On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 19:57:46 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
As near as I can tell, just basic snobbery. A good quality figure in any
medium can have astonishing levels of detail, and the bad ones suck in any
medium. People want to believe metal and resin are better than plastic.
There could be some basis for this belief, in that the average quality of
plastic figures is lower than the average quality in the other media, but
I think this is due more to the fact many plastic figures are an
afterthought or the cheap and dirty kind, whereas figures in the other
media tend to be the main subject of the work in question, and thus
receive far more attention from the producers.
What Hasegawa is doing is basically saying "Look guys, we really made an
effort with the pilot here".
I wonder how much the metal figures owe to:
1. The old tin solders of childhood memory. About the only company who
broke that tradition in larger scales was Historex, and that's because
it knew that French figure collectors wanted to do dioramas of Waterloo
with all the armies represented without going bankrupt....and with
Napoleon winning, of course.
2. The fact that for wargames, their weight made them less likely to
shift on the game board. Most plastic chess pieces had weighted bases.
As far as detail goes, I had a several sets of Atlantic HO scale
polyethylene Union troops that I used on the model shown here:
(that's not me by the model; my name is Patrick, not Patricia)
And on those figures the level of detail was so high that the tiny "US"
was visible on the belt buckles.
And "So we're upping the price ten dollars to prove it, even though the
pilot figure set us back around ten cents as it was made in China. In
fact, the whole damn model cost around a dollar to make, and even at
that the Chinese are taking us to the cleaners, as is their wont." :-D
As long as the metal you're casting is softer than the metal in the
molds you are using for casting, your molds should be very durable
indeed...and if you engineer correctly for draft, they should be even
I might be a bit behind the times here, but up to about ten years or so
ago, metal figures were typically cast in rubber moulds. The process went
something like this:
Some talented individual sculpts the master figure. From this primary
master, a mould is made (sometimes destroying the master in the process).
From this mould a small series of casts is made, which after care
inspection become the secondary masters. From these secondary masters,
production moulds are made, each of which lasts for something like a
hundred castings. Although the secondary masters are quite durable,
eventually even they wear out in the process of making moulds from them.
This puts a definite maximum on the number of figures that can be produced
form a single master.
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