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Reaperbryan
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I've seen the same level of detail on GW plastics. See the character I posted above from the new starter set.

 

I doubt it especially since I can promise you that my GW collection is probably far vaster than yours, and I've been collecting their models for 20+ years. Yes GW upped the injected molded plastic game by releasing some pretty great looking figures, and I agree that Dark Vengence, which I'm getting, and Blood Island sets are fantastic. Plastic will never achieve the same level of detail that metal has and that has to do with the physical limitations of plastic.

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They're not as good as hobby paints (craft paints use bigger paint chips and are not made for thinning), but new painters aren't as skilled as experienced ones.

 

I have to take exception to one part of this - "not made for thinning".

 

True, they don't thin well with water. But I've had really good luck thinning them with Delta Acrylic Thinner. When thinned with the proper thinner, you get a lot better results with craft paints and can use many of the same blending/shading techniques as you can with the higher end paints.

 

They'll never be as good as the minis specific paints, but saying they can't be thinned isn't exactly true.

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And I'm not tryin' to be hard on ya or overly argumentative, Galahad. Just 'splaining things as I see 'em. Ain't nothin wrong with plastics if they suit your tastes and preferences.

 

Remember, at least part of my response re: plastics is always going to be a liberal sprinkling of tongue-in-cheek curmudgeonism.

 

 

ETA: also, I suppose I should point out that by the time I'm done mangling painting them there's probably not much visual difference between the materials anyway.

 

And in any case, it's ALL better than that horrid, awful, abominable time Ral Partha experimented with resin.

 

* shudder *

 

Those were dark days. Dark days indeed, friend.

 

 

ETA 2: Also, I'd like to see that GW dude without any paint. If we're talking molded detail, best to see it bare so we know how much of the detail is artist skill and how much comes from the sculpt.

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But from a purely consumer-centric POV, I'll paraphrase my hero Soundwave:

Plastic Figs: Superior

Metal Figs: Inferior.

I respect your opinion here, after all, everyone is entitled to theirs.

 

However, EVERY material has it's inherent strengths and weaknesses. You can't simply say one material is always superior to another - it's a fallacy to do so. Because there will ultimately be a case where the other material wins out for one reason or another.

 

Lot's of products run into this fallacy because they don't explore all of the possibilities and match the strengths they need to the strengths of the materials available. FREX, at one company I worked at, they started out using plastic enclosures for some industrial control equipment. The plastic enclosures where lighter, they cut easier and they were cheaper. They were obviously superior in management's minds. Until those units started having problems in the field, and it was determined that one of the most important properties the case needed - that of electrical interference shielding - wasn't a property the plastic enclosures could do well enough. And so the switch over to metal enclosures was made.

 

There are many reasons why a metal figure might be superior to a plastic one, but I'll focus on the primary one - and that is simply because of the production costs, that super niche oddball figure you want is more likely to see the light of day in metal than it is in plastic.

 

In the end, it really comes down to the figure you're buying. Given a choice of a certain mini in plastic or metal (such as we'll have with DHL and Bones), I'll likely pick the plastic one every time. But in the case of a mini I really want that's only available in metal, well, it's obviously superior to it's (non-existent) plastic counterpart, and so I'll buy metal.

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It's pretty much 99% opinion and preference anyway. The only truly objective thing we know is that the materials are different with different strengths and weaknesses.

 

I mean, even if that GW dude was in metal I still wouldn't like him. But at the same time, I'm hoping that clockwork dragon winds up in metal so I can have a nicer version. His illustration is full of fiddly stuff that won't really pop in plastic like it will in metal.

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They're not as good as hobby paints (craft paints use bigger paint chips and are not made for thinning), but new painters aren't as skilled as experienced ones.

 

I have to take exception to one part of this - "not made for thinning".

 

True, they don't thin well with water. But I've had really good luck thinning them with Delta Acrylic Thinner. When thinned with the proper thinner, you get a lot better results with craft paints and can use many of the same blending/shading techniques as you can with the higher end paints.

 

 

But in the end you still can't quite get to the levels of the higher end paints.

