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Author Topic: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?  (Read 2535 times)

Offline Codsticker

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2022, 03:58:32 AM »
... I don't post negative content generally speaking - some of the resin "disasters" I've received have pushed me to post about them, they're that bad.
Same. Generally though, I am quite happy with figures and terrain that I get even if there is the occasional issue.

Offline WorkShy

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2022, 10:02:20 AM »
Just an update. Got my most recent order from Footsore last week. The mini sculpts are lovely as before. This order was better in that there was nothing broken or totally unusable (big holes in the casting etc).

It's taken me a long while to tidy them up given a very large amount of flash. Also some of the Late Roman castings are disappointing in terms of where the mold lines actually are. I'm finding is damned hard to remove big mold lines over an eye or over mail armour without damaging detail. It feels like the Late Roman moulds may be at the end of their lifespan.

Must admit my reentry into historical wargaming may be rather brief since the quality I want (even at a higher price) really isn't there for my historical period. I feel Footsore is probably still as good as it gets. Problem is, in the time it takes to clean up the minis, prime them, paint, base etc, I can mod loads of 3dsMax files for Total War and have a whole new roster of legions in 4K with no compromises. Perhaps I come back when I can 3d print those 3dsMax models!

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2022, 03:01:11 PM »
Mould lines running directly across faces ought to be banned by Imperial Decree.

I mean, honestly!


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Offline majorsmith

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2022, 06:44:12 PM »
I work full time as a caster of figures, I always check the casting prior to putting them in trays ready for bagging, they are checked again for orders then again during the bagging and blistering process, if somethings not up to par itís put immediately on to a remake, usually the turnaround is quick, but thereís no excuse to cast figures using a crappy old mould really, any castings with mould lines on faces are instantly rejected and melted down, your always going to get figures that a need a bit of a clean up I think thatís part of the fun of model making, but hard flash, rips etc are not acceptable at all

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2022, 11:15:20 AM »
I've been on a major retro kick buying up quite a lot on 1980s lead recently. While I absolutely love these old miniatures becuase of the retro charm, the character and nostalgia for my youth. It's pretty clear modern metal stuff is way ahead in terms of quality things have certainly improved as far as casting, alloy used and design, though I'd say sometimes at the loss of character and charm, compared to 1980s minis.

I kind of feel the same about 3d printed stuff. I took a punt a couple of times on printed plastic stuff and wasn't impressed,though I hear better things about printed resin, which just put me of the whole idea.

Online LeadAsbestos

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2022, 01:17:37 PM »
Just an update. Got my most recent order from Footsore last week. The mini sculpts are lovely as before. This order was better in that there was nothing broken or totally unusable (big holes in the casting etc).

Must admit my reentry into historical wargaming may be rather brief since the quality I want (even at a higher price) really isn't there for my historical period. I feel Footsore is probably still as good as it gets.

Dont let Footsore ruin historicals for you! They have pretty major issues for the boutique prices they charge. I'm crazy for the Gangs of Rome range, but it is a complete crap-shoot if you get a bunch of poorly cast minis with holes, etc, if you get a response to an email, some of their sculpts are gorgeous and some are complete crap, etc.

I understand they are a small operation, but a simple response goes a long way. Plenty of great companies out there. I'll also keep going to Footsore, love what they are doing and want to support, but they could certainly benefit from dedicated attention to customer service.

Offline WorkShy

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2022, 01:37:16 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

I've bought 2 packs of some of the minis and, in each pack, the same minis have the same mould line over the eye. I asked for a new pack in one case but I can't be bothered for every order. I'm only paying £6 for a pack of 4 minis. I don't feel that is at all expensive. I'd just prefer to pay more and get minis where poor castings have been rejected. Yes, in a unit of 24 infantry, you are going to have to look closely to notice (especially given my poor painting skills!), but I know it's there. 

