Today I got a miniature in the mail which I had been awaiting eagerly already:
It’s the new Cockatrice! One of the very first miniatures that are released in Finecast only and which had no metal predecessor.
Games Workshop advertised the coming of Finecast as the beginning of a new age. Let’s see if that proves to be true!In this little article I will record my thoughts and experiences from unpacking, cleaning and assembling a Finecast miniature for the first time.
First I should explain my thoughts on the old “plastic versus metal” debate which in my opinion is about 60% artificial anyway just so some people could rant on and on about. I got into touch with tabletop wargaming when basically everything was metal bar for a few kits (mostly vehicles). Working with metal miniatures is just something you have to be able to do when being into tabletop wargaming. I never got how some people find it “hard” to work with metal and dismiss the reassuring weight a metal miniature has as opposed to plastic miniatures. To me, metal miniatures feel more significant and less like toys. I won’t dismiss the fact that plastic casting progressed greatly in the past decades and it’s easier to make certain conversions with plastic parts. Still, I like the feel of metal miniatures very much and when Finecast was announced, I can not deny that I felt a little negative about the whole thing.
Games Workshop didn’t really prove much common sense with timing the introduction of Finecast miniatures and their annual price increase so a product which many people were already critical about (of course partly due to the effect that many internet forums have on news concerning GW: generating negativity about them.). I don’t want to come across as a person who whines about the Internet Hate Machine, I just observe. The fact that there are some technical issues with the casting, negative reports of the resin-plastic-mix behaving like resin when exposed to strong and direct sunlight (softening), large amounts of mould lines/”flash” and so on didn’t help either. Combine this with a price increase timed in a way that makes some people think that it’s directly linked to Finecast made the release of this new range really problematic. Still, it seems to have sold very well so far (of course).
So, a few weeks after the initial release, I will have a look at this completely new sculpt that was directly made to be cast in the new resin-plastic material.
First, the contents of the box:
The casting detail is very good. Clearly resin-cast quality. Not much flash at all (I think that the single characters are decisively more plagued by that. Had a look at a Finecast Eldar Avatar at my local gaming store recently and the amount of flash was ridiculous. Not that it’s hard to remove with resin, it just looks weird mainly :p ), no bent parts and no visible miscasts or air bubbles. On a side note – I was really happy to see them keep the plastic containers they also use for metal miniatures that come in boxes. I really like those things because they are useful for all kinds of tasks ranging from basing containers to miniature transportation. Now let’s start cleaning and have a look how the parts fit…
…and here’s quite an air bubble:
It’s two actually but one is simply amusingly placed where the knob that goes in the little hole on the torso should be so that’s no real problem there. The problem is the large, lengthy one in the lower left.
Next to the other wing you can see the scale of the problem and what it actually should look like:
The way the faulty wing is bent before the bubble started would indicate that this wing shouldn’t be as long to the back end as the right one but the slits on the torso into which the wings should go are equally long, thus indicate otherwise.
Apart from that, there are very little air bubbles. One smallish one on the end of the tail and two or three really minor ones on the feathers.
Cleaning otherwise was a breeze. The material really behaves like a mix of plastic and resin so it’s rather brittle and soft but also not quite as brittle as resin usually is on its own. The material is very light. Cleaning with soapy water (as usual with metal and resin) is not required but I read that it is advised to do so if a part looks really shiny.
Glueing couldn’t be easier. You can’t use plastic glue and will have to resort to super glue as usual with resin. At no point I saw pinning required, even on the wings or the tail which on a metal model I would have pinned without second guessing.
Here are some pictures of the model with all parts glued together:
The red spot is some thin red paint I painted on for testing. Some sources indicate that priming wasn’t required with Finecast (and I admit that the texture is rougher than on plastic). But after a few seconds of testing, my assumption was confirmed:
You can see that the paint even covers pretty well on exposed parts but in the gaps between the ribs the paint won’t adhere properly. Probably due to release agent residue so a bit of cleaning might be advised. Being the dashing fearnaught that I am, I will just use primer on the whole model. It’s not like paint would adhere any better on plastic miniatures when they’re not primed.
In this picture you can see the problem with the left wing. You can clearly see the gap in the torso which indicates that the wing should reach much longer on the Cockatrice’s back. To be honest, I’m almost glad to see this little problem. The assembly was way too easy up to this point. I will have to use some Green Stuff to fill this up.
Speaking of Green Stuff and filling – here is a picture to show the gaps between the single parts:
As you can see there are some visible gaps but it’s really not bad. Most basic filling will be required but nothing more grave than what we’re used to with metal miniatures.
So what’s my final verdict on this finecast miniatures and finecast as a whole? The casting quality is very good, the fit is satisfying and gluing the parts is really easy. Dropping the model on the ground from table’s height still will cause great damage of course (although I haven’t tested it obviously because I’m no loon) but the material is easy to work with. Mould lines are few and very easy to remove. Especially for those who until now viewed working with metal miniatures as a chore, Finecast is a godsent. The problem of miscasts and air bubbles is a severe one of a few models but I’m sure that GW are working on that to sort it out and at least it keeps a small challenge to modelling these things. 😉
Material aside, I’ll echo my own words from my review article on the Storm of Magic models – I like this model a lot and I think it’s great that GW released a new Cockatrie. I’m very much looking forward to painting it and presenting the results to you as soon as it’s finished.
This model is again commission work of course and it will go with the Averland Empire army I painted earlier this year. If you liked this article, if you have any questions or ideas please let me know via the comments below. See you soon!