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Thread: Finecast experiment ending?

  1. #1
    Veteran Sergeant
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    Finecast experiment ending?

    I never have rumours!

    I don't know how reliable GW staffers are, but one has strong feelings that fine cast will be no more in a few months, something about a lack of return, and better plastic casts, apparently the new approach is to focus on the plastic blisters and to slowly but surely stop producing finecast or reserve it for truly exceptional minis.

    Again, this was a staffer's comment to me, so feel free to flame me or whatever, i was just genuinely excited to have something remotely resembling a rumour.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    i srsly doubt they would do this since they spent so much on doing finecast
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  3. #3
    Chapter Master ewar's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Thanks for posting, it's always interesting to hear new rumours. However...

    From purely a business perspective, I would think this is extremely unlikely. Companies undertake investment projects with a view to the long term - the returns of such projects are measured over 5+ years, not 12 months.

    GW have invested far too much in finecast to pull the plug in under a year, it's just not going to happen as their returns will only improve over time as they control costs and quality.

    On a personal note, I absolutely love the finecast minis and can't see what everyone's problems are. The detail is superb, on a par with foregworld and the ease of putting them together is worth the small premium over metal. I'm so happy that multi-pinning large models is now a thing of the past!
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  4. #4
    Commander Godswildcard's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    without being for the rumor or against the rumor, I will say that Finecast has seemed like a High Risk Low Return operation from the get go. Drastically changing the way all GW blisters/special miniatures were created at one time, which affects all systems and as such ALL GW revenue, I can see this turning ugly for GW if peoples compaints are to be believed. Factor in the supposed increased productions costs (to justify the price hike) and the increased need for quality control, and its easy to understand (again, if people's complaints are accurate) why the thought of canning the whole idea and starting over may have crossed some peoples minds.

    Edit:
    Ewar is correct on the long term thing. My info comes from what I've read on various sites and what not. I don't own any finecast models. while I doubt that GW would pull the plug this early, thats not to say they haven't had second thoughts if sales aren't what they were expecting to be.
    Last edited by Godswildcard; 28-09-2011 at 13:27.
    yep....how about that....
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    Chapter Master Tokamak's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Maybe they shouldn't blame the medium but rather the price. Maybe they should end their pricing experiment.
    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninches View Post
    i srsly doubt they would do this since they spent so much on doing finecast
    They didn't spent anything on finecast. They only replaced an expensive material for a cheap material.
    Last edited by Tokamak; 28-09-2011 at 13:27.
    Quote Originally Posted by 0604854 View Post
    the future is another question
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    from what i got out of the conversation, i think the initial idea was to make one lots of one piece models with finecast, but the plastic character models have proved more successful

    The general impression i got is that it would be a slow phase out.

    Again, apologies if this sparks any criticism, just thought I'd report what I'd heard, and accept the consequences!
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  7. #7
    Chapter Master eldargal's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    They spent a lot of money re-tooling moulds, actually. They might try and produce more miniatures in plastic, which is a good idea, but Finecast won't be going anywhere. They aren't going to abandon a cheap material to go back to an extremely expensive material with a volatile price.
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    Chapter Master static grass's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    GW have spent the last few years driving down production costs with great success. Pressumably Finecast was supposed to be part of this - reducing materials and ship costs. The trouble is Finecast produces much waste and forced GW to raise their prices and is ultimately dependant on the customers to QC the cast at the point of sale. It is the total opposite of what GW wanted to achieve. The problem is finecast is obviously a pet project of a higher up so getting rid of it means admitting failure and thus career suicide.

    So no it is definately staying. Plus it gives Kirby the chance to sweep any amount of loss under the heading "Finecast did it" in next years financial reprt.
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  9. #9
    Chapter Master eldargal's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    That is speculation though, we have no idea what the failure rate of Finecast actually is andgiven GWs sales volume so even with all the onlien complaints it could still be an acceptable amount of waste for GW. It is also waste of a ridiculously cheap material compared to metal, even if metal can be recycled.
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  10. #10
    Chapter Master Tokamak's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldargal View Post
    They spent a lot of money re-tooling moulds, actually.
    Do you have a source? I'm not doubting it, I just want some definite info behind the scenes.
    Quote Originally Posted by 0604854 View Post
    the future is another question
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  11. #11
    Thinker of Thoughts Hellebore's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Well metal models never game on a sprue like the FC ones do (convert acronym to any witty version of Finecast).

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  12. #12
    Chapter Master eldargal's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    One of my 'sources'* in GW said he heard the initial Finecast wave cost a few million pounds due to the amount of time workers had to spend drilling extra vents and adding extra vents as even those proved inadequate. As to accuracy, it makes sense, and the source has been reasonably accurate though more with FW than GW stuff (but they are in the same factory). Other things he has told me have been corroborated by Harry and Ghost21. But it still could just be workers gossiping about the higher ups incompetence so who knows.

