Citadel Finecast – What you need to know…

By tgn_admin
In News
May 23rd, 2011
38 Comments
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Games Workshop have posted a new article explaining the background behind their new Citadel Finecast resin range as well as showing some examples of figures from the range.

From their website:

Last week we made a little announcement about the new Citadel Finecast range. Of course, it’s all been very secret-squirrel here at Head Office, so much so that only a few of us have actually seen the new miniatures. With that in mind, we decided to let the guys in the Studio write today’s blog post, after all they are the ones that have spent the last few months living and breathing Citadel Finecast.

  • Mechanical.Horizon

    Gotta love the spin GW’s PR team can put on things.

    A new era of wargames miniatures!

    Companies have been using resin for miniatures for years, if not a decade, now. GW is just playing “catch up” with current technology. They didn’t develop or innovate anything.

    • mathieu

      They didn’t develop or innovate anything.

      It doesn’t seem to me that they suggest otherwise, except when saying they use a unique resin, which might very well be true. They do praise the quality of the material they will be using which is to be expected (PP did exactly the same when previewing their Battle Engines), and claim that they will be the highest quality models produced at this scale (which, given that they are the largest producer, isn’t unlikely).

  • Robert

    “Opening a new front in the war on your wallet”.

    The hype is starting to burn my eyes a bit. Perhaps I’m terribly jaded – okay, I AM terribly jaded – but this isn’t the new sliced bread. It’s a material change, and it’s not a brand new material, it’s resin.

    Shouting NEW AND IMPROVED really loudly doesn’t impress me on either angle.

  • Tamwulf

    They are recasting all the old metal stuff into resin, raising the price, and trying to say they are some kind of fantastic, “crisp,” new miniature. It Sounds like all they want is my crisp, new $$$.

    I wonder how they will deal with broken/bent parts? Always a huge problem with anyone that has dealt with resin models.

    • @Tanwulf
      I wonder how they will deal with broken/bent parts? Always a huge problem with anyone that has dealt with resin models.

      Easy, you just buy a new one ! £_£

  • If I was a better painter I would probably buy those models – If they require as much clean up as forge world and as prone to breakage then no way.

    I see this as a way to curve bootlegging more than anything —

    • If it’s similar to other resin out there, and I see no reason to think it wouldn’t be, very thin parts (think staff or pike) will be prone to bending or breaking.

    • angrybob

      As an amateur jeweler and pewtersmith who’s recast figures for himself (and only me) for over a decade now, resin is far and away the easiest material to recast. Both the models themselves and the the resin lend themselves very, very well to small scale, amateur reproduction at home. Recasting with plastic is impossible without a minimum investment of a couple thousand dollars on a benchtop injector and knowledge of how to make the molds so they don’t break. Even then you can only reproduce individual pieces since the benchtop injecto won’t have the “umph” to do a sprue. Metal, while easier than plastic still requires knowledge and equipment to do right. Molds need to have the cut outs and venting done right, the metal has to be the right temperature, and you really should have a spincaster. You can fill the molds with gravity, but chances are really good you’ll have a long process of trial and error to make a decent looking miniature. Resin takes almost nothing. You just need some RTV to make a mold and the resin. A thin, long curing resin will take care of most bubbles for you. If you really want to get fancy you can pressure cast to take care of the air bubbles with about $200 worth of equipment. Several very good guides to recasting are available using window calking and latex paint for the molds.

      Once these models hit the street, expect bootlegging to skyrocket, similar to the SF3d/MA.K scene. An afternoon of making molds of the Blood Knights and that alone will make a recaster a pretty solid $300-400 a month just from those. Not that that’s all bad for the consumer, I’ve accidentally gotten som FW knock offs that are superior to the original in crispness, material, and lack of bubbles. And let’s face it, if GW is using incomplete casts for their press release beauty shots, imagine what the stuff in the blisters is going to look like.

