This was supposed to go live yesterday, however, someone on staff made a mistake. Now that the staff member has been reprimanded, demoted and given a strict warning to not do it again, we can get on to the rumor.
This rumor was has been circulating awhile, and been gaining strength this last week. So I decided to post from various sources and let you get every bit of information I could find that I thought was worthwhile.
A lot of this mirrors kroothawks information post on the subject, and some of this was compiled from eldergal. Other little bits were added from other misc locations. Authors are noted below, please remember that these are still rumors, take with salt.
Well bearing in mind this is only a rumour. I use the same silicone and resin supplier as GW. In one of their most recent newsletters they had an article about GW. The article was about how FW had been using their products for years but now they were working closer than ever with GW to implement new techniques and production methods. I read it and just thought FW.
But something one of my contacts said suddenly made me think of the article. So resin blisters seams exactly what we'll be getting. I could be wrong. That I'll admit but I like the sound of it.
They're called Bentley Chemicals and to be honest their article didn't really reveal anything. They just seemed proud that GW was one of their customers.
To answer the other posters. Resin dust is harmful but I wouldn't expect polystyrene dust to be any better for you. Resins are petrochemical products the sane as plastic after all.
I wouldn't expect them to use the same resins as FW cos in my opinion it's not the best for thin parts. I got some Khorne terminator bits recently and damn are the stylised horns fragile.
And today's note by Battlefield Berlin, a big retailer in Germany:
Just got note from GW that they will stop the production of metal products for at least 3 months. The Sales guys don`t know why, most items are already out of stock, so I guess they stopped productions already some weeks ago...
GW has released several lists of metal figures that are going out-of-print and won't be available for three months.
While GW hasn't released any info I think that given the ever increasing price of metal tha GW has finally decided to pitch metal minis and go to some sort of resin.
Even GW can't continue to make metal figs at the current price of metal. Logged
If what I've been told is correct they are going to be spin-casting the resin using vulcanized silicone molds, the same molds used for metal casting just with a different cutting technique more suited to the flow of resin. We had in the past retrofitted some old molds for metal casting to test out resin casting and they worked fairly well, 3even better with some extra cutting.
So if GW is sticking with this method, and they probably are since spin casting resin is mostly the same as spin casting metal, it also uses much of the same equipment so there would be no extra set-up cost.
If this is correct than they can still use the existing masters to make new molds.
Even is they were to move towards an RTV-type material you could still use the existing masters to make new molds.There really is no reason for GW to stop making any product because of a change in materials.
GW have done this a few times before whether by range or the entire product. They are not operating at full capacity currently. They will know what models sell slowly, which sell quick and how much stock is across their sales channels and at HQ. They will have ramped up production on some lines to tide them over, and stopped making others sometime last year (yes some things do sell that slow). In short I think you are selling them short on planning.
What this seems to suggest to me is GW are looking to sell through enough metal stock within 3 months to minimalise on the amount left in the system when they switch to resin. That also suggests that for whatever reason they expect the resin to be in more demand than the metal when its released. Read into that what you will.
The final thing is about resin dust. I can't see GW deliberately cutting off their kiddy market. Which means either they are seriously going to ramp up the plastics, and leave a few kits as resins that can only be sold to a certain age group, or they have a resin/resin process that won't cause this concern.