Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Positive, yet Honest, Finecast Experience

So, I got sick to death of hearing all of the finecast hysteria and decided to place an order.

I've been looking forward to finecast mainly because I like conversions, lots of which involve cutting models in half.  Finecast models will make this chore so much easier on my life.  Based on the gravitational pull towards the negative that has spun about the internet, I also knew somewhat what to expect.

Note that these models are intended for a high end army but I'm not a golden demon level painter.  I'm looking for different things from my models. 

Price with GW is ALWAYS an issue so I'm not really going to talk about that.  It costs what it costs.  We don't have to like it.  Nuff said.

I placed an order for a box of Dark Eldar Mandrakes.  40k!  What?  No, no, no.  I'm not switching to the dark side.  I just simply have a conversion in mind for my dark elves that these torsos will be perfect for (much better than the Gor Torso's I was going to initially use).  When I got home yesterday, I found the box from GW sitting on my porch.

I immediately popped it open to start checking out this 'space-age polymer'.

Upon opening the box, I found it contained 3 sprues within the typical GW plastic components boxes they've long used for metals.  I did a lot of quick inspection looking for the 'bubble holes' in bad places.  They were all over the skirts!  I kid.  The skirts have holes in em and I don't have the metals to compare to so all of the 'holes' in the skirts looked like they belonged.  I was also doing a lot of pulling / twisting, etc on the models just to gauge their durability.  Later that night, when I went to take the picture, I noticed that one models' foot had been separated from his skirt.  Not sure if this was due to my actions of twisting em or if it came like that.  (*See the circled red portion) Either way it wasn't a huge deal as a) I wasn't using the lower portion anyway and b) It could have been very easily repaired.  It IS worth noting this is a VERY thin joint.

There is alot of flash that needs cleaned off.  However, this cleans right off with a pass of the knife.  In fact, be very gentle or you may cut / scratch your model.

I also noticed one other slight problem with only one of the models.  The chin didn't come down to the point that the other model (in the same pose) did.  It looks like a miscast.  Hard to tell from the pic but the chin has no point - it is the hair you see sticking out past the chin.  Clicking on it to see the bigger pic will also help.    

After getting all of my pictures taken and models inspected I was itching to get to work so I sat down to cut all the models in half right at the top of the skirt.  Previously, I tended to use a dremmel tool for this kind of work as it made the chore quicker than using a jewelers saw but it resulted in less than a perfect cut which almost always rendered the unused portion unusable.  I simply put a new blade in the exacto knife and set out to cut a model.  A little pressure and done.  WOW!  Less than a minute taken to cut a model in half.  This is exactly what I was hoping for.  I got all 5 models cut in half in roughly 5 minutes.  All of the cuts are very clean and the lower halves of the models are very usable for another project.  This, to me, is everything I was looking for from finecast.

The next step for me was then to do a test fit with one of my Drider bodies I had sculpted previously.  It did require a bit of work to remove the Gor torso and scrape off the Green Stuff work I had previously completed but it was well worth the effort.  Here is the rough test fit - I am using pins in some of the torso's - not for strength but simply to allow me more positioning opportunities.  I also really like that weapon and it will be the only weapon I don't replace with handmade spears.  Stay tuned for more on these guys in the coming weeks, I'm totally inspired and VERY pleased with the way he looks now.

Also - the model bonded very well with just superglue.  I fully believe you won't be required to pin and superglue alone will be sufficient.

In the end, I had an overall positive experience with Finecast.  I know there are some bad experiences out there and I have no doubt more will crop up.  It is upsetting that a company the size of GW didn't do more research / implement harsher QC checks, etc.. to prevent some of the stuff from getting out.  In the end I know they weren't experts when they started casting in metal but got great at it.  I expect the same from finecast.  Combine that with the conversion opportunities and the sculpting opportunities for NEW models I'm a bit excited to see what the future holds.

I'm not rushing out to buy a bunch of finecast but I won't be deterred to buy what I need in finecast after this experience.

I've taken a torso and a weapon (which was already 'flimsy' to begin with) that I cut off and put them on my porch, out of direct sunlight.  It was 85 deg. Farenheit at 11:30 AM today when I put them out there.  I will check on them in roughly 12 hours and see how they have held up.

To Summarize;
Easy to Clean Flash / Mold Lines
Easier for Conversions (*especially big conversions)
Pinning not required (*but very easy to drill if you do)
Future Opportunity for even more detailed Models

GW Quality Issues - Miscasts  - Bubbles (*I'm hoping these go away)
Small Weapons (like the ones on these guys) are a bit too bendy - May need a tweak to the formula.  *NOTE - the spindly little arms were fine only the weapons were bendy.
Really weak joints very susceptible to breakage

One last note.  Something to think about - They are casting models in 'resin' that were designed to be cast in metal.  I'm interested to see what models designed for finecast look like and how they come out at the end.  Not sure if it is a factor or not but I can't help but wonder.



PsychosisPC said...

A positive finecast review???? Wahh....least this review is from someone I know. Your opinion holds more water than what I've been reading.

Not sure when I will get around to trying this stuff, I have enough projects going on right now.

Hey does the sprue actually melt under this 90+ degree heat that we have right now or when placed on Joe Rodger's head? Can you dispell the rumor.....

Ben said...

I really enjoyed the couple of finecast models I picked up as well. I was too scared to leave the models in my car yesterday for fear of meltage, though!

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