PDA

View Full Version : The Battle between GW, and 2nd Party model companies



themagister
04-04-2007, 15:46
Ive been looking into some Pig Iron mininatures to represent my guard units, and was wondering what kind of competition does this pose to GW?

What do you guys think of these establishments?

Are they better or worse than Gw?

Which do you prefer?

This is a discussion forum, so no arguing, ive had flamers argue up 3 pages and it ruined everything, so if a dispute surfaces, PM it, and dont bother the rest of us with it please!

Lyinar
04-04-2007, 16:10
Well, considering most tournaments don't let you use non-GW miniatures, it doesn't pose much competition, should you ever want to even possibly compete in one.

Plus, for all the griping and whining about how GW makes hands too big and stuff, their models are still far higher quality in both sculpting and production than all but a handful of other miniatures manufacturers.

Thommy H
04-04-2007, 16:20
Variety is the spice of life.

If you just like GW and playing GW games, then you have no reason to ever look elsewhere (unless you want value for money, but that's a whole other discussion...)

Other miniatures companies provide figures that GW doesn't, which is how I discovered the world of alternatives after I was doing a roleplaying project of my own. If you want anything that isn't fantasy or far-future gothic sci-fi then you pretty much have to go elsewhere for your metal fix. My collection now includes a few of Rackham's Wolfen, Heresy demons and heroes, girls without men's faces from Hasslefree and lots of other bits and bobs.

For one thing, collecting figures based on what you like the look of is a lot more interesting than buying them for an army. I would have picked up a sub-standard GW figure for a unit I needed for army without a second thought; now I'm a lot more discerning.

pestario
04-04-2007, 16:22
I pretty much play at the GW store 90% of the time, so I use all GW miniatures. If that wasnt the case I'd heavily consider alternatives myself.

scarletsquig
04-04-2007, 16:23
Well, considering most tournaments don't let you use non-GW miniatures, it doesn't pose much competition, should you ever want to even possibly compete in one.

Plus, for all the griping and whining about how GW makes hands too big and stuff, their models are still far higher quality in both sculpting and production than all but a handful of other miniatures manufacturers.

I'd disagree...

When was the last wargaming convention/ show you went to, and got a chance to actually see dozens of different manufacturer's models in the "flesh"?

There's plenty out there at least match GW for quality, I wouldn't simply judge by what you've seen on the net or the alternative games down the local club.

JT-Y
04-04-2007, 16:36
Totaly agree with scarletsquig here.

There are dozens and dozens out there all worth looking at, because they make stuff ranging from aweful, to alright, to excellent.
It depends on what you want or expect really.

However, if most of your gaming takes place in the local store, you'll struggle to use the stuff you buy.
I'd suggest finding, or even starting, a gaming club where you live.

I disagree that most tournament insist on GW models, its not true in my own experiance.
GW run events try to, but can't stop you playing if you've bought a ticket and turn up with non-GW models.
Non-GW events don't care, as long as the models represent the army being used.

My own oppinion is to go for it, and look at everything out there, not just sci-fi or fantasy mini's. Look at WWI or WWII models for IG for instance, or historical barbarian types for Chaos, or Landsknechts for Empire.
The list is endless, and part of the fun is in looking and seeing what can be done.

Enjoy.

Thommy H
04-04-2007, 16:38
There's absolutely no difference in quality between GW miniatures and every other manufacturer's miniatures I've purchased in the past. In fact, most other companies (particularly small ones who specialise in customer service) tend to have higher quality control as they can't afford to ship out stuff with awkward mold lines and such (since the loss of even one customer is bad news).

In addition, if you aren't into GW's IP, then a GW miniature tends to look silly and useless. A Space Marine can only be a Space Marine, complete with huge gun, oversized shoulder pads and tiny, tiny head. All the skulls everywhere are starting to get silly too...

So, as I say, if you're buying figures to play GW games with then you might as well keep buying GW since they're the best at what they do...which is, providing minis for GW games.

If you want anything else though, in terms of cost, quality and variety, you should consider broadening your horizons.

Apologist
04-04-2007, 16:38
Many model manufacturers now make fantastic work that easily stands up to GW sculpts. Off the top of my head DLD, Pig Iron, Ground Zero, Scotia-Grendel, Old Crow, Rackham and Mongoose all produce GW-quality models.

While the style may vary, it's often a matter of taste which you prefer. For example, while I like the Cadian models, I prefer the Pig Iron models their guns are more believable and the scale is still 'heroic'. It may take a little time to adjust to non-GW tropes (really long guns, screaming poses etc), but if you can look at all models objectively, you'll soon sort the wheat from the chaff, GW and non-GW alike.

