Jump to content

Why are so many people keen to see the end of resin?


Recommended Posts

I've been thinking of asking this for a while, as its one of those subjects which keeps coming up. I was just about to ask this question in another thread, but figured it should be its own topic. I don't know whether this is a controversial topic, and don't want to start an argument i'm just generally curious what people's opinions are on this, and whether there is actually a consensus.

So:

A lot of people seem to be very keen to see resin (and by extension metal) models phased out completely, and replaced with polystyrene plastic equivalents.

I can certainly see the advantages of the plastic kits. They generally have more options, and are very easy to stick together with poly-cement, making them good for conversions. On a personal note I'm actually allergic to superglue, making anything which goes together with poly-cement a plus. That said I'm not convinced that, for everyone else, the superglue and greenstuff method is that difficult or time consuming. I've struggled with a few larger metal models, but rarely had a problem assembling a resin/ finecast one.

I know that some people have had problems with misscast resin? So maybe i've just been lucky in this regard. The switch to the lighter weight material always seemed like a great idea to me, since it sticks so easily, and makes such a strong join, due to its porosity. I've had more problems unsticking resin pieces than I have getting them to stick, which is the inverse of the usual problem with metal.

So I could be convinced that plastic is easier for large kits, or ones with lots of thin joins or fiddly connections. However I don't think that holds up when talking about the more traditional sort of models where you attach an arm or two, and glue the model into a slotta base.

That said the argument doesn't seem to be entirely about ease of use. People seem to be unhappy with the quality of  the older metal and resin sculpts? I regularly see comments to the effect that they are outdated, or bad, which I've never been entirely convinced of. GW have gone to great lengths to make their newer plastic models more detailed, but even with the latest ranges plastic models tend to be smoother over all The detail they do have is fine, but tends to be much shallower, and less crisp. In my experience this doesn't lend itself as well to  drybrushing, and it takes more work to really make the models pop.

Some people clearly don't like these designs. I've seen comments saying that they are less dynamic, but I'd thus posit that the resin models aren't bad, they are just out of fashion.

Maybe I just have a soft spot for the older models, after all I got into this hobby around the turn of the millennium when metal was more common. I have fond memories of thumbing through the blister packs, looking for alternative sculpts. There are some really cool resin models which I would love to get in my collection, so I'm glad that many of them are sticking around, and that the switch to plastic has freed up casting machines for things like the made to order runs.

So what do you think?

Are you keen for the resin models to be retired, if so what are the main reasons?

Are there any point I've overlooked, or problems which you've experienced?

I look forward to hearing reading your responses!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Resin, especially Forgeworld, its the material I’m happiest working with, I alos really like plastic, particulalry GWs new age hard plastic. Finecast, the early renditions at least were just terrible, The material warped, it was sometimes covered in hige flash and for me worst of all it was so sift I could carve it with my fingernail! Th only other resin Ive seen as soft is Prodos Games resin. I did however buy Grimgor before he was retired and the quality was much much better, havent tried it out in the last few years though, but if its like Grimgor then it cam stay.

I can’t stand metal, non of it, it chips, the weight feels odd in my hand, it chips, I find more tools are required to work with, especially for assembly, it chips and it chips. 

 

Plastic for units, big kits and basic characters, but for a very special units, specila characters and conversion bits. I basicly like what Gw and Fw have going, if anything Id love some more inout from FW, like they said they would and begun advertis Ng the AoS special character range, which kinda went nowhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the main thing is that GW is Plastic Only now after years of Finecast (TM) complaints so it's not like they're going to make any more new resin models outside of FW.

Plus many models that are resin are old kits, for example Tuskgor Chariots or a pretty large amount of skaven models. So the only option for an update is plastic (less resin hate, more "we want a modern sculpt").

 

The downside of Plastic only though is far less characters and tertiary units since each plastic mold costs so much, especially after the chapterhouse controversy so they have to make plastic kits per character. I mean just compare the amount of special characters an oldhammer army had compared to most AoS army (outside of SCE).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Resins are very variable and there are lots of different types. 

By and large resin holds fantastic detail, often some of the best detail retention is held in resin castings. This means it can do intricate models with fine details the likes of which plastics just cannot currently achieve (at commercial production levels - it might be there are some that can but are just not in use due to other issues or even price*). 

Resins can suffer from a few things though:

1) Bubbles. Resin can get bubbles more than plastics and metals and where these bubbles occur then can be anything from a minor irritation that a bit of greenstuff fixes to destroying key areas of fine detail that requires replacing the part. It's an added issue that you don't get with metals and plastics. 

