Switch Theme:

(when?) Will GW shift to prepainted miniatures?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

With Mongoose's SST making the jump to prepainted and Racham rolling some out The Miniatrues Pages has asked "In What Year Will GW Shift Primarily to Pre-Painted Figures?"

http://theminiaturespage.com/polls/758537988/

 

Thoughts from the wise men of Dakka?


 
   
Made in us
Honored Helliarch on Hypex





very NW IL USA

I vote never. GW insists on claiming its not a gaming company so much as a hobbiest/model company. Until GW decides change mentality to be a gaming company and focus on the game aspect, theres no motivation for them to switch. Besides that, GW will not want the extra overhead of having to hire good painters in the numbers required to supply the market, remember they are in cost cutting mode and having to add that cost would signifigantly increase the cost per mini.

 
   
Made in ca
Dakka Veteran




Blackship Exhumation

I would have to say never as well. They refer to themself as GW hobby centres, not gaming centres. With golden daemons being so huge as well bringing out the best in a lot of people I would see no change coming for a long time. I myself enjoy sitting down having a bit of down time a picking up some models and painting them. It is quite relaxing.

Also with what they charge for glue, paints, primer, etc to get the customers to paint when you can go into another store and buy the same stuff at a fraction of the cost, why would GW turn to pre painted models and lose that source of revenue.
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

At the end of the day GW is a for-profit publically traded company. They may not want to do it but I can see prepainted marines appearing in a year or two.

They gotta sell the product.

I would guess there will be prepainted marines as a starter in the hope it will lead kids to other armies. Maybe the sculpting will be to a lower standard or it will lack some essential units.

 
   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut




British Columbia, Canada

I say never because
1. Painting your models is half the fun of Warhammer
2. GW can sell paint to people (at a very expensive price) before those people find out that they can get cheaper and just as good paints elsewhere.

Chuck Norris' calender goes from March 31st straight to April 2nd. No one fools Chuck Norris. 
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.






Under the couch

As much as it may seem distasteful to some, I think pre-painted minis are inevitable. More and more people are finding less time for their hobbies, and the time required to assemble and paint an army is a strong disincentive for a lot of people. And some people simply aren't interested in painting.


The only real question is not 'when' but 'how'.


I think the smart thing for GW would be something that's been discussed on various forums for years now: keep their range as it is, but alongside the unpainted stuff, offer a small core range of prepainted minis for those who just want to play.

They've already taken a small step in that direction, with the small 'pocket money' (yeah right) boxes they produced this year (or was it last year... I've lost track) with snap-together minis. Basically, just expand that range a little to include a box of basic troops (and maybe a commander model of some kind) for each army, and offer them painted.

That would allow those more interested in gaming than painting to assemble a basic force to get them started. And would mean fewer GW-plastic-Grey colour schemes ... which to my mind is a good thing no matter how you look at pre-painted minis.


   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Pre-painted figures doesn't stop people painting their own. It will just help people who don't have the time/energy.

Unless the pre-painted are more exensive than the bare figures, of course.

Petition to stop ratification of EU Article 13 on Internet Copyright

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Philadelphia, PA

I see it never happening due to the sheer number of models GW carries. Maybe prepainted for starter sets only or terrain.

Clear the battlefield and let me see
All the profit from our victory.
 
   
Made in us
Plastictrees



Amongst the Stars, In the Night

Does anyone know where their pre-painted terrain peices were done? My question being, that in order to offer prepainted miniatures, GW would need to outsource to China or similar to make it worthwhile. Which would include either shipping the figures to be painted or opening up another plant. Neither of which will happen.

Though I seemingly endlessly complain about GW, one of the things the *do* get right is they have resisted any demands to move their manufacturing base to third world sweatshops. Instead, they recently built a multi-million dollar facility in the US, as well as upgraded their facilities in the UK, none of which are cheap to operate and at the same time countries were flocking to China & thereabouts thanks to their uber cheap skilled labor pool.This stance is quite honorable, but it also highlights their corporate mindset: GW considers themselves the Porsche of Miniatures, manufacturers of the bestest and most awesomest miniature models in the world. And it is that which will keep them from doing pre-painted.

