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"Prices of metal figures" Topic

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martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 2:30 a.m. PST

I am posting this as a discussion and information piece.

I see no need to panic . It is however nice to be appraised of what is happening in the little world of little soldiers.

Tin prices are increasing at a big rate.

This is partially due to the need for tin in soldering applications ( electrical goods). Another reason is that mines are not working to capacity etc.

The salient point is that metal prices are going up fast.

This will of course prompt some to get a bit "political", I fear.
This will affect companies that use a lot of Tin in their figures (e.g. Peter Pig). It will affect more lead-based figures (about 50% of makers) a lot less as lead prices have not been hit so hard.

What action should you take?

1. Buy lots of PP figures as an investment.
2. Don't buy shares in Cornish tin mining.
3. Do buy shares in Indonesian tin mining.
4. Remember these golden days of metal figures. They will pass.

Anyway, back to your painting.


IUsedToBeSomeone01 Jun 2021 3:04 a.m. PST

The tin prices are also rising due to amateur investors in Reddit piling into metals as an investment…

Figure prices have started to rise already, not unreasonably.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 3:12 a.m. PST

Hello Mike
I sit here and await a whole mass of orders (or not)?


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 3:28 a.m. PST

Everything above 6mm has been purchased. I doubt the price of tin in 2mm, 5mm and 6mm figures will cause me as much trouble as labor and shipping costs.

cantbeatdavy01 Jun 2021 3:48 a.m. PST

After sorting through a metric tonne of unpainted figures… room being redecorated!!
I have come to the conclusion …..
The price is relatively unimportant..I just need to plan what I buy more efficiently!!!
That's definitely going to happen!

14Bore01 Jun 2021 3:57 a.m. PST

I'm out of new figures, but hoping the November convention goes and planning to make purchases there. Certainly spontaneous buying is the best.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Jun 2021 4:18 a.m. PST

Will this push more manufacturers into resin and plastic production?

IUsedToBeSomeone01 Jun 2021 4:20 a.m. PST


No the costs of plastic production are FAR higher than making things in metal. It make make it worth casting some rarely sold large items in resin (and I know a couple of people who are experimenting with that.

Metal is here to stay – I always feel that plastic is going to get an enviromental backlash at some point – costs there are dependent on oil price…

Prince Rupert of the Rhine01 Jun 2021 4:21 a.m. PST

It seems like everything is going up in price at the moment. Our energy prices, my streaming services and our weekly food shop.

We looked into taking a short break down to Weymouth this summer and discounted it due to the massive hike in holiday lets and caravan park prices.

I did plan to give my wargames room/garage a full make over in the summer only to read that building materials are both, in short supply, and shooting up in cost so that's helpful.

So I guess like everything else I'll just have to suck it up, and realise, my hobby budget is going to get me a lot less bang for my buck than it use to…… or start buying micro scale (shudder)

skipper John01 Jun 2021 5:58 a.m. PST

Jimmy Carter is back!

Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 7:22 a.m. PST

Other manufacturers save money by shrinking their goods (look up shrinkflation) so that their customers don't notice the price increases.

I wonder if we'll start seeing scale creep in the other direction as a similar practice in miniatures. "Hey, here is my new line of 13mm and 23mm metal miniatures!"

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 7:56 a.m. PST

I thought about the idea of buying smaller figs as opposed to larger (ie. moving to 10mm from 25mm) but when planning that change I find myself deciding I need many more of the smaller size than I did of the larger size, so I gain nothing except a more mass look to my armies, which is sometimes what you want, but it saves little if any money. Also when I look at my miniatures hobby and other hobbies (ie. model railroading, boating, classic car collecting, traveling the world, etc.) my hobby is relatively cheap.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 8:07 a.m. PST

Skipper, surely there are other venues for politics?

Question is whether we have a glitch--a brief rise in price we can wait out if we must--a rise in the price of tin relative to, say, lead, plastic, labor and shipping--or whether as Prince Rupert sugests, we're at the start of a period of serious inflation. They call for different strategies.

If it's tin and temporary, we wait it out.
If it's tin and permanent, we (and the manufacturers) look at other materials.
If it's an overall inflationary period, we're looking at wage and investment strategies to keep income up with rising prices--and the eroding value of any debts we now have. (My father bought a house he could barely afford at the start of the last Great Inflation. By the time he paid it off his house payments were less than some of his utility bills.) If, on the other hand, you were so unwise as to have already paid off your debts and retired and have money in savings and checking accounts, buy your toys now. This will stimulate the inflation, of course, but your money will buy fewer toys next year. Might look at that new roof you were putting off, too.

