Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
When Games Workshop decided they wanted a new way to screw over their customers, they switched from pewter to Finecast models. Finecast is a type of plastic resin that is supposed to offer "finer casting" than the pewter models do, but the real reason that they switched is because the price of pewter has gone up as the price of most metals has gone up lately, while the price of plastic resin has gone down. Thus, each Finecast model costs them only a fraction of what casting a metal one would.
GW, being the money-loving trolls they are, decided not to pass on these savings to the consumer and actually increased the prices, despite the switch in production actually costing very little, as they simply used the same molds that they used for the metal models for the Finecast ones. This means that the profit per model for Games Workshop has gone up, on average, about 300-500%. This pleases Games Workshop. Tau sniper kit containing 3 sniper drones and 1 drone controller (4 simple, small models) went from £18 to £24 making any smart customer rage and turn to ebay.
However, the price tag may have been tolerable were it not for the other problems associated with Finecast. The most notorious problem is that this first batch of Finecast has apparently come out with lots of bubbles that destroy detail or ruin the model entirely. Bubbles are well known to resin modellers as a result of rushed or poorly-handled molding, and the first Finecast batch resembled someone's first attempt at home-casting. While drunk.
As if to make a bad situation worse, Flash, the little plastic line that runs along the surface of a model and is a leftover from the Casting process, is notably harder to trim on Finecast miniatures because the new material is so much softer. The traditional way of cleaning flash away is easy - simply scraping it away gently with a hobby knife's back-edge. Doing this with Finecast Models, of course, risks leaving them with unsightly scratches. In a surely unrelated note, GW has released a new kit for trimming Flash from Finecast Models - it goes for about $20 (PROTIP: Keep your money, and instead use a small toothbrush - that disposable Colgate Wisp thing is fuck-awesome for Finecast work (if not resin in general) because it's small and has a hook on the handle that can be used to carve out any gunk you can't gently brush off, or just throw some money at Tamiya or some other company prone to making shit that actually works).
And if that weren't bad enough, the second wave of Finecast
is was doused with chemicals that kept the resin from sticking to the mold. Fine in theory (reduces mold lines) but it also keeps your paint from sticking to your model.
There were even reports of Finecast resin MELTING on hot summer days. This turned out to be an exaggeration, if only slightly so, because we can still mock what actually happened: in one case, a The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game Galdalf-on-horseback model was so front-heavy that on a hot summer day the model's leg gave out and it toppled forward. Resin models should not be kept in your car on a warm day, as they will almost certainly deform.
Originally, the Finecast minis were packed in clear plastic boxes, leading to legions of fans to poke and prod the boxes in order to avoid getting poorly cast models. This in turn pissed off the staff, for obvious reasons. Further, GW has a returns policy, and in past years they didn't always verify the validity of a return request, which led to less than honest people reporting multiple faults and getting multiple 'free' models. As of 2020, GW seems to be much more thorough when it comes to returns.
Finally many customizers are up in arms over the fact that you can no longer get at some of the cool metal parts that the old metal models had, because Finecast attaches some of the parts for you. Now you have to saw the model apart if you still want those unique and shiny pieces. And it really must be remembered that you might have spent up to 20, 30, even 50 dollars for that one fucking bit of shitty resin that you now need to saw open. And don't forget that resin dust is harmful to breathe in, which as mouthbreathing neckbeards you may find disconcerting. This isn’t as big a deal nowadays, since face masks are a dime a dozen, but still something to keep in mind.
In any case, Finecast has caused quite a bit of rage among Warhammer players and modelers on /tg/.
Musical accompaniment for when you assemble your Finecast miniatures provided by Don Ho.
Hopes that Finecast would be completely replaced by plastic within only a few years have been dashed. However, as of 2020 GW seems to have mostly, if not completely, stepped away from Finecast. And good riddance too.
To be fair, the process for casting Finecast models does seem like it has improved, for whatever that statement is worth. It is now much more likely for Finecast models to be of tolerable quality, although you will probably notice that there is still a significant gap in overall craftsmanship between Finecast and plastic. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned GW did not pass on any cost savings to the consumer. To make matters worse, they also started packaging their Finecast stuff in boxes rather than blister-packs so you really CAN'T see what's inside them until you fully open your purchase. You should definitely ask your local gaming store if you can verify the quality of the item inside the box before completing the purchase.
Recently a vast number of models that were produced as Finecast have had their descriptions updated, with the material changed from Finecast to simply "resin." Whether this means that the resin formula has changed or that GW wants to get away from the stigma of the Finecast name is yet to be confirmed, although it's almost certainly the latter.
It's worth noting that in recent years GW has shifted back to producing most new characters in plastic clampacks. While these are still ludicrously expensive (some things never change) they are also generally spectacular models, with tons of detail and none of the hassles presented by resin, especially finecast.
Despite all this, as previously mentioned GW hasn't completely stopped making new Finecast models. Some recent special/limited models, like the new Slambo, Sly Marbo, and Eisenhorn are still Finecast, probably because GW doesn't intend or expect to sell many copies (although Canoness Veridyan was apparently immensely popular). As of 2020, there are only a relatively small number of Finecast characters and units left in the GW line, and apart from the exceptions noted above, almost all of these are recasts of even older pewter minis. With only a few exceptions such as those noted above, virtually all new GW kits are being produced in plastic and the resin kits that still exist are being slowly phased out as they are replaced.
Resin miniatures are currently much more common in Age of Sigmar than 40k, as AoS still uses many old lines from WHFB, but the release of Warhammer: The Old World (whenever that is) should be a big stepping stone towards phasing them out. In addition, many old resin characters, like Teclis, Be'lakor and Lord Kroak have recently had their resin minis replaced by new plastic models. On the other hand, Forge World still has an extreme hard-on for Resin (is not the same formulas as Finecast, but has many of the drawbacks), and as of 2020 still uses it in nearly all its products, making sure that when you buy their products with a 4-figures price tag that you'll have to deal with aggressive mold-lines and warping.
Shitecast in action
A Chainsword, looking all in the world like a rabbit chewed on it.
Who has the crispest details ? Some Russian pleb in his garage or a multi-million dollar miniature casting company with a quasi monopoly and decades of experience on one of the flagship models of it's "finecast" range ?