Wayland returning current Finecast figures

By tgn_admin
In News
Jun 24th, 2011
63 Comments
579 Views

Wayland Games have announced that they are not going to be selling the current Citadel Finecast range due to excessive errors in the product range.

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From their website:

We regret that we are not presently retailing the Citadel Finecast range.

Unfortunately, a randomly sampled assessment revealed what we feel to be an excessive level of actual and potential flaws that, if reflected across our entire stock of Finecast, could have resulted in unacceptable inconvenience to our customers. Although we will be returning our present stockholding to the manufacturer, please be assured that we remain committed to carrying the Finecast line and will be restocking in due course.

For your information, we sampled and then assessed 60 sealed blisters with 30 taken at random from each of two deliveries of stock. Failures were 17 (57%) of 30 and 16 (53%) of 30, making 33 (55%) of 60 in total. While failure doesn’t necessarily denote the blister content as being of less than merchantable quality, for our purposes it does categorise it as having a visible flaw that might be of sufficient concern to a customer such that the item might be returned. Details and images were provided to the manufacturer, with redacted copies of the images appearing below.

Please note, the blisters remain sealed and so images were taken through the product packaging.

  • You cannot blame them, with error rates like that its a waste of time and money for them to process the constant flow of returns.

  • The drama continues. I wonder if GW will ever acknowledge the problems with Finecast…

  • Morf

    If you look closely, some blisters are marked as having black hair inside. My mind provides all sorts of images.

  • KelRiever

    Surprised…not

  • kehanubaal

    It looks to me that this resin thing will prove to be a huge blunder for GW. I always spent a fortune on GW’s stuff, but I will stay away from the finecast range and its insane prices.

  • Myrthe

    Finecast … GW’s “New Coke” !!!

    I hope GW gets the message when a large retail account refuses their product. I hope Wayland is the first of many to send that message.

    After giving Finecast three attempts (with 3 different models) and being met with a 100% unacceptible ratio, I am done with it until GW gets it’s act together. For the amount they charge, there should be no flaws.

  • keltheos

    One reason I prefer to shop for my miniatures in stores vs. online discounters. I can actually see the quality of what I’m purchasing before I do it rather than be stuck with product that’s a hassle to try and exchange/return.

    • Zac

      Except for the boxed sets sadly.

      • keltheos

        Any retailer worth his salt will let a customer open the package to check for errors/damage before purchasing.

        I won’t buy a Finecast other than at a GW store (fortunately there’s one close for me) for just that reason.

  • PhoenixKebab

    I just hope that GW just throw these particular blisters in the bin when they get them back from Waylands. Pity that resin is not as recycleable as metal or plastic.

  • Dead Kennedy

    Wow, this is awful press for GW. Wayland is a big retailer, and Finecast is apparently too much trouble to stock. Frowncast indeed.

  • bork da basher

    i have to applaud weyland games for making a stand here, GW need a strong message that will hopefully see them address the massive quality issues of their finecast range. i have no problems with the material replacing metal as long as its of the same quality or better as it is lauded to be (and currently isnt) but for a vastly inflated price compared to the metals it stands to cause massive problems for GW if they don’t pull their finger out. as the leading company they are the benchmark for others to aim at and IMO they have taken a big step in the wrong direction. QC needs to improve and i hope this sort of thing prompts them to take another look at their manufacturing methods and checking their products are actually fit to sell before shipping them out.

    • widgren

      i’ll second that. and on the note of spartan games, they are dirt cheap, in comparison and that makes up for alot.

      this thread has been to the point and that makes my heart swell of pride for the gaming community.

      keep it up!

  • CaulynDarr

    Did they make a stink when Spartan Games had serious resin casting issues with Firestorm Armada?

    • Zac

      I don’t think that Spartan ever had a 50% fail rate on their product. The Dindrenzi were the faction with the most issues and I would suspect that Wayland probably sent back their fair share of product.

      Spartan is not anywhere near as popular as the Finecast figures nor had the level of pre-orders so I suspect that even if they did send back a pile of FA figs it wouldn’t have had the impact nor required a comment like this.

    • scottjm

      I don’t follow Spartan Games but were they claiming their resin mins were the greatest thing EVAR and would revolutionize gaming?

