Wednesday, November 26, 2014

40K EDITORIAL: How My Love for the Sicaran Made Me Hate ForgeWorld



So is Forge World's quality control failing? 
This is an important editorial that Larry over at BoLS published so I am reprinting here.

a guest editorial by BeardyHammer
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.

+++ WARNING +++

I am not a photographer, so expect dodgy pictures below. 

The first thing to say about this experience is that the model itself is great looking. I have no argument with the design or the universe - my main issue is the quality!

I think Games Workshop need to ask some very big questions about Forge World and the product they put out in the marketplace...




First of all Forge World seem to have a problem with basic straight lines. The leading edges of many of the armoured pieces just aren't straight! This this is meant to be made of Plast-Steel or Ceramite or something suitably hard and heavy. It does not bow in the middle and it does not have chunks missing.

Apart from the flaws in the leading edges, there are also problems with the moulding. It's probably the most important part in any process and other companies have got it right. Kingdom Death for example make some large very detailed kits with none of these issues . Then there are the excellent injection plastic kits of DreamForge or Games Workshop themselves. Neither of these players have these issues, mainly because they have invested in injection plastic kits rather than heavy quality-sporadic resin kits.




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!



This kind of damage could be so easily avoided, but due to their current practice we are left with issues like this on what are frankly very expensive kits!

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!

These issues with the resin are also causing larger problems when it comes to assembly. Because the edges aren't straight and there is some warping the entire kit is compromised.




Here, my friends is a typical example. Here are two supposedly straight pieces going together. Have a look at the daylight between them - they just don't fit snug.

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

Forge World are the beneficiaries of Games Workshop's extensive and much loved universe. They are very lucky to be able to have a company that makes models exclusively for these games.

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.


Thanks to Larry from BoLS and Beardyhammer who you can find on Facebook or on his website.

Loken

7 comments:

Jean-Francois Arsenault said...

the only time i ordered with forgeworld, some piece were not right, and i emailed them, and they sent replacement.... did you try that?

Evan said...

I no longer buy from Forgeworld. I'd love to, and the prices can be justified, if only their quality was up to standard. Over the last few years every order i've made has had some issues, either horrible mould slips, broken parts, warped parts and even uncured resin!

They just don't want to listen to their customers. I've made polite suggestions and comments but they just send replacements. The excitement soon wears off when you wait two weeks for your model, and then have to wait another month for replacement parts before you can assemble it!

The customer should not have to deal with quality control. Its just poor management. Yes resin can be difficult sometimes, but they have a flawed production process. I have been casting resin for 10 years so I can say that with some experience.

Just another reason to support a company that cares about its customers, like Hawk Wargames (who i have had some casting issues with, but very minor in comparison)

Loken said...

Customer service at Forge World is excellent. They will replace anything that is defective.

TheAmbit said...

I read this on another blog that it was posted on, and have to say it seems whiny. I can understand wanting a good product, but anything I've got from FW (including a Sicaran) had minimal work requirements to clean up. This isn't lego and two part moulds are bound to have some flash. The comment about complaining about vent ports its also ridiculous. They're needed for this method of casting and take 2 seconds to clip off.

Having also ordered from other 3rd party suppliers like CHS and some Polish companies, I can say FW stuff is much better. Comparing FW to something like limited run Kingdom of Death models isn't really an apples to apples thing.

Stephen said...

I have also found FW customer service to be excellent and the issues like bent barrels and other warping can take a couple of minutes and some hot water or a hairdryer to sort out.

So quit dripping, Larry, and take a man pill (joking) :-)

Tiberius Xii said...

Have spent close to $10k on Forge World over the past 5 year or so. Aside from a few mis-moulds on some DKOK which were replaced no questions asked, FW moulds are a cut above the rest of the pack! Some boiling water will fix any and all barrels and other warped pieces! I love forge world and i am not a fan-boy! 10/10!

Nick Hughes said...

I've got an 8000 point heresy army. Any issues fw immediately replace stuff. Stop moaning for the sake of it you whiney fuck and get on with it.

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