pag=1&num=38)
or
three of these, for11.5E (http://fr.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.fr?do=Individual&code=99060210049&orignav=13)?
Rackham is bloody expensive(funnily enough in Poland 3 Rack minis are actually tad cheaper than 3 GW minis in blisters it seems:eek: ) but the minis look like they are worth the money in most instances

the rakham ones blow the high elf swordmasters out of the water. i go for quality and not quantity, but lets not open that can of worms here.

Revliss
08-05-2007, 05:00
plastic will hold more detail then any matel, as long as it it done right. only ploblem is that it is expansif but the mold last for a life time if it handel in the right way. the ploblem with matel is that cangces of miss casting is hight

mistahsmoovelegs
08-05-2007, 05:44
plastic will hold more detail then any matel, as long as it it done right. only ploblem is that it is expansif but the mold last for a life time if it handel in the right way. the ploblem with matel is that cangces of miss casting is hight

i have never seen a plastic model that was more detailed than its metal equivalent. thats not to say that there arent well detailed plastics out there.

snurl
08-05-2007, 08:22
i have never seen a plastic model that was more detailed than its metal equivalent. thats not to say that there arent well detailed plastics out there.

Quoted for truth.
I like metal figures. 1 piece or multipart.
If i have to use plastic figures for rank and file, I like them to have as many seperate pieces as possible, so they all look slightly different when completed.

Revliss
08-05-2007, 11:17
reason why you have not seen plastic model that is more detail, cos right now tamiyaand a few is useing that tecnolegy, and most of the most detail stuff are not make in to toys, they use in indastrial parts.

snurl
08-05-2007, 11:24
Honestly, some of the older Tamiiya kits put the newer plastic GW offerings to shame.

Revliss
08-05-2007, 11:32
oh i remaber some thing about some laser sculpt or mold making err some thing can't remaber the detail but bandia(sp ??) thos guys that make gundam model use it

4

Gaebriel
08-05-2007, 11:55
As far as I recall Tamiya has much sharper details than GW-models, but I guess this is due to another kind of plastic. It's harder and more brittle as than GW's "plastic-gum". Perhaps that's what makes another casting process possible.

Or I'm off, because the last Tamiya model I had in my hands was during the 80ies...

snurl
08-05-2007, 11:58
Yes, plastic isn't what it used to be. And Tamiiya did it without lasers.:D

Bloodknight
08-05-2007, 12:04
It also is because the tamiya stuff (tanks etc) are display models which donīt like being shoved around on the battlefield a lot. The GW tanks are less detailed but far sturdier.

snurl
08-05-2007, 12:11
I Can't argue with that.

Bombot
08-05-2007, 12:20
I don't think I've ever seen a photograph of a plastic, multi-part figure and though "wow, that's beautiful and I need to own it" - they're always just a box of troops I need for my army.

Absolutely agree with this.

Plastic is best suited to fully armored troops like Space Marines - there the uniform look is apt. Otherwise, the above quote sums up my view nicely.

The game is afoot
08-05-2007, 14:24
...wether a mini is multi part or not, it's the detail i am interested in.
gw's plastics (as well as rackhams pre paints) are low quality, i'll happily pay for quality any day, single piece or multi piece.

That is my bottom line as well.

Gazak Blacktoof
08-05-2007, 14:43
Do metal model look beutilful? Yes they do.

Are they practical to convert? No they're not.

Essentially that's what it comes down to for me. If I see a metal model that fits in with what I want I'd buy it. However if I want something markedly different then its easier to use a plastic model as the basis of a conversion.

Example: I'd like to make two armies as counterpatrs to one another. Nemesis forces if you like. The two armies I'm interested in are Tomb Kings and a crusading Empire force.

I'll happily use tomb king tomb guard because although they are in no way poseable they "fit" with my image of the army and the uniformity doesn't matter too much in a ranked unit.

I do however want some battered veteran knights for the crusading force with bandaged wounds, baggage and weapon swaps. Unless I can find something that fits the image I'm after creating that would be a trial with metal models particulalry reposing horses if those were metal too, GW plastic knights offer more potential in this regard because I can create what I want using additional parts from other kits.