      • Zac

        No but he does have a point. Spartan did have issues with their Firestorm Armada figs and I think they addressed it. I would assume that if the rate of flaws for the FA figs was as large as Wayland is saying the fail rate for the Finecast figs are that they probably would have made a similar announcement.

        They might not have needed to for FA though as I suspect that number of pre-orders for it wasn’t as large as for the Finecast figs.

        • CaulynDarr

          There was huge initial demand for FA at least locally in my area. I know that that doesn’t translate to the same demand everywhere, but I think there where a significant amount of people looking forwards to it’s release.

          Spartan Figs are OK now. They had to figure out how to do resin in the volume the initial release of that game demanded. I figure it will take some time for GW to get proficient with it as well.

          • CaulynDarr

            Which is why I didn’t bother to pre-order any Finecast. It’s never a good idea to be an early adopter.

  • Mananarepublic

    I think it is horrible that there are so many faults with the line, but wayland games is not “supporting” GW by posting pictures of the bad minis…

    /M

    • scottjm

      Why should they be “supporting” GW? They should be lauded in fact for looking out for the customer. If they don’t put up images of the flaws and just put out statements, then fanboys will scream that they’re just trying to get back at GW for the whole shipping issue.

      • Zac

        What he said. If they are going to make a claim they need to post evidence of it

        • Mananarepublic

          Maybe I should be clearer, from the press release: “Although we will be returning our present stockholding to the manufacturer, please be assured that we remain committed to carrying the Finecast line and will be restocking in due course.”

          What I mean is if you are committed to selling a line of miniatures the best PR choice might not be to publicly display it’s faults.

          Example: If I was a food retail chain which would be the best option for me.

          1) Post images of moldy chocolate bars and a description about how 55% of the bars were faulty.
          2) Make a post saying that you are pausing the sales of the chocolate bars due to some faulty quality assurance

          Which do you think would have the biggest impact on the future sales of said chocolate bar?

          The reason for supporting GW is the same as for supporting PP, Corvus Belli or any other miniature manufacturer – because the interest in the hobby (especially at a time like this when there are so many different “tastes” of games, catering a multitude of people) is based on the perceived value to the customer… this kind of posts will have an impact on sales and might spill over into other ranges as well (especially resin.)

          Please with the “fanboy” comment… it is too cliche and seems to be the go-to solution for skipping a dialogue on gaming forums. Hopefully my longer explanation will at least make you understand what I meant with my original post.

          /M

          • Zac

            What I mean is if you are committed to selling a line of miniatures the best PR choice might not be to publicly display it’s faults.

            His intent is clearly to get these addressed. These aren’t problems inherent in the material like venting is in metal figures, these are miscasts and the guys at Wayland want to sell the figs but aren’t going to pass off products to their customers that they know are flawed

          • Mananarepublic

            I think it is great that they are such a responsible retailer – this is still not my issue with their message. I get that they feel like if they post these publicly – there is a bigger chance of GW taking notice (same as for the Miniwargaming open video) but I think this sort of public display will only serve to distance GW even more from the independents.

            See below for more thoughts on it.

            /M

      • Mananarepublic

        Maybe I should be clearer, from the press release: “Although we will be returning our present stockholding to the manufacturer, please be assured that we remain committed to carrying the Finecast line and will be restocking in due course.”

        What I mean is if you are committed to selling a line of miniatures the best PR choice might not be to publicly display it’s faults.

        Example: If I was a food retail chain which would be the best option for me.

        1) Post images of moldy chocolate bars and a description about how 55% of the bars were faulty.
        2) Make a post saying that you are pausing the sales of the chocolate bars due to some faulty quality assurance

        Which would you think would have the biggest impact on the future sales of said chocolate bar?

        The reason for supporting GW is the same as for supporting PP, Corvus Belli or any other miniature manufacturer – because the interest in the hobby (especially at a time like this when there are so many different “tastes” of games, catering a multitude of people) is based on the perceived value to the customer… this kind of posts will have an impact on sales and might spill over into other ranges as well (especially resin.)

        Please with the “fanboy” comment… it is too cliche and seems to be the go-to solution for skipping a dialogue on gaming forums. Hopefully my longer explanation will at least make you understand what I meant with my original post.

