A long time ago, far far away, Games Workshop actually sold bits. Now that long ago, I was far less involved in the community, and my hobby, but I recall that it was there. Then bits seemed to go away, and it was quite the ordeal. Now once again, GW looks like they are about to jump back into the bits market, and are hiring more people to compensate for it....


Ban on selling bits + hiring a Component parts manager = New bits department at GW?

Its been awhile since I lost or accidentely deleted the email before posting. So yes, I lost the source name here, so if you are he, and want it added, please email me and I will get it added in, or just post up in the comments.... and sorry about that.

via the Faeit 212 inbox
GW to reenter the bits market?
So GW are advertising for a component parts warehouse manager, plus the ban on bits selling suggest GW may be planning to roll out the bits department again.

On a side note it seems this GW v chapterhouse legal suite has made GW up their game and production schedule, as they are also advertising for rules writers for both mainstream and forge world...



51 Comments:

  1. More tau information please Natfka?

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    1. I'm sure it'll be posted when Nat has it.

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  2. While I would like GW to sell bits again, I distinctly recall asking them back in the day why they stopped selling bits (this was before the Internets when you had to ring them up to order). They told me they stopped selling bits because it wasn't cost effective for them to sell individual pieces. For example, if someone wanted to buy Coteaz's demon hammer, they would have to cast a whole Coteaz sprue and then his body would go to waste (giggity) as no one wants to buy just his body.

    I wander what has changed?

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    1. Industrial 3d Printing, improvements in mold design and layouts, the materials they use have all changed and make bits much more reasonable to produce.

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    2. Maybe they have realised the sort of mark-up they can get froms elling bits - the cost of the bits is always much greater than the cost of the figure. They might have noticed the proliferation of bits-selling ventures and want a piece of that market.

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    3. I'm not sure how much 3D printing would come into this. It isn't something you would use to mass produce things. It's mostly for small quatity and prototyping. It would be much less cost effective, and take much more time to 3D print.

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    4. You can 3D print things on demand, which means you have far fewer of the downsides two of the big ones are no changing of molds (taking time and increasing wear) and no wastage (only print the bits you want, meaning minimum material for maximum profit, and no massive infrastructure required to create and store all these bits!)

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    5. Unfortunately incorrect Christopher.In the days of metal figs there was one mould for each component, so one for the hammer and another for the body. If they ran out of hammer arm bits, they'd just re-cast that sprue. So no need to recast or melt down excess bodies. They just sat in the bin until bought.

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  3. sure... they will sell u bits.

    but the catch is they will all be made from Finecast.

    trololololol

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  4. Bit optimization can be done automatically by computer. It is possible to control the stocks on certain bits based on their purchasing rate versus purchasing rate of other stocks. It is also a simple problem to figure out when it will be beneficial to create new sprues that specialized in highly seeked after bits without diluting the market.

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  5. I just don't see GW getting into the bits biz again as everything they make now is on a sprue of some sort and would require them to get someone to physically cut it off the sprue. Not sue what the components parts manager would be for but I do know that when I have a missing part they do send out individual sprue sometimes instead of an entire new model. Perhaps it is just related to that?

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    1. They don't have to do this now, thanks to the CAD process. Since none of their products are physically sculpted anymore they can, on highly sought after bits, just move the one bit from old sprue to one by itself on computer and make a new mold.

      There is some upfront cost involved, but once they get a handle on which bits they need (like Flyrant wings or Deathmark heads) and which bits they never need to cast extra of it'll be a pretty simple process.

      Although they might not even need to do that. I think the new plastic they use can be melted down and recycled so...

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    2. They've been recyleing plastic for ages mixing in with fresh. The molds for plastic are still not cheep as they are CAD milled from aluminium. but for bits they sell by the thousand may be worth it.

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    3. As said, they can recycle the plastic. Make the sprue you need, chop off the wanted bits, chuck the unwanted bits back in the melting pot (or whatever they use). Simple, feasible, non-finecast!

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  6. can i have more tau? I really really want to see more tau :P

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    1. *gets the chant started*

      More Tau!

