Heroes of Armageddon and Finecast

As part of the Heroes of Armageddon project, I decided to get in on one of the many weekly drawings and offer up a painted Finecast model. I was fortunate that my FLGS (Game Vault) was more than willing to contribute this year like they did the previous year and provide the model for me to paint.

Let me stop for a second and tell you all how thankful I am that I was allowed to participate in this year's event and that I'm part of a gaming community that has helped Doctors Without Borders in the way that we have.

I tell everyone who will listen what we did with the Storm Wardens project and what we're doing this year. Sometimes my little nerd-man armies don't seem so silly after telling folks things like this.

I would be happy to do one project a year if it could be this one. I Guest posted on Dave Taylor's blog about the importance of doing charity work when this project was just getting started. Charity work has a way of impacting your life in ways you hadn't anticipated.

My first real Finecast experience
I knew this was coming. I had my initial thoughts (and I posted them) and read everything all you guys read when Finecast was first coming out too. The good, the bad... all of it.

But it wasn't until I swung by my FLGS and looked through the selection of Finecast models they had that I knew I was in for some real work. I was lucky in some respects. For the model I was looking to pick up, I had three to choose from.

That meant I could pick the best of the three after carefully going over each one looking for imperfections. And I did just that. I picked the best one of the three for what I thought were the fewest visible surface imperfections and it was the only one that did not have a warped Librarian staff.

Finecast Terminator Space Marine Librarian

You can see there are a number of issues with this guy despite being the best one of the three that I had to pick from.

From air bubbles in things like power cables and the armour right next to his face to complete miscasts of power cords under his arm and along his legs, this model had a bit of everything. Even the flash or extra stuff that had to be cut away (under his feet and tabard) was substantial and often in an awkward place which made it tough to get off the model.

My honest thoughts
I like the consistency of the super secret resin mixture. But that's where the "likes" end for me. Even then, I was partial to plastic models over metal before this so it's no surprise I still like this over metal.

The mold lines were bad. I had to go over every inch of this guy and clean them off. There were no real "freebies" where it had been cast so nicely that it didn't need any real cleaning along a joint or mold line. Those models/bits don't happen every day, but it's so nice to get one every now and then.

Some folks say the stuff is easy to clean in terms of getting off mold lines and such. This may be true, but you have to remember that it's just as easy to accidentally remove the super fine detail on them as well. I can't tell you how many rivets were removed in the process of trying to clean up some flash from around them. It's bothersome.

The connection points or vents I think they may be called are the absolute worst. This may be my least favorite part of the whole thing. They are everywhere and they range in size from tiny to massive. And the locations can make it impossible to get them removed completely.

And the whole superglue thing... I saw no difference between this stuff and regular plastic models. None of this "it seeps into the model and bonds the two pieces better than ever" junk. I use superglue for almost everything I do too so it's not like I'm trying superglue for the first time with plastic.

Don't even get me started on the "you don't need to wash it thing" either. Like I'm going to spend a crazy amount of time cleaning and prepping this guy, attaching him to a nice base (because he's no rank and file troop) only to discover my primer won't stick in some places because I couldn't be bothered to wash him. Sure.

So what am I going to do with this guy?
Well, I've put considerable work into cleaning him up. After that, I put some more time into repairing the areas that I could with greenstuff. I'm going to get him mounted onto a cool base and painted up as best I can.

Space Marine Terminator
My friend's Terminators

He's destined to be part of a DIY Space Marine Chapter for a friend of mine. It will give me a chance to work on my blues some more and work on my metallics as well. Maybe I can try some of the things I've been talking about when it comes to adding some realism to metals.

What does it mean for me in the end?
I'm going to stay away from Finecast when I can. Plastic doesn't have the problems this stuff does. Is there some sacrifice in detail? Maybe, but it seems to me that it's smarter to add the detail I want instead of trying to salvage it from a model that is poorly cast, has bad vents, tons of flash and a whole other host of issues.

I'm hoping I can do this model justice and make my friend proud to field it in his army. Maybe it stings so much because I absolutely love this model. It's got to one of my favorites of all time.

Here's what he look like right now. I've got him based and ready to be painted. Next time you see him, he'll be painted up in his new chapter colors.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
How to clean mold lines off a model

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!


  1. I was talking to my local(ish) GW store manager recently about finecast and he informed me that they are aparantly working on implementing 45 improvements to the casting and qc process... whatever that means!

