2 Ton Studios Presents:
Citadel Finecasts Review

By Chris “wolfy” West

May 28th marked the next evolution in the miniature hobby world. For many years Games Workshop has been the leader in making quality miniatures for tabletop gaming whether it is metal or plastic miniatures other companies have been following in their footsteps. More recently many smaller upstart companies have started crafting resin or resin/plastic hybrid minis. Also with the cost of production on the rise and materials becoming more and more scarce, Games Workshop decided to take that step into the 21st century and stop production of the old school metal models. While I am not sure when GW started to produce the resin models so that they could try to meet the high demand of them. But with their official release on the 28th of May we as hobbyists were able to get our hands on the actual Finecast resin pieces from Games Workshop.

After two trips to the local game store and a long debate period where I was trying to decide if I wanted to get one of the pieces to replace what I have in my Space Wolf army as I am not a big fan of the metal models and never have been. Or should I get something different that I want to paint for the sake of painting. Well after that long debate I finally decided that I wanted to get something that I haven’t painted yet and wanted to paint to add to my portfolio of models that I have worked on. Now he is not painted yet because I have other obligations that I have to meet at the writing of this article, but he is put together. I decided to get the Dark Eldar Archon, I really love the way that they redesigned this line and they are just begging to be painted

So once you have your Finecast model the first thing you will probably notice is that they packaging has undergone a MASSIVE overhaul. Gone are the days of the old card backing with the flimsy plastic glued to it although usually not very well, and when it is glued down really well you cant get into it to get your model out. So the blister packs are gone. They call this new packaging “clampacks” or “clam shells”. To me that implies that you can easily open and close the package as you wish. These however are sealed shut and you either have to tear them open using the little tab on the back of the package by the barcode (if you do this please be careful to not flip the sprues or the little parts out of the package getting a sword tip to the eye would suck) or you can do what I did and just cut the package open.

The other thing you will notice is the nice color image of how the ‘Eavy Metal team painted the piece(s). I find this to be really helpful because it gives you a nice reference of how to paint the piece if you are not sure what all colors you need or if you are away from your collection of books or internet access.

After you manage to (carefully) wrestle your pieces out of their packaging inspect them to make sure that everything is there just like you normally would and to look for any major defects in the piece. As someone that casts his own bases I can tell you that resin can be a tricky material to work with at times. Especially if you don’t use a vacuum chamber and pump to help pull the air bubbles out of the resin before it cures. Now with this Archon piece I didn’t have any big air bubbles that were at the surface that needed filled with green stuff and blended in. So if the piece you have does have big air bubbles just mix up a tiny bit of green stuff and fill in the void that was left behind.

Then VERY carefully clip the piece free from the sprue(s). You will notice that there are a lot of little vents and runners that help get the resin to the mold and to help get the air out. So very carefully trim those off and then start cleaning up the mold lines and flash leaving you a very smooth model waiting for assembly.

One thing that I did notice with this was that it takes a lot less time to get the model all cleaned up and ready to assemble than the metals and even some of the plastics. Some metals I have had to spend several hours getting all the mold lines and the gates all cleaned up… then there is the drilling and pinning because it is almost a requirement to do this so the joints will be stronger. The Archon only took me about an hour (give or take a few minutes) to get everything all cleaned up so I could start on assembly.

But before I start on talking about the assembly I just want to warn you about one thing that I did notice with this piece and another piece that I got all prepped up for someone else. This resin is extremely soft and flexible. So do pay close attention when you are working with these models especially on thinner pieces because they do have some give to them. But don’t bend on them too much because they can snap at a weak point. If this does happen just clean it up and glue it back on. I didn’t have this happen to me but one of my buddies did have a piece break off while cleaning up his model. But a little glue and a few seconds to allow it to dry and it was as good as new, if not better. Also with the resin being so soft I am not sure how high heat will affect it. So I don’t recommend leaving the pieces locked up in the car on a hot day cause they may melt. I have heard of this happening with the resin that Forge World uses. I think this is a very similar formula to what they use to do be careful.

Now… lets put our new Finecast piece together. I mounted mine on one of my resin “Rocky” bases because it has a little texture and they can be painted up as rocks, gravel, dirt, small rubble, and even snow. I love the resin that the Finecast pieces are made from. It is a fairly porous material that super glue bonds to really well and really fast (unlike the metals) it bonds so quickly that I got the Archon all put together in about 10 minutes. They go together so well in fact that I didn’t even drill and pin the model at every joint like I would have had he been a metal model.

So there you go… the Dark Eldar Archon Finecast model all cleaned up and put together, and my experience along the way. When I go through and paint him up I will do another little write up on that adventure. Not real sure how I am going to paint him yet… but with all of the browns that I am painting on this Imperial Guard commission that I am almost done with… I can assure you that brown will most likely NOT be used. Thinking of going red on this one.

Oh and before I start getting lots of questions on the durability of the Finecast models compared to the metal versions. Well I have not handled the metals of the two Finecasts that I have worked on so far so I can talk about their durability, but knowing the normal properties of metal models and how they like to react when dropped. I decided to perform a little test that I got the idea for from our good buddy Starminer, but I gave it a little twist and stepped it up a little. As most gaming tables in the stores around here where I live are 48in high instead of the normal 30 to 36in high. So I took the Archon into the utility room here in the basement because it’s a bare concrete floor held him out at chest height (higher than needed to simulate being knocked off the gaming table) and dropped him. And I can tell you this much… it was a successful test. All he did was bounce and popped off the base I mounted him on, but other than that no physical damage to the model itself. So I am guessing that with the resin being as soft as it is, it gives the model some flex so that it won’t explode on impact like metal models are prone to do. I was really afraid that his sword or the thing on his back was going to break or that his head would pop off and I can proudly say that I was just proven wrong. I am not saying that they won’t break because they can but they are less likely to.

So that’s all for now… I hope this is a huge help to some of you that are a little leery to try the new Finecast models. I plan to try more of them as soon as the FLGS gets a restock. Don’t expect a full on write up on them… but I will talk about them briefly.

So have fun, keep rolling dice, and get them models painted!

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