Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finecast or Failcost?

My Ogre Kingdoms expansion now calls for a Firebelly, so I decided to take the risk and pick up my first (and maybe only?) Citadel Finecast miniature. The horror stories of massive amounts of flash, obviously miscast pieces, huge air bubbles, and melty resin all had me worried. For $38 this had better be one pimpin' miniature.

I, of course, asked to open the miniature at the store, which the sales associate had no problem with. One thing I'll give G.W., their customer service is pretty top-notch. The miniature seemed to have no immediate flaws, so I happily boxed him back up and took him home.

Once home, the first thing I noticed was exactly how flexible the resin is. The resin doesn't flex as much while on the frame, but once off the frame it's pretty bendy. The hammer in particular is soft and flexible, and the trophy dangling from the hammer's haft wiggles all over the place. This may or may not be an issue in the future, as I can see this whole area melting during summertime transport to and from games. The head and arm he's breathing fire on are separate from the rest of the body, as are the beetle-head gut-plate/loincloth and the hammer arm. The fire breathing arm required some bending to get into place, and even then the arm join required some gap filling. These are things I would expect from a metal miniature, so no harm, no foul.

Of course, in between cutting the model from the frame and gluing it together I had to wash the miniature, and the time spent letting it finish drying sort of broke up the mojo of assembly, but sometimes I get metal models with too much mold release on them, so I can't really hold that against the mini. A little dish soap and warm water later, and I had a mini ready for action.

Primer went on just as well as a plastic miniature, which was a bonus. Painting was no different than any other mini. It was at this point that I noticed some tiny air bubbles on the bottom of the plumes of smoke he's breathing. A fairly minor annoyance, but something you really don't see on a metal miniature. You may notice that this paint job is a bit more murky than the rest of my ogres. That's due to my dip having dried up. I was forced to try a Devlan Mud wash on the miniature, which came out okay, but not quite up to snuff...

My final decision on Finecast? Meh. There are some things on the miniature you couldn't achieve on a metal mini (like the trophy on the hammer- it would just snap off!) but I miss the pleasing heft of metal. The miniature wasn't the debacle I'd heard online, but it's nothing to write home about. I really enjoyed how easy it was to separate the mini from the frame, but with a metal mini there's almost none of that. Maybe a tab here and there that takes some snipping and filing, but that never got to me. The big downside to these miniatures is how dang flexy they are. I'm sure the paintjob will crack off all over the hammer as it gets bent around the tiny little bits it does during normal handling during play, and I do not relish figuring how I'll have to repair the paint job once that happens. A metal mini just wouldn't have this problem.

I'm pretty neutral about the medium, but if forced I'd have to give it a reluctant thumbs down. There's just too much I miss about metal that resin can't recreate. Will I buy another miniature in Finecast? Not if I can help it. I'll keep looking around for metal versions of my models, or I'll just convert them. But if forced to buy a Finecast miniature I won't whine about the switch to resin any more than I do about it normally.

A quick side-note: I got my hands on an English copy of Infinity: Human Sphere. It hopefully will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. Hooray!


  1. I'm surprised at the lack of venom in your review, I was expecting an F- for the final grade. That seems like a covert thumbs-up to me, despite your conclusion to the contrary. How the model holds up over time and use should be interesting. The painting looks sharper than the rest, but that could be a function of having a single model in frame vs an entire army. Particularly nice work on the flames.

  2. Nah, I wanted to go into this with an open mind, and do a straight-up comparison to the old metal figures. The end result is still me not wanting to buy another Finecast mini if I can help it. I just don't like the flexiness (if that's a word)of the medium, and I'm sure it would drive me up the wall on a smaller 28mm miniature. Crowe's sword being all bendy just doesn't sound like a great idea to me.

    Using resin for big monsters like Greater Daemons and Hive Tyrants seems just peachy to me, however. the lighter material and ease of use will reduce the need for pins, and those that do need to go in should be a breeze to drill the holes for.The bits like Lash Whips and other flexy things will continue to bug me, however.

    In the end I just wish they had switched over to something akin to Forge World's resin (a bit stiffer.) Then I'd be much happier.

  3. Hijack! May need to audible this week, Thursday might be fubar'd. You said Wednesdays are bad, yes? Perhaps a mangled metal sort of game on Friday?

    Also, check out the Purge template at the bottom of this post:

  4. False alarm on this week but we'll need to figure something out for next week as Thursday probably won't work. We cab discuss this Thursday assuming the planets align for gaming as usual.