        /M

        • lochmoigh

          Most larger companies wont take you as seriously if they are not held accountable in a public light. If they had been presented with this privately they might have been blown off, by being out in the open with it they are more likely to get a needed change taken care of, it also alerts consumers to the fact that their finecast model that is defective is not a one off and allows them to go back to GW and get a refund or replacement product much easier.

          What is your problem with the way that Wayland handled it? Their first and primary concern should be to the CUSTOMER and not the vendor.

          • Mananarepublic

            I am sorry that you’ve had such bad luck dealing with large companies. I am not a miniatures retailer but as a private person I have dealt with much larger companies than GW with private complains and it has always been resolved to my satisfaction.

            I don’t think the sub-par quality assurance of the finecast range has escaped anyone that purchases stuff for our hobby (except maybe parents buying things for their kids – and this new info still won;t reach them.) So I just feel like the message could have been a little more “professional” (a photo of a mysterious hair – really?) I wayland is expected to be treated with respect by GW I feel like they could have acted a little more restricted, especially if they are planning on supporting the line in the future.

            So my problem is not protecting the customer och complaining about the finecast launch – my problem is with the delivery that looks more like a post from an angry blogger than a message from a serious company.

            /M

          • Zac

            my problem is with the delivery that looks more like a post from an angry blogger than a message from a serious company.

            I didn’t get any sort of “angry” vibe from the post and it is far from being a typical online response.

          • Mananarepublic

            I was referring to the images… again – posting an image of a “mysterious” hair.. Does that a) have anything to do with the quality of the mini b) the origins of the hair is really hard to prove without a proper he-said-she-said match of pie throwing..

            As far as it not being a typical online response – that will be as hard to discuss as Hair Gate™.

            /M

          • Veritas

            Wayland didn’t open any of the blisters in those pictures. The hair has to originate from GW’s packing process.

          • Zac

            The hair is one photo in a large gallery of miscast products. Its a non-issue really. Ignore it and the level of the problems in the miniatures doesn’t suddenly get better

    • Didn’t GW’s only press release for their mercantilism policy for the Southern Hemisphere (and other countries as well) make it clear GW does not feel it is their role to support independent companies? They stood on a clear policy of self interest, I don’t think it’d be fair to hold one of those independent companies to a level of less self-interest. Why should they hide the problem to support GW ? They stated they will order more and continue to stock the line, that is reasonable support enough.

      If they return their stock, their customers are going to wonder why they can’t order from them, or why they must wait for restock, so making this a public explanation is supporting their customers & potential customers. That is the direction of support I value most, not working back up the line trying to help hide a problem.

      • Mananarepublic

        Even though I agree with you and support the freedom of each company to make a decision based on how GW is acting – see my post above (sorry about the duplicate, I can’t figure out how to delete one) about how I feel there is a contradiction between the press release and the posting of images. I would have much more respected a: “These minis sucks so we won;t carry them anymore” 🙂

        /M

        • Veritas

          Hold on a second, you said previously that you though Wayland’s posting of pictures created an angry blogger vibe that you couldn’t support, however you now say that as long as pictures aren’t involved the angry blogger vibe is OK? boggle That makes absolutely no sense.

  • Toqtamish

    I think Wayland should be applauded for making this decision for the benefit of their customers. They could have just sold the stuff but instead took a higher road. Well done!

    • mathieu

      It’s not a higher road at all. If they sell this stuff, they end up with a bunch of unsatisfied customers who either don’t buy from Wayland any longer, or request a replacement piece sent at Wayland’s expense. I don’t disagree at all with their returning the stock, but I’m pretty sure it’s a move for their own benefit first and foremost rather than some noble gesture for the customer.

      As for making a public fuss out of it, I don’t see the point. Seems to me they are just trying to gain street creds surfing some GW-bashing wave (see their video last month). I don’t see it as a very useful not constructive move, but more power to them if it ends up working for them.

      • Zac

        They didn’t release a video last month. That was Mini Wargaming in Canada.

  • I’ve bought a lot of resin miniatures from a wide range of companies, and while there have been the occasional flaw from some, such as bubbles, I’d say the severity of problems and the frequency is far less than evidenced here about Finecast or what I’ve been hearing from others about it. Note: I have not bought any Finecast yet, so I have no personal experience on it.