      • AceWasabi

        This was the first thing that came to mind for me too…seems like the amount of recasting will skyrocket as a result of this. Also seems like those old metal miniatures everyone has sitting around will be worth their weight in gold,

        GW casting stuff in resin will allow even a novice caster to see where the gating and spruing points are, simplifying the process and shortening the learning curve. The point about a recaster being able to generate a few hundred dollars worth of minis with an afternoons work is also very true.

        I wonder how GW will even begin to control this type of activity. It’s one thing to catch someone making metal recasts because their work is substandard or their material is lower quality. It’ll be much much more difficult to catch resin recasters because honestly using resin just isn’t that difficult and there are myriad sources for materials as well as volumes of information and great instruction/examples all over the internet. GW has benefited in the past from the difficulty and start up costs inherent in making metal recasts but these barriers to entry are far far lower for resin casting.

        Won’t be long until experienced resin casters are holding classes to show folks how it’s done. I bet I could set up a class and charge folks $100 for a 1/2 day hands on course on casting your own miniatures and have more people sign up for that than I could manage in 1 session…food for thought.

  • SirAngry

    Why so cynical? lol.

    To be fair on the GW resin (I refuse to call it fine cast) is a really great substance to mould mini’s out of. You gotta love the marketing spin though.

    http://thefrontlinegamer.blogspot.com/

    • You gotta love the marketing spin though. << hell yea, they are the king for good reasons.
      I still think for Hero units they deserve to be metal, it just feel better to move around a heavy unit, plus with taller unit will it topple with a breeze? haha

      sorry I am a painter not a gamer so who am I to say that :p

      • SirAngry

        Hey Vegel tbh I’ve used resin pieces in plenty of wargames and never had a problem with them toppling. It’ll be interesting to see how easy they break being carried around in the GW’s awful figure case’s though!!!

        I don’t collect GW stuff anymore, and I’m not too sure that Resin miniatures is the thing that’ll get me back into the GW hobby either right now, BUT you know what I don’t think its the really big disaster some people are making out either.

        http://thefrontlinegamer.blogspot.com/

  • I think the best thing to do would be to support any number of the excellent alternative miniature companies/games, and let GW languish in obscurity.

    Maybe it’s my age, or the crappy weather, but I could so care less about the latest twitch in the GW Hobby (TM) market.

    Give it time and they’ll be re-releasing “limited edition” metal figs as if it’s the latest and greatest idea.

    • Biggest gaming company =/= languishing in obscurity.

      • dburton

        Biggest gaming company =/= languishing in obscurity.

        Blockquote

        What he’s saying is if people quit going rabid over GW stuff they would fall into obscurity. There ARE other companies out there that put out superior products and games. GW gamers remind me of drug addicts. They go nuts over every little thing GW does and will pay the price no matter how inflated GW makes it. I ‘used’ to be addicted to GW. And it was very much akin to an addiction, breaking myself of that habit, but once I walked away I havent really looked back.

        • Oh and Congrats on breaking the habit, dburton.

      • Enron was a very big company too.

        What I’m saying is if half the energy spent on ‘reacting’ to GW were put into actual hobby pursuits, a lot more would get accomplished. The industry would expand, which would be better for everyone. Gamers would re-discover the fun of gaming, not to mention new lines of figs, games and genres/periods.

        And… the ‘Company’ would drop down to a more proper slot on the “List of Important Things”.

  • keltheos

    Sadly, I’m pretty much done with the round robin of whining whenever GW ‘makes news.’ It’s the same news each time: GW does something the collective feel is abusive or too costly, there’s lots of online rage (circular arguments, lots of tears), GW continues along. Rinse, repeat. Maybe instead of posting their anger here folks could be out promoting the games they WANT to see succeed. I still enjoy a GW game here and there, and will continue to do so until they price me out of what I feel is fair for their product. They’re getting close, but then again I have 5 editions worth of 40k and 5 editions worth of WHFB to keep me busy. I’m also able to plan ahead for purchase I want to make and save for them.