Dr Death
08-05-2007, 15:23
I like both, they both have their purposes. Metal models (which are usually single pose regardless of the number of pieces) are a bit of a personal love because of all the reasons voiced before; it feels valuable, the detail is alway flawlessly crisp (downright sharp sometimes) and it shows the true breadth of the sculpter's talent and their eye for composition. To be honest, the 'i like to personalise my models' argument is rather lost on such pieces since you are buying someone elses work- if you want to personalise a single part model sculpt it yourself! Rarely do any provided alternative pieces look right on a single pose model because it was sculpted in a certain way with a certain aesthetic balance in mind.

Plastic multiparts though do serve a purpose and that cant be denied. Their value to the converter is invaluable. Games Workshop's marine range is by far the best example of this. I've never seen a plastic model designed for gaming to be better than their metal equivilents but the Space Marine 'system' has acheived it due to the replication of core pieces which are then converted up and recast to form new componants for the puzzle. However, even then their are little artistic flourishes that only a sculpter can personalise them with (the new Space Marine commander really shows the problem with DIY character kits).

Where plastic does have a huge strength over metal is in the absence of replication. You can indulge in the whole hog of kitbashing and converting but the 'best part' is far more boring and mathematical. With 10 heads, 10 bodies, 10 combinations of arms, a few add ons you can make hundreds of individual models which may not have any aesthetic balance but will at least ensure you have no two models the same.

The difficulty is people dont want to go through such a stale mathematical proccess, they want to be aesthetic designers in their own right, picking and choosing with abject care each individual peice, harmonising them into the miniature whole- i do it myself thinking 'Hmmm, that head looks good on that body but not on that other one' and slowly the range of options available is cut down by the desire to render each miniature individually instead as part of the whole army.

So the best thing one can do is have a variety of miniature media at one's fingertips- plastic models for rank and file or for the 'bare bones' of character conversions, single pose metal models to keep as they are or to render down into their componant parts (maybe they even come in different componants), and also nurture a little skill in sculpting to bridge the gaps where practicality conspires against you. There will never be a catch-all rule saying that single part is better than multi-part or vice versa.

Dr Death

Arhalien
08-05-2007, 15:42
But anyway...

I don't think I've ever seen a photograph of a plastic, multi-part figure and though "wow, that's beautiful and I need to own it" - they're always just a box of troops I need for my army. Useful, sure, but works or art? Well, maybe the original green was...I dunno, you can't see the figure for what it was when it's in bits, ready to be stuck together with too much superglue by my spastic hands...
.

New plastic Blorcs? Now those look pretty damn good. Same goes for the Eldar Dire Avengers, and the High Elf hero sprue looks good as well.

I'd like to weigh in on the side of plastic multiparts here. I like having some sort of input into how the model looks finally; ok, it's not much, but it's something.
I also quite like assembling plastic miniatures, whereas just sticking a single piece metal swordmaster into a base just isn;t as good in any way.

Oh, and on the subject of the Rackham Royal guard; they're greay sculpts, but there;s somehthing about the poses that just bugs me.

Mahwell Skel
09-05-2007, 13:28
I also quite like assembling plastic miniatures, whereas just sticking a single piece metal swordmaster into a base just isn;t as good in any way.


Assembling the plastic miniatures is a big bonus on their side.

Their weight from a practical point of view can be annoying. Overreaching posing and they all fall on their faces with the slightest knock to the table. Baggy clothing (wooly jumper) picking up half a unit adds to the hazard. Rearranging and resetting the table becomes a pain. Not so bad with magnets or weight in the base but extra work to make them work. Metal units no problem.

I like metal elite units. There may even be a psycological advantage to the unit weighing more and feeling more sturdy. Or is it just me?...:p

3rd edition of course everything was metal and the range of detailed metal was superb. Probably over 200 individual Gobbos. You could really get a rag tag effect of unit composition. Now they can be a bit too uniform. They are all identically equipped and clothed. It's ok for some regiments such as empire and bret but other races suffer from a military style order invading their fluff.

Agreed as posted above by Bombot SMs are ideal for plastic and posing them is always great fun as you can envisage how the whole squad will look on the field e.g. generally laying down fire, advancing, taking cover etc. Regiments can be a bit more "Will they fit together ok? Hmm some front rank spears forward the rest spears up for ranking." Not alot of variation in the standard box but plenty of scope for conversion or variations in the unit of you have the talent or inclination (or time)