As an aside, I also don't think it's inevitable. The major reason that prepainted figures have been rising in popularity is the availablility of China's cheap, skilled labor pool, the availablity of which I don't think is going to last much longer. Either they will reach peak saturation in the workplace (creating an increase in cost as availability decreases) or as first world envorimental, health and safety regulations are implemented, cutting production and increasing costs while also decreasing availability.

Lastly, how much would such things cost? Can you imagine? As is, pre-assembled, pre-painted figures cost the same or less than GW's bare metal/still-on-the-sprue plastic kits! Indeed, going back to their mindest of being kit manufacturers (and not a game company, despite the name), all they have to look at is the other market leaders in plastic kits: Tamiya, Italeri, Academy and others don't offer any prepainted faire, so why should they?

OT Zone: A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany
The Loyal Slave learns to Love the Lash! 
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.






Under the couch

"As is, pre-assembled, pre-painted figures cost the same or less than GW's bare metal/still-on-the-sprue plastic kits"

Which is exactly why single part or snap-together, painted-on-the-sprue minis would be the way to go. I'd be very surprised if a simple paintjob couldn't be handled entirely by a machine.



"Tamiya, Italeri, Academy and others don't offer any prepainted faire,"

They also don't make gaming miniatures. Model Kit manufacturers make kits that are intended for use as model kits. Any kits that wind up as gaming miniatures are purely a secondary consideration.

GW makes wargames. No matter how much they try to brainwash people about the 'Games Workshop Hobby' there are always going to be people who are more interested in playing than any other aspect of the hobby. That's not really the case for people buying model kits... if you're buying a model kit, it's generally because you're interested in building a model kit. If you wanted something to just push around the table, you would buy an already-assemble, pre-painted tank instead of a Tamiya kit.

   
Made in us
Clousseau





Wilmington DE

They wouldn't necessarily need to move facilities to East Asia; Mongoose is claiming that their prepainted will be done by machine (I'll be mighty impressed if they can come close to, say, what AT-43 is doing). Again, that will mean investing in production materials, but not to the same degree as setting up shop in, say, Sri Lanka or something.

I think GW will be watching what happens with Rackham and Mongoose VERY carefully. The reason they haven't gone pre-painted yet is that, so far, the market for such things ('clix, D&D, A&A) has been different. However, it's been doing very well by comparison to the unpainted side of the gaming industry. If it turns out to be a profitable direction, I can see GW, toward the end of their contract with their current paint manufacturer, phasing slowly toward pre-painted figures: starting with the starter game sets (BFM, BFSP, LOTR) and certain boxed sets (i.e. buy a complete, painted army for $X). I can see them also considering this move if they decide to go for a major reorganization: e.g. close the US stores, try to set themselves up to be bought by WOTC/Hasbro, renegotiate the LOTR license (i.e. switch that entire line to pre-painted), or decided to go for the approach Fanpro/Wizkids took with Battletech/mechwarrior, etc.

The issue that would face GW would be the same as it is now: pricing. The consumers that pre-painted product would bring in/retain will NOT be interested in spending $30 on 8 figs. They're going to want the same pricing--if not better--than the current pricing for plastic boxed sets (e.g. 20 Cadians for $30, 25+ Men-At-Arms for $30).

Guinness: for those who are men of the cloth and football fans, but not necessarily in that order.

I think the lesson here is the best way to enjoy GW's games is to not use any of their rules.--Crimson Devil 
   
Made in gb
Stitch Counter






Rowlands Gill

I can see GW going down that road. IF Mongoose and/or Rackham make some decent profits off the range, and IF it starts eating into GW market share significantly then GW have the capacity to go down that road.

GW make most of their profit out of shifting little plastic models. If they have to pay some third party techno company in China to paint them first before we buy them, then that is what they'll do.

To be honest, looking at the crappy models that come with the new Skull Pass set (at least the crappy ones that were on the front of the last WD, anyhow) GW are aiming at the bottom end of the market for capturing newbies. That is where they see their new customers are coming from, not so much the "quality" end of the market (all though, via Forgeworld in particular they still attempt to service it). This "entry level" market is mainly composed of 10-12 year-olds who, I am sure, would rather someone else painted their figures. How many 12 year-olds enjoy painting their models? Only a small proportion I reckon.