Even the most rabid GW fanboy would probably have trouble defending (for example) the execrable Possessed models and slagging off Heresy's gorgeous (well, in a manner of speaking) ghouls:
http://www.heresyminiatures.com/images/hv023_pack.jpg

Heresy's ghouls provide an important point GW has undoubtedly raised the bar on what miniature companies can do, and many manufacturers do move in for a 'slice of the pie' by mimicking GW's style viz. shady Russian IP theft as well as Heresy's perfectly legal ghoul sculpts. Mix some of those bad boys in with GW ghouls, and I think you'd have a lot of people preferring the Heresy miniatures: they're better posed, more imaginative and all-round better, at least in my eyes. To top it all off, they're cheaper!

As mentioned above, variety's the spice of life. That said, I'm much more interested in playing with cool models than with 'official, tournament-sanctioned GW scale figure playing pieces', so I'd quite happily buy GW figures if I like 'em and chuck them in alongside non-GW troops, and vice versa.

I'm sure that you'll find someone who's offended by non-GW models and throws a hissy fit or refuses to play, then frankly I've got better things to do (and probably a few spare quid in my pocket!)

Of course, if you're intending to use these at a GW event, then non-GW models won't be welcome, which I fully support GW's a business, not an evil empire, and I can see why they only want their own models present.

If you do go ahead and buy other manufacturers' models, then more power to you you'll have a much more interesting army than 90% of gamers out there.

To answer your specific questions:

what kind of competition does this pose to GW?
I don't think GW has anything to worry about if anything, I hope competition spurs GW to greater heights!


What do you guys think of these establishments?
I have only ever had fantastic customer service and overall good experiences when buying other company's minatures. Remember that GW itself used to sell different manufacturer's miniaures Citadel, Iron Claw and Marauder (as were), and plenty of their ex-sculptors work in these smaller companies now. Bob Olley produces Olley's Armies, Paul Muller of Heresy used to work for GW (I believe could be wrong), Juan Diaz now sculpts for Crocodile Games etc.


Are they better or worse than GW?
Different. As I mention above, I think that it's going to come down to personal taste. Try looking at the models on their own merits, and not whether they are 'GW-approved' or 'non-GW'.


Which do you prefer?
Neither and both. By-and-large, I love GW's output. They consistently produce models that match my view of the 40k and Fantasy universes; but that doesn't mean that if I see a great model (such as the Avatars of War series sculpted by someone whose name escapes me) I won't buy it and put it in my army.

At the end of the day, cool miniatures are the be-all and end-all for me. If GW makes 'em, I'm happy, and if someone else makes 'em, I'm happy.

Bombot
04-04-2007, 17:10
I think there are some excellent alternatives to GW out there.

I don’t game in GW stores, so not being able to use them there doesn’t bother me.

I have done many gaming tournaments but I think wargames are pretty horribly suited to that environment so I’m don’t consider not being able to use the minis in those a big issue.

I like some GW miniatures, and dislike others. Same with many companies. GW’s average quality is perhaps right up there, but I don’t care about the average guilty of all their ranges. It’s not like I’m going to buy every single army they do. What I can find from other companies is ranges with far more of that intangible and subjective quality known as ‘character’.

For IG troopers I very much like em4’s metal trooper ranges. And they absolutely match GW for quality.

Jesse Custer
04-04-2007, 17:29
Mixed feelings for me.
Usually when I do play a game I do play with the corresponding miniatures.
If I play (or used to) Warzone as an example, I use Warzone miniatures, when I play 40k, I do play with 40k miniatures, etc...

I don't have much issues with prices (and things that I feel I too pricey for me, I just don't buy them) so I don't really look for 'cheaper' alternatives.
That doesn't mean however that I don't convert my own miniatures but once again it's more a question of tastes than prices.

And I must admit I prefer a company that does its own things and style (like Rackham) rather than the ones who don't have any creativity at all who try to push their products as "GW fakes" (sorry for the word, I didn't find a better one). Not all manufacturers do that of course.

The game is afoot
04-04-2007, 21:08
This is just a small collection of what is out there in the way of options....