  2. Ben: Now that's interesting. Maybe GW has heard/seen/felt the backlash with the initial quality and with their change over to this new resin and no more metal models... they might be thinking they need to get this sorted out or it could ultimately cost them in the long run.

    I'd love these if they didn't have the quality problems. I think all of us can understand some minor stuff (quality issues) every now and then, but even this is too much right now.

  3. The guy in my local GW said it's because they had to get a massive amount of models cast and shipped worldwide in such a short space of time, so they didn't really have the time to try and perfect the casting.

    I bought some finecast Plague Marines recently, had the same issues. He even unboxed them and looked them over right in-front of me. Admittedly I wasn't too fussed...there was a lot of imperfections and warped parts. One of them had half a foot missing! But to be honest I kept them because they're Plague Marines, some of the warped bits add nicely to the character of them. But I completely agree with what you say here. If it were something that needs to be pristine I'd have been real disappointed. Especially when they're not cheap...

    Librarian looks cool btw :)

  4. Even Jawaballs mentioned that if you got one where the quality wasn't acceptable you should just return it. But it's great to hear that they are working to improve.

  5. I know what you mean. I bought a Cockatrice today and there was still some problems with the casting. I think G.W. are getting their act together on the Finecast. The Cockatrice have a lot less problem then the first wave of release. One of the wing was mess up with air bubbles and leftover mold. Both of the wings, and the body have air bubbles covering some of the finer detail(ie.. feathers and hairs). I can understand a few air bubbles here and there, but this is more then a few. The air bubble are on place that are hard to fix. I think the mess up wing is also thinner then the good wing. I place the mess up up to my light and I can see light passing thought it. I did the same with the good wing and there was no light passing thought. I going have to contact G.W. I would not mind it so much if I can fix the minor problems on the parts, but the mess up wing is far from minor. Plus if I try to scrap the mold off, there a good chance I will be scraping the details off as well.

    The Librarian look great. I glad that you are able to fix him up.

  6. Working to improve what? their own FUBAR?

    I don't know if they rushed it to fit it in with the annual price jack, but imo there should be absolutely ZERO way that that much mangled product(which is what it really is)ever makes it out to shelves.

    Somehow people will spin this off as "look at how they fixed it!" when it never should have went out the door in the first place. They are GW tho, so I am sure that people will just take it and continue on supporting.

  7. The Grim Darkness: But you would think someone would have seen some of the defects and thought to say something before the whole switch was made.

    I can see how it might add some character to Plague Marines though. They might be the only ones who come out of this "alright."

    Troels: I don't see why you couldn't. Forge World does a good job of taking things back/replacing them. I'd think local stores would be good about it too.

    Maresith: I know what you mean about the details getting scraped away in the process of trying to "clean up" the model. It really is frustrating. All in all, I think I patched up 11 spots on the Terminator before I was happy with how he looked.

    DFM: You're probably right... and then we'll all have to be thankful for how GW saved us from the brink of catastrophe. For another small price increase though.

  8. Ron I can't agree more with every point, including that it is one of my all time favourite models!

    I had to get three from GW direct in the end before I could pick and choose a whole one, and even then I had to fix with greenstuff...just bad!

    Hopefully they will fix it all...

  9. GW stores have been sending miscast finecast items back to where it came from in order that GW could work out exactly where the issue was occurring.

    The thing is that things should NOT have been rushed in order to get out in a rush. Rushing for the deadline no doubt meant that corners were cut and that the end results have been more than questionable. There is no denying that when cast right, these models are pretty awesome, but you cannot sell something as the "best models ever in the history of the world" and then have so many shocking casts...

    Fixing it or not, I think GW shot themselves in the foot somewhat.

    This is a shame, because like I said, finecast really is a great medium (though I don't agree with the higher price for a cheaper and more stable material cost).

  10. I am in the camp with DFM and oink. I have hear so many different excuses for why and how these sub-par casts made it to shelves it seems like GW corporate just told managers to tell us whatever they think we'll believe. There are small companies like Micro Mark and Max Mini that should be hired to consult and train the trolls with molds on how to make a proper cast.