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    2. Please don't take this as rude, but your the second guy to do this. The amount of Tau info in the last week has been astounding. I'm a tau guy too, and am hungry for more, but can we please not spam and derail other important amd meaningful topics asking cor something you know Natfka is going to as soon as he gets it?

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  7. We know for a fact that mold designs for models are computerized now, this means molds made on a computer are easier to manufacture meaning there is no need to cast a whole model the only cost increase is the cost of the molds and time to produce, and if you take into account the new policy on internet sales either production will be increasing to match the new demand on bits or moved around to take into account the reduction in third party sales that they had to produce for too

    This is just a guess btw, based on what seems sensible to myself

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    1. As I said above Molds are CAD milled from aluminium (might even be steel) so still not super cheep.
      A while ago I aplied for a mold maker role for fincast and a technician roll for working with the 3D modles for plastic, I'm also good friends with one of the sculpters who I chatted with in prep. Finecast molds ar layered up by hand as I understand it and the plastic molds still need manual inspection of the 3D models and the milling. So not as cheep and automatic as people seem to be implying.

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  8. I doubt they will offer every part of every model. But IF they enter this market again, they maybe could make (and sell) weapon and upgrade sprues.
    FW autocannons or missile launchers are surely selling well, same would happen for 40k variants instead of the heresy era weapons.

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  9. Hurray, insane shopping prices and no discounts on bits! Well played, GW. :(

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    1. or you could, you know, wait and see what the actual prices are going to be.

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    2. They are going to probably go for about the same price as their counterparts go for on ebay.
      We've already seen finecast melta, veteran and Nid weapon sprues. And they already sell lots of shoulder pad sets and conversion kits and basic sprues on the website. It's pretty obvious that they want to expand on it and cut out anyone else who's undercutting them.
      Why buy the GW tank accessory sprue when you can get the sponson cheaper on ebay?

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    3. Ignore the troll...GW used to be very reasonable in their bit prices and shipping, I doubt that they are going to go overboard now

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  10. Honestly, I would be interested to see GW get back in the bits business again. For one, I would like to see fixed prices for bits, as opposed to bit prices on websites and ebay fluctuate due to current meta and demand (SM missile launchers and IG meltaguns ring a bell?). Also, I would expect since its coming directly from the manufacturer, there would be more stock and bits would be more readily available (anyone else tired of looking for obscure bits only to find every bit website that carries it being SOLD OUT?)

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    1. As a CSM player, trying to get heavy weapons are brutal right now. autocannons, lascannons and missile launchers are ONLY in the web exclusive finecast havocs kit.. at $55 Cad a box, thats 220 to get a squad with 4 autocannons.. :(

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    2. As a CSM player, trying to get heavy weapons are brutal right now. autocannons, lascannons and missile launchers are ONLY in the web exclusive finecast havocs kit.. at $55 Cad a box, thats 220 to get a squad with 4 autocannons.. :(

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    3. Get the forgeworld horus heresy autocannons. 5 autocannons and matching ammo backpacks for 12 pounds (~$18)... same goes for lascannons, missile launchers, etc.

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    4. Take a look at Forge World - they'll sell you a pack of 4 of any of those quite happily. Heresy Era, but that's perfectly appropriate for a CSM army (and really makes little difference other than for the Missile Launchers)

      http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/The_Horus_Heresy/HORUS_HERESY_INFANTRY_ACCESSORIES?page=1

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    5. This very reason I resorted to FW where they sell these weapons seperatly. At least I would have some pre-heresy parts in my army, which creates the idea of them using old school stuff.

      For 220 CAD you can get yourself 4 Havoc squads (bodies included)with weapons of your choice. or you could simply buy the weapons , which comes roughly for 19 CAD per 5.

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    6. The bitz GW Used to sell were Metal only and quit expensive. 2-3 bitz was equal to whole Model Price.

      I dont See how a GW Monopol can be Good for customers.

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    7. Warlord22 - I can't see how Bitz sellers like Spikey Bitz that change their prices based on the current Meta where a single Psycannon is $15 is good for customers either. GW has the right to protect their image and product.

