Citadel Finecast review

The introduction of resin miniatures by the World’s largest tabletop wargames manufacturer is arguably the most significant event in the hobby this year, with over 100 resin miniatures released in a single day, it is certainly the biggest event of the year.

What is fine cast?

Finecast is the name Games Workshop has given it’s new range of resin miniatures.

Many miniatures that were previously produced in metal are now being produced in resin.

Why move to resin?

The reason given by Games Workshop is that resin is easy to work with. Being softer than metal it is easier to cut, and being lighter resin makes the need to pin parts together a thing of the past.

The other reason given by Games Workshop is improved miniature quality.

So what are the new miniatures like?

Citadel Finecast compared with metal
Left: Finecast – Right: Metal

Resin miniatures are most definitely easier to work with and the detail on the new Finecast miniatures looks very sharp indeed.

The image to the right shows a comparison between the axe handle of the new resin (on the left) and the old metal (on the right) Chaos Exalted Hero. The wrapping on the handle of the resin axe certainly seems significantly  crisper.

Is there any thing else I need to know about resin?

As mentioned, resin is easy to work with, but it is also much more delicate than metal and care needs to be taken during building and gaming to ensure that thinner parts aren’t broken.

There are also differences in the manufacturing process. Metal moulds come in two parts whereas resin moulds can come in may parts, this means more dynamic components can be created in resin but that there are often more tabs and mould lines on resin models. This means more preparation work is required.

Are there any problems with Finecast?

Finecast resin can suffer from bubbles
Detail lost to air bibble circled

Bubbles sometimes occur in resin models, these may be buried deep in the model but, if on the surface, they can result in loss of detail or small areas of the model.

The Chaos Exalted Hero we used in the previous example has suffered from this in a few areas, most significantly on his armour just near his head, see pic to the right.

Anything else I should know?

The price of these miniatures is going up. Many have voiced disbelief over this but while resin is cheaper than metal, resin moulds have a shorter life than metal ones, meaning they need to be replaced more often, pushing costs up.

Can I see a pic of the metal and resin side by side?

Yes.

Finecast Resin: Left - Metal: Right
Left:Resin – Right: Metal

Conclusion

Detail on the new Finecast range is certainly superior to metal equivalents, it is also easier to work with, although more delicate.

There are general issues with resin that impact these miniatures. More model preparation is required and the models are prone to suffering from air bubbles.

The miniatures are significantly more expensive, some up to 30% more so, but many have gone up by much less than this headline grabbing figure, and 2 haven’t gone up at all. The price rise is unfortunate as Citadel miniatures were already the most expensive in the tabletop wargaming marketplace. This rise can potentially be justified if the cost of replacing moulds outweighs savings in material costs. However, it does raise the question of whether consumers will pay this premium price and therefore whether the change to resin will work….

Giving a score to something as general as a whole new range of miniatures is very difficult and we were tempted not to do so. But, what the heck…

Overall, the move to resin is positive. Resin is easier to work with and has great levels of detail. Issues with bubbles etc are found in all resin models and results in the loss of a star as does the increase in price, so, all in all, Citadel Finecast scores….

7/10

7 out of 10

You can pick-up Citadel Finecast now from Big Orbit Cards at up to 20% off*:

Warhammer: Citadel Finecast
Warhammer 40,000: Citadel Finecast
Lord of the Rings: Citadel Finecast

*Price correct as of 28th May 2011.

Post update – 3rd June 2011

As requested, here is a photo of the undercoated metal Exalted  Hero. Note: graininess on model was caused by undercoat.

Metal Exalted Hero Undercoated
Metal Exalted Hero Undercoated

New Lord of the Rings miniatures

New Lord of the Rings Strategy Game models have been revealed and after passing a casual eye over the new models online I have come to the following opinions.

Cave Drake

The new Cave Drake is a nice model, although the droopy spines or elongated frill coming out of the back of the head may not appeal to all. A nice touch is the addition of eggs and a hatchling, these will some extra modelling possibilities. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Cave Drake boxed set at 20% off* here: Cave Drake

Flói Stonehand, Loremaster of Moria

What can you say about Flói, he’s just a nice little dwarf sage type model and it’s always nice to see the folically challenged represented in our hobby (feeling a touch sensitive? – ED). Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Flói Stonehand blister pack at 20% off* here: Flói Stonehand, Loremaster of Moria

Gundabad Blackshields

Gundabad Blackshields are very reminiscent of the old Moria Armoured Goblin Warriors blister pack that is now only available from Games Workshop Direct (click here for a pic), these were always favourites of mine so the Blackshields get a big thumbs up. Also, at £8 RRP per blister these miniatures are great value for money.  Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Gundabad Blackshields blister pack at 20% off* here: Gundabad Blackshields

Gundabad Blackshields Command

The Gundabad Blackshields Command blister contains some great looking models, the goblin shaman looks particularly nice.  However at £15 RRP for 4 models they seem very expensive, especially when you consider that you get the same number of models for £8 RRP in the Gundabad Blackshields blister pack. Click here for a pic.

Pre-order the Gundabad Blackshields Command blister pack at 20% off* here: Gundabad Blackshields Command

King’s Champion

The King’s Champion and his attendant Heralds are also all nice looking models and the champion really looks like he means business. However, once again, this boxed set seems expensive. £20 RRP for 3 models (even with metal flags) is very steep. Click here for pics.

Pre-order the King’s Champion boxed set at 20% off* here: King’s Champion

*Prices correct as of 18th September 2010.