  • Mechanical.Horizon

    Have you guys noticed the miscasts on the Emperors Champion?

    The corner of the Crux is missing and the bottom corner of the left shoulder pad is missing.

    Same quality, higher prices.

    Thanks GW.

  • Psychotic Storm

    I love how the article avoids everything that is an issue, prices aside.

    Resin is a “hazardous” material to work with its dust is better avoided and is abrasive, all in all something a youngster should not do unsupervised, Historically the resin is brittle prone to be easily damaged and its casting if not really well supervised can produce a cast with air bubbles and bended material that needs heating to be reshaped to proper angles or else it snaps.

    All the above been said, resin holds detail far better than metal and there are resins that are far better than the bottom line resin forgeworld uses, never the less they still have all the above issues, vastly reduced.

    A few other things that mystify me are, why on earth on sprues? we know GW does resin casting of their metal miniatures in the past without any modification whatsoever, evidence is in all preview pics of gamesdays around the net, why take the same models and put them on sprues since the spin caster works well, I cant understand why on earth that move,

    After all the above Ill just echo what the above posters said, Resin is not something new, innovative or amazing in the industry, nice try at the marketing but fails in the face of any experienced gamer, also resin in any way and form is cheaper than metal and we get a price rise for them…..

    • Mechanical.Horizon

      Because they are using an injection method, not spin casting to make the new models.

      GW has done excellent resin casting without sprues, that’s how their models are mastered. why they didn’t go with that method is anyone’s guess.

      • I suspect mass production might be the answer. Casting a few resin models for the Studio is very different to making hundreds (or thousands) of resin models for the mass market. Injection casting is probably quicker, efficient and allows the production of the numbers required for the market.

  • I’m stoked. I’m about ready to be done with pewter anyway.

  • Darsc Zacal

    There is no single type of resin, just as there is no single type of metal. Some are more resilient than others, some can be very brittle while others are very pliable. Some can be toxic while others are safe to work with at a hobby level.

    Even before this switch that GW is making, there have been several miniature companies using various types of resin for their miniatures. The biggest failing I’ve seen from GW and a few other companies so far is their failure on educating their consumers on what the differences are and advising us of the makeup of their resins so that we can find out for ourselves just how safe and easy to work with thier products really are.

  • drporter

    “after all they are the ones that have spent the last few months living and breathing Citadel Finecast.”

    …somebody had better been using a dust mask…

  • KelRiever

    I like all the stuff I already have for GW games and plan on using it. There’s not a lot (and maybe none) of the new stuff I want. Personally, I have the most fun playing Confrontation, which has been dead for some years now. Got a Cadwallon campaign just starting that there’s high hopes for. And I’m still buying their figures on eBay or wherever I can find them.

    Don’t ask me how GW survives. I thought they would have been dead a long, long time ago. The price for a newcomer is above that of an xBox plus several games, and I would think people would rather do that than buy any Games Workshop game (though I can actually see them getting into other miniature games AND buy the xBox). Vets, as mentioned, either don’t need to buy stuff or are getting ticked themselves. Is the business plan to have 2 customers, each of which buy 1/2 of GW’s entire inventory each year? Would that be a successful business? Rhetorical, of course it wouldn’t.

  • cybogoblin

    Here’s something that I don’t think I’ve heard anyone mention: How easy is it to convert resin models (dangers of resin dust aside)? Is it as easy (with a little skill) as converting the current pewter models, or does the nature of resin make it more difficult?

    • Resin is much easier to work with than metal, in my opinion.

      • Psychotic Storm

        depends, metal has a few attributes resin doesn’t have, structural integrity and resilience to excessive pressure are two, I have to gap fill a terrain piece I am working on because the pressure I applied to straiten it up (that one mm it was off) created two pressure holes in it.

  • Games Workshop have just created the best miniatures in the world…they said so.