It's not just Footsore though. I've bought some Romano-British cavalry from Warlord (Colin Patten scuplts). One of the horses only had tack on one side. It was blank on the other side! Yet an identical horse in the same pack was fine. Same issues with some Gripping Beast.  I just think someone should actually check the castings before sending.

I know as a newbie I'm not meant to moan. When I complain, the companies all say they are small hobby businesses and they don't have the staff etc. I've already spent about £1k on minis in 3 months over a few companies, willing to do that over and over. Late 40s, loads of disposable income, not price sensitive (but time sensitive). Potentially an ideal customer but they need to deliver a quality product and not give excuses. The companies seem to lack ambition to be more successful.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 01:53:21 PM by WorkShy »

Offline zemjw

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2022, 03:07:55 PM »
I've bought 2 packs of some of the minis and, in each pack, the same minis have the same mould line over the eye. I asked for a new pack in one case but I can't be bothered for every order. I'm only paying £6 for a pack of 4 minis. I don't feel that is at all expensive. I'd just prefer to pay more and get minis where poor castings have been rejected. Yes, in a unit of 24 infantry, you are going to have to look closely to notice (especially given my poor painting skills!), but I know it's there. 

One of the worst mold slippage castings I have ever received was from Reaper, made worse by the fact that the mold line cut across the face. That was probably £5.00 for the single figure. I did eventually file and cut it back to the point where it was usable. However, it cooled me on buying their figures for quite a while.

I recently received a resin armoured vehicle that has so many problems with it I'll either have to cover it with tarps or paint it up as a wreck. I won't be buying from that company again any time soon.

You'd think companies would realise that sloppy qa is going to cost them, but some of them just don't :(

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2022, 07:32:45 AM »
One of the worst ones I ever had was a GW Space Marine metal scout, from a box that had been a birthday gift from my mother. I discovered just how bad it was after priming them. I had cleaned them, obviously, but only when the metal sheen was gone, did I find out that the face had been completely distorted!

Now, normally, one would go to a GW store, and demand a replacement. But this one was bought about a year before I started working on them at the FLGS, the receipt was long gone and I was under a deadline.

So I took it in stride and repurposed the hideous mouldline as a hideous scar lol

I must have done something right though, as I entered the squad in the UKGD that year and they became a finalist entry...
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Offline Codsticker

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2022, 04:14:23 PM »
Mould lines running directly across faces ought to be banned by Imperial Decree.

I mean, honestly!
That is , actually, a pretty common thing (though not as much lately it seems).

Offline WorkShy

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2022, 01:43:18 PM »
Dont let Footsore ruin historicals for you! They have pretty major issues for the boutique prices they charge. I'm crazy for the Gangs of Rome range, but it is a complete crap-shoot if you get a bunch of poorly cast minis with holes, etc, if you get a response to an email, some of their sculpts are gorgeous and some are complete crap, etc.
I understand they are a small operation, but a simple response goes a long way. Plenty of great companies out there. I'll also keep going to Footsore, love what they are doing and want to support, but they could certainly benefit from dedicated attention to customer service.
Yes, I just think Footsore don't really have the staff to support their large product range. Compared to Warlord Games, say, the customer service is polite but very slow. They seem totally bogged down in the last few months by some Kickstarter for Medieval Welsh minis. It does seem that Barons War products (which I have precisely zero interest in) is their main interest now.

I'll just have to put up with it. Hopefully the eventual release of the Victrix Late Roman plastic range makes this issue obsolete.

Offline Kommando_J

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2022, 08:33:38 PM »
Mould lines running directly across faces ought to be banned by Imperial Decree.

I mean, honestly!

Indeed, or ones going right down a bit of detailing that cant be filed!

But for real, ive had footsore problems, their anglican league command, both smg's barrels were woeful but that was a while, lately ive had problems with warlord, I just ask for a replacement and out it down tot heir staff being probably overworked.

I feel less guilty when its a big company im getting replacements off lol.





