Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dark Eldar Grotesques Finecast Review - Number 2

Hi Folks, hope you had a great Christmas break.

Here is my second review of the GW Dark Eldar Grotesques in Finecast resin. As you can see in the picture above, I got some more. Now these were courtesy of the excellent GW customer service. I debated sending them a message but as a friend pointed out, if they don't know then they can't improve on it. Despite clearly stating that I made one great model out of three and only two had some problems the customer service people were kind enough to send three new models along with the rather funky Christmas card you can see above. Thumbs up.

Here you can see the contents of each clampack spread out. There are a couple of minor differences compared to the previous packages I got, which is nice.

Here is the first difference. Now the newer mould is on the left, the older on the right. Immediately I can see that there are cleaner lines and fewer vents for the resin. In particular I was happy that the two 'lamps' (?) sticking out of the back don't have vents on the top of the smooth surface now. That's a big improvement. You can also see a tweak in the attachment for the creepy little arm. I think it's now got a smaller connection point.

Similar story with the other pieces (newer left, older right). The mould design seems to have been cleaned up and simplified, which is good news. Overall I found it less work to tidy up and prepare the models for gluing. 

As far as the model quality goes, there are some similar issues. The bubbles are fewer but this batch all had a bubble in the upper calf of the back leg and a few other tiny bits. An improvement but not perfect. The overall quality of the models is higher, definitely, and I'm glad GW adjusted to improve. The waists suffer from the same problem as before in that none of them align to the body properly. I'm not sure if there is a design flaw or the resin just needs to be tweaked and bent some more. For me I'd rather throw some glue there then fill it with green stuff when I get time. It's easier and these models are suitably creepy and messy looking that my limited sculpting skills probably won't affect the final result once they're painted up.

My second conclusion is similar to my first. Great model concept and sculpt. Let down slightly by the material choice and issues with production quality BUT easier and better than the first time around. Credit where due to GW for making their models better over time as well as the consistently  excellent customer service. I may by moving away from them as a company for many things but their model quality and customer care is great.

All the best everyone,

Pete :-)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Uncloseable Super Glue......glue all the models!!!

There are many benefits to having such an awesome wife as I am blessed with. However, today we'll be focusing on her working for Henkel. This company makes a lot of products including Persil and Schwarzkopf but the modeler is more interested in their production of the brand Loctite. Now while she does get a lot of products at a discount, we're also loath to waste money and, being relatively unfamiliar with glues, she got me two small superglue-looking glue tubes. They're called SOS repair and are cute, small and seemed to contain cyanoacrylate. 

Suspecting (wrongly) that I wouldn't be able to close the tiny tube thing once I snapped off the cap, I decided the only thing for it was to clear the decks and glue everything I had that needed superglue. Glue all the models!!!

Here is everything laid out (bonus shot of the drying laundry). On the table we've got some GW finecast Wracks and Grotesques, an Infinity starter set and the plastic ruined farmhouse from Warlord Games Assault on Normandy.

Here is the finecast (bubbles and miscasts included) ;-)

The infinity models. Some really great sculpting quality here.

The ruined farmhouse pieces. Generally really nice and very flexible with assembly but not as well cast and to the same tolerances as the GW plastic terrain kits I've tried. That said, it's also significantly more affordable.

The finecast beasties assembled. To its credit, this material is a dream to work with as far as gluing goes. You need to hold the pieces together for about three seconds before they catch and the light weight means they hold well (***See note below about light material***).

The whole group assembled. I've still got a few rubble bits (left) for the farmhouse that I'm not going to add yet. I'm thinking about making some bases using baked sculpey mounted on MDF so perhaps I'll add them then.

Now to the greenstuff. Here are the adjustments to the first grotesque. The biggest part was the waist, where none of the three models lined up. Here I also had to fill under the arm to solidify the joint, cover two bubbles (in the biceps/arms) and wrap the repaired joint of the sword. Thanks to the incredible light finecast, a slight finger touch during assembly snapped the sword off at the thin joint. I glued but decided to add some reinforcement this way too.

Grotesque two also had a major waist issue to deal with plus some small gaps in the shoulder joint. Under the left bicep also needed a bubble fill.

Shoulder, waist and underarm for number three as well.

At the end of my gluing marathon I noticed (in my probably slightly high state) that the glue cap could be replaced and so I can continue to use the little bottle for any other bits I get. At the moment I have no plans for a lot of resin or metal but then my Bolt Action Germans and Americans need some reinforcements so who knows.... ;-)

My follow up to the Grotesques review reinforces what I said before. Great models with lots of character but let down by the material. All three share the same pose and are fragile, come with several bubbles and need a fair bit of work to get them into finished condition. The resin takes glue extremely well but I think the quality control is not where it should be and the material is very fragile. Here's hoping for a three model plastic box for these in the future.

All the best everyone