Saturday, 4 June 2011

I finally have a workable Gyrocopter... and its in Finecast

OK right lets be clear, I do not know anyone who enjoyed putting together the metal Dwarf Gyrocopter, its a shocker, awful, terrible and a right pain in the ar... you get the picture. Although actually a really cool concept, well I always liked it! However once you got the bloody thing together the agony didn't stop there, oh no, then you have to transport the damn thing and game with them without those fecking blades falling off mid game and chipping either your own, or heaven forbid your opponents models. In short its a gaming piece I've rarely used because my modelling skills have just not been up to the task, nice idea but badly executed. Therefore I felt the lightweight nature of resin would see the Finecast version win hands down, no problem.

It should have done shouldn't it? Guess what its not even a contest! Like all metal Gyrocopters before it my current metal Gyrocopter remains partially built, while the resin one is actually built. There's your comparison right there as far as I'm concerned. However it wasn't all plain sailing for the Finecast model, there's a slight miscast on one of the tail fins where it looks like the detail was scrapped by something while still setting, no biggy though, well not as big as I initially thought it was because after the undercoat it wasn't really visible (no undercoat pictures as I've painted it black and they don't show anything interesting). The tail fin spru and the pieces on it were however really quite badly warped and required some quite careful water bath treatment, as did the main blades. Not going to lie it was this which initially caused my ire with the model after about 4 or 5 hours trying to get them right, had they not being so warped and so fiddly to put right, my whole outlook on Finecast would probably have been quite different. There was also some mould lines those little channels that are on all Finecast sprus but compared to both previous models I've had it was minimal.

However if you are buying a Finecast model in the shops, open it up there and then and inspect the miniature for any problems or miscasts and if you find one, exchange it there and then and repeat the process until you get one that's actually as free of defects as possible. Two solutions to this the Games Workshop could try:

  1. Seriously step up the quality control guys and make sure there aren't as many issues with the miniatures you send out.
  2. Or design some kind of plastic box or window so customers can view the product for themselves, like with the new blister packs.

That's not really a thing about the Gyrocopter per se but a general comment about the packaging itself, and could've been just as applicable with the metal miniatures when they were in the shops, because Funnily enough card board isn't see through.

So angry panda, is slowly becoming a happier panda. While its not quite a home run with the warped tail fins in particular its not the own goal I felt it was when tired and frustrated on a Tuesday night after a long day at work. Now I'm going to be clear here, apart from the blades on top the metal Gyrocopter, it wasn't too bad to put together at all, sure getting the fins attached to the back of the engine unit was a bit of a swine and I may have attached myself to the model once or twice... OK it was four times to the miniature but over the years I've got used to such struggles with metal miniatures (from all companies). There was also the requirement to definitely pin the front canopy / cockpit thingy to the main engine bit because the weight involved is quite a bit. Well there was none of those sorts of shenanigans with the Finecast piece, but I'd be lying if I said those blades were easy to attach. They're still pretty much too thin to pin and although resin is like a billion times lighter than metal there is still a really small contact point and I'm going to take some convincing that they aren't going to fall off or warp... but for now they remain resolutely attached to the model, even after the vigorous cat test (ginge thought it'd be fun to bat it off my desk... still in one piece).

So rather than being totally negative about Finecast I'm going to try and put a positive spin on things, spin ha, you know blades, Gyrocopter, spin? Oh what do you know, it was funny. You see what the resin blades do demonstrate is that maybe just maybe all those top heavy figures with heavy dragon wings etc. might just be easier to put together for everyone and for me, mostly the kids who all love the big monsters and stuff and having worked in a Games Workshop years ago and tried to help those sort of kids with those big metal monsters, I could always see the excitment drain visibly from their faces when I talked about pinning and I think that might just be a thing of the past. Its also more than possible, hell its even likely that these big winged monsters are more likely to stay in one piece now too. So my theory of choosing the Gyrocopter as an example of where resin would be better wasn't a complete duffer of a decision.

So as I sit here typing this up after about 25 years of gaming, possibly only the 20 of serious tabletop wargaming I finally have a fully functional Gyrocopter gaming piece... that nearly made me cry!!! *sob* You see I only ever used one twice and both times those blades fell off, first time smashing into a friends beautifully painted Tiranoc (sp) chariot (Paul if you're reading I'm still sorry) and the second time I took the wings off because I didn't want to have to repeatedly say sorry for the rest of my life when I met my opponents. I don't like figure repping and that's why its only been used twice! So now I have a functioning Gyrocopter and I'm no longer playing Warhammer Fantasy... ironic I guess. So could this Gyrocopter actually tempt me to give 8th Edition another chance? Maybe, because I want to use this bad boy now I actually have it standing, NAY flying here before me. All I need now is an opponent who doesn't take HUGE blocks of infantry only and I might have an enjoyable game, and that's all down to Finecast, well maybe if it gives me my first gaming love back it can't be all bad. Still think its a bit too bendy though... Peace out!


  1. Thats because Resin responds to glue better than Metal (slightly porous) - plus weight is ALWAYS an issue with more complicated Kits such as the Gyrocopter (hence the transport problems). Your point about packaging is very valid, and a common "trick" when they don't want you being picky about contents. Just don't leave it in the sun . . . .

  2. Doc to be fair every miniature company out there uses boxes I'm not sure its fair to level that particular criticism at the Games Workshop only!!! lol. Whatever the reason for the Finecast Gyrocopter being better than the metal one, I can't deny its much better than the metal one. I mean look, I actually have a fully built Gyrocopter, they used to be a rare mythical beast.

    1. PSC's WWII infantry actually come in cardboard boxes with a window, which is rather nice.

      Sadly taking a terrible model to justify finecast isn't going to cut it for me, they could always just have replaced the metal fins with a plastic mould of the same. It wouldn't be the first time they did a metal/plastic kit.....

    2. Wow talk about trawling old news!!! :P

      At the time of writing PSC Infantry did NOT come with a little window in the box. I know this because around the time of this review all my FoW buddies were buying their armies from PSC. So there. ;)

      As to the gyrocopter. I'd have preferred a re-sculpt and a plastic one tbh with you, but hey that's a lot of money for a miniature hardly any Dwarf player would take. I accept GW are a business and need to make dosh, and putting out an old mini in what is actually a more suitable substance for the sculpt is a good move.

      Still not a fan of Finecast though.

    3. Yeah, I didn't notice the date before I posted, I've been having internet trouble all day and it's only half-loading pages sometimes.

      I never managed to get my hands on a box of PSC infantry before they had the window, so them coming without it is news to me.

      Finecast is still "meh" at best.

  3. I've assembled the old was a pain! Great to hear the new resin kit isn't!

  4. Honestly I haven't put together an easier mini in a long time, well multi-part mini at least. lol. The fins on mine were twisted and straightening them with warm water was a pain in the ass, as they were so thin they just became malleable, but I put them on a nice flat metal plate eventually and that sorted it.

  5. I have one build-in-need-of-repair gyro on my dwarf box
    and a second one in blister

    Hmm, I've been looking for an excuse to buy a finecast model, maybe a 3rd gyro?

  6. @Lord Azaghul, matey I lost count of how many fricking metal gyrocopters I've lost (it's 4 actually) over the years. This Finecast one did go together a lot better. However, it does suffer from droppy blade syndrome, because there's too much weight going through that very thin layer of resin. So it's still not a great miniature. They need to bite the bullet and just make a plastic kit.