A new horizon dawns for Warlord Games and it is resin, or rather Resin+. As many of you know, while most ranges are a mix of plastic and metal Warlord has been producing a few of their ranges in their Warlord Resin (from now referred to as old resin).
Now they have aimed to improve upon that and introduce it to pre-existing metal ranges. Warlord Games have re-released 12 Weapon Teams from their World War 2 era game Bolt Action, three teams for the USA, Japan and Italy respectively with the Italians getting another three as Bersaglieri variants.
These four sets are a glimpse into a potential future of resin miniatures for Bolt Action, but how do they hold up? I managed to snag the Italian Army weapon teams and intend to put them to the test. Specifically, I will test Warlord Games’s promises as well as the miniatures bendability and general painting experience.
I would also like to preface this review by saying I am not the biggest fan of resin. More often than not it is difficult to work with and I find it generally unpleasant outside of a few very positive exceptions. So I am eager to discover if this new resin proves to be really a feasible alternative to metal models.
The criteria I will test the models under will be the following:
- Does it feel like hard plastic but better?(Warlord’s promise)
- Is it easy to work with? (Warlord’s Promise)
- Does it hold detail better than metal? (Warlord’s Promise)
- Can you paint it without priming? (Warlord’s promise)
- Does paint chip less without varnish than on metal? (Warlord’s promise)
- Bendability, how well does it hold its shape?
- How is the painting experience?
Does it feel like hard plastic but better?
The material very much does feel like hard plastic in most aspects, where it differs immensely is on thin parts such as the barrels. The new resin is much more flexible, it can bend further without losing its original shape or growing cracks than hard plastic. I sadly only had the River Song miniature as comparison with the old resin and I definitely did notice, that the new resin is a bit less bendy than the old one, but I feel like I don’t have enough resin models to compare it with, so please take this with a grain of salt.
Is it easy to work with?
Warlord promises that in terms of moldline cleaning and clipping of tags, Warlord Resin+ is essentially the same as metal. While it definitely is as easy to clip parts off the sprues, in terms of moldline removal it lacks a bit. While moldline removal on metal is always a bit of a pain for me, scraping or cutting works very reliably due to how hard the metal is. But with the new Warlord Resin+ I find its flex means my knife doesn’t get a consistent bite into the material; mind you, that downside comes with the upside of there being seemingly fewer moldlines in general. Though I think I am not quite sure if this lack of moldlines is just a lucky cast or if this will be a continuous trend, so it remains to be seen.
Does it hold detail better than metal?
Sort of. While things like hair just look more detailed and sharper. On one model specifically I experienced a weird miscast which I’ve seen on metal models before. This issue most often boils down to eyes either being covered by a blob of metal or simply being cast flat. On this loader it looks as though something’s wrong with the mold I would imagine, otherwise I couldn’t explain how this miscast happened.
After painting a miniature, one big plus I want to note: due to the material there are barely any areas where you have holes or weird casts that are unreachable for painting. All the folds and recesses are properly cast and easy to block in with colours and this is a very welcome change – gone are the days of little unpainted holes in your uniform.
Can you paint it without priming?
To answer this question, I’ve taken an unprimed Italian Paratrooper and the AT loader and painted their sleeves with one layer of my Italian fatigue mix (German Grey, German Uniform and Black):
The results are surprisingly similar, both metal and the new resin hold a single coat of paint pretty well, you could definitely paint the new resin miniatures right away without priming. That was the case before, but still its good to know its not gotten worse. Just to be sure, I’ll be trying once more with a thinner coat of paint, since that usually begins to pool on flat areas rather than properly cover.
Well, surprisingly even with thinned paint, both metal and Warlord Resin+ hold it pretty evenly. I’m not quite sure what Warlord meant by “the new formula eliminates the need for priming” as seemingly the old metal miniatures hold paint just as well.
Does paint chip less without varnish than on metal?
This is a definite yes, I’ve taken the previously painted sleeves and gave em a hard rub with my index finger and while the metal immediately shed some paint, the resin was far more reluctant. While I wouldn’t recommend you rub your greasy fingers over your miniatures I’m confident in saying that the odd touch on your unvarnished miniature will not be nearly as devastating on the new resin.
How well does it hold its shape?
It holds it shape pretty well – which you might think is a good thing – but it actually leads to a new kind of problem. We all know that resin – unlike hard plastic – is prone to warping sometimes and in my case both the anti-tank rifle and the sniper rifle came bent out of shape. Most likely this is due to warping rather than being bent during transport as is common with metal. I tried using hot water and a hairdryer to bend the pieces into the desired shape, the anti tank rifle took a bit but eventually got back into shape. The sniper rifle however… well after five or so attempts I just gave up.
I figured the warped area was simply too thick, if this was metal it wouldn’t be quite as difficult to correct things, however due to Warlord Resin+’s propensity to hold it’s shape its not an option to just forcefully bend it back. Personally, while this is just a minor point and warping isn’t guaranteed to happen and fixable on thinner parts I’m now stuck with a sniper who’s rifle is bent and it does make me a bit wary getting further kits. That isn’t to say Warlord Resin+ is dead to me entirely, it just somewhat soured my experience.
How is the painting experience?
Now originally I wasn’t sure if I would be able to fully paint a model in time for this review, but I did, so I would like to comment on the experience.
In large portions, painting the sniper felt similar to painting any hard plastic miniature. To elaborate I would point out that metal miniatures’ and to some extent other resin miniatures’ texture can often be a bit rough. It is more noticeable on metal than on resin, but in my experience something you have to adapt to. However on this miniature it was very smooth and easy to paint. And honestly, there isn’t that much more to say on it: painting the new Warlord Resin+ is just an overall enjoyable experience. If they manage to adapt the rest of their metal miniatures into resin, I would most definitely pick up a few kits I already have in metal to compare my paint jobs.
What else is there to say really? Well, I do think we can talk about the fact that this resin is plant based. As most companies make use of epoxy resin, Warlord seems to try and go with a more environmentally friendly approach and frankly, I can only applaud them. I mean think about it – as a society we will have to find alternatives to materials such as plastic that are biodegradable and don’t pollute the planet while doing so.
This hobby, frankly is so much more polluting (sprues, tags, etc) than it needs to be. So trying to make something that is both environmentally friendly and also renewable is an admirable task. Additionally, some of the issues that they fixed from metal (such as better surface and lack of those unreachable crevices) do genuinely make the new Warlord Resin+ a meaningful alternative to consider.