Reaper make some great minis as most of you know...
http://www.reapermini.com/gallery/

For Reaper distribution in the UK got to MiniFigs who are based in Southampton and they will have a delivery service of any Reaper model within 7-10 days available from the Minifigs website along with a lot of other model varieties from Minifigs themselves.
http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/index.html

Vendel also make some really nice models, my personal fave is their Goblin range, very realistic, their Dwarves were commented on by the legendary Perry twins who said they thought that the Vendel Dwarves were the most accurate depiction of a dwarf they had ever seen from any manufacturer, high praise indeed. Check out the resin Giant and the War Elephants, super models, also have a look at the War Dogs they paint up very nicely.
http://www.vendelminiatures.co.uk/Default.asp?cookiecheck=yes&

Westwind Productions make some excellent models, they are my personal favourite for Dwarves... check out the Mammoth...
http://www.westwindproductions.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=825

The excellent and cheap Front Rank Figurines offer a wide variety of miniatures for medieval areas.
http://www.frontrank.com/wotr_infantry_frm.html

Rackham Miniatures make a lot of models in their own stylized fashion and some of them are rather lovely if a tad expensive...
http://www.rackham-store.com/index_us.htm

Feral Elf Models, don't know much about these guys, make up your own mind.
http://members.optushome.com.au/cynan/Colour.htm

1st Corps models; I don't know much about these guys ...
http://www.1stcorps.com/ranges.ASPX

Foundry Miniatures- Perry brothers, speaks for itself, these guys have been the benchmark for 20 odd years now...
http://www.wargamesfoundry.com/main.asp

Perry miniatures- their own company- nice arabs and samurai
http://www.perry-miniatures.com/index2.html

Heresy Miniatures; not cheap but some really nice stuff here, consistently good sculpting and some good quirky options.
http://www.heresyminiatures.com/images/pages/hm002.htm

Freebooter miniatures; very pricey but probably the best fantasy sculpts available... very high praise but you have to see these guys, they make superb character models;
http://www.freebooterminiatures.com/

eBoB miniatures;
http://www.ebobminiatures.com/

Crocodile games, Wargods of Aegyptus etc. These guys and gals make some killer models, I've shelled out a fair few shekels for them because they fall in to the medium expensive price range...
https://ws12.ipowerweb.com/crocodil/secure/item_details.asp?CatID=24&SubID=26&Page=11&pageHeading=Items%20-%20Miniatures%20-%20Aegyptus

Crusader Miniatures make some tasty models...
http://www.crusaderminiatures.com/catalog_frames.asp?sub_range=SY

Dragonrune Miniatures; medium expensive and they are superb sculpts, really something, have a look at the Orcs and Ogres as well.
http://www.dragonrune.com/DRHome/

15mm & 25mm Transfers for Wargames from these guys, great for shields etc if you want to make them a bit special.
http://www.3vwargames.co.uk/darkage.htm

Dave at Museum miniatures is a classic bloke who has been in the industry for years, I'm very happy with the 15mm Carthaginian army I collected from museum Miniatures over the last 3-4 years.
http://www.museumminiatures.co.uk/pages/index.htm

Old Glory miniatures, a stalwart company that have been around a long time.
http://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/categories.asp?cat=12

Thunderbolt Mountain
http://www.thunderboltmountain.com

This place does some incredibly cheap miniatures and they do some very nice work as well;
http://www.em4miniatures.com/acatalog/index.html

Black Tree Design does some very cheap metal models... ~ 20 models for ~ 18 pounds. 25 or 28 mm, not sure. Based in lovely Cornwall in the toe end of England not far from lands end.
http://www.black-tree-design.com/

Curteys miniatures
http://www.curteysminiatures.co.uk/cat.php

For really good character models ... some sculpted by the master Tom Meier, himself (parkinson's masterworks only). I have one of his sets and they are compatible with Thunderbolt Mountain wood elves.

http://www.darkswordminiatures.com/

EM4
For REALLY CHEAP dwarves:Quick synopsis...
The bad
single pose models. One each for Sword/Axe, spear, bow/crossbow
Plastic (in fairness this is not an issue for me)
Some flash that needs trimming

The ok
Models come already based on 25mm basis. Fine for my Orcs but slightly larger than GW dwarf bases.
Orcs are a little smaller than GW, less muscular. I have based them on GW 25mm bases and they stand at a similar height now though
Dwarves are slightly larger than GW ones. In fact the EM4 orcs are only slightly taller.
Models are not quite as detailed as GW but still fine.
Shields need to purchased seperately

The Good
Not glueing together, single piece models.
Cheap, I mean real cheap. 50 for 7.50. Thats 15p each as opposed to 1 each from GW.
Rank up nicely (due to single poses)
Ordered on Tuesday, delivered Thursday, Supplier is flexible and responded very quickly to emails.