    But compared to my previous resin experience I have to wonder why GW is having so many problems. Is it because they are using the molds for the metal miniatures? i at first thought the price hike was to cover the cost of retooling, but apparently no retooling was done. (?) Now I’m wondering if the price rise is to cover all of the free replacements they’re going to have to give out. And is this why they don’t want to supply some selected internet stores (even if it does have a brick & mortar) with Finecast? To their credit, whenever I have had a casting problem, or a missing part, even from an item I purchased from a webstore, with a simple call to GW they’d ship out a replacement to me free of charge. That is good service. But if they do that for every Finecast defect that’s going to start to make a dent in their profit. Just wondering if that factored in to their decision to hike the prices and limit availability to some webstores. Though that shows a planning to fail, which doesn’t bode well if so.

  • Psychotic Storm

    The product is unacceptable and unfortunately also over promised and under delivered.

    Wayland did well to convey the problem to their customers and keep them updated.

  • angora

    but apparently no retooling was done

    It was done – the finecast sprues are not the same as the kind of casts that would be done for metals. I don’t think the price increase was ever really related to the costs of the materials but more in line with GW’s general price increase model.
    Timing sucked mind you!
    As far as Wayland goes I think they have every right to return the stock if they feel it is unacceptable.

  • Doc

    I wonder if the after-market value of metal figs has just sky-rocketed…

    Anecdotally – at the Skull of Thrones event in Vegas last weekend, GW ran a “presentation” where they showed a picture of 19th Century street urchins as their production staff.
    I yelled out “Well that explains Finecast!”.

    Hopefully the QA/QC will improve and this will all be a thing of the past (I remember some of the early FW stuff being dodgy).

  • pixelante

    Quality should reflect price, GW are asking for a premium for their product so that is what they must deliver. I have had it with apologists saying “oh theres just some teething problems it’ll sort itself out”. No, GW should have rolled back the release date and dealt with the problem. Instead we are left with the impression that GW thought the initial Finecast run was “good enough”.
    Another point that was made elsewhere is that GW seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with Finecast, production issues aside resin models are not for young gamers and combined with the price rise they are leaving this key demographic behind.
    GW seems to be aiming its marketing at older gamers now, who are ever increasingly casting their jaded eyes elsewhere.

  • ScoutII

    Yep, when it comes to GW products…I except very, very minimal casting errors. They charge a premium price, and much like any other products which charge premium prices…anything less than perfect (or nearly so) and I will contact customer service and will be getting a replacement.

    For a company like Wayland – even at 25% rejection (or 10%) it isn’t worth the hassle of dealing with them. If they ship the faulty products to customers, it reflects badly on Wayland and their customers would have to deal with GW customer service for replacements. If they inspect each one before shipping, it will add a significant amount of time and money to their operations. And then, they would still have to deal with GW to get replacements for their stock.

    In terms of this being GW bashing…not at all. Wayland customers will likely be curious as to why they can not get Finecast through them. As opposed to dealing with each customer individually, this covers most the questions that they might have. I have seen it happen a few times with different products, from electronics to clothing…and I don’t think anyone ever thought it was bashing the companies at that time.

    GW needs to correct their procedures and improve their QC department. If they didn’t ship garbage, it wouldn’t be shipped back to them. For a long time, they were able to cast clean metal figures with few miscasts making it into the stores and to customers. They need to figure out how to do the same with resin…or figure something else out. Until then, it isn’t an issue of GW bashing when the pictures show that there are in fact problems with the miniatures.

  • GS_topcow

    This is not a public bashing, this is a serious retailer making a serious statement.(yes even the one with the dubious hair)

    Wayland is making two points clear, it cares for its costumers, and it demands quality from their providers.

    this is no crusade, this is basic commercial knowledge, if you are a distributor, then you are required to get as good a possible product, at as good a possible price to your costumers. the minute you are not able to do this, you need to take measures.

    doing it publicly makes a strong statement to GW and to Wayland`s costumers, they are looking for quality, they are not going to deal in substandard product.

    its not GW bashing per se, but the nature of the deals necessary to be a GW distributor, means that waylands must invest a considerable amount of money in product in order to make a profit, hence, they are entitled to demand quality. that they chose to do so publicly is testament to good costumer protection policies, and simply put a solid stand in front of a mayor brand and provider.

    we deal in a very delicate business, sometimes we are purchasing models and miniatures from very small operations, and sometimes we get our hobby-fix from large public trading companies worth millions of dollars/pounds. We tread a fine line between high quality consumer goods, and hand crafted products, but we must never forget our rights as a costumers.

