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Kramer

Metal vs plastic. What's your opinion

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Just curious to hear what you think. 

I just received the sigvald the magnificent in the mail. A model that captured my imagination a while ago but I finally made the plunge to chaos And ordered it right of the bat.

now my question is this: do you prefer metal or plastic models and why?

because I can think of a couple of arguments for plastic but when I unpacked the model... I must admit I was underwhelmed.

 

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I was always a fan of metal over plastic as I found it's detail was much crisper and easier to paint. However since GW refined their plastics I'm all for them the detail is just as good now, they build so much easier and don't fall apart all the time like metals. Plastic also convert so much more easily as well. It also doesn't chip  

So plastic all the way for me I find it a much superior material for war gaming miniatures so much so I actually avoid buying stuff in metal any more. 

Edit, I am referring to hard polystyrene plastic models, Sigvald isn't plastic though he's a resin model 

Edited by Ollie Grimwood
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If you asked me 15 years ago: Metal.

If you ask me now: Plastic. As stated above, with the current technology it is very detailed and has the usual advantages.

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36 minutes ago, Ollie Grimwood said:

I was always a fan of metal over plastic as I found it's detail was much crisper and easier to paint. However since GW refined their plastics I'm all for them the detail is just as good now, they build so much easier and don't fall apart all the time like metals. Plastic also convert so much more easily as well. It also doesn't chip  

So plastic all the way for me I find it a much superior material for war gaming miniatures so much so I actually avoid buying stuff in metal any more. 

Edit, I am referring to hard polystyrene plastic models, Sigvald isn't plastic though he's a resin model 

Thats true. The harder plastics in some of the kits are better and more detailed. 

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22 minutes ago, KALITAS said:

If you asked me 15 years ago: Metal.

If you ask me now: Plastic. As stated above, with the current technology it is very detailed and has the usual advantages.

Yeah maybe it's time for me too switch my opinion. But it just doesn't feel as 'solid'. Or something. Can't put my finger on it. 

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27 minutes ago, KALITAS said:

If you asked me 15 years ago: Metal.

If you ask me now: Plastic. As stated above, with the current technology it is very detailed and has the usual advantages.

This.

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cant stand metal. ive put off building an entire army as some of the models are metal, even fine cast wont touch it anymore  unless i absolutely have to 

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Yeah, I'm a "new blood," though I had a fair collection of LotR in middle school, which might put an age on me, haha.

Metal models for the most part just don't seem to be as detailed as plastic, are harder to work with, and much harder to convert. There's the occasional really lovely metal model that finds its way into my armies though, but for the most part it's plastic and resin. :)

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1 minute ago, CoffeeGrunt said:

Yeah, I'm a "new blood," though I had a fair collection of LotR in middle school, which might put an age on me, haha.

Metal models for the most part just don't seem to be as detailed as plastic, are harder to work with, and much harder to convert. There's the occasional really lovely metal model that finds its way into my armies though, but for the most part it's plastic and resin. :)

Haha fun how your first models affect this preference. 

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Follow the same thoughts as a few people, the plastic is now superior to metal in terms of quality and definition.  Metals would also chip, bend and otherwise be a pain.  There's part of me regretting going in for the Diaz Daemonettes although they're small enough that things like chipping shouldn't be an issue.

I think as a whole when metal was commonplace people also suffered more from wrist and hand complaints :S 

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Plastic all the way. Been doing GW stuff for over 20 years(!?!) so see all sorts of metal models from Lead to Pewter and plastic beats them all by miles. Plastic is easy to convert, assemble and if I drop something I know I don't need to worry about it shattering into a million pieces!

The advancements in sculpting in plastic now has made it the material of choice for me and I only touch metal models if I have little choice ;)  

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I'm nothing but plastic if I can help it. I don't like the weight differences or the chipability of metal. Even if no one would know seeing the models on a shelf, having both metal and plastic models in my army bugs me to no end.

