Friday, June 24, 2011

Wayland Games rejects CItadel Finecast due to struggles with quality

Citadel Finecast is certainly a step up from the pewter miniatures we are so used to.  But among the gripes people have (Cost and quality control), the problems in quality control have been the most discussed.  Today Wayland Games, a very large online retailer announced they won't be carrying Citadel Finecast due to a phenomenal 55% error rate. 

From Wayland Games website:

We regret that we are not presently retailing the Citadel Finecast range.

Unfortunately, a randomly sampled assessment revealed what we feel to be an excessive level of actual and potential flaws that, if reflected across our entire stock of Finecast, could have resulted in unacceptable inconvenience to our customers. Although we will be returning our present stockholding to the manufacturer, please be assured that we remain committed to carrying the Finecast line and will be restocking in due course.


For your information, we sampled and then assessed 60 sealed blisters with 30 taken at random from each of two deliveries of stock. Failures were 17 (57%) of 30 and 16 (53%) of 30, making 33 (55%) of 60 in total. While failure doesn’t necessarily denote the blister content as being of less than merchantable quality, for our purposes it does categorise it as having a visible flaw that might be of sufficient concern to a customer such that the item might be returned. Details and images were provided to the manufacturer, with redacted copies of the images appearing below.

Please note, the blisters remain sealed and so images were taken through the product packaging.
 



There are a whole slew of images on the Wayland Games website, and you can see the numerous faults with Finecast models.

I applaud Wayland Games for standing up based on quality.  Finecast, despite all the hype, are injection molded plastic models.  I am unclear why they are having such production problems at GW with a tried and true process.  

GW is charging top dollar for these miniatures, and we have every right to expect top quality.  I am glad we have a retailer who won't just accept what they are given.

Alec

4 comments:

Tylermenz said...

An interesting strategy, but in my opinion a poor business choice.

What I would have done show the same report, and then say that because wayland games is committed to only the highest quality, it will inspect each finecast blister it gets before selling it. Sending back the ones that don't make the cut.

This would definitely separate Wayland from its competition, send GW a message, and probably increase its online sales as customers would be more willing to buy if they knew they were getting the highest quality of product.

They had a good chance to turn a bad situation into something that separates them from their competition. Instead they gave their competition an advantage over them.

Granesh said...

Very interesting. I must say though, some of those pictures don't show any major (or, hell, minor) flaws in the models. The Lord Commissar and Lelith come to mind, at least from what I saw. Kinda one reason I'm running that contest over on the Independent Characters, so I can have a first-hand look at Finecast and make my own decision.

Granesh

Musings of a Smurf said...

Yes bravo wayland! I for one was not happy with the range when I popped in the other week for a look. Indeed, the store had a mini mountain of returned products that I went though with the stare manager to see what the faults where. Not good!

Anonymous said...

If they would set the machine to inject 40% more plastic, it would result in less flaws, (at least with the Dark Angels company comander and the Chaplain that I bought).
The Razorback and Rhino don't always come with all four sprues, and are sometimes missing the sprue with the hatches and cupola, but at least they don't have bubbles in the cast so large that an entire corner of a bit is mising like the fine cast models. For my money, Games Workshop is doing a better job than citadel, at least when considering the fine cast single unit models. I never have to apply puddy to molds unless they are the most expensive Citadel Finecast elite, which should be the best, since they cost dollars more per point to play.

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