Overall
Models are ok, and a great way to expand an army quickly and for not much cash. Shame there are not a few more models/races in the range.
UK Site: http://www.em4miniatures.com/acatalog/Copy_of_Fantasy.html
US Retailer: http://www.tindictator.com/tindic.html

For some of the nicest Chinese medieval army models around...
http://www.johnjenkinsdesigns.com/28mmWSInf.htm

Some great character models with an Oriental flavour...
http://90plan.ovh.net/~msbtoys/ecom/index.php?cPath=22&osCsid=79d02793c6bcde51cb09edcc0994699b

For cheaper models than most other places Artemis black from Wales offers a variety of models form boutique manufacturers under one umbrella at a cheaper price.
www.artemisblacks.com

Artizandesigns - www.artizandesigns.com - historics, nice sculpts.
Moorish, vikings and carolingians

Gripping Beast - www.grippingbeast.com - ditto. Really wide range.

Ral Partha - http://www.connectstores.com/ralpartha - used to do some nice RPG stuff, although I havent dealt with them for years

A smaller outfit but growing........
http://www.wyrd-games.net/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=29

From Spain;
http://www.game-mart.co.uk/cat_warcrow.cfm

Irregular miniatures, rated at 25mm they are a tad small but still eminently usable and they are cheap which is always a nice element to find from a figure company.
http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk

Eureka Minis, check out the Frog range they are sensational.
http://eurekamin.com.au/index.php?cPath=87_126_191&sort=3a

Captain Micha
04-04-2007, 21:28
the more competition gw has the more they jack up prices wtf!

Thommy H
04-04-2007, 22:04
The Game is Afoot, I'm surprised you missed out http://www.hasslefreeminiatures.co.uk/...

My first foray into alternatives to GW and still my personal favourite.

fracas
04-04-2007, 22:50
but how many others make poseable plastics?

Thommy H
04-04-2007, 22:58
Heh...I actually trust sculptors to come up with better poses than me. A metal figure can be way more dynamic than a plastic one which has to be made of modular parts.

Again though, GW is great for making GW armies. If I want a character figure that's something different then I go elsewhere. If I want Space Marines, I stick with their sprues.

Apologist
05-04-2007, 10:47
Really, I think the issue can be summed up by two phrases:
1) Horses for courses, and
2) It's not really a 'battle' between GW and non-GW.

Tyron
05-04-2007, 11:04
You really pushed the boat out The game is afoot, anything to get a leg over GW eh? :angel:

JT-Y
05-04-2007, 11:13
Well, he saved me adding a list of links, so thanks very much :D
Can't think offhand of anyone worthy of mention that you've missed, so great work Tgia!

Fracas, not many make poseable plastics. To be fair its what GW do so well.
But its also not the issue, the issue here is are other models suitable? and I think that many are and that many of them add enormously to the scope of the armies people want to collect.
Not everyone wants an off the peg army, so why have one?

Oh, and whilst you are on the eM4 website guys, may I suggest that they are possibly the best place to buy your dice from. Very cheap and lots of pretty colours to choose from.
For those of us with a 'thing' for dice, its either a great or an evil website, depending upon how you view it :D

Erm, what else...
Oh yes, Justin from VVV makes great transfers, easier to apply than GW ones and they stick better, due to the paper he uses (he explained it to me, but :wtf: I just nodded and smiled).

And Perry Miniatures Agincourt to Orleans range should be checked for all the Brets players out there.
Consider their models are made of the same metal as GW models, in the same type of silicon mould (hell, for all I know they are possibly even made within the walls of GW) so that they are of exactly the same quality as the Perry's models put out by GW, but are half the price. Not bad.
And look at the Peter Jackson Figures section of their website for some cool stuff too.

Osbad
05-04-2007, 12:43
I see I came late to this thread and I can't add any links to the debate.

But just to add my opinion behind the sentiment that "its a big world out there". I couldn't give a flying fig who makes my models, it is the look and price of them (and therefore value for money) that matters to me. There are many great "independent" manufacturers out there and many have been established even longer than Citadel has (Essex for instance).

I choose to play rules because they are good and I use miniatures that suit the rules. That means I will often use not-Citadel models in GW games and I will also use Citadel minis for games by other manufacturers. As long as I like the look of the model and it is reasonably representative of what it is meant to be, that is all that is important.

Citadel do still produce some nice models, but there are many manufacturers that (depending on personal taste) do stuff that is just as nice, or even better - so have fun and explore. Do yourself a favour and break out of the GW-straightjacket! This whole "I must use GW figures to play GW games" mindset is just errant nonsense (with the exception of GW-official events of course) and needs stomping on IM(not so)HO! OK so its convenient to just walk into a GW store and buy a box of whatever off the shelf. But be aware that the cost of that convenience isn't just financial - you may be cutting yourself off from playing with and painting up some really nice models as well!