2) Washing. It's a super minor step (and shared with most metals), but resin requires a quick wash and light scrub (old tooth brush) to remove any residue of release agents used during the casting process. Failure to remove can result in glue and paint failing to stick properly. 

3) Bending. Resin can bend (most forms). Often this requires heating it (hot not boiling water) and bending it in small adjustments to straighten out the part. This can be a major issue if the bend is huge or if its in a very thick part that is very difficult to heat through and bend.

Material durability. Resins vary a lot. Some are very soft and bendy, others are super hard and tough. Some are very brittle and others not quite so. Your standard common "resin" is typically somewhat brittle and a little bit soft on thin parts. However there are resins and hybrid resin-plastics out there which are far firmer and tougher (I believe what Hawk Wargames uses is some kind of hybrid material that holds great detail and is very tough alongside regular resins). Tougher isn't always nice tough, it can be harder to scrape mould lines off and clean up. 

Melting. Some resins can melt if left in a VERY hot car in sunlight. Finecast was accused of this, however remember this is already dealing with quite extreme temperatures and can cause damage to a lot of other products as well as resins. It is, however, another downside to some mixes.

 

NOTE - finecast was a more rubbery/soft/bendy resin than many others. It's biggest crime though, was its quality control. It's production (which I believe was not in-house for GW) threw up a lot more miss-castings than is normal for any miniature company, let alone GW. The result was that they got a lot of returns to the point where it earned the title "failcast". The quality control was a nightmare for both gamers and GW (resins, like plastics, can't be melted down and re-used like metals can, so any failed cast is a waste of resources). GW has improved and I think its now done inhouse, but the stigma has stuck and its still a risky material compared to many others. 

When most people talk of wanting to see an end to resin its Finecast that they are meaning. Most other forms of resin don't have the huge stigma attached to it that finecast has (although for some its the only resin they've ever encountered and thus they can mistakenly think its common to all resins)

 

Typically resins are not used for mass production, most companies shift over to plastics when they get to very high volumes because resin is a more labour intensive production method than injection plastics. Of course a company has to get to and maintain high turnover of product to make plastic worth investing in, so often you'll see many start ups or boutique lines using resin as the material is cheaper than metal and it holds strong details. Or they do what GW did and have smaller selling models in resin (like heroes) and standard high volume sale products (troops) in plastic.

 

 

Personally I like resin, its nice and easy to work with and most times from most companies its high detail low worries that, once cleaned up, looks fantastic. GW and Hawk Wargames have, however, both shown that high detail plastics are possible (In fact Hawk really pushes the boat out, although their habit of having lots of fine detail on the mould line edge is an utter nightmare as their tough plastic is not quite as easy to clean; but when its mould line free it really holds good fine detai). Thing is for many the detail of GW plastics is more than enough for their desires and GW keeps pushing the limits. Plastic is generally easy to work with, its not brittle, it doesn't bend too much, it doesn't melt (except in very extreme conditions), it glues and paints up easy and its just as light. 

Personally I like metals, plastics and resins all for different reasons. I love the detailing in resins, I love the firm feel of metal, I like the ease of most plastics (esp modern plastics). 

*baring in mind that plastic injection moulding is already very expensive!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overread has written us a very in depth explanation. Personally I like resin models, but not GW’s resin. Finecast is too brittle and breaks easily, but this is usually not a problem if there are no thin parts on the mini, such as swords or spears etc. 

Why GW did not get resin right I don’t know, perhaps it has something to do with that the molds were originally made for metal?

But I like GW’s metal models. Metal lasts forever and will not chip if you scrub the model with dishwater soap before priming and finnishing the paint job with varnish. 

Edit: Oh! I like to add that varnish  can reactivate washes and ruin your paint job, but this is not a problem if you let the paint dry overnight or 24hrs before applying varnish. 

Edited by Bohemond
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’d love to see resin go but it’s more out of the desire to see old models replaced than any problem with the material. If GW started producing in FW resin, I’d be ok with it but the finecast resin was pretty horrible.

Resin and metal just represent old stuff to me, although there are admittedly some excellent sculpts still in metal and resin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'd not considered the durability issues. My resin models (which are mostly finecast, and a few forgeworld), don't get a vast amount of use, so I've rarely had pieces break. I don't live in a particularly warm area, so issues with warping and melting haven't been an issue.

