What does Citadel Finecast mean for me?

Games Workshop Citadel Finecast logo

So it's out there now and it's going to mean some changes for most of us. I'm not going to get into the greater scheme of things with GW's policies here. I'm simply going to look at how the new "Finecast" models are going to affect my hobby.

The cost
Let's get this one out of the way. As prices increase, it means that people are going to look closer at what they buy, when they buy it and where they buy it from. That means there is the potential for me to lose some work due to the constantly rising costs of the hobby. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with this over time.

I have my thoughts on how the average "cost of the game" will affect the kinds of people playing it, but they are just that... theories. In the end, I think I may see a decline in some project types due to people being able to convert their own stuff with the new resin figures. That being said, the new resin models will allow me to expand my abilities as well and be able to offer even more to potential Clients in terms of what I can do for them. A loss in one area and a gain in another.

The added workload
Yep, with resin coming into the mainstream, we're going to have to alter how we work on our models. For those already familiar with working with resin (most likely due to Forge World), it's not big deal. For those not familiar with it, the idea of washing your models prior to assembling will become common practice.

I tend to go all out when building my models for two reasons:
1. They are for others and they deserve the attention to detail.
2. I prefer to do lots of prep work in the beginning for nice results in the end.

I find it odd that the most recent issue of White Dwarf only mentions this in passing... the fact that the GW painters did NOT have to wash their new Finecast models, but you might want to consider doing it just in case. Anyone who has worked with resin and did not get all of the mold release off when it came time to paint and had their paint not cover the surface will tell you they will never let that happen again.

Wash with warm soapy water, rinse completely and let dry. Doing it any other way and you are just asking for problems.

Priming these models may become a bit more important too. With all the fine detail and the potential to lose it quickly with heavy layers of paint, you'll want to do it right and that's going to mean doing it well starting at the beginning. No more just throwing a quick coat of "whatever I happen to have on hand" on the model.

Related: Priming is more than just black and white

Then there is the issue of mold lines or flash that may be more prevalent with resin models. Again, Forge World users will be used to this. It's worth noting that it may take a bit more work getting these cleaned off resin models than our plastic counterparts on occasion. If you aren't big into getting them cleaned off your plastic models, then Finecast models may not be for you.

Related: Cleaning mold lines off models, Cleaning larger problematic mold lines

On top of that, you may run into the occasional problem with bubbles in the resin and dimples on the surface where the resin did not completely fill in the mold. Things that can be cleaned up with some additional greenstuff work.

I prefer plastic over metal and resin
Personally, I'd much rather work with plastic over anything else. I love the detail that can be achieved with resin, but plastic is where my heart lies. Metal models are not "conversion friendly" and with as much converting as I do, they just don't help me create the models I want to.

Resin models can capture amazing detail (more than plastic can) and while I like that feature, the fragility of finer detailed resin pieces leaves me wanting the sturdiness of plastic sometimes. Don't get me wrong, you can break plastic too, but it's a bit more "gaming" friendly and forgiving.

Related: Scratchbuilding vs. kitbashing, Conversions live and die by the details

Resin can capture amazing detail, but with that comes an increase in fragility. I like to display my models, but I like to play even more. We may see an increase in "battlefield repairs" as Finecast models make it into our armies. And we haven't even gotten into painting all those tiny details. I mentioned it once before when Dark Eldar came out and I thought I was going to start a fight.

Related: Dark Eldar models, good or bad?

The dangers of working with resin
For those who don't already know. Resin dust can be harmful. How harmful... I don't know exactly. I can tell you that I go outside if I have any resin models that need sanding or cleaning and I wear a simple face mask.

I'm a bit disappointed GW and FW don't have "working with resin" info that is easy to find on their sites. Maybe it's too soon and we'll see something in the coming weeks. I suspect we may not and if we do, it will be cursory at best since preparing a resin model requires a bit more work than a regular model and that's not what your average hobbyist wants to hear. Do we get the super fine detail? Yes, but it comes at a price and I'm not talking just about money.

So what does it mean in the end for me?
I think I'll see a gradual change in the kind of work I get from Clients. I may be tempted to pick up a model for myself eventually as something to paint for a challenge, but other than that, I won't be using Finecast stuff in my army on a regular basis.

