With the introduction of Citadel Finecast, Games Workshop has made an interesting decision in the move to a completely new casting material for their home product. A lot has been made about the type of resin being used, whether or not it would be safe (of course it is; they wouldn't use it were it not), if it would be hard to work with (it's not) and if it
would really bring an improved casting quality to the models (it seems t0). I'll address the latter two questions here with a side-by-side comparison between two Empire models, one the Citadel Finecast Empire Captain, the other the new Forgeworld Nuln Ironsides Sergeant.
First, I can't say enough about the new packaging GW has introduced for the Finecast range. The new packaging is a marketing dream: it presents the miniatures in a fully-painted version that will look simply stunning on a shelf and should really improve sales for some of the older sculpts we sometimes forget. It sold me on the Empire Captain, a model I'd probably never have looked at previous.
The models come on a sprue not dissimilar from what we're used to with plastic, and it provides a nice base for the models to come on. The resin is soft enough that you really don't need clippers to get the models off the sprue (though I still recommend it) and gone seems to be some of the venting that you'd see a lot of on the metals (t
his would come in the form of tiny pieces of metal coming off sharp points within the model.) I don't know if this is because of the resin, or if it's simply a matter of luck on the two models I've thusfar assembled.
Where everyone really wants to find out how Citadel Finecast stands up is
when compared to both the metal equivalents and their Forge World sisters. As I don't have any metal Empire models, I'll only look at the Forge World comparison, where I can reasonably say that the new Finecasts look great when next to those of the sister company. There are some differences, but I'll show you the side by side to see if you can spot the most noticeable ones:
Can you even tell which is which? I'll give you a second...
The one on the left is our Forge World model, where the one on the right is the Finecast Captain. The models look fantastic next to each other, and with a less discerning eye you'd probably have trouble pointing out any major difference. However, the Forge World model is slightly better in a few areas:
First, the feathers. One the Forge World model, the definition of the feathers is much more pronounced and the undercuts much deeper; as such, it would probably be easier to highlight it. However, the Finecast model wasn't terrible. There is still definition in the feathers, the undercuts simply aren't as pronounced.
Second, the ruching on the pants of the Forge World model is, again, a bit more defined. That's not to say that the Finecast model looks poor; quite the opposite, in that the ruching on the Finecast is superior to that of the regular plastic Empire model.
I'll also address the concerns of many that there have been QC issues with the models: I think a lot of people are complaining to complain. I don't know if the two models I purchased had any bubbles, and if they did they weren't prominent enough for me to notice them. Remember these Finecasts are the first batch, and that they will certainly improve their casting quality over time. My Deathmaster Snikch did have a bit of the yellow mold material left on the model, but I was easily able to get it out of the recess.
Overall, I think Finecast is going to be a great addition to Games Workshop's line. The material is dead easy to use and the quality is really high, nearly equal to that of the Forge World models. As time goes on, GW will only improve upon their casting techniques, and I expect all of the new Finecast models to come will be on the same level as their Forge World brethren.