In the first episode of Tales of a Returning Gamer, I touched on the community and social side of getting back into the hobby. I intend to explore that further in a future episode. Today, we look at the biggest shock for me when I got back involved, the quality of the minis that Games Workshop is putting out these days!

Back in my day

Back in my day (queue grumpy gamer memes) the models were adequate. The plastic moulding process was not capable of particularly detailed results. To get detailed models, you had to rely on the old monkey metal models. This meant that you typically had two sets of tools for the building part of the hobby. Standard clippers and plastic cement for your rank and file models, and super glue and files for the metal characters.

Worse, though, was the metal upgrade sprues. As a Space Marine player and fan of Land Raiders, I had to get the Crusader when it came out. Imagine my frustration when 90% of the model was the standard plastic and the extra armour panels and hurricane bolters where horrible metal kits. Not only did you have to struggle to superglue them together, you then had to work out the best way to get them to fix to the plastic parts of the model, without falling off due to the weight.

Here and Now

So, imagine it. A returning gamer. I am walking into Games Workshop in early January 2019, having not been in a Games Workshop store for a good look for a good few years. As I get speaking to the store manager, Elliott, and looking at the models and my gosh, they were amazing. I asked if I could have a closer look (always good etiquette to ask) and they were so light. This Space Marine Captain was plastic, yet so nicely detailed. I was in love.

Elliott explained to me the rough overview of the progression Games Workshop had made over recent years. The plastic moulding process had improved, as had the model design process. The previously metal characters were now made of resin, a material previously reserved for the expensive Forge World models.

To Pose or… Monopose?

One downside however to the current batch of models is there is less flexibility to them. Sure, conversions are still possible but it definitely feels more difficult to make a unique model compared to your friends now.

Easyfit and monopose models are definitely useful. They are a great way of helping new people get into the game in a quick and straightforward manner and definitely help with in-store demonstrations and tutorials.

But there is now a genuine fear that if I use a particular arm on a chest piece that it is not intended for, it will leave me short elsewhere as many of the parts have slots or plugs that they are designed to fit into.

Captain Volten Solair (unfinished)

So where does this leave us? Undoubtedly the quality of the minis has improved, in the greatest way possible. Having a process which allows more detailed manufacture in plastic, but also fine-tuning the design to not overdo it with the level of fine detail in the design. This results in a really nice combination of quality and detail that most hobbyists can still paint.

Right, that is it for this episode of Tales of a Returning Gamer. What do you think of the quality of the minis these days? Better yet, what is your favourite mini currently? And how do you feel about monopose minis?

Leave me a comment below and until next time, peace out.