Tastyfish
05-04-2007, 12:59
Missed off Gamezone Miniatures (http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/) as well, their Cold One equivalents are really nice, as are the wolves.

Still, I think that on the whole GW models are the nicest ones though I think some of my all time favourites are the Rackham Alchemists of Driz but then there is an huge amount of Confrontation and AT43 ones I don't like. Warmachine has one or two nice looking models but I'm not too keen on the style in general.

Parka boy
06-04-2007, 02:25
Well, considering most tournaments don't let you use non-GW miniatures, it doesn't pose much competition, should you ever want to even possibly compete in one.

Plus, for all the griping and whining about how GW makes hands too big and stuff, their models are still far higher quality in both sculpting and production than all but a handful of other miniatures manufacturers.


Your so wrong! Only GW don't let you use non-GW miniature because they want you to buy there super over priced figures and there ubermega overpriced tournaments. Haven't the lastest conflicts been doubles and charging 30 a head for a days gaming.

Tyron
06-04-2007, 10:51
Yeah used to be 15 each or 30 cant remember adn then they FORCE you to go in teams and doubling the profuits kinda sad.

The game is afoot
06-04-2007, 12:27
I choose to play rules because they are good and I use miniatures that suit the rules. That means I will often use not-Citadel models in GW games and I will also use Citadel minis for games by other manufacturers. As long as I like the look of the model and it is reasonably representative of what it is meant to be, that is all that is important.

Correct. Use whatever you want wherever you want as long as it's close to WYSIWYG.
The system is for me always more important than the models.




Citadel do still produce some nice models, but there are many manufacturers that (depending on personal taste) do stuff that is just as nice, or even better - so have fun and explore. Do yourself a favour and break out of the GW-straightjacket! This whole "I must use GW figures to play GW games" mindset is just errant nonsense and needs stomping on IM(not so)HO!

Exactly, 'Salute' is coming up shortly in east London (April 21st), anyone thinking of attending the largest figure sales convention in the UK and 2nd largest in Europe?

Jesse Custer
06-04-2007, 15:44
Your so wrong! Only GW don't let you use non-GW miniature because they want you to buy there super over priced figures and there ubermega overpriced tournaments. Haven't the lastest conflicts been doubles and charging 30 a head for a days gaming.
I really like your avatar.

Actually do you think you can go at an official Rackham tournament and use non Rackham models?


Yeah used to be 15 each or 30 cant remember and then they FORCE you to go in teams and doubling the profuits kinda sad.
No the double tournament is a themed one. But if either the format or the entry price is an issue, why do you feel you're forced to anything.
Just don't go.
You make the decision, nobody forces you (or I don't understand). There are plenty of non official tournaments where you can play with whatever miniatures you want. What's the big deal?

Stuart-GreatEscapeGames
07-04-2007, 21:11
I really have to add this one:

http://www.boltactionminiatures.co.uk/product.php?ItemID=240

The best WW2 figs company in the business - take a look at the SS - and perfect for IG.

Some guy (UK)
07-04-2007, 21:30
I really like your avatar.
No the double tournament is a themed one. But if either the format or the entry price is an issue, why do you feel you're forced to anything.
Just don't go.
You make the decision, nobody forces you (or I don't understand). There are plenty of non official tournaments where you can play with whatever miniatures you want. What's the big deal?

I believe he means they force you to go in pairs, not that he is forced to go to the event.

Jesse Custer
07-04-2007, 22:40
That's ok thanks, however I understood from the start.
Once again what is the point?

The Tournament is a themed one where you team up with somebody else right?

So I'll correct myself:
But if either the format or the entry price is an issue, why do you feel you're forced to anything.
Just don't go.
You make the decision, nobody forces you (or I don't understand). There are plenty of official/non official tournaments where you can play one on one. What's the big deal?

blongbling
08-04-2007, 13:56
the more competition gw has the more they jack up prices wtf!

it isnt random price rises...its a planned increase on a yearly basis.......but this isnt topical for this thread

The game is afoot
08-04-2007, 14:00
I really have to add this one:

http://www.boltactionminiatures.co.uk/product.php?ItemID=240

The best WW2 figs company in the business - take a look at the SS - and perfect for IG.

Paul and Simon will be at Salute again as well with their new german paras and Russian naval troops (Leningrad)