    All we know for certain is that there are more vents which had to be tooled and the number of vents has increased over time in some cases. Re-tooling costs money, factor in other expenses there hay have ben and I would be fairly confident in saying the switch to Finecast wasn't cheap. I don't think it warranted a price rise but that is another issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokamak View Post
    Do you have a source? I'm not doubting it, I just want some definite info behind the scenes.

    *Not in retail.
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  13. #13
    Chapter Master de Selby's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Well we know they re-tooled the moulds and that this costs money. How it compares to replacing the moulds for the metal casts (which I think they do fairly regularly anyway) I don't know. There will have been many other one-off costs associated with the switchover too, so the re-tooling as such might not even have been the most important one.

    I'm sure there was a significant investment. I doubt that finecast will be retired any time soon unless it is actually losing them money month on month. I remember back when GW had a bits service I asked how they could afford to keep fixing all the errors they made and still make a profit... then they cancelled the bits service.

    If they ever introduce any new sculpts in metal again, I think this will indicate that finecast has failed. But I'm sure that their grand plan is just to produce as much as possible in plastic and in this sense finecast, like the metal inventory, Forgeworld, Specialist games, Dreadfleet etc, is a bit of a low-profitability sideshow.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    I think finecast is awesome for some miniatures.

    Have bought Ogre Maneaters and Dark Elf Reaper Bolthrowers in finecast and they glue together so easily and quality is great. Would not have bought these in metal and don't think the quality would have been there in plastic. Think finecast totally cool and has it's place.

    However, in the realms of a lot of "Specials" which can form up to 50% of an army, i don't see that finecast quality and cost justify itself. Think Dark Elves. Would you rather plastic Witch Elves, Executioners, and Black Guard for £20/£25 for 10 (e.g. White Lions), or would you rather a box of 5 finecast ones for £18.50 a pop. Consider the cool new plastic dark elf sorceress, and looks like they can do more with plastics these days.

    Perhaps finecast is just not going to be quite as prolific as GW might hope, but it definitely has it's place so long as less prolific is still financially viable for them, and i for one hope it is. Keep producing all that cool stuff guys. Plastic witch elves next please??
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  15. #15
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    I love the new plastic character models, and am hoping to see a port over to better 40k plastic singles, and £8 is pretty reasonable too.

    I think this will be interesting to watch to be honest, and see how many finecast minis get pumped out as the months go on.

    I honestly believe as well, that we wouldn't be getting these fantastic plastic characters that we are getting now if metal was still a cheap and viable source for GW, so I'm glad of the change to fine cast if even for that.
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    Modinator Lord Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    I agree with the Monkey. I feel finecast is just a temporary replacement until they can get everything swapped out with plastic.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Well.... GW has been searching for a way to get rid of metal for quite a while, preferably a way to do so without reducing quality.
    At first, resin must've seemed like the optimal solution.
    In practice, however... I think it's quite clear that resin wasn't quite as perfect as it seemed at first, and if it's bad enough, then GW will be forced to go back to searching for a new material.
    Keeping the latest couple releases in mind, especially the single-model clampacks, plastic seems to have reached the same level of detail as metal or finecast, making it an option.

    In my mind, phasing everything over to plastic makes sense. As things stand, it's simply the superior material, both in quality and in price. I'd imagine "phasing out" finecast is going to take quite a few years, during which we'll still be using it in place of metal. Eventually I'd expect it to vanish, though.

    Also, don't expect the change to be noticable anytime soon. They're not going to throw away any of the already finished but unreleased finecast boxes, and they'll still be wanting to change the rest of the metal into resin.
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    Modinator Lord Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Quote Originally Posted by theJ View Post
    and they'll still be wanting to change the rest of the metal into resin.
    I think this might have been what the OP intended with this thread. Perhaps instead of killing their existing finecast line, GW will stop moving their metals into finecast and instead focus on putting out plastic kits?
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  19. #19
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Quote Originally Posted by theJ View Post
    Also, don't expect the change to be noticable anytime soon. They're not going to throw away any of the already finished but unreleased finecast boxes, and they'll still be wanting to change the rest of the metal into resin.
    this.

    If the staffer does indeed somehow have inside knowledge, then i would expect this, which is why I'm keen to keep an eye on the releases over the next few months.

    Also, if i hear any more i may post to warseer, as i think you guys have actually discussed this "speculation/rumour" quite reasonably. I'm only just getting to know him so maybe watch this space (if this rumour pans out of course)

    EDIT: Ninja'd, but yes, that's the general feel i got from the conversation.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Finecast experiment ending?

    Just so happens I work in the plastics industry...

    I doubt that modding the molds to make them finecast ran into the millions alone. What I do suspect is the total conversion cost ran into the millions.

    Modding the tooling could cost a couple thousand or so (A & B side) per mold. What would really cost is the man hours spent in mold trials setting up the process sheet for production. This doesn't include setting up a QC process ect.

    This all assumes they have an internal tool & die shop. If they don't then I could see how all of this would run into the millions for tooling alone.

    I could see them switching over to all plastic after recouping the conversion cost. A single cavity mold and EDM work are not as expensive as you might think.

    FYI- The plastics market has been extremely volatile as well concerning price hikes and lead time.
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