So, if their is enough market their, I see GW going for it. Maybe in 2 years or so to give GW time to do their research, set up a deal and get a release date.

Personally I see this new development as HUGE (within the relatively small niche market of wargamers of course). There are many people out their who play with unpainted figures, or who are put off by the thought of painting models. This type of game will appeal to them immensley. Also, those of us who do like painting will be attracted with the chance to "dip our toes" into a game without having to commit loads of time to painting up. WHo could resist the "game in box" - say £30 - £40, all the pieces for both sides, rules. Set up and play straight from the box! Fantastic! And if the paint jobs aren't up to your perfect standard you can always touch them up yourself!

I do see this taking off, and I do believe GW will be foolish to let Mongoose and Rackham steal too much of a march on them.

No doubt they already have some R&D guys looking into things as we speak...

So, to answer the question, If the games sell well (and I believe they will) then I give GW 18 months to 2 years. If they don't they will have hammered another nail into their coffin!

Cheers
Paul 
   
Made in lk
Dakka Veteran





Sri Lanka

Posted By syr8766 on 09/04/2006 5:58 PM
They wouldn't necessarily need to move facilities to East Asia; Mongoose is claiming that their prepainted will be done by machine ... Again, that will mean investing in production materials, but not to the same degree as setting up shop in, say, Sri Lanka or something.

Ah hell, I can't keep a secret. We're receiving soon what will hopefully be the first of many orders form a certain, popular, online retailer (you can find out who when everyone else does). If they sell well and we set up regular thing, it'll be interesting to see if manufacturers take an interest. Especially if AT-40 and Battlefield Evolution do well and those companies without painting alliances feel left out.

There is definitely precedent for GW to go for painted work -- remember a couple of years back that painted, gothic, rubble  piece with the stained glass window?  At least at that time, they were quite comfortable with testing the painted market.

I don't think painted will hurt the unpainted demand. Only about 1/3 of wargamers are interested in it. What painted will do, is help grow the market (rather than the hobby) by bringing in new customers. If the wargame market is in contraction, then this should be a help.

China by the way is more expensive than Sri Lanka. Their materials are cheaper,  which is good for manufacturing, but their labor is not (I wish I could remember the numbers discussed, but after a chat with a friend from Hong Kong we realised that US and UK educated Sri Lankan middle managers, often get paid about what Chinese factory workers get paid).

There's a Singaporean interest we're doing some work with for just this reason, to bring painted gundam kits to the South East Asian market.

Navin

   
Made in us
Awesome Autarch






San Diego, California

I believe that it is very much a double edged sword.

For one, i agree that it would bring more people into the hobby, espeically young people. (which is good and bad)
People who may have been intimidated by the prsopect of moedling and painting a large army may now feel more inclined to get into the hobby. The more people that play, the better. You get more money coming in, which means more stores, more miniatures, more of everything.
Also, as stated, that would mean more painted armies on the tables. Which is also a good thing, nothing spoils the illusion that a well painted army on a beautiful board creates than having a grey and silver army lined up accross from you, or a horribly bad and sloppily painted army.
And for those veterans who just dont have time for the hobby side, it allows them to get into a new army without a major investment of time.
Those, I feel, are the pluses.

On the downside is what would happen to the "soul" of the hobby. If kids are never forced to paint their minis, then less of them will develop their painting skills. 40K becomes less of a hobby at that point, and more of a game. Why would anyone care as much about an amry of what is essentially GI Joes, over one which they spent hours creating, converting and painting and making uniquely their own?

I feel that it would ultimately detract from the quality of painted minis and convertions out there, but i could be wrong. Perhaps the truly artisitc members of the community would still be driven to make their own.

Another negative would be the fact that while yes, more people would have painted armies, they would all be painted the SAME! that would start to bug you as much as poorly or unpainted minis. Lazy or artistically uninterested hobbiest would gravitate towards the painted armies to save time, and if there were a limited amount of such armies, then those would be, by far, the most popular. Think there are a lot of space marine and tau now? just wait untill they were prepainted.

However, I think that on the whole, so long as unpainted minis are offered, a shift in part to unpainted would not be all bad. At first, i was totally against it as i am old school and think that everyone should paint their own army, but that really just isnt fair. Different people enjoy different aspects of the hobby and if a vendor, like GW, chooses to accomodate those people and we all end up proffiting from it, then i say so be it. Whether or not it is inevitable, I will wait until we see hoe Rahkam and SST does.