Does it make the specialty models/characters easier to work with? Not really for me since I tend to build my own based on what I want. Will it help others? I suspect it will for some folks.

Ultimately, I think the increased conversion flexibility and superb detail that comes with the new resin casts will be somewhat tempered by the increase in cost and the amount of work involved with the models.


Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!

22 comments:

  1. Regarding the washing of the models, I read another review that mentioned that they didn't notice the mold release like they do on Forgeworld models and actually wonderred if GW is having them pre-washed. I work in the electronics industry and running circuit boards through a wash cycle to remove flux is an industry standard. It wouldn't surprise me if GW is doing something similiar.

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  2. It's not standard resin that's why, it's NOTHING like Forge World resin.
    To start with it's actually a little flexible, so things like swords and banners wont snap as they'll have some spring to them.
    It's also a little porous, meaning the glue will soak in, so no pinning required.
    There will be less airbubbles because of the way it is cast, if you take a look at the GW site, on the What's New Today blog, there's pictures of the models on sprues, so air bubbles, mold lines and mold slips will be a very rare occurrence.

    The finecast material is completely safe, it's not harmful like normal resin.

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  3. One of the most informative articles I've seen prerelease. I'm unsure how I feel about resin, but I never converted any of my metal models for fear of botching it...with the added cost of the Finecast models, I can't imagine me converting them either.

    Plastic for me is the best and I've always been happy sacrificing a bit of detail for flexibility and ease of use.

    As a separate note...I was all my models, even the none resin ones! Is that wasted effort? I had thought all these models have mold-goop on them no matter the material!

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  4. It does sound like from the people who have their hands on the models that they are "big company" level of resin - opposed to "company in a shed" level - which is really what forge world is.

    I think overall its good - I am not quite sure why they didn't go to plastics with the models over resin (assuming it was just easier) - but its better than metal. I used to love metal back in the day (RT models) - but really once the dawn of white metal over lead I just found them worse quality (which really it is) for much more money, and a pain in the ass to deal with (especially at a younger age).

    At least resin will be easier to put together and maybe convert.

    We'll see.

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  5. @Dezartfox - You seem to know an awful lot about this mystery material. Care to share? How exactly did GW create resin that's safe to snort?

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  6. WookieeGunner: I'm not sure. If I were a betting man, I'd say they don't pre-wash them. Seems like a good bit more work for something a consumer can do themselves.

    Dezartfox: You seem confident. In the articles I've seen, they mention them being resin and not going into much more than that.

    Honestly, I think they are going to try and "sell" them to consumers by telling us how good they are and how much better than "normal resin" these models are because parents aren't going to want their kids getting into stuff like this if they know it's potentially dangerous and/or even more time consuming. Both possible turn offs for potential new hobbyists as well.

    Of course we'll all know for sure once we can get our hands on them and give them a good once over.

    Just goes to show how tough it can be to get good information out there and that it's worth looking at multiple sources before deciding for yourself. Thanks for the comment.

    Cawshis Clay: Washing plastic can't hurt. Besides, if you're used to doing it, the transition to using resin won't seem like any additional work.

    And don't let the fear of converting come from the type of material... it's just a matter of practice until you can get it right. But I know what you mean about the cost of practice though.

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  7. Personally, I’m all for it as long as it’s as good as they say. I think “the highest quality miniatures the world has ever seen” is a statement they’ll find hard to back up as there are many companies making equally good metal and resin miniatures as GW now, (some of them run by ex GW designers). However, “There are no other miniatures that exist of this quality and manufactured on this scale in the world” is a cleverer statement as the bit about the production scale might be true due to a lot of resin productions being limited to a few hundred as the moulds wear out quickly.

    “The Citadel Finecast miniatures are all made from a unique resin formula” makes it sound like it’s a different resin to Forge World but “The resin is easy to work with and quick to cut off the sprue, making assembling a miniature easier than it has ever been. Not only that, but it’s incredibly light too, which means pinning wings and other heavy components will be a thing of the past” makes it sound like it’s the same as Forge World’s resin. I suspect it’s exactly the same as Forge World and may even be produced in the same factory, however, the resin I’ve experienced from other companies seems to be a lot harder and denser than the Forge World resin and therefore more durable. In fact, I’ve heard a few people say that they want to still get metals because they like to feel the weight when they pick a miniature up.

