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Are Metal miniatures doomed?

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  • Are Metal miniatures doomed?

    Theres been a lot of talk recently about the massive jump in metal prices. These prices while fluctuating are always going to keep rising and it's surely getting to the point were the costs will make prices of metal miniatures prohibitively expensive. Miniature companies can only absorb so much. So will we see these companies moving over to resin or plastic and heralding the eventual demise of metal miniatures?
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  • #2
    I cant see it myself, think there will always be wee lead soldiers of some sort of alloy, chemicals used in resin go up and down in price ... went sky high a coulple of years ago when china started buying resin in vast amounts.

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    • #3
      I would like to think not but then as you say the companies can only take so much.

      I popped into Firestorm yesterday evening and spookily enough Rob the owner mentioned it then, seems a hell of a lot of GW metal blisters/figures are no longer available to order, whether this is just for traders or across the board I do not know I haven't ardered anything recently from GW.

      Anybody tried ordering and been told not available?
      "women are like minis - both are expensive hobbies, there's always better looking ones on the internet, many dont look so good with age. Only difference is minis are easier to strip" - Darklord

      "If you love something set it free. If it loves you it will come back for revenge" - From the Reaper Dark Maiden box.

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      • #4
        we had a thread about that Martyn the other day. People thought it an April's fool
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        • #5
          I would hate to see metal disappear, but it would be more cost effective with the rising price of metal and allow smaller less funded upstarts to get a toe in the pool.
          http://southern-fried-miniatures.webs.com/ - My website.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Darklord View Post
            we had a thread about that Martyn the other day. People thought it an April's fool
            I know I read the thread I just thought I would mention it here as well
            "women are like minis - both are expensive hobbies, there's always better looking ones on the internet, many dont look so good with age. Only difference is minis are easier to strip" - Darklord

            "If you love something set it free. If it loves you it will come back for revenge" - From the Reaper Dark Maiden box.

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            • #7
              I tried to order a bunch of metal GW minis for my next commissions from MiniautreMarket and was told that GW made 30 sets of metal minis direct order only, which meant my client had to buy them all at regular price from GW mail order.

              Speaking as someone trying to start a company, metal is expensive. As an example, I'm doing the Squire's base as resin because doing it in metal would cost almost the same as all the parts for the figure. I don't think metal will completely go away, but it may become a premium item. Either that or we'll see miniatures being cast out of new alloys to make them chepaer.
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              If wishes were fished we'd all cast nets. - Gurney Halleck

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mercius View Post
                and allow smaller less funded upstarts to get a toe in the pool.
                Not sure it matters to new companies really as most go down the resin route anyway. I suppose if you mean gaming based miniature companies than yes that would give them more freedom
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Darklord View Post
                  Not sure it matters to new companies really as most go down the resin route anyway. I suppose if you mean gaming based miniature companies than yes that would give them more freedom
                  I was thinking more of how Tre was saying that he was looking into Resin for his Trolls as casting them in metal would be way too pricey.
                  http://southern-fried-miniatures.webs.com/ - My website.

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                  • #10
                    I was going to mention new alloy formula's but Cregan Ninja'd me. I doubt we'll see the demise of metal altogether but maybe from the smaller scale markets. The think with all commodities is that the more of it you can afford the cheaper it becomes due to bulk discounts. That means bigger companies like GW, Privateer Press and Reaper can get better deals, GW could just be suffering a supply problem at the moment.
                    At the end of the day it make no difference to me Metal, Resin or Plastic if the miniature ticks all the boxes I'll give it a whirl.

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                    • #11
                      As long as the casting in resin isn't as horrible as GW plastic minis as far as missing and blurred details.
                      http://southern-fried-miniatures.webs.com/ - My website.

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                      • #12
                        the problem with metal supply is its such a general item and its demand is massive worldwide. Resin seems a more specific product (hope that makes sense)
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                        • #13
                          If Martyn and Keeper smelted their collections and sold it back, I reckon they'd earn more back than they ever paid AND reduce the trading cost of tin and lead in one fell swoop!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iacton View Post
                            If Martyn and Keeper smelted their collections and sold it back, I reckon they'd earn more back than they ever paid AND reduce the trading cost of tin and lead in one fell swoop!
                            Yes but the fumes would create a Mass Extinction Event on a magnitude not seen since the dinosaurs were wiped out. Plus the heat generated would be enough to create its own neutrino star. Handy for making HDF though!
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                            • #15
                              I don't think tin-based miniatures will vanish at least for quite some time - as far as I'm informed the fact that some metal minatures from GW are now mail-order only has to do with the fact that GW wants to ensure that every store of theirs has the same products. No matter if it is a big store or a really small one. And non-gw stores are not supposed to have more products than any gw store... so every new standard release of GW will push aside some older models. The fact that metal miniatures are less profitable might be a reason why prefably those are put on mail-order.
                              If it could be expected that the price for the metal will continue to increase at that rate everyone should buy a few thousand pounds and sell it within a year ;) My guess is that in particular UK based companies have to recalculate their retail prices has to do with the fairly low value of the UK pound (even though it has been more or less stable in the past two years) - relative to the euro is has lost more than 50% in the past 10 years (and even the euro has had some inflation in the past years relativly speaking). Reaper hasn't increased their prices and their miniatures are really cheap compared to the ones of other companies. For larger models with a small edition resin might be cheaper in the end.

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