I'm encouraged to hear that it isn't the quality of the artwork which people generally object to. Practical considerations I can absolutely understand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finecast was rolled out rather fast by GW because the price of metal at that time was generally going up but also very variable. It was a material which, at the scale GW produces at, was unreliable and becoming a major issue for them in their budget forecasting. Finecast was also safer than many other resins, many resins like the sort Forgeworld uses, requires good ventilation if you are sanding the material (the dust is not that good to breath in). So Finecast was found as being safer than others in  this regard, which might explain its softer nature. 

Sadly it proved to be the wrong material for quality control purposes and it hurt GW hard in reputation. Still the bonus is that it likely pushed them hard to improve their plastic casting and now we've got some really great plastics - sure not "as" high detailed as resin nor metal can achieve, but of great quality for the tabletop. Plus they still have Forgeworld which is expanding somewhat and also getting a grip on itself. I think GW central has decided that GW needs to make more than just marines marines Tau marines. Hopefully this time next year we'll start seeing the fruits of them expanding the AoS side to having an actual team (and freaking heck I hope its more than just stormcast stormcast stormcast)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Overread said:

Finecast was rolled out rather fast by GW because the price of metal at that time was generally going up but also very variable. It was a material which, at the scale GW produces at, was unreliable and becoming a major issue for them in their budget forecasting. Finecast was also safer than many other resins, many resins like the sort Forgeworld uses, requires good ventilation if you are sanding the material (the dust is not that good to breath in). So Finecast was found as being safer than others in  this regard, which might explain its softer nature.

Yea I think it was a safety thing, especially since warhammer is popular with younger people. Kind of like when everyone had to move to Pewter metal since Lead metal figures had some (potential, not really likely) health hazards. Though that also meant metal costs rising since Pewter is more expensive than Lead.

 

This may sound like a weird comparison but I think Finecast experience is like Windows Vista. I myself had none of the catastrophic problems people claimed Vista had, that doesn't mean on a whole it was a good product just from my personal experience. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a 3D Modelling Freelancer I can tell you my reasons why I prefer plastic over resin:

when designing in Resin you have to heavily overdo the thickness of parts that point away from the body since resin breaks easily.

when creating poses you have to have several connections to the base due to the same reason.

These issues are gone with plastic, it‘s artistic freedom, and it results in better, more dynamic models.

 

issues with Metall: weapons tend to break and or bend and often can‘t be repaired. Color breaks of the miniature. The miniature shatters others when transported if you don‘t have a foam case. Even with a foam case color scrapes off. And finally: it‘s annoying to glue and it tends to fall apart.

Edited by JackStreicher
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, JackStreicher said:

These issues are gone with plastic, it‘s artistic freedom, and it results in better, more dynamic models.

Except for Undercuts, though GW has been getting better at avoiding that issue. Maybe we'll finally get plastic Greatcoat 40k models!

I've heard that the famous Perry Brothers claimed they would never (or at least years ago) do plastic Samurais because of how tricky it would be to capture all the details accurately.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience FW resin isn't noticeably worse nor better than many others. Some of their older sculpts do show their age (and the moulds can let them down), but I've had warped stuff from other vendors an bubbles in terrible places. FW might even get more of its bad reputation simply because its a bigger brand and more well known, plus people complain a LOT more when they spend hundreds on a model compared to the prices they pay for a lot of other companies (since many others are making smaller and thus cheaper models). 

 

Melting in the sun I've only heard with regard to finecast; even then it requires a lot of heat. I've not heard of FW resin melting in the sun being worse than any other company. Of course if you live in a very hot country with a lot of sunlight then storage is going to have to be taken into account when moving and transporting and displaying models - but then again countries hot like that can be damaging to a lot of other thing. They'll burn the print of books faster; fade cloth and if coupled with a high humidity can be th death of a lot of electronics. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, metal is the worst. Soft/vague details, heavy "impacts" (i.e. falling and collisions), inferior paint/glue adhesion, etc.

The one (admittedly major) advantage of metal, though, is that a complete beginner can dive into painting a metal army, while knowing it can be easily stripped once their ability improves. * This stops the "fear of messing up your models" paralysis that can effect new hobbyists.

Another more minor advantage to metal is that it easily allows my favourite primer color, namely grey, to be clearly seen on the model.

* Yes, I am aware that plastic can be stripped, but I always believe that it can take the edge off the detail. Whereas with metal, you can be as physically and/or chemically vigorous as you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Kyriakin said:

For me, metal is the worst. Soft/vague details, heavy "impacts" (i.e. falling and collisions), inferior paint/glue adhesion, etc.

The one (admittedly major) advantage of metal, though, is that a complete beginner can dive into painting a metal army, while knowing it can be easily stripped once their ability improves. * This stops the "fear of messing up your models" paralysis that can effect new hobbyists.

