It is being widely reported that the trucks have left the Dark Citadel in Nottingham loaded with most (if not all) of the metal miniatures that have not yet been sold. So what do we make of this?
Metal miniatures. They may not have been the best thing in the world, but they have a special place in my heart. After all, the very first minis that I bought were cast in lead and, due to my habit of licking my paintbrushes to a point, this probably means that the models quite literally now have a place in my heart (or digestive tract at least). It’s probably what gives me my healthy green glow.
Ok, so even after they moved to ‘White Metal’, they were still problematic. They never held undercoat properly, they bent (and when they bent, they would never quite go back to how they were before) and they made taking a full army on the road better than a work out with the free weights for your biceps.
However there were some plus sides. The metal minis had heft and were satisfying to hold and move across the tabletop. I still have a couple of these and I like the fact that my Obliterators weigh about as much as an actual Obliterator would probably weigh. They felt more stable and tough than plastic or finecast pieces. Of course if you dropped a metal figure that was made of multiple parts, the bits would go all over the place and there was always a chance that you would either break or skewer your own foot, but that’s besides the point.
But what is the point of this from GW’s perspective? With people considering stripping the tiny bits of wire from old phones and televisions to be a viable career path these days, this does indicate somewhat the financial gains of smelting down a huge stockpile of metal pieces. The company’s Q1 profits should get a shot in the arm and that can only help them. And with Finecast also rumoured to be on the way out, it streamlines GW’s production processes. Not that they were doing much of their own metal moulding these days, but a factory working in one medium rather than three is bound to see a boost in productivity and economy.
Without knowing how much GW has kept back, this could spell dire times for anyone still toying with the idea of investing their life-savings in a Sisters army. Or does this mean we will finally see the Adepta Sororitas move to plastic? It would be a good way to provide ammo for the company’s supposed move towards a weekly release schedule and the kits would make a lot of people very happy.
I guess though, in the future, we’ll all one day forget about the ol’ heavy minis that were as frustrating as they were satisfying. But think of it this way; the next time that you win a medal, pick up some cheap jewellery or some plated silverware, there’s a chance that there’s an Ork or Sister or even Space Marine in there, and that will make them hopefully shine all the more. Goodbye metal minis, if only we hardly knew ye.