Well it appears the rumours are true and that Games Workshop are indeed phasing out metal models and replacing them with what they call 'Citadel Finecast'.
Posted a short while ago on Bell of lost souls forum along with a price list showing an extreme increase on some models (for example cannis and hive tyrants, 5 quid more than their metal friends). We now have confirmation of the official kind on the games workshop website, finecast is here. Personally I have to say I am very happy with the decision, too many hours have I spent shouting at some annoying metal model that did not go together right or just would not glue, not to mention how easily it breaks apart with the slightest knock if you don't use pro glue (Loctite super glue ultra gel is king).
So the questions now are what is finecast made from, how well does it glue together, will be free of warping that plagues many resin models from forgeworld and is it safe (assuming of course its even made from resin).
To begin with the list of new extreme hiked up rumoured prices can be found here though with nothing official yet, who knows if its true, it is however an extreme price increase in many cases, for models which are essentially just recasts of the metal version in this new material the bump in cost seems excessive, would I pay it? well yes and no, for some models, ones that are not hard to built etc I don't think I would, its just not worth the extra money, for others though, the big monsters that are a bitch to build in metal I would be lying if I said the idea of a tyrant or a hydra (not apparently in this release sadly as its one model that is begging not to be metal) in not metal isn't appealing.
Next, is it safe? well resin dust can be poisonous but who knows what the finecast stuff is made out of but being a product generally aimed at children as well as adults, making them out of something that can kill you, well they may as well go back to lead and give a free snake with every purchase. Lets face it, your talking PR disaster if even 1 kid is harmed by it (some kid's brother is going to end up smashing and eating something you know its true).
I think because of that its probably fairly safe for kids to have models made from finecast or even convert with it as long as you take care to do so in a well ventilated area and don't go snorting the dust like its coke or anything crazy like that.
What about putting this stuff together well, its probably going to be glue but I guess we will need to wait until may the 23rd to find that out which is when it will all be revealed. Will they warp like forgeworld does all the damn time? hard to say but at the end of the day if they are getting loads of returns, that is not going to be good for business. Hell most people don't send forgeworld back purely because it takes so damn long to arrive in the first place they just fix it with hot water instead.
I have to say I'm definitely looking forward to see how the new models look given that they say in their fluff today "From what I've seen of the new miniatures (I accidentally picked one of them up without realising what it was) they look absolutely stunning". So what to take from this comment, are the new models slightly different? completely different? could they even be new casts and designs with different options for weapons etc? Personally I doubt it, this comment is likely just a case of trying to convince people that the new versions are superior and why you should be happy about shelling out your extra few quid.