    Also, i´m glad only two eldar figures i was already very pleased with were the only figs available on finecast… however, will the next Warpspiders, Striking Scorpions, etc. be cast in “finecast”???

    the mind wanders, and wonders…

    Cheers.

    GS

  • Sejanus

    Several issues could be at work here. Consider the following possibilities for thought….

    A) GW shipped normally to Wayland and just had some bad luck with what Wayland got. Too bad so sad.

    B) Wayland over reacted to getting some bad figs. Oh well such is life.

    C) GW intentionally shipped figures they never would knowingly let go in order to cause a fuss from Wayland. Purpose? Wayland screams foul and goes on tear against GW. GW then says it can no longer work with Wayland in that they have tried and Wayland isn’t playing fair and badmouthing product. Cause to pull a contract agreement. What does this do for GW…well alot.

    If GW intends to claw back all product to itself in order to be the only online supplier on the planet of their product this would be an ideal way to do it. Tick off sellers, make a fuss and use contract legalities to bring their products and more importantly….full MSRP back under their control.

    Questions need to be asked.

    How can a company like GW not get the handling of resins right?
    There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise globally on working with this stuff and surely they would have to tap into it. Would a person ever open a restaurant without hiring a chef that knew how to cook? Not likely.

    Not saying there IS a conspiracy of sorts but simply saying ….hmmmmmm.

    • Zac

      A) Doubt it. The number of figures and number of retailers and distributors involved makes it unlikely.
      B) They might be reacting to imperfections with a more critical eye but then they are on the hook for the returns if the customer doesn’t like it so better safe than sorry.
      C) So far beyond the pale that it doesn’t bear discussing

      How can a company like GW not get the handling of resins right?

      GW’s QA and QC went out the window to meet their shipments. This was the biggest rollout of product in GW’s history. They bit off more than they can chew and it shows

      There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise globally on working with this stuff and surely they would have to tap into it.

      I suspect that management had quotas and the production people had to ship crap figs to meet them

      Nothing that needs to be assigned to ulterior motives, GW just put themselves into a position to push out more product than they were capable of doing

    • blackfang

      Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

      • Sejanus

        lol…nicely put.

    • metalsifter

      How can a company like GW not get the handling of resins right?
      There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise globally on working with this stuff and surely they would have to tap into it.

      Strangely enough GW doesn’t have very many staff left in Lenton that are experienced in moldmaking and casting now, many of the best ones were let go over the last few years with all the downsizing, now GW is hurting. Not only that but one of their most experienced moldmakers now works for Privateer Press and another (I think) works for Mantic.

      They’ve also have been having a hard time finding experienced people to come to work for them, their reputation has suffered. I know several people who were offered jobs in manufacturing for GW in Lenton and they won’t do it.

      • Sejanus

        I imagine with a reputation in such flux, these potential openings will remain in play long enough to put additional pressure on GW.

        It will be interesting over the next 6 months to see how this changes….if at all.

  • Kane

    GW seem to be shifting QC from internal checks to their stores and distributors – one way of cutting costs I suppose

  • widgren

    vote with your £/€/$/:- . buy what you like and don’t buy what you don’t like. i theink a lot of the fincast is great but quite a lot of the casts are miscast. i think GW will take this to heart and make changes. i think they have to.

  • Over at TMP there has been several reports of finecast melting in display windows and shattering from table falls.

    There have also been reports of GW stores empty of metal figures as they will be replaced with this.

    So soon this “finecast” stuff will be all you can get. For the price I should not have to repair my figures.

  • mathieu

    Over at TMP there has been several reports of finecast melting in display windows and shattering from table falls.

    “Melting” is a vast exaggeration. While it does get softer and might bend under its own weight, it will not melt if exposed to the sun in a display window. Here are the results of an experiment where finecast resin pieces were put in an oven at increasing temperatures. The resin pieces don’t melt up to 120°C (250°F), which is a temperature I’m hoping nobody’s miniatures ever experience.