    Another point is that we don’t pin things because they’re heavy but because super glue/epoxy on it’s own isn’t that strong against shear stresses so it’s to strengthen the joint against knocks, therefore, I shall continue to pin joints.

    One last thing, for now, “I’m sure a lot of you are thinking the same thing that I am: what one do you get first?” Actually, I was thinking, how much are they going to cost?

    Incidentally Dezertfox, Forge World resin can be flexible too. The berzerker chain axes, for example, have some give. From reading the Forge World site, I think they may have a variety of resins which they use on different mouldings.

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  8. If I recall correctly, DezartFox is involved with the eavy metal team to some extent...

    I had he FLGS order me a fine cast Emperor's champion (the only metal mini I currently want) to let me see what we're in for with this latest turn of events. I'm used to working with FW resin, so it can't be any worse than that (I hope).

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  9. Forge World have a working with resin guide up on their front page at the moment. It says the resin is non-toxic, but breathing in the dust can be an irritant (much like wood, metal or plastic dust really).
    Resin is a very broad term comprising a wide variety of materials and compounds (greenstuff is technically a resin, as is epoxy glue), so comparing any two types without precise knowledge can lead to some errors. One need only look at mid-90s wargaming minis in the horrible rock-hard 'dark' resin to see it is nowhere near finecast, but they're both resin minis.

    I was told at a GW that the FineCast was designed to pass Euro toy safety standard for toxicity to avoid any problems.

    On the washing front they could probably do some sort of mass cleaning process the same as they'd do to their plastics (or the price rise is to pay for the scrubbers ;p ).
    Old Crow and a few other resin suppliers supply their stuff pre-washed.

    On a slight tangent I remember buying plastic 1/72nd matchbox infantry where the box said to wash the sprues before painting, and some Tomy Zoids have said that if you want to paint to wash it.

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  10. Ron, I like your analysis of resin models. Having worked with resin, FW and other companies, I generally have found it decent.

    Bubbles and warping can be a problem and that may turn off neophyte modelers to the work required.

    I will actually miss metal models for their heft, durability, and detail... but that may be more nostalgia than anything else.

    Like you, I will likely not be adding a lot of Finecast to my collection. Perhaps when a new one comes out I'll grab it just to see the quality.

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  11. The cost is going to get me! As nice as the finecast range might be it will be a while before I can afford GW. Great article as always Ron!

    As for the Resin dust issue, Until you see an official MSDS (material safety data sheet) proscribing the materials LD-50, and other relevant information presume it to be harmful as a lot of toys can contain traces of Toluene, which while inert when left alone is super toxic. which is exactly what we don't do with our toys!

    And finally, Ron is right, you see dust, wear a dust mask. There are many things that are "safe" but will still make you terminally ill if the particles lodge in your lungs.

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  12. I really, really, really think this resin is going to be similar to the Privateer Press "plastic". I've heard whispers of other companies trying out this technique because they can use their vulcanized rubber molds from metal casting. That said, the PP resin figures I've worked on didn't need much trimming, but where they did it was more difficult than trimming metal. Maybe I got the super hard batch? My next big question is, do these come in clear blisters, or small cardboard boxes? A clear blister will let me inspect for problems before I buy. A small box says, 'we don't want you to see this till we have your money'.

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  13. Once again I have to say I love the way you format your posts.

    Not only do I, as a newbie, get good quality information about the finecast models (can't wait for post release). I also get little links from your previous posts that help me even further!

    Right now I'm reading your kitbashing article and it seems pretty good as well.

    "The Initiate" - calmbeforewar.blogspot.com

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  14. I agree completely, Ron. Resin or pewter - either way, I will still pin all my models. When a model comes apart after painting it is a royal pita. Its just easier to do it up front. Reduced weight isnt going to help the joints hold up under gaming.