Offline Duncan McDane

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2022, 11:11:30 AM »
It might be that Footsore has grown significantly the last 2-3 years, so they might struggle to keep up. The models I got from them ( or bought 2nd hands ) are good quality sculpts, no pits in metal ( which fill in easily with wall filler btw ) or miscasts.
I prefer metal 1 piece castings btw over plastic - I really hate the cleaning and building/posing of it because unless you're a good converter they still look like constructs - apart from the obvious limitations of the stuff. Resin I'm ok with but slid mold halves can be a pain in the ass to fix. But I came in the hobby when metal was almost the only medium there was so I might be prejudiced ;-).
Cleaning can be done with a small file, that works best with the leadfree stuff imho. But yes, the tendency of getting movement in figs will get moldlines in the most nasty places. To me, if possible, the frontal view must be moldline free, at least with human/humanid figs. I accept it's impossible with horses but by cleaning those up you're less likely to ruin any detail.
Bad castings happen, double moldlines, slid mold halves, miscasts etc but with a bit of practice it usually can be fixed. It all depends on the model; a 15 UKpounds fig should ne flawless. a 2 pounds mass produces fig, yeah, I accept it when the mold used isn't the newest of the new anymore. But quality control, I know, it is extra overhead for the manufacturer but it sometimes could be done a bit better. Nothing as frustrating as sending out the wrong figures, that's just a question of sorting and checking. Even it my order is the 50th that day.
Ah well, we all have our preferences.
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Offline SJWi

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2022, 11:21:09 AM »
I must admit it is some years since I bought from Footsore and I didn't have a problem with mould lines etc etc . My big gripe were "solid" hands which needed drilling out to take a spear, but ironically proved to be a more robust gaming model. On this topic I will give a big shout-out for Aventine Miniatures . Not only are they beautiful figures, but are reasonably priced and the mould quality excellent. Customer service is second-to-none, with Keith the owner even answering a query I had on a Sunday morning. Companies like this deserve our full support.

Offline eilif

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Re: Too high expectations for metal mini manufacturers?
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2022, 11:57:12 AM »
Just an update. Got my most recent order from Footsore last week. The mini sculpts are lovely as before. This order was better in that there was nothing broken or totally unusable (big holes in the casting etc).

It's taken me a long while to tidy them up given a very large amount of flash. Also some of the Late Roman castings are disappointing in terms of where the mold lines actually are. I'm finding is damned hard to remove big mold lines over an eye or over mail armour without damaging detail. It feels like the Late Roman moulds may be at the end of their lifespan.

Must admit my reentry into historical wargaming may be rather brief since the quality I want (even at a higher price) really isn't there for my historical period. I feel Footsore is probably still as good as it gets. Problem is, in the time it takes to clean up the minis, prime them, paint, base etc, I can mod loads of 3dsMax files for Total War and have a whole new roster of legions in 4K with no compromises. Perhaps I come back when I can 3d print those 3dsMax models!
First of all, it's rightfully disappointing that you're paying a premium for figures and still getting figures that "arent' totally unuseable" and with "mold line over an eye".  No need to convince yourself otherwise.

Secondly, I think you've really got your finger on the crux of the current status of miniatures.  There seem to be some companies that believe that if they are one of the few producers of a specific subject a particular scale/quality/etc, they can carry on with business as usual producing figures with flaws that might have been acceptable a decade or so ago, but really are not acceptable today.
If indeed the molds are nearing the end of their life, one wonders if the sculpts will be abandoned or if there will be an attempt to make new molds without the line-over-eye issue and similar problems.

Unfortunately for these sorts of companies (though fortunately for players) plastics are becoming much cheaper and more common and your point about 3d printing is right on.   Resin printing is dropping in cost fast as entrepreneurs setup printing farms and if designed right resing figures can avoid many of the casting issues of metal figures.   Many of these metal companies may find soon their customers turning to resin prints to get a superior figure for a lower price.

Best of luck whatever you decide to do for figure sourcing in the future.


 

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