Interesting to have two different Goblins Kings on the Painting Table at the same time. If they ever 'got into it' my money's on the Great Goblin! ;-)
I knew Curt wasn't accepting LOTR submissions to the challenge, only Hobbit ones, so I didn't bother submitting it.
This is the first Finecast model I have bought and assembled and painted up. Whilst I have a goblin army, and this figure will do well to add to those forces, my main motivation for buying it was to see for myself what the Finecast material was like to work with it, and is it worth the hype, or is the criticism well placed.
Here he is in a few poses with differing backgrounds and angles as they can set the model off differently. He was a little tricky to photo due to his crouched-over pose... and thus some of his detail hidden in shadow... but hopefully you can get the drift.
When I first bought the model from the store, I looked at the few that were on the shelf, and whilst browsing was approached by the sales assistant, who approached me in the typical 'GW Manner'...
I asked him about the Finecast and its high cost, and he thus extolled its virtues. To this I mentioned the backlash and critique I had seen on the web and he assured me they had the problems sorted now, and that if I wasn't happy with the model once bought I could bring it back for an exchange, no questions asked... OK thought I, I'll give it a go...
So I glanced over the choices in store, to decide which to buy. I found it rather difficult to choose as all models were covered in a load of flash that would need to be trimmed away, and I could see several tiny bubble holes in the resin material already visible through the clear packaging. In the end I picked the one that was the best of the bunch, I hoped!
And shelled out my NZ$31 for this one little figure...
I didn't get to work on the model immediately as I had several other things on the go on my painting table at the time, but eventually I got round to him and with some trepidation opened the pack and set to work.
The material is fairly soft and cuts easily with the clippers or scalpel blade. The problems I had were where the flash joined the model to the sprue.
|straight out of the blister pack...|
|lots of flash to trim away|
|bubble holes and flash all over|
|more holes and flash|
Where ever this occurred, the flash had to be trimmed away, and whatever detail had been on the surface of the model where the flash had adhered to was instantly lost...
Having made the best of this I was then put in the situation of looking at all the tiny bubble holes to fill, of which there were several. Now it might be said to be easy to use the new liquid greenstuff to fill these, but experience with this product has been that you apply it using a paintbrush to the best of your ability, and you think you have the hole filled, only to have the material dry out and shrink and there's the hole back again.
So more liberal applications follow, to get rid of the hole yet this invariably covers the surrounding area too in an excess of material, clogging this wonderful 'Finecast detail', making it pretty much a waste of time, and expense.
I first discovered this using the greenstuff to fill the same bubble holes on the resin buildings I got for Flames of War from Total Battle, and Kerr-and-King. The excess greenstuff on these building wasn't so much an issue as they were mostly flat surfaces where the material could easily be blended in. Not so easy on a 'detailed figurine'...
Some of the frustration here was some small bits of flash / mold line had obscured the model's face and as this was trimmed away, away went the some of the detail of the models nose and mouth. These I had to bodge back into shape using more liquid greenstuff and etching the shapes, including nose and teeth and shape of the mouth, back in as best as I could with the scalpel blade point. Far from easy on the tiny figure... and wait a minute... I paid how much for this wonderful material???
Having made the best of this that I could, I then tried to position the model as it was a multi-part pose; the pillar column and arm one piece, the kings body and outstretched sword arm another and the cloak the last part.
I tried super-gluing these first, thinking that would be sufficient, but a small amount of routine handling while prepping later had the model come apart in my hands.
So out with the drill and pinning techniques... Eventually I got it put back together and secure.
So once assembled, painting was fairly routine for me, and I followed the colour guide from GW imagery.
I used my now adopted black spray primer "metal primer" by Plastikote, and the material took this fine. Once dry, painting commenced with the usual base colours, followed by an all over black wash, and then bringing out the base colours again followed by some highlights and facial detail work and the jewel effect too added as a final touch, though not sure how well this shows up due to the models crouched over pose?
Model was finally finished with a coat of DIY polyurethane gloss varnish, followed by a coat of Vallejo brush on matt acrylic varnish.
So I think the figure turned out well in the end. The pose is certainly dynamic, though whether it could have been done equally well using metal or plastic instead of Finecast I am unsure. I suppose for the pinning, the Finecast material was easier to drill than the equivalent metal material.
I am beginning to wonder that as GW realize their market is probably, for the most part, teenage youth , with still developing modelling skills - drilling and pinning metal models can be a difficult business, so perhaps this change to a more pliable material may have been the reason for the change. My past purchases of 2nd hand models that have been bodged together with all kinds of inappropriate glues and other adhesive materials certainly bears this out!
Is it worth it? Is it better than metal or plastic? The material is easy to work with being fairly soft and trims easily with a sharp scalpel blade, and flash and mold lines are easily removed BUT there is a lot of flash material and where-ever this has to be cut away, surface detail is lost! And there is a lot of bubble work to fill. This all takes extra time and effort just to prep the model for painting. And yet we are paying through the nose for this improved surface detail on this wonderful new material.
To be honest I don't see it. The models are OK , but I don't think they are anymore super detailed than the equivalent metal model. Nor is the material any quicker to work with, its just different with its own issues and problems ...
Is it worth multiple times the cost of an equivalent metal model? Not on your life!
NZ$31 for one small toy soldier... is it worth it?
I really don't think so... that much money would buy you a whole unit of models from other manufacturers.
Or to put in real world terms at today's prices... for the same cost I could buy about 19 litres of milk... or I could buy 14 litres of regular 91 octane unleaded petrol (thats 'gas' for you American folks reading this)...
Is one toy soldier worth that?
Frankly, I don't think so...
Will I be buying more? I seriously doubt it, though time may tell if I become desperate for a model for my collection... and that's where they have you by the short and curlies... if you want a certain model... there is only one place to get it, though thankfully I can consider getting from cheaper UK sources..., but then you lose the chance to examine the model in store before buying - buyer beware!
You pays your money, you takes your choice...