    Shame on GW for passing off this garbage as a superior product. If a startup company had these issues they would be able to keep the doors open long. Ugh, I am getting so fired up lately about all the GW Embargoes, Price Hikes, Aussie hating, Failcast, etc. They are also one of the only companies that don't go to conventions or offer prize support for conventions. Even Infinity has a program for them to supply prizes/trophies for FLGSs to run a tourney.

    Wow, two paragraphs now, sorry Ron. I'll shut up and let you get back to your fine blog postings.

  11. I bought this same Failcast model. The right shoulder was really messed up with a big hunk of resin obscuring most of the detail. GW replaced it no problem, but my replacement was the most deplorable pile of garbage I've ever seen. Outright shameful in my opinion.

    A third one is on the way. If this one isn't acceptable then I'm refusing further replacements and demanding credit towards another purchase. No customer should have to go through this mess.

    Link to pics of the biggest Failcast seen to date (scroll to bottom of the page)... http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/240/378855.page

  12. Baraccas: No need to apologize for voicing your opinion in a constructive manner... no matter how many paragraphs it takes.

    oni: Holy Cow. I thought the model I picked up needed some work. Those are simply unusable. I guess I got off lucky and didn't even know it.

  13. I'm reminded of a Dakkanaut who went through six Termy Librarians before getting a decent one.

    Maybe I suffer from UK-style Stockholm Syndrome, having done more than my share of ForgeWorld models, but I don't think the Finecast models are THAT bad (at least not compared to pre-China FW).

    I definitely have to agree with Baraccas, GW seems far too complacent. Hopefully they get their clocks cleaned thoroughly enough to get them more involved in the gaming community but not bad enough to force bankruptcy.

  14. Agreed Myles. It's not like I want them to go away. They support so many gamers out there right now and them going under per se would create a vacuum and the industry and FLGS would suffer greatly. But their shortcomings of late is good for the competition to nibble at the market share and support a more diversified tabletop culture.

  15. Well I bought a dwarf lord in finecast recently and no issues, 1 air bubble so small and insignificant that it doesn't matter. Maybe nice simple sculpts work best? Some of the tomb kings models were just as good. I won't tolerate bigger faults if they are detrimental. you can always get your money back or don't buy until they're better.
    Now I've spent plenty of time cleaning up metal models so this will be a piece of cake even if it takes a while.

    Are we hobbyists or Babies? Anything cast needs clean up, don't complain about flash or tags to me. Seems like all you folk want something like an action figure, pop it out the box and its ready to go!

    On the note about why the people making the moulds suck. I'm sure they have some skilled people on it but when they advertise for a moulder that should be experienced and only offering a tiny salary. It was like £14k a year I think, they're really not going to get anyone worth their salt, Its like a slap in the face to a skilled craftsperson. I worked in a fish shop and got similar wage.

  16. tumblebomb: It's not some minor cleanup that I mind, it's the gross miscasts and the incomplete mold filling that gets me. For what I'm (we're) paying, you shouldn't have to resculpt 11 different spots on a model in order to use it. And that's after going over all of them in the store looking for the least "bad" model.

  17. might I just add that for GW, this is a large move. Now, I know FW does the same kind of thing, but this is on a mass scale with models that WERE meant to be metal. this must mean that a lot of things have to change.

    I guess the best answer I can put forward is 'growing pains.' You can't expect them to get it 100% the first time. you and I both know that's unreasonable.

    Give it time. within a year, they'll have it down pat, and most of those problems will be resolved.

    I'm not trying to protect GW: They made the decision, they have to accept the heat. What I'm trying to say is, give it a chance before poo-pooing it months after its inception.

    Everything has bugs, and, as much as GW is malignant and greedy, they will endeavour to improve the state of things, because GW does produce a good quality of miniature, and you pay for that premium. They will live up to their 'reputation.'

    It's like buying a OS0.x product, literally. This is their beta testing.

  18. I know this was posted mid 2011, but i recently bought a Broadside upgrade kit and a Necron Overlord Which were both 'fine cast' i found them to be a nightmare. From miss-casts to extra flashing they had it all, Also one of the canons on the upgrade kit was so severely warped that i deemed it non-salvageable. Do GW not have quality control for their casting process, or do they deem supplying inferior products to their customers a good business plan?

    Hmm Rant over :P

  19. Murray: I haven't picked up any Finecast recently, but I know that I check each clamshell before I buy them. Sometimes I'll compare a few models to see which one has the least number of imperfections.


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