Tgerritsen, not scale--though some of us will move to smaller ones--but packs which used to contain 10 castings will soon contain eight.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 8:34 a.m. PST

The prices of multi-part plastic 28mm are all over the place. The newer sets for Stargrave and the new Great Escape cowboys are well over $2.00 USD each. Not much of a bargain given assembly time.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 9:45 a.m. PST

It will make 3D printing more cost effective for those who like that sort of thing. My first 3D printer broke even after I'd run 2 one-litre bottles of resin through it. My second machine cost more, broke even part way through the third (and that takes into account all the consumables needed, not just the printer and resin costs)

farnox01 Jun 2021 10:32 a.m. PST

pvc prices are going through the roof in the US as there are resin shortages. I'm sure this this has to affect the model industry as well.

Striker01 Jun 2021 11:43 a.m. PST

I've got so many minis now there are no plans on buying any more. Just painting them will be a task so any price increase isn't worrying to me.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 12:46 p.m. PST

Striker you are exceptional. You don't have the "OH! Shiney!"

Billy Goat Wargaming01 Jun 2021 2:15 p.m. PST

I may need to buy those RCW sooner rather than later, Martin!

Gear Pilot01 Jun 2021 2:15 p.m. PST

Price increases on figures don't bother me as much as the shipping increases have.

McWong7301 Jun 2021 3:46 p.m. PST

+1 on postage costs, the real blocker to my purchasing of late.

Privateer4hire01 Jun 2021 4:52 p.m. PST

Stargrave plastic sets are 20 miniatures for $28 USD (prices I could find on Badger and Brigade) or $1.40 USD/figure. Is there a new wave of plastics as these are the prices for the first three sets (mercs, crew and troopers)?

Striker01 Jun 2021 4:54 p.m. PST

I have the oh whiney, I just get depressed when I put new shiny things on my big pile of metal.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2021 5:34 p.m. PST

Sadly, what I mostly need right now are H&R Ancients & Napoleonics, which aren't currently in production. But "need" is extremely relative. I figure I could go two to five years painting what I've already purchased. It might take me a year or more just to paint the stuff I plan to keep.

Dan Cyr01 Jun 2021 8:16 p.m. PST

Love my Prusa 3D printer. There are things it cannot do (well), but it nearly covers everything.

Martin Rapier01 Jun 2021 11:22 p.m. PST

The recovery from covid is causing all kinds of wierd surges in demand, bottlenecks, supply shortages and unusual price fluctations. It is just of those things, it will settle down again at some point, and possibly an element of inflation will be baked in. Who knows?

I'm not too concerned about inflation, I remember the 1970s and 80s. That was proper man sized inflation, none of this namby pamby 21st century 2% stuff.

The figures cost far more to paint (in terms of my time) than they do to buy.

Wargamer Blue02 Jun 2021 1:24 a.m. PST

I don't mind paying higher prices for metal figures to reflect the tin market. But in return, I would expect figure prices to drop if tin prices drop.

Yesthatphil02 Jun 2021 3:33 a.m. PST

Deprived of my 'shopping at shows' opportunities, I have bought quite widely over lockdown, and I think it is fair to say that there is quite some scope for 'go to' manufacturers like Peter Pig to raise their prices without getting out of line.

I'm a big fan of metal figures, and we know, after putting the work into painting and staging them, that they will be robust and long-lived. They are a quality product.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2021 3:45 a.m. PST

Yes, Martin. And I can remember the first time I bought a comic which said "still" ten cents. I thought it was a bad sign even then. Ideally, you want to do something before you have proper man-size inflation. When you get to that, your options are limited.

YankeePedlar0103 Jun 2021 4:41 a.m. PST

+1 Yesthatphil

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2021 6:48 p.m. PST

I bought so much stuff during the pandemic last year that I could practically flood the market with cheap metal single-handed.

All this will pass and we will be fine, I think. In the mean time, I have decades worth of painting to do.

deephorse05 Jun 2021 3:56 p.m. PST

I remember the 1970s and 80s. That was proper man sized inflation, none of this namby pamby 21st century 2% stuff.

I too remember that period. But to go with the man-sized inflation were man-sized wage rises. I started my career in 1981, and my first wage rise that year was 12.5%. Whatever inflation is now, it is certainly outstripping wage rises of 0.5% or even zero.

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