With this page, we’d like to tackle once more a subject that we feel is very important to us and to you, so that we can maybe make you understand the reasoning behind some of our productive choices.
Why do we use metal only, and not resin? Let’s clear away all doubt by trying to make you understand our point of view.
The first thing that you might’ve heard from both “resin vs metal” camps, so to speak, is that one is better to hold paint, but that the other doesn’t break so easily, or that one is better to carry around but the other feels more “precious” than the other, and so on and so forth. These are all very valid points, but they refer to a personal point of view that is not enough to justify the choice of one or the other for a business.
Let’s go with a question: do we all agree on the fact that plastic is still superior compared to resin and metal? So why don’t all manufacturers use that exclusively (even though it has downsides as well, no doubt)?
The most balanced answer, in our opinion, is this: it is simply wrong to assume that “one size fits all” when it comes to businesses, and one cannot expect all of them to have the same level of knowledge and expertise – and, most importantly, the same level of economic affluence – to create a product.
Resin is the material that needs the least investment to be used: each and every one of you could, in theory, get a pressure pot, buy one kilo of resin and silicon, create a couple of molds and then make all the copies or conversions that you like. That’s the way that many small-scale manufacturers were born: an hobbyist plans to make 10 miniatures, then he makes 100, sells them and goes on that way. And if it all goes well, maybe his business takes off and his passion becomes a side gig. But there is a problem, and a big one to boot: time vs productive cycle and demand. The hobbyist of our example does this as a second job, or even a third one, so he probably does not have employees to pay at the end of every month. Therefore, he doesn’t need to come out with new products on a regular basis, and can afford to take his time in making his miniatures, delay his new products and so on. We’ve been there, all of us, since that’s how we all started. For this kind of business, resin (and maybe, only resin) is the material to use.
But what if one has to make 48.000 miniatures instead of 1.000? What if the business that used to have 100 customers now has 2.000 all of a sudden, from one project to the next?
This is what has happened to Greebo, which is, it should be pointed out, not a multinational, but a small-sized firm where employees treat this as their main and only source of income. Every month one has to deal with deadlines and paydays, everyone expects to be compensated – and rightly so – and it is the company’s duty to make that happen. In order to do that, we have deadlines to meet, we have to make sure that the development team works together with the production team and vice versa, so that when the latter finishes a production run and starts shipping, the creative team can start with the next project. But what if one of the two stumbles on an issue? What if the production team is forced to slow down because of technical reasons, or any other unforeseeable problem? This would create a pile-up that would freeze new products, with the end result that the use of a material that is unfit for the kind of business that we’re talking about, and its demand, would stop everything in its tracks.
We have a duty towards our employees, and it is to make sure that everyone who depends on Greebo for their income gets their due at the end of the month. At the same time, we of course have a duty towards our customers as well, namely to give them a product that we know and trust, as fast as possible, with the highest possible quality and at the best possible price, with a continuous and constant innovative cycle as well. In order to do that, the one and only material that a firm of our size and numbers can use is metal, not resin. Resin is for very small-scale productions (and please do keep in mind that what is small-scale for a 10 people firm is not for a single hobbyist who does this as a side gig). Once again, comparing different firms is wrong: there are indeed big-sized firms that use resin, and they do so because their numbers and financial structure allows them to invest big time in machines for mass production using this specific material, just like it is for plastic.
Plastic is the domain of those who enjoy big, big numbers, so that they can absorb fairly quickly the cost of both molds and machines. Ditto for resin: either very, very small numbers or very, very big numbers. And if one at this point were to ask, “well then, since it’s all the same, why not use plastic?”, it’s because plastic is undoubtedly an inferior material compared to resin and metal. Additionally, the two latter materials are essentially the same: their limits are both fixed by the use of a rigid metal mold.
Some materials are good for hobbyists, and some other are for bigger productions. Greebo has reached a point where its demand (thanks of course to you all) can be met satisfactorily only through the use of metal. The fact that we also prefer it due to the many, many reasons that we’ve described in the past is entirely secondary: it is an added value, in our opinion, but it’s not the reason why we use it.
The reason why we use it is the market: demand for our pieces is high, our customers recognize the fact that ours are high-quality products, and they know that in this line of work the difference between metal and resin, from the point of view of a player, is minimal, and not a good enough reason to make him say “I won’t buy Greebo minis” just for that reason. At the end of the day, let’s keep in mind the fact that it’s all a personal choice: some people will never want metal minis, for a host of reasons, but a lot of players accept and want our products as they are, with all the pros and cons that derive from our choices. And it is thanks to these players that we’ve grown so much, it’s thanks to them that many people can finally have the job of their dreams and bring home a respectable (and reliable) source of income. We want to keep going down this road, and in our eyes, it is both clear and one and only.
Please notice that we’re not saying that metal is the material of the future: it’s not, just as resin or plastic are not either. Each material makes sense for a determined product, public and purpose. What metal is, is quite simply the material of minis since time immemorial, the one that we’ve all seen and held in our hands, but, most importantly, it is the material that in this moment can allow Greebo to be what it is, and keep on becoming better and better as each project goes out the door. Nothing more, nothing less.