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I think it depends.  I like plastic, but I think in some cases metal is better.  Honestly though, Resin (not Finecast junk either).  I play Warmachine which still has metal and resin figures and the metal is annoying to work with, but I've never had problems with the resin or plastics (although they use PVC plastic for most of their plastics which has its own host of problems).  The GW plastic is great, but sometimes I find it too fiddly with how things are on sprues, however that's more an issue with GW's style of cramming lots of bits and bobs onto a sprue and not the quality itself.  For quality, I think plastic can't be beat.  However, I'm not a fan of plastic for organic things (e.g. fur) because the 3D process makes it look flat since it's finite shapes not actual texture.  So for organic things like animals I'd prefer metal (or preferably resin) just to have them look more natural, but for armor and the like, plastic all the way.

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About half my models are metal and the other half is plastic and to copy what a lot of people here say the new plastic is just better all around. I also find that the metal models have a much harder time holding paint and primer than the plastic models do. I do miss the weight of holding a metal model sometimes, just not carrying a whole army :)

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Anything but Finecast.  My first few experiences were really bad and for the price of Finecast is just seems to be an incredibly bad deal for customers.

Plastic is my preference, but if something moved to Finecast, I shop eBay until I find the original metal version (if there was one).

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3 hours ago, polarbear said:

chipability of metal

Oh that's a b*tch, totally right. 

 

4 hours ago, RuneBrush said:

I think as a whole when metal was commonplace people also suffered more from wrist and hand complaints :S 

No that's just because we were younger and we would do other things... drinking I mean. ;)

 

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24 minutes ago, Kramer said:

No that's just because we were younger and we would do other things... drinking I mean. ;)

Good point.  On the drinking of course :D 

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During this discussion i've come to realise plastic is better in almost all regards. exept I still like the weight of a metal hero model. Just feel grander. But thanks everybody for your input!

2 hours ago, Soulsmith said:

I once attempted a metal Hydra. Plastic everything forever.

When you said this I realised i currently have a painted metal giant (the albion one with the boulder above it's head) that still needs to be assembled because I have no idea how to solidly join the body to the legs. ¬¬

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TL;DR metal back in the day; plastic now; resin selectively

In the days of GW PPP (******-poor plastics, as the saying goes) metal was always better for detail and sculpt. What they (and pretty much everyone else) is doing with injection molding now is amazing, and I will take plastic over metal any day for the average model. Something like Reaper Bones? No thank you. I still have models from my Vampire level kickstarter that I haven't been able to straighten out, despite boiling them, putting them in fixtures and letting them cool/freeze. I'm lookin' at you Cloud Giantess.

I love being able to bend metal and have it stay roughly where I put it. I hate spear shafts made of soft metal.

For boutique models... McVeigh, Kingdom Death, etc.... resin is still great. You can get those fine undercuts that injection molding can't do. Finecast on the other hand looks like those poor models have been captured by a horrible sprue spider.

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It depends a lot. Organic stuff like hair needs quite clever design to look good on plastic and on the other hand some long narrow stuff is horrible in (White) metal, there's a reason why I use Steel rods for the Spears on my historicals. Resin is far superior on the details to plastic or even metal. Still, metal is my favourite if I had to choose. It's the nicest to paint and has the best feel in your hand while playing. Also most of my favourite models are cast in metal. Even if it's horrible to put together sometimes (looking at you Infinity models).

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Back when I first started wargaming, I really wanted everything to be metal. I enjoyed the heft of it, the somatic experience of play. Then I tried to put together a metal warjack... no way. Plastic whenever possible. Pleastic-resin mixes when necessary. I'll still take a metal sculpt I like over a plastic sculpt I don't, but plastic is generally way more practical.

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Over the last 10 years, I've found that metal has fallen out of my favor. It chips harder, and depending on the piece, I've found that I need to do more annoying filing work to make it work into even the boxed pose. I've worked with Finecast a few times in the last couple years, and just don't care for it. I find it reacts to heat in a negative way too easily.

With GW plastic, the detail has increased so much it's hard to believe it's the same company. I've compared some of my miniatures on sprues from circa 2004 (Ogre Leadbelchers), bought this month, to the crisp detail on the new Thousand Sons models, and it's night and day.

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