Saturday, 24 December 2011

Why Does GW Not Paint Models Any More In Store?

Just recently been in my local GW, and there seems to be a very high level of non-painted miniatures in the cabinets for example just showing off new releases on sprues.

 I remember not too long ago in years gone by, the cabinets in GW were filled with beautifully painted miniatures and models, also they seem to be updated regularly.  Nowadays it seems to be this month's new release out-of-the-box sprue taking centre stage..

Don't get me wrong as I can see the appeal but seeing it regularly, in-store for me, makes the hobby look very cheap. I can understand with the new stores format of only having one member of staff, it would be near impossible to get anything painted, so in that instance, I can sort of understand but as a general rule it all seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

As a painter myself, for me it's about the model as a whole and unfortunately whether you like it or not painting is part of the hobby, so it would be good for GW to lead by example when it came to their display cabinets in-store, and tried to bring them back to life. 

After all there is so much potential at your fingertips.


  1. If they are going to keep staffing so low, they might even think about setting up a small team in Nottingham, almost a production line, to paint up one of each major release for a store. There'd be economies of scale then, and the finish needn't be perfect.

  2. It's because stores only have one person working, instead of two, and they don't have black boxes any more.

  3. They do have "black boxes" of sort, but the problem is that they receive new releases in the order the week of the release... This means that most stores will receive a new product on the thursday or friday... with the release that saturday.

    The reasons for this are beyond my comprehension.... apparantly, keeping everyone in the dark is supposed to generate greater excitement and a bigger buzz for new releases. Additionally, it means that on the day of release the staff will be able to show off the sprues in their entirety (perhaps a bigger deal nowadays that new boxes are packed chock full of optional bits and extras etc...

    I disagree with this entirely - and, as you mention, it means that staff are simply ill-prepared to explain products, or their features and benefits... and are not able to show off exciting and inspirational painted models!

    I mean, if you go into a store the day of a codex or army book release the staff really can't tell you with any conviction the ins and outs of an army, or give meaningful suggestions as to what models you will enjoy putting together or creating an army around!?

    Why is all this happening?

    Well, it coincides with the more recent method where GW try to control all the information that enters the public realm. They have this belief that a magical "ta-da" moment on the day of release will make more money.

  4. In the before times (About a year and a half ago) A black box was shipped to a GW with the upcoming releases in it and wasn't to be opened or displayed until the week of the release.

    The idea:
    The black box would arrive somewhere between 2-3 weeks before release. To allow for postage mishaps and such (UPS not being the finest example of a dilevery company) Contained within would be a staff-eyes-only product discription and some sprues for the staff to put together and paint. In a perfet world, the staff would build the models out of sight and paint them on the week leading up to it to drum up excitement.

    What actually happened:
    A few managers actually sold the stuff on ebay ahead of time, released the rules and pictures of models up to three weeks ahead of schedule, or just gave it to their staff to take home and keep, never to be seen again. To stop this, a clause was added to make it a fireable offence to release the products early. Other stores just built the models and never painted them with some just leaving them on sprues.

    At one stage GW relpaced 40 manages in a 4 month period due to dismissals over new releases. This may seem harsh and heavy handed but the majority of these were stealing from the company and were fairly poor managers at best. You can only imagine the cost of training in 40 managers.

    What happens now:
    I can only describe what happens at my local GW- Dublin who has a staff of 6 (1 manager, 2 full-timers, 3 part-timers) Their stock arrives on a thursday afternoon, and by Friday evening one of each of the new releases is opened and built and by Sunday evening they're all painted. Now there are some absolutely fantastic painters in that shop but the majority are speed painted to a standard slightly better than tabletop standard.

    Most one man stores just build the models and undercoat them for the release because- as you could imagine- they're a little busy! Many of these stores offer to display customer armies in leiu of their own to save time and still have some painted armies on display.

    While none of this excuses unpainted models in cabinets, I hope it explains it a little. You should ask if your store is looking for Customer display armies, you never know!


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