    For the price I should not have to repair my figures.

    I completely agree. I ordered two finecast models that were beautifully detailed but had a few flaws each, I contacted their Customers Services and asked for replacements.

    For the record it is not a GW-specific thing, all the PP Battle Engines I saw had pretty bad mould lines, which I think is also unacceptable on such pricey models (and I contacted CS for the Wraith Engine I bought as well). I’ve had good experiences with the CS of both companies, so I’m not worried. However I sincerely hope they consider jacking up their QC a bit, because I’m getting tired of having to wait for weeks between purchasing a model at the LGS and actually getting a miniature with the quality I expect for the price.

    • metalsifter

      all the PP Battle Engines I saw had pretty bad mould lines

      PP never advertised theirs as “A new era in wargaming” nor did they say they were “the highest quality miniatures the world has ever seen” either.

      Having collected, assembled and painted hundreds of anime resin mech kits that cost far more then PP battle engines, I can say they are pretty damn good quality even when compared to other resin kits like FW.

      “The Citadel Finecast miniatures are all made from a unique resin formula” no they aren’t. It’s a 1:1 mix resin with a plastic filler made from granulated polystyrene.

      • mathieu

        PP never advertised theirs as “A new era in wargaming” nor did they say they were “the highest quality miniatures the world has ever seen” either.

        Not in these words, but they were very much raving about how wonderful the new material is and how much control it’d give them as far as where to place the mold lines, or how much details it holds… Sure GW’s publicity was more exaggerated, but I’m guessing we all knew to take whatever both companies were saying about how outstanding the models would be with a grain of salt

        Having collected, assembled and painted hundreds of anime resin mech kits that cost far more then PP battle engines, I can say they are pretty damn good quality even when compared to other resin kits like FW.

        FW is notorious for the very high price of their models and for the poor quality of their castings. So true, PP Battle Engines are not as bad. They are also not nearly as detailed, and yet are priced at the same level as equivalently sized FW models.

        It’s hardly relevant though. There’s no reason why PP could release resin kits at that price tag (especially not particularly highly detailed models) and not be expected to do it as well as they do metal miniatures.

        • Zac

          …and how much control it’d give them as far as where to place the mold lines

          So why are you surprised that there are mould lines then 😉

          FW is notorious for the very high price of their models and for the poor quality of their castings.

          Maybe in the past but I’ve been happy with pretty much every FW piece I have ever bought.

          • mathieu

            So why are you surprised that there are mould lines then 😉

            I hope it’s obvious I’m not surprised they do exist. I’m annoyed there are that many of them on models from a company that prides themselves on the high quality of their models (rightfully so for the metal minis), and who claim to have the best casters in the world (the best metal casters, to be fair).

            And since they brought up the control they’d have with where the mould lines would be, I’m indeed surprised a lot of them end up being on the most annoying areas to clean (at least for the Wraith Engine: many are on the guitar string-type pipes).

            Maybe in the past but I’ve been happy with pretty much every FW piece I have ever bought.

            Fair enough. All the ones I’ve seen were pretty appalling, but perhaps they were only the ones that slipped through QC. By the same token perhaps all the Battle Engines I’ve seen were some of the few faulty ones.

  • phoenixman

    citadel miscast as its known too many.

    come on GW, lets have a PROPER response to these issues and what you are going to do to put them right for your customers.

  • Doc

    I visited my local GW (ostensibly to do some exchanges of sealed plastic kits) on Saturday. Whilst there I called them out on the issue of Finecast errors. They were quite surprised to hear about Wayland’s experience and all the hoopla.
    They showed me their “reject” box – it had 3 Finecast items in it, and all were packaging errors – Skulltaker and Dante missing parts, and a Treeman box set with only 2 (not 3) models in it.
    I looked at just about every blister they had on the wall and I could not find a single problem.
    Not sure what is going one here….

    • Similar to my experience in a GW store recently (first visit in eons) – looked at loads of their blisters. All great looking minis/castings. Held a constructed Azhag from the cabinet, amazed by how bendy and bouncy it was – super detailed too.

    • Zac

      Simplest solution is that they went through their stock and returned all of the miscasts. I know of several retailers that did that.

      Imsuspect that Wayland has enough stock that they don’t want to have to go through it individually.