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  15. I'd just like to say thanks for all the comments folks AND the level of discussion is very proferssional too.

    I appreciate those with some experience and knowledge tossing in their two cents.

    It's going to be a bit of a learning curve for some of us.

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  16. @The Inner Geek

    From what I've seen on GW's website, they appear to to holding boxes showing what finecast mini's they want to paint first... Now they'll be incurring more costs in storage, and your local GW or FLGS won't be able to keep as many in stock. (although I could still be wrong about this, wait out for the release I guess)

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  17. A few things Ron...
    3++ already have a model and posted a review a few days ago
    1. They are either pre-washed or do not need to be washed
    2. They are not nearly as dusty as the Forge World resin models
    3. By and large, pinning is more or less redundant on your regular model.
    4. They are not pure resin, rather a resin-plastic hybrid/hell spawned daemon child and so arent as harmful as FW aforementioned models
    5. Apparently if you use it in a well ventilated area, it is entirely safe!

    Note: Most of this is not based upon experience

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  18. Yay citadel finecast easier to convert canis into thunderwolf :D... Boo price rises time to start warmahordes

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  19. idget: I saw that one the other day.

    I'll be honest, I'm going to reserve any judgement of actually working with one until I can get my hands on one. Until then, I've got my experience with resin to go from right now.

    I know GW isn't going to "say" anything bad about the new models much less give us an accurate and unbiased review of their own stuff. They are in the business of making money... of course their stuff is new/improved/safe/hybrid casting/fume free/dust friendly/no-washing required/etc... saying otherwise makes no sense.

    I'm just hoping that when the time comes for me to get a chance to work with one of the new models, it will be as easy (and maybe even easier) than regular resin models.

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  20. The thing is though, its not GW who is saying that.
    Their promotion is limited to "ZOMG SO MUCH D3T4iL" and "IT NeVeR BREAKS!!!"
    This was posted by an unbiased, entirely objective source.
    The promotion by GW was claimed to be in incorrect by 3++, whereas the other benefits of the models were explored, namely ones that GW had said nothing about.

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  21. I think with the handful of reviews that have come out as of late, it seems as though we are looking at the same problems that come up with using regular resin... with the price increase tacked on there for good measure.

    Whether or not these are resin or some kind of hybrid, we're still dealing with more than just your run of the mill plastic model here.

    We've still got mold lines, mis-casts, excessive flashing, warping, air bubbles, unfilled dimples, etc... that we have with regular resin.

    Will you be able to find one at your FLGS without those problems? Sure, if they have more than one in stock and you can thumb through them looking for that one with the least amount of corrective work needed.

    What I think we'll most likely see is the FLGS that carries Finecast will have one or maybe two of a particular model and it will be a case of choosing the least worst of the two.

    That doesn't say "Finecast" to me and with the increase in price and the added "resin" work (for good measure despite it being said you don't need to wash the models)... I'm not impressed yet.

    I think we as a blogging community do a good job of letting each other know what is worth it and what isn't in the end.

    Perhaps my thoughts will change once I get my hands on a "Finecast" model. But after looking at the few FTW Bloggers that have posted their results recently, I think GW may have missed the mark here and I'm not even talking about the increase in price.

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  22. Honestly, im not impressed.
    GW claims to make the top range miniautres, and how the counterfete miniatures are of such poor quality... i bought acouple by mistake, and those counterfetes were better than GW standard.

    The miscasts and molds are worse than the forge world casts, and not much better really than the metal ones. They should really perfect there molding of the current materials before jumping into something else...

    and the price too, even though i will think twice about gettin these casts, i will still purchase international rather than in my own country.

    @Dezartfox:
    if you look over at warseer, someone has posted a heap of pics and problems with there finecast chaplain.
    ill list a few of them:
    huge amounts of bubbles.
    alot of mold slips.
    excess resin 'chunks' in places on the miniature.
    as you say " it's NOTHING like Forge World resin", its alot worse from what ive read and seen in friends products.

    @wildeyedjester:
    tin man, not pewter. due to the lead content in pewter, cant use it. has been white metal aka tin since they stopped making led miniatures. pewter is more blackish toned.

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