I just dont ever want to see no option for unpainted minis.

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Unmaker, Scion of Tzeentch





Southern New Hampshire

I'll be quick:

I don't think GW will go exclusively to pre-painted, if only because of the Chapter Trait system for Marines. Part of the fun of Marines - at least for me - is creating your own Chapter. It's not so fun if you have to be constrained with the color schemes GW gives you. Besides, they'd have to produce that many more Tactical Squad boxes that were army-specific. Not to mention the serious hurt it would put on army variety and painting scores.

Maybe they'd produce a pre-painted starter set for youngbloods, I bet they'll stick with unpainted for the majority of their stuff.

"There are no problems that cannot be solved with cannons." - Chief Engineer Boris Krauss of Nuln

AoS - Fires of Change : "The Everchosen stole my destiny. Soon, I shall return the favor." The Unmaker, Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch

Thousand Sons
Renegade Astartes The Scourged
Daemons

DR:80S++G++M--B+IPwhfb01#+D+++A+++/fWD268R++T(D)DM+++
 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Agreed, no way will GW do all pre-painted. It simply wouldn't be possible considering the wide range of models and their unsuitability for easy assembly and painting.

Pre-painted existed before SST and Rackham. The difference now is you will be able to buy ready-made sets in a shop or by mail order, and presumably it will be cheaper. Lots of gamers have used professional painting services, either from the figure manufacturer (see Essex Miniatures) or from third parties. It never stopped people painting their own.

Petition to stop ratification of EU Article 13 on Internet Copyright

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Posted By nyarlathotep667 on 09/04/2006 5:00 PM


Though I seemingly endlessly complain about GW, one of the things the *do* get right is they have resisted any demands to move their manufacturing base to third world sweatshops.


the majority of factories in China are not slave camps or sweat-shops. They are simply factories full of efficient, if bored, men and women making a few yuan to send back to their families in the east. They work in factories because it beats farming.


and as far as I know, most pre-painted models are made in prototyping machines rented out. The miniatures makers don't build these million dollar machines, they just rent them.

http://static.flickr.com/24/64588400_e231cce33f_m.jpg
The Ultimate, Strongest, Most Invincible Man in the Milky Way 
   
Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher




Castle Clarkenstein

GW upper management have always been very against the idea of pre-painted minis, or anything that even suggests it. For this idea to happen, GW would have to go through a huge changeover in people, and focus. Selling starter sets of painted miniatures won't get anyone to start painting, just increased yelling for more painted miniatures.

You might see someone liscense the ideas for a hero clicks type game, probably in a size that won't work with current GW figures, but I doubt we even see that.


....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
 
   
Made in us
Legendary Dogfighter





Colorado Springs, CO

Painting is such a wonderful part of the hobby. By providing pre-painted products, GW will no longer be a model company, but a toy company. But hey, then they could sell them in the toy section of wal-mart and really boost sales.
   
Made in us
Awesome Autarch






San Diego, California

GW upper management have always been very against the idea of pre-painted minis, or anything that even suggests it. For this idea to happen, GW would have to go through a huge changeover in people, and focus. Selling starter sets of painted miniatures won't get anyone to start painting, just increased yelling for more painted miniatures.


I totally agree with that.

   
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik





Minneapolis, MN

Posted By rryannn on 09/06/2006 5:52 AM
Painting is such a wonderful part of the hobby. By providing pre-painted products, GW will no longer be a model company, but a toy company. But hey, then they could sell them in the toy section of wal-mart and really boost sales.

Yep it sure would. They could also drive the dagger in the heart of all the LFGS' that have been jumping ship due to GW's horrendous customer service for their local promoters. A move which would hardly suprise me.

Wizkids does it. You can find their games more and more at stores such as that, leaving the locals behind.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Well I tell you what, if GW all of a sudden has prepainted models that "clix", I will SO stop playing.

Can you D.I.G. it? 
   
Made in us
Yellin' Yoof




Da Green Mountains

Seriously, how many people got started with Space Hulk?? I know I did.

