For those of you who have seen my previous posts, or followed by Instagram, it is no secret that I love Warhammer 40k. It is no secret that I am an addict to the plastic crack. I love Citadel paints, miniatures, I love their scenery, I love the franchise as a whole. I love Games Workshop, but those prices are so goddamn high.
The price of the hobby is actually one of the reasons why I make use of third parties such as Anvil Industries, Kromlech, and Creature Casters. Although a lot of these third party suppliers are close in price to Games Workshop (G-dubs), they still come out slightly cheaper, at equal or better quality. The truth is that when it comes to price points, Games Workshop is pretty much the Apple Computers of the miniature wargaming market. What I mean is that good ol’ G-dubs takes every opportunity to nickel and dime the hell out of their customers. A clear example of this was when G-dubs switched from pewter models to a plastic resin cast which they confidently referred to as “Finecast”. The issue was that the price of casting in pewter had gone up, in response G-dubs switched over to using plastic resin in their casting which would significantly lower their production costs. It helped that they could keep using their previous molds with the new resin for their models, meaning there was a low financial impact as they didn’t have to invest too heavily on new equipment. The problem is that G-dubs decided they didn’t wan’t to pass on the savings on to their customers, and actually ended up increasing the prices on many of their models. Think about this, they lowered their production costs per model by switching to resin, then increased the overall price of the models, thus heavily increasing their profit per model. Although this is no doubt very beneficial for their shareholders, and other corporate stakeholders, it was kind of a dick move to their customers. To make this kick in the balls even worse though, Finecast was anything but fine, in fact these models were universally known for being of incredibly poor quality.
One of the selling points that G-dubs had pitched to customers when they switched over to resin was that the resin casting process allowed them to create higher quality models. If this had been true, then perhaps the increase in price could have been justified despite the overall lower production cost. I personally would have been happy to pay more, for a higher quality model, but NO! Finecast was terrible, covered in bubbles and flashing which absolutely destroyed the detail on the models. What’s worse is that compared to the pewter models of old, and to the plastic models of today, resin is hella brittle. When customers attempted to remove the flashing from their models, many ended up simply scratching, or further damaging the model due to the brittleness of the resin. This is where G-dubs decided that they could probably gouge a few more dollars out of their customers, I mean why the hell not right? Not only did they deliver an inferior product at an increased price, but they then developed a tool kit to help clean up their models a bit. This tool kit was just as expensive as one could expect a citadel product to be.
Let that sink in, Games Workshop lowered their production costs by developing an inferior product which it sold at a higher price, then sold customers a tool set to try and salvage the garbage they were peddling.
Eventually Finecast was improved somewhat, but the damage was done to its reputation.
To this day Games Workshop products remain pretty pricey, specially with the release of Warhammer 40k’s 8th edition and its respective products such as the Primaris Marines. With the release of 8th edition, one can’t help but notice that the price per unit has gone up. This is noticeable when comparing the number of troops you get when you buy a Tactical Squad versus when you buy an Intercessor Squad. Where both units will grant you a ten man team, Tactical Marines will set you back $40 where the Intercessor squad is priced at $60. One could make the argument that Intercessors are more expensive as Primaris models are slightly bigger than regular Space Marines, but that does not explain why Damned Legionnaires come in squads of five, for the same prices as ten tactical marines.
As we speak, many of the older models have been transitioned to online only, as Games Workshop tries to peddle its newer, more expensive models on players. Which is fine I supposed as a lot of their newer models are beautifully made, but then we come to the fact that G-Dubs has announced it will be increasing the price of all of its brushes. The announcement was made on the Warhammer Community page on May 19th, making note that prices will be increasing across the board on all brush types.
So yeah, I love Games Workshop, I love Warhammer, and I love Citadel, but as long as they keep price gouging I am going to keep making use of third party suppliers. I will buy my brushes from other suppliers, I will buy proxies from Anvil Industry, Wargaming Exclusive, Kromlech, and other suppliers. I will make heavy use of Hoard O’ Bits for my Warhammer bits, and I will continue to shun the abomination which is “Finecast”.