    I for one welcome our new overlords and bow to their majesty :).

    I laughed when I read the announcement…the complete arrogance of it was just comedic.

    I’m sure that lots of people will just carry on regardless, believe the hype and will be happy.

    Let’s face it…a lot of people always do and if they are happy then I’m happy for them too.

  • What makes everyone think they are silicone cold cast poly urethane ( resin ) that we have all come to know. The word “resin” can be used for pretty much any type of plastic. What if it is indeed something new?

    Their Finecast could very well be a type of PVC which shares many qualities with resin and is not brittle at all. All will be revealed once the figures are in hand.

    • Psychotic Storm

      Having worked with “resin” building Anime garage kits, there are so many types and qualities of resin that a gaming grade resin is no surprise to me, but, resin has some negative stereotypes attached t it, they are well known and GW should have addressed them in an article that introduces said problematic material in their range, instead they showcased a single model with casting defects, way to go for quality control.

      moving forward I am still mystified about the sprue, why bother make a sprue since the spin caster could use resin…

  • The term sprue is a term used to describe the gate that is left when a mold cavity is filled with resin.

    Most resin models will have vents and sprues. The vent is to allow the trapped air a place to exit, the sprue is where the resin flows to fill the mold.

    I would imagine that producing resin models on this scale will require RIM tooling. Reaction Injection Molding, this is the middle ground between open pour molds and plastic injection molding. RIM uses silicone rubber molds like FW uses but a machine mixes and injects the resin into a family mold, where the parts would be layed out in a similar fashion to a plastic injected kit. It allows for a cheaper start up cost because you’re not using a machined metal tool that coasts $50-100k. You just make a master of your mold, and pour rubber over it as the mold needs replacing. My guess is that the makers of the DUST figures use a similar process.

    Just my guess….

  • robdeavall

    just looking at the banner on GW’s homepage; is it just me or is Abaddon’s sword (in the unpainted version) noticably curved? if GW are using the same material and techniques they’ve been using for forgeworld, i think this is the least of the defects we’re likely to see; I don’t think i’ve met anyone who’s been 100% happy with any forgeworld products they’ve bought. The article makes reference to some figures being sold in boxes and, while this already takes place, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more boxed figures in the future in an attempt to disguise imperfections until the customer is well away from the shop.

  • Myrthe

    I wonder if their new packaging will allow the models to be viewed as they are in the current blister packs. That will be critical to my purchasing … seeing the actual model versus a pretty picture.

  • Gallahad

    At least GW is still good for a laugh!

  • Zac

    So I had a chance to look over the new Finecast figures and they are really outstanding. The detail is incredible and the resolution of the detail is insane. The Grey Knight figures and Librarians look even more detailed than the Space Hulk plastics.

    A good example of how well these figures look is the Ork Painboy. The metal figure looks smooth and the face has lost a lot of detail. The Finecast figure is very well detailed and the face has this incredible sneer on it that I can’t really see well on any of the metal versions I have.

    Commissar Yarrick is also a figure that has great facial detail and really benefits from being recast in resin.

    No idea how they compare to FW minis in terms of detail and resolution since I don’t own any but these are easily on par with FW resin figures.

    Some of the minis have a lot of flash on them but none of it was very thick and all that I saw could be removed with your fingers.

    The main issue is the price. Most of the figs I saw were $27.99 Cnd per blister/unit and there were some oddities like $27.99 Grey Knights or Librarians and $27.99 units of Tzeentch Flamers.

    Clearly the material cost is of no issue because some of the figures have frames/sprues around them that are greater in mass than the mini themselves and if one figure is $27.99 then how are three of them the exact same price.

    The minis are certainly drool-worthy figures but the price is a real issue.

  • Mantic isn’t using Finecast but Finecost resin plastic ! 🙂

    http://www.manticgames.com/Shop-Home/Undead/Elite-Units/Product/Undead-Wraiths-10-Figures.html