Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finecast First - Cockatrice

I went to the LGS today to pick up a copy of the new Ogre Kingdoms book, but while there I decided it was also time to buy my first bit of Citadel Finecast, a Warhammer Cockatrice from this summer's Storm of Magic wave of product releases. After hearing so many stories of disappointment from gamers about their own Finecast purchases, I had not been in a rush to buy any myself. The Cockatrice however looked cool to me and seemed like it should be fun to paint, plus I have some homebrew ideas in mind inspired by Storm of Magic for which this model would come in handy. Still though I was rather anxious about buying the Cockatrice since it comes in a fully enclosed box, thus concealing the condition of the miniature and any potential defects it might have.

I was therefore initially quite relieved once I had opened the box as there was no obvious damage that I could see right away. Everything looked pretty good but then as I worked on the pieces more and more the little imperfections became noticeable. Most troublesome of these was the fit of the wings to the body which required a fair amount of trimming and even now feels like a fragile and insecure bond. Despite all the hype about how easy Finecast is to assemble, I think pinning the wings onto the body might have been an appropriate precaution.

Along with a somewhat wonky fit for the wings, the other problems were of the sort that most folks have probably come to expect from Finecast. There are a few areas that have been affected by air bubbles, mainly on the sides of the tail where many of the tips of the scales are damaged in such a way. I also found some voids on the monster's back and the little spines at the base of his tail all look instead like dripping pipes. The final problem I found was that the tip of the biggest claw on the Cockatrice's tail had broken off while still attached to the sprue. I may try to fix that by cutting down to the right size the end of Tyranid Scything Talon, but I probably wouldn't mind just leaving it the way it is now.

Despite these flaws overall I am more impressed with my first Finecast miniature than I had thought I would be, though this might have something to do with my expectations being so low. Even with the wings not fitting quite right it still seemed like it was an easy model to assemble. Requiring only minimal clean up and other preparatory work, building the Cockatrice did not take very much time at all to do which was really nice. The other thing that surprises me is that I am ultimately not bothered by the relative light weight of the model, having believed it would feel overly fragile and delicate. Perhaps most importantly, the level of detail on the miniature looks quite good and especially so on the wings and mane.

Therefore as my first experience with a Citadel Finecast miniature, I think the Cockatrice is, while not without its share of flaws, nonetheless a good addition to my collection and I am in general happy with my purchase. Had the marketing people at GW not completely oversold the virtues of Finecast upon its introduction, I would likely be more accepting of those casting mistakes that I did find on my mini. As it stands I find them mildly irritating but otherwise I am relieved that there was nothing worse, and certainly nothing so bad as to make me consider returning my toy monster. Hooray for low expectations! ;)

Happy painting and gaming!


  1. I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. On the whole on really like resin miniatures, sure they have there problems and foibles like any substance but I like working with my resin pieces. However from the airbubbles you describe I really wouldn't be that happy. Maybe I'm a picky sod but I'd be having to whip out the green stuff and my sculpting tools to rectify all those miscasts. I think on though you're right about the weight of certain resin pieces. Sometimes even resin require a little structural support. Enjoy painting it.

  2. So in comparison, how was assembling the cockatrice to say...that Hydra of yours?

    lol, after THAT thought, I'll bet you're just lovin' that finecast now!

  3. @ Frontline Gamer - You know... looking back at that list of miscasts and broken pieces that I described, I suppose I did have more of the FAILCast experience than I had initially realized. The majority of the air bubbles were easy to fill but there's still no chance that I am going to mess around with all the damaged scales on the tail. They're clustered in such a way that, even though it's just the tips of the scales that were bubbled away, I think with my green stuff skills I would just end up covering over much of the remaining detail. Likewise the spines at the base of the tail would probably look worse off should I attempt to repair them. Perhaps I am too forgiving, but despite all these problems I am still happy with my new monster. It would be nice however if Finecast came at all close to matching its billing and hype as some sort huge step forward, rather than being the joke that it has become. :( Thank you, Frontline Gamer, I really appreciate hearing from you!

    @ Da Masta Cheef - LOL! I may have shuddered just now thinking back to what it was like putting together that Hydra. The experiences were so different... wow, assembling the cockatrice was in comparison an absolute breeze, like I could have done it in my sleep. On that score, this Cockatrice was much less frustrating even with its assorted casting errors. Plus there were so many huge gaps between pieces on my metal Hydra that I am actually really curious how much of that was fixed when GW rereleased the model in Finecast. At least I really hope that stuff got fixed, otherwise what a waste. At least my Hydra should last a long time considering how many damn pins I used while building it. ;) Thank you very much for the additional perspective, Masta Cheef!