Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Commander Dante: Finecast Review

I know raging about the new finecast miniatures is in right now, but I've been reading pretty mixed reviews so far. Some people claim that the models that they buy look great, while others complain that that malformations, particularly bubbles, make their models unusable without significant repairs. I decided I wanted to see for myself, and I've been thinking about running an 1,850 point list with Dante, so I decided to pick up one of the new Dante miniatures.

The first thing I noticed on the new miniatures is the packaging. They've switched to a plastic case with a picture of the painted model on the front, which I must admit looks more appealing than the old blisters. The back of the packaging is clear, allowing you to clearly see the model, or at least the side of it facing the back (in my case, this was the front of Dante). The second thing I noticed was the price. I don't want to turn this into a GW hate post, but $18.25 for a single model (that was sculpted during 2nd Edition) is really pushing it.

There were two models at the shop I was at, and I couldn't see any imperfection on either of them through the packaging, which pleasantly surprised me. I picked one and bought it. This is how it looked when I opened it.

So far, so good. I haven't spotted any real imperfections yet. There is a bit more flash than I would expect with metal, but nothing really problematic. I started cutting the model off the sprue. The finecast is a bit more flexible than standard plastic, and it cuts easily. It's not as brittle as Privateer Press resin, if you're familiar with that. I liken it most to the plastic used to make Star Wars action figures. Anyway, it cuts cleanly and I start removing mold lines. The mold lines are pretty minimal, much less pronounced than metal models, and cut off easily. However, I notice a few bubbles now that I am working with the models from lots of different angles.

There are significant bubbles on both elbow pads, and small ones on his infernus pistol. They're in fairly well hidden locations, but they're all large enough to disrupt painting. They also are too deep to fill in with super glue as suggested on GW's site. It took me about half an hour to fill them with green stuff, and it looks very clean now. However, for the price of the model, I shouldn't have to apply any green stuff. A less experienced gamer might not have the knowledge or supplies to fix the model, and thus be stuck trying to paint around bubbles.

In conclusion, I like the finecast. The detail is crisp, and the material is much easier to clean, glue, drill, and just work with in general than metal. However, the presence of imperfections in the casting are unacceptable at the price that they're charging. I will definitely be calling GW to complain, just as I would if I bought a plastic or metal model with these flaws.

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