Along with what seems like everyone in the entire hobby, I was very excited to see the preview shots of the Sicaran Battle Tank. At the time I thought it was a little scout tank - FAIL!
No, it's a beast. So when my girlfriend bought one for me I was so excited to be building my first large Forge World kit.
Having built dozens and dozens of tanks from all kinds of companies in the past I figured Forge World would deliver a great, simple but detailed kit... boy was I in for a shock!
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I am not a photographer, so expect dodgy pictures below.
I think Games Workshop need to ask some very big questions about Forge World and the product they put out in the marketplace...
An endemic problem with Forge World kits - wonky guns! Have you ever had straight guns? This CAN be a problem with resin. But when done properly it doesn't have to be this way.
Then there's this - the mountain of resin off-cuts. This could just be trimmed at the factory or a better mould could be invented.
The problems with these large bits of resin staying attached to the pieces if two-fold; it adds the the weight and the weight then causes issues like this (below). The weight of the moulding pieces causes it to break off in transit and you get damage!
As I say, the designs are great, the universe is so so cool - but the execution is just not good.
There really isn't an excuse for warped guns! Either the woulds aren't matching up or the resin isn't cooling properly. That's pretty much it!
Part of the problem here is the straightness of the pieces, but another issue is the little guiding pieces that are supposed to help you line it up... they don't align. I have to trim around some of them to get it together.
Model making 101 - get the template right, and I just don't feel they got the template right here.
Wider Issue and Some Big Questions
However - if they were any other small company there would have to be questions about the quality of their product. I would expect the Boards to light up and the company would be under some scrutiny.
In all honesty I think Games Workshop need to look at who they have licensed to do this work (even if they are part of the same company) and ask some big questions.
1) Is resin the future of this hobby? DreamForge spent the time and the money investing in injection moulded plastic and they have a superior product out there in the market place. Once their Eisenkern APC is released, they will be a real player in the vehicle side of the 25/28mm hobby.
2) Are the fans getting value for money? One would have to look at the amount being spent right now on one tank and question if the amount being charged isn't actually detrimental to the growth of the hobby. And lets face it, growth is where GW has had the major part of it's problems in the past few years. If they want to grow, they have to make it easy and affordable to build an army! Would injection plastic Horus Heresy Space Marines sell well? Yes they would. Everyone knows that! Then why aren't they just making them? I really do think that Forge World are a slave to their own practices - and that spells doom in terms of growth.
3) Is it time for Forge World to be absorbed into Games Workshop? The ever-increasing popularity of the Horus Heresy line has shown that people are hungry for more, especially older players. You do have to admit that Games Workshop do turn out a good product in terms of models.
Do they occasionally stuff it up and make something boring? Yes
Do they sometimes miss an opportunity? (New Sisters of Battle models anyone...) Yes they do!
BUT, would bringing Forge World into Games Workshop's overall manufacturing practices improve the product?
Make it cheaper and more available?
Would it increase growth in the hobby that Games Workshop so desperately need - especially in the younger players who need their parents to buy them that $129 tank from Forge World rather than the $85 tank from Games Workshop?
You would have to say YES!
Sure, you can play and hobby this universe by purely going through Games Workshop and ignoring Forge World. It was designed to be a Specialist part of the universe, but that has now changed. Forge World is now mainstream and if Games Workshop want to capitalise on that AND get rid of the recasters, then they need to have a product that is hard to copy, better quality, affordable, promotes growth within the already existing line and is accessible.
All of this can be done with three simple words: injection moulded plastics.
You may agree or disagree, but love to get your thoughts.
Sorry this is a bit of a long read - but I have been following this universe since 1988 and I really feel that the current direction (as exemplified by the recent financial figures) is all wrong!