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I see your point, but that has STILL never happened to me. I chalk it up to luck.

 

EDIT: And no, Galahad, outside forces like the glue you use for assembly do not affect inherent qualities. Else they wouldn't be inherent :P

 

Actually, we're talking about the MODEL as a whole, not just the base material. A multipart metal MODEL requires brittle superglue bonds. There's no other way to assemble one. Therefore superglue breakage is INHERENT to the nature of a metal MODEL. A metal model is basically made of metal, superglue and paint. If any of those materials are fragile then the entire model is therefore fragile.

 

Okay, let's stop, this is getting silly. For the most part, I actually agree with you, but from my subjective point of view I see the metal itself and the glue itself as two separate objects, whereas, as far as I can tell, you do not, and that's our entire disagreement at this point, since yourself and buglips already got me to subtlely concede with that picture of that horribly warped ral partha model.

 

and I agree on your other comment about the greenstuff and superglue. It's what I used to put my daemon prince together. Too bad the extra pair of greenstuff horns I added got a little messed up in the move from VA to CO....

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since yourself and buglips already got me to subtlely concede with that picture of that horribly warped ral partha model.

 

Aye, she has a way of stealing the strength from a man's soul, that one. Fortunately that level of warpage is pretty rare. Still, not looking forward to it. No, not looking forward to that at all.

 

Oh, and I should add that sometimes they come very helpfully pre-broken. I have a pair of Ral Partha TSR Mercykillers that came in the blister with the tops of their spears broken clean off. A package full of fun!

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Yeah, I can't really say all metals aren't fragile at that point...... because that amount of bending.... mehhhh.

 

EDIT: are you sure it's not just ral partha that sucks? I hope I'm not speaking gamer blasphemy here, but your prime examples of messed up metals have both been ral partha.

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I think they popped her out of the mold too soon. But the mold was probably originally made to take lead, and that kind of warp isn't so bad in more flexible lead-base. But in high tin? Eesh.

 

I see it in some of my RAFM minis, too. So it's probably a thing you're more likely to find among older mini types.

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EDIT: are you sure it's not just ral partha that sucks? I hope I'm not speaking gamer blasphemy here, but your prime examples of messed up metals have both been ral partha.

 

I've seen exactly that sort of thing from Grenadier, RAFM, Reaper, Minifigs, Foundry, Essex, Heroic & Ros, GHQ, and pretty much every other manufacturer in every scale I've worked in.

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For the record, I've been collecting minis since I was old enough not to try swallowing them, so 25+ years, I;d say.

That said, I'll admit most of the metals I've dealt with are old and advances in moldmaking technology have probably rendered better looking metals than my old partha D&D minis...but as far as level of detail that you ever actually see on 99% of most gaming minis? I really don't think plastic is that far behind metal. Maybe a rare art piece sculpture type model may employ more detail than you can get out of plastic, but as far as gaming minis, I haven't personally dealt with any that couldn't be done in ABS. Can't find any bare images of the guy I posted earlier because the set hasn;t been released yet but I can tell you from my experience with GW models that every detail there is moulded on, down to the teeth of the skulls on his shoulders.

 

And it's not just big bulky space marines. There's whispy little eldar space elves with just as much encrustation of detail out there.

 

But like I said, I avoid metal minis because they're a huge pain in the butt to convert and care for and I love conversion work so I'll plead ignorance as to the state of the art for metal minis.

 

For all practical intents and purposes, the level of detail available and the level of detail usually encountered are two different things. Maybe a highly detailed character model may not have the same level of detail, but the other hundred guys are all going to look exactly the same no matter what they're made of because except for big expensive character models they're not going to utilize the medium to its fullest extent because it;s just not cost effective.

 

And when we;re talking about army type games, the level of customization and poseability of plastic vs metal means I can have a whole army with no two minis in the exact same pose. To me that's much more visually appealing than an army of the same five guys in the same five poses, but you can count every hair on their heads.

 

The fact they're cheaper and sturdier doesn't hurt either.

 

Anyway, this is a huge off topic detour so let's just get back to the subject of kicks and the starting thereof.

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