Another more minor advantage to metal is that it easily allows my favourite primer color, namely grey, to be clearly seen on the model.

* Yes, I am aware that plastic can be stripped, but I always believe that it can take the edge off the detail. Whereas with metal, you can be as physically and/or chemically vigorous as you want.

I would add one more advantage, feel. I just love the weight of a metal hero. I was sorely disappointed when after years I finally bought the chaos lord of Slaanesh (sigvald) and it was resin. Just didn’t feel right. 

In every other sense plastic is better. The newer ranges also show how much can be done because of it. Could you imagine a kharadron ironclad in metal ?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be happy to see them swap back to white metal, resin really is a hateful material to me. Things bend and snap too easily, and can be a right pain to try and repair. This is in addition to the warped pieces needing to be straightened (i just gave up on an assault cannon i bought once).

I'm sure theres plenty of current forgeworld sculpts that couldnt be acheived in metal, so would be shame to miss out on some of the great sculpts they do. Not sure what the alternative is, plastic sprues for really niche items probably wont happen either unless gw can massively scale up their production

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve not had casting problems with citadel resin but then I did wait a few years before buying any as I’d witnessed the switch from lead to White metal and remember a more than a few casting issues during the switch over period.  I am amazed by how much needs to be trimmed off in terms of flash from the citadel resin models  

Resin needs much more human involvement during casting than plastic so for high volume it can be difficult.  I prefer it to metal to work with, it builds much more easily and the joins are more durable and it’s much less prone to chipping when painted. It is more flimsy in small pieces but then things like spears and pikes on metals are a pain. 

GW did an article 30 years ago in WD about how they were looking to go with plastic miniatures.  The move to plastic had been a long term plan.  It suits them better in terms of manufacturing and I find plastic models to be generally superior to both metal and resin models for hobbying. 

I wouldn’t like resin to be rolled back to metal, tin is well expensive as well, but would like it advanced to being all plastic 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me the reasons are simple:
1. It's very unhealthy to hobby/convert with this product. Drilling into resin pieces causes dust that really isn't good for you.
2. Resin is relatively brittle, more as plastic or metal. Most of us play with these pieces and they need to be able to survive a bump/small drop.
3. I do not dislike resins in general but some of the finecasts are just not great recasts of the original metal models. The quality of chinese/knock off recasters sometimes is litterly the same.

When I look at Forgeworld resins I see a better quality as I do with Games Workshop resins too. 

PrivateerPress uses a combination of metal and resin on some of their models. With that I am okay aswell. Because larger resin pieces are fine to work with, they are 'robust' enough. 

Edited by Killax
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few persons here stated that GW resin (not FW) improved since the failcast days... How much exactly did improve? I have restrained myself from getting Valkia right because it's failcast and she sports a spear, a pair of -supposedly- thin wings and she stand upon a flimsy gout of flames.

Anyone who got this model in recent days can write his experience with the material? How do you store and transport it?

Edited by gabbi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ollie Grimwood said:

I wouldn’t like resin to be rolled back to metal, tin is well expensive as well, but would like it advanced to being all plastic 

I think thats the biggest reason for GW to not return to metal for better or for worse.

 

You'd be surprised on how expensive Tin can be, thats why Aluminum replaced Tin for cans! (so anytime someone goes, "hey hand me that tin can of beans", you can act smug and go "well unless that can is super old, it is actually aluminum!")  Especially with nations like China eating up as much metal resources as they can.

 

GraphEngine.ashx?z=f&gf=110568.USD.lb&dr

 

 

And because of health concerns, they aren't going to go back to lead!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other issue isn't just the cost of the raw material itself, but its up and down value. China doing a bit order can suddenly raise the prices world wide for a period of time, then they go down then shoot back up again. That makes it very hard to forecast your finances if your core raw material is jumping around. Plastic and resins at least have a more stable value, that they are also cheaper as a raw resource is an additional bonus.

 

Plus for GW they produce their models in enough volume that the extreme high costs for their moulds is worth it for the long term investment. Resins and metals are more critical for a lot of smaller companies who don't yet have the market to support vast volume sales to make plastic moulds a worthwhile investment option for them. For those smaller companies their reduced bulk of a company can also help them when it comes to variable finances - its rather like a fishing boat vs an oil tanker. The oil tanker has far more money and power, but once its set on a course its very hard for it to change and often as not it might rely on its bulk and power to just plough through things; whilst a smaller company/boat can duck, dive and move with the changes - though can run the risk of being swept under. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...