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  11. To be fair they already do sell some " bitz" in the form of upgrade packs etc. its not hard to imagine then taking it one step further.

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  12. This is interesting. If you combine Natfka's past post about Finecast being a transistion point to an all plastic line and a bits selling possibility it makes sense. GW is able to melt down their old sprues and reuse the plastic. So, in essence, make a whole Coteaz, sell the hammer, melt the body, recast into a fire warrior sprue. It's possible.

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    1. I doubt that they would reuse the plastic (except when casting slottabases, where they already use miscasts of other plastics) because there's only so many times you can melt and recast the plastic (unlike with white metal/pewter which can be reused indefinitely). Oh well, at least plastic can be reused at least once, unlike resin...

      More likely is what has already been suggested above that they will simply make new sprues consisting of only the best-selling bitz and then cut them for sale and/or start casting and selling more different "upgrade" sprues as whole.

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    2. You can Not melt Down plastic and Reuse it. It becomes to brissel. Try at home, if you dont belive!

      Also the man power needed to Cut Out Single items is to expensive to be worth while.

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    3. I can assure you Warlord that they do melt down the plastic and resuse it. they blend it with fresh to avoid that problem the shear volume of fresh plastic to recycled makes it a non issue.

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    4. as someone who works in the plastics and molding field yes you can remelt CERTAIN plastics multiple times wirh very little degragtion. HDPE for example can be ground up and reprocessed 60-100 times before and significant degregation. Now the plastic GW uses for its plastic parts "appears" to be a type of styrene which will degrade in a noticably in 10-20 reprocess. thats why you mix it with virgin material to stretch it out

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  13. Just had a look at this vacancy (which closed on 18Feb)The "components warehouse cell manager" is more about ensuring the parts to production line are where they should be, rather than anything to do with bits.
    I can see GW selling finecast bits eventually, but not plastic. Most bits seller cant sell the finecast at a profit anyway for reason mentioned above, everyone wants the combi melta but not the body !

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  14. GW has all the advantages though for bitz sales. If I was in charge of the bitz sales group I would have been monitoring bitz prices on the main outlets for the last 4-6 months and calculating which are the bitz in demand.
    Then you have molds made which contain only the bitz which are big and profitable sellers. Then produce and sell those.
    Profit margins would be extraordinarily good as you are selling the high value bitz without the wastage of the unwanted pieces in the set.

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    1. It baffles me as well why GW isn't making plastic textured bases in sets for the different armies.
      Unlike all the resin base suppliers you see online GW has the equipment and the potential volume to justify making the bases in plastic and minting money.

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    2. What so you think they would Charge for bases then? Look at prices for Basing Kits compared to other companys.

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    3. I'd expect them to charge slightly more than what other companies charge you for resin bases.
      They would justify it with the 'extra detail' available in their 'premium product'.
      The direct connection of model and base sales through the same stores and website will generate sales - convenience always get you business.

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  15. Hmm.... what I'd give to be able to just order 100 Tau Firewarrior shoulder pads to convert my IG allies into Tau loyalists...

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  16. Really, really hope this comes to pass. If they only start doing bulk order sets of commonly sought pieces. Such as fire warrior pads or stealth team legs. Remember the old days of the mail order trolls and the bitz warehouse

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  17. I remember when they had the bits tome inside each store. This was pivotal in completing my kroot mercenaries army. If this is true ill squeel like a school girl on prom night that just saw a baby playing with a puppy.

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  18. When people heard GW was telling stores to pull down their online bitz options, people screamed that GW was "screwing" people over and wanted to force the purchase of full kits.

    Now GW is producing their own bitz because they have obtained the tools and tech to make it a cost-effective venture, and people are claiming it's a bad/impossible idea.

    THE SAME PEOPLE.

    Just can't win.

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  19. Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but it's not going to happen. At least not in the way you think. They may well do more conversion kits, either in finecast or small plastic sprues, but clipping and then selling individual bits from sprues just won't happen. Sure GW did used to sell individual bits when everything eas metal, but you got no spare bits in the pack. You all seem to be forgetting the amount of spare bits you get on sprues these days.

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