Time to rant! I haven't done this in a while (on here anyways).
'For Experienced Modelers' (or was it 'Hobbyists'?) was posted on the Forgeworld website for the longest time as resin cast miniatures are rather ornery to deal with. I say 'was' as I looked for that statement this morning on their website and didn't see it. Does that mean that FW is for novices?
No, HELL no!
Now, I have many FW models & conversion kits (indeed I have some being shipped to me right now), so I'm pretty used to working with their models and have always been pleased with what I've bought. This past week however I've been working on an Armageddon pattern Medusa for a friend of mine. Which basically means that my evenings have been filled with excessive amounts of profanity!
This is the tank owner's first FW purchase and it came 'warped all to hell' in his words. Warps in resin is fairly common and easily corrected with some hot water, time, and knowing that doing a little at a time is MUCH better than trying to do it all at once. Resin is brittle, so care must also be taken when removing gates to avoid breakage. Resin needs to be washed & scrubbed (sometimes repeatedly as in this case to remove all of the release coating), sanding requires going outside & wearing a respirator mask as resin dust is toxic, etc. These things are not the cause of my ire, they're just the nature of the beast. My complaint is in regards to miscasted pieces.
Personally I think this model should have been returned/exchanged for a new one. I told him that FW's customer service is first rate to deal with, but he didn't want to wait a month and a half for replacement parts (ironically, I've had the tank in my possession for roughly that length of time). Miscasted parts included:
•The enclosed compartment had a terrible miscast line on the left, outside edge.
•The lower hull interior piece with the ammo shells on it, the molds had obviously slid/shifted during casting.
•The rear hatch/ramp didn't fit the opening at all requiring excessive sanding (and I still don't like the result).
•The interior of the enclosed compartment had excessive flash (globs really) in damned near impossible places to reach yet would be visible on the finished model.
•The medusa cannon molds slid/shifted down the entire length of the barrel.
•The cannon's breach has a gate and is half filled with globs.
•Virtually every warped piece was warped in a different direction (ok, warps are the norm, but it does get old when you have to fix virtually every piece in the kit, and I am ranting).
I dread the thought of a super heavy anything after this experience! Checking the currency exchange rates (for today) means he effectively paid $89.25 (shipping included) for that! Now I know that this is not a new model, and molds do age/wear out. So shouldn't that mean that the model should be removed from production while the molds are recast rather than just blindly producing garbage (whomever put these parts into the bag was NOT a quality control person) while making people pay through the nose for it? The 'for experienced modelers' clause now seems to reek of a license to pump out substandard quality.
Again while its not my tank/decision to make, I think the model should have been replaced/exchanged, and odds are FW would have done that without question (though who knows what sort of quality the replacement would have had). However somebody @ FW saw the lack of quality in these pieces and shipped them out anyways.
Ok, rant over, here are the photos of the tank. The major components aren't glued together to allow for painting, which isn't 'my department'. Sorry the photos aren't the best as it was late and i was thoroughly aggravated with the tank at the point where the camera came out.
In the end, when painted, it'll probably get lots of 'oohs & ahhs' however I can assure you that you'll never see an Armageddon Pattern tank in my inventory.