It would seem that a re-release of Space Hulk would be a perfect place to test out prepaints. Include a basic set of pre-painted Terminators and Genestealers, and if you wanted to make it semi-collectible, have two space marine chapters (BA and DA), and three hive fleet colours possible in a sealed box.

Limited armies with stageable new releases make it nice, and playable out of the box. Different weapons, different commanders, librarians, and chaplains are easy to manage, and are high volume pieces. The cross over sales to the 40k game justify the tooling and front end expenses. GW is sitting on gold with Space Hulk. Rackham and Monggose would kill to have what they have: A well-liked, legacy, nostalgic game that people associate with and know. Their IP alone will sell the gubbins out of that game.

Necromunda could be a nice follow-up if successful. More armies/units, and again, stageable and manageable. A great way for GW to cash in on the "skirmish money" without severely impacting the main game.


Thoughts?

engine

www.pbase.com/ordoxenos
Stop by and check it out. 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





If they clix I quit.

Can you D.I.G. it? 
   
Made in us
Awesome Autarch






San Diego, California

I think spacehulk would be a good test market for prepainted. That is a good point, and it makes sense. I would not be surprised to see that at all.

   
Made in lk
Dakka Veteran





Sri Lanka

An excellent post, engine.

I feel the model you suggest would work very well for bringing in new players, and expanding the market is nothing to thumb one's nose at. There is also the existing market of gamers just too busy to paint, who will happily buy up affordable and well painted minis to grow their existing armies.

However...

40K is a cult brand. It's customers aren't fickle mercenaries or loyal advocates, they are fan(atic)s. Even as they gripe about the company, they tattoo their chests with imperial eagles, adopt 40k-themed email adresses, and closely follow the trials of Commissar Gaunt. I have a client who has never painted a single mini -- but owns almost everything Black Library puts out.

Companies that have stumbled upon or created cult products and brands (Star Wars, Harry Potter,  Apple Computers) are fiercely protective of these gold mines ane are very careful not to tamper with what they've come up with - and if they do, their fans will usually police them through outrage.

Unpainted minis that customers get to paint themselves, are not only the foundation of the hobby, but are an integral part of the GW cult brand. GW knows what they have, and they are not likely to risk tampering with it so fundamentally.

Would holding back hurt GW? Well, it limits their market. That's something no one in corporate leadership is going to consider lightly. But is their cult brand a sound product that ought not to be tampered with?

Here's how you test this. Do you know who Eisenhorn is, and do you care who Jonny Rico is? Seriously, does anyone care who Jonny Rico is?

That's the power of a cult brand right there.

To answer your question, I think GW should be careful about offering fully painted starter kits - they certainly shouldn't offer them as only painted.

   
Made in au
Lethal Lhamean






Why prepainted minitures when their paints cost $4.00 AU a pop..

Theyd be losing out. Plus heaps of people make new armies to try and have the beautiful army..
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Sanford, Fl

It could be worse, GW could possibly hire some painters who don't care and put out trash paint jobs. I am not a great painter, but enjoy bring my figures to life and try to give them a good job. My goal is to improve with each project.

I have played table top war games with pre-painted figures that S___ed, I even re painted a few.

So if GW goes that route it would be bad for 40K.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Sanford, Fl

It could be worse, GW could possibly hire some painters who don't care and put out trash paint jobs. I am not a great painter, but enjoy bring my figures to life and try to give them a good job. My goal is to improve with each project.

I have played table top war games with pre-painted figures that S___ed, I even re painted a few.

So if GW goes that route it would be bad for 40K.
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.






Under the couch

DaIronGob
"If they clix I quit."

So you said. But prepainted doesn't mean clix. It simply means pre-painted. And offering a range of prepainted minis alongside the unpainted range doesn't mean the instant death of the 'hobby' side of gaming. There would still be plenty of people painting their own.



Shaman
"Why prepainted minitures when their paints cost $4.00 AU a pop..
Theyd be losing out."

They would be losing practically nothing, since the prepainted minis would sell mainly to those who aren't interested in painting in the first place. So the majority of the 'lost' paint sales would be to people who don't buy paint in the first place. And the people who don't play now because they're not interested in painting.

   
 
Forum Index » Dakka Discussions
Go to: