The Art of War: One Finecast Day
Hello there and welcome to the first installment of The Art of War! Today we will focus on the preparation and properties of the new GW Finecast product line. I opened my first blister of Finecast at my local GW Store the other day while the helpful employee ran through the spiel of how the stuff works. If you're wondering what Finecast is, GW is making the decision to move away from casting characters, monsters and other large units in pewter and is fading out those old models in favor of a new resin composite. For those of you who dislike working with metal models, especially for conversions, this is pretty much right up your alley. The convenience does come at a price, however. Literally as most if not all of the Finecast kits come at a steeper price than their metal counterparts.
What I learned from the GW folks was stuff I had already heard from word of mouth here and there. Since the Finecast models are made out of a resin composite and are cast in much the same way as Forgeworld models you do run into the same issues as resin casts with occasionally messed up textures and pockets of air. However, this isn't as much of an issue with the Finecast because 1) it's non-toxic meaning that, unlike with resin, you don't have to wear a breath mask when cleaning mould lines and such and 2) the Finecast resin is really soft (I'll go over that property more in a bit) making it easier to work with.
When inspecting the mini, I first noticed a fine layer of dust covering the miniature. This is the powder most miniature companies use to keep the model from bonding to the mould during the moulding process. The drawback this has is that it sometimes messes with the priming process if you don't clean it off first. My friendly GW worker-bee assured me that it would not impede assembly and primer, but I did it anyways as it's better to be safe than sorry.
Now that we have our mini rinsed off and dried, it's time to clean all of the flash and mould lines from the model. Here's where the softness of the material becomes both a blessing and a curse.
DO NOT USE A FILE ON THESE MODELS. I cannot stress this enough. Files will go through Finecast like a hot knife through butter so, unless you're really careful, use a hobby knife. On the plus side of this, since it's so easy to get through the material, it makes for much easier conversions as you can cut through and file away details that you don't want on the model.
All in all, cleaning took me about an hour with a hobby knife. There was a lot of flash on this model and I ran into something that was new to me. On a few parts of the mini, there was a strange, spongy orange substance bonded to it. I'm assuming that these are actually pieces of the mould that stuck to parts of the mini that the non-adhesive powder didn't cover. I would suggest using a pair of small tweezers to pull these off.
Now that we have the model prepped, we can begin assembly. Fortunately, all of the pieces fit very nice and snug into place. You may not have to pin it all together but you're welcome to. I simply glued my Librarian together and he seems fine. If you do choose to drill, follow the same guidelines as with the files as a drill will go through a Finecast model faster than a plastic one.
And there we have it! Our first cleaned and assembled Finecast model! I hope you've all enjoyed the tutorial. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll answer them however I can. Also, if anyone has any ideas on something they would like to see covered in a future article, let me know.
'Till next week, keep those brushes clean! -Alex