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I had always thought plastic was "budget" i.e. plastic was for models that people wanted to just get a bunch of for cheap whereas metal was reserved for highly-detailed units like commanders and big monsters because it could hold details better but was more expensive. But then recently I saw some people saying "Ooh, the new XYZ big leader guy is in PLASTIC, sweet!" and the new Terminators came out in plastic (for the same price as metal ones in a blister) and I'm thinking maybe plastic is actually better or something? Could anyone shed light on which is more expensive and which holds detail better and any other considerations in preferring one over the other?
Personally I'm of a mind that plastic is far superior to metal these days.
There was a time when plastic was cheap and could not take the detail that metal could but with advances in technology plastic has become a very robust and workable material.
Plastic figures hold paint better, are less likely to chip and ruin all your hard work, more likely to 'bounce' if they are dropped rather than fall into countless pieces, are easier by far to assemble and are a great deal more workable when converting.
A prime example, although not the only one, is the new Space Marine Attack Bike. It is so much more comfortable to build when compared with the metal/plastic combo that it always was.
Plastic figures are also far more posable on the whole making for much more individual squad members. I would go as far as to say that plastic is now more detailed than metal.
I am possible in the minority but I eagerly await the day when all figures are plastic.
I'm with wolfkin here. In my experience I've had a lot more fun with plastic models than metal ones. Crisis suits? Awesome! Broadsides? Goddamn metal guns won't stick! Ridiculous.
Of course, I turn around and start playing dwarves...
Kais Kauyon Tash'var Battle Record
Waaugh! Shizgrak Battle Record
From what I hear it's cheaper to mass produce the pewter minis then it is the plastic ones, something about it costing less to cast them or sommit, which makes no sence to me considering they charge more for metal. I would think you'd charge more for plastics because they cost more to make. I understand that when you buy plasticcs you're more often buying in bulk (when compared to buying metal minis one or two at a time) but the price difference still just doesn't make sence to me. Personaly I hate metal minis. They're always dinged or deformed, they're hard to work with as far as converting and modeling, they're harder to paint, harder to assemble, they're simply awful. I'd like it if all minis came plastic, but I know that will probably never happen.
Last edited by Edicius; April 21st, 2005 at 18:34.
You've all said only bad things about metal minatures, but what about the feeling when removing that well-painted-terminator-captain which has some real weight in it. Removing platstic figures is poor, you feel like they aren't worth anything, when it comes to metal, casulties really feels.
Other than that small pro metal is all bad, especially the assembling part, that's the most frustrating thing in this hobby (besides losing :p). But for some reason my metal figures always turn out better painted than any of my plastic... strange
Aha.... but the GW 'staff grapevine' told me that the company are aiming for 'all plastic' within the next 5 years..... but then we all know how reliable the staff grapevine is :glare:Originally Posted by Edicius
With regards to the price of plastic and metal, I think GW has always charged for the 'playability' of the piece rather than the material content.Odd... without touching them, I find it very hard to tell the difference between my metal and plastic figures.Originally Posted by Guardsman 173rd
Glue some nickels to the bottom of your bases. Boom, instant weight.Originally Posted by Guardsman 173rd
Kais Kauyon Tash'var Battle Record
Waaugh! Shizgrak Battle Record
On the whole I prefer plastic. Its easier to convert (I do a lot of conversions) and holds paint longer without chipping - because it has a lower terminal velocity if it gets dropped or shunted against other figures in a melee.
I also appreciate the weight differance when carrying a large army around.
The financial considerations are - that a metal model costs less to create moulds for (don't ask why, tis to do with vulcanised rubber technology), but has higher 'on-costs', because of the price of the pewter - which also costs more to ship.
The plastics are more expensive to set up a production run - because the moulds are precision crafted, but of course the plastic materials and shipping costs are far lower, once the set-up costs are re-couped.
Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?
I've only been collecting since January and started by buying The Tau Battleforce and a Broadside Suit. The Broadside was the first thing I tried to build and did I come to hate those metal railguns. It all went together in the end but I think I reglued them 3 times.
I've since aborted the Tau and fled into the emperors golden arms with my Dark Angels army and am hoping to keep that 90% plastic (just a few robed sergants and characters). I'm really happy with the plastic kits as a beginner (although I've been in the graphics world for 10 years and am pretty damn handy with a scapel/craft knife).
The quality of the plastics is on the whole, great and as said above they are easy to convert (I've already tweeked many of my models with just a knife and glue). I hope that everything oneday goes plastic (the metal railguns were bent and a pain to straighten).
Infact, in February I had the chance to visit Warhammer World as I was 'passing' due to work. I spent a couple of hours there during which time I had a Coffee in Bugmans bar (I was working after all!) At the other end of the table were 3 GW staff and a very senior looking one was talking about computer modelling and how by summer he wanted 50% (I think) of all modelling to be done on workstations - I would guess that modelling in a 3D package would dramatically speed up prototyping and production of plastics moulds etc(?) In the Warhammer World museum they have examples of how minatures are currently made - with green stuff by hand.
But anyway I'm all for plastics!
Wow thats big, would be an interesting change. I think with stuff like this they invevitably have to build a prototype but it would probably speed things up if they could just bang out minature designs on workstations..
Imagine waking up in a Tent for one naked with a Wild Boar and a Sharp Stick.
Imagine waking up in a Tent for two being spooned by big Mike Tyson.
Imagine waking up in a 10m Deep pit with 15 Hungry Dingos and a Dead Rabbit tied to the Bed Flute.