Saturday 28 May 2011

Citadel Finecast Review

If you frequent any hobby forums (Warseer, Dakka Dakka etc), visit the GW website regularly/receive their newsletter/read White Dwarf, then you probably can't fail to have noticed all the talk about Games Workshop's new Citadel Finecast range.

Citadel Finecast - Summary

If you are wondering what Finecast is, then to summarise, Games Workshop have decided to move away from casting character figures, monsters and elite units in white metal, instead opting for a new resin hybrid - the Citadel Finecast range.

In the first wave, there are around 120 Citadel Finecast kits, cast using the new resin. These include a range of the most popular figures previously cast in white metal for most armies, along with all the new character and elites/monster releases. The word is, all new models which would have previously been cast in metal will now be cast in the Finecast resin and the change will also sweep back through "most" of the existing miniatures still cast in metal.

What I've heard is that, as a metal figures stock expires, the decision will be looked at whether to cast it in the new resin, or just continue to cast it in metal, though I suspect resin to be more likely.

First Look

Anyway, with all the hype about today's big release of the Citadel Finecast range, I decided to pop down to Games Workshop Glasgow to have a look for myself and pick up a figure to experiment on.

The fact that the new range is cast in resin excited me from the moment I first heard about it. As regular readers will probably already be aware, I hate working with metal miniatures. Resin offers excellent conversion potential to a range of miniatures I previously would never have considered due to being easy to cut, carve and clean compared to metal.

While in store, I was given a look at a range of the new Citadel Finecast kits, large and small, and I have to say - I was very impressed with what I saw. The details were crisp and sharp, there was little flash and what there was is easily removed and the figures were very light and resilient (Steve the manager dropped a LOTR elf with bow from about 2 feet onto the table and it simply bounced - the bow, which was very thin, didn't even bend or break).

Best of all, because the material is so light, large kits which were once a pain to assemble when cast in metal (such as the Nurgle Demon Prince and Shaggoth) are now extremely light and easy to put together. So much so that you could simply glue all the parts without pinning (though I probably still would just to be 100% cautious).

The Review

Anyway, as I mentioned, I decided to pick up one of the new Finecast figures to do some experimenting on. In the end I settled on the Dark Eldar Archon.

The first thing I will say is that I was impressed by the relative lack of flash on the sprues for the figure. Earlier in the week there was some serious "scare mongering" going on following a blog post on an early opening of the Grey Knight character Draigo which seemed to have a lot of excess flash and generate a lot of negative comments.

I looked at a couple of the Draigo blisters in store and a few did seem to have more flash than other kits, but I guess the advice is to look at what you are buying to make sure you get a good cast before you put your money down. I expect the casting quality to get much better now that the big push to get a worldwide release out has passed.

As you can see from the pics, the amount of flash on this particular figure is insignificant - a couple of thin filmy bits but nothing a quick trim wouldn't easily remove and certainly much quicker to clean than metal flash.

This figure comes on two small sprues, one for the body and right arm and one for the head options, shoulder spike and weapon arm.

The detail on both sprues has come out perfectly - no evidence of tearing, warping or air bubbles/detail not filling. The mould lines are also very small which is always welcome. I had seen some people commenting on forums that the Finecast range requires more vents to be cut in the mould, meaning more contact points for flash which would obscure details.

Honestly, on this model I don't see what all the panic was about. The flash is no more than was ever present on a metal model (excluding the spure of course) and the contact points between sprue and figure are very small and do not meet at any detail points.

Like all models, whether metal, resin or plastic, I think I will still be sanding most surfaces to get as smooth a finish as possible, but for the casual painter and those who game, I really think the Finecast range will be welcomed as an improvement over metal miniatures.

I know that personally, I am really looking forward to being able to use some new and existing sculpts for conversions and have already been eyeing up the current Citadel Finecast releases, identifying models with interesting "new" conversion potential!

Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments.


  1. Thankyou for posting this. It is good to see a review from an independent source of a Finecast item and the model itself is obviously of good quality. As you say, this material seems to offer a lot of potential for conversions and the detail looks very good.

    I have to say however that the first thing that caught my eye in your post was the price on the blister pack. (9.50). I understand that Finecast miniatures are supposed to cost more, but that seems like an awful lot for one figure!

    Thanks again for the review. If you have time at some point to post your thoughts on how painting the figure goes that would be great. Congrats btw on a great blog!

  2. Thanks for the comment Squeek.

    Yeah, the price rise is what it is really. I've never been one to really rant and rave about it - lord knows there are plenty of folk who do online already anyway.

    Personally, as I don't game, the prices don't really bother me too much - I get enjoyment from it therefore I don't mind paying for it. Would it be nice if it was cheaper? Of course, but I think people go overboard with the whole anti-GW stance too often.

    When I compare the quality of todays miniatures with those from 5 years ago, the improvement probably justifies the cost for me.

    Rest assured, I'll be posting some more about Finecast as I start to convert this figure and paint it.



  3. Interesting read Andrew, thanks for that. I'll re-tweet this so other people can have a read.

    Will this interfere with your other project? (Or your GD plans?)

  4. Cheers mate.

    Ha, no it doesn't interfere with my other project, instead it actually works in rather nicely with it!

    More progress to share on that topic soon!

  5. Great to have another review, good work.

  6. I agree with every word!

    I picked up some Chaos Raptors today, and aside from minor instances of flash and the occasional casting misalignment I've found them to be great models. They are dead easy to cut up and convert too, much to my delight :)

  7. @CMDante, thanks for the additional comments in response to my post above. You definitely make a fair point about the value of something you enjoy doing and that gives me food for thought about the whole Finecast pricing argument that rages at the moment.
    Happy painting!

  8. "The detail on both sprues has come out perfectly - no evidence of tearing, warping or air bubbles/detail not filling."

    The right shoulder guard is miscast on the front. Sorry to rain on your parade mate.

  9. You are right actually, there was one small air bubble under the right shoulder pad that I didn't notice until I started to clean the mould lines.

    Still, in my opinion a very minor issue - much less than those I've faced time and again with metal miniatures to resolve and no different (less so in fact) than I've faced with any other resin figure.

    Not really raining on my parade :) The review isn't intended as such certainly.


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