So I have gone through my Bones a couple of times and notice some strange stuff. First off I expect some lose of detail but I guess I expected it to different from what I see in the models. Mike over at Constantly Risking Obscurity has a great comparison of two different Bones models with their metal counterparts. He sees definate loss of detail but very uneven like the Bones could handle the detail but it is not in the model anymore.
I have found in my studies very consistent deficiencies in all the casts of some models.
For example here is the Cowgirl Model. Mine does not have a nose. Almost looks like you could paint her light green and make her a human alien hybrid cowgirl.
As far as I can tell all the Cow Girls are like this. Other models have noses so what happen to this one. Similarly I found several other models without noses and other strange issues:
Cowgirl Missing Nose
Townsfolk Mom with Kids Kids Missing Nose
Pathfinder Kyra the Cleric Nose Almost Indented
Juliette Female Sorceress No finger details on hand
Almaran the Paladin Back Face seriously distorted
Autumn Bronzeleaf Staff Side Face bumpy
Sharess Nashenneth Rough Face
Female Warrior Missing 50% of Axe Blade Edge
I think we are pretty sensitive to the missing face details compared to others since we might not notice if that buckle is a little weak but you expect a face to have a nose. These are also many human type models. Again I think that the errors are easier to spot since we know what a human face should look like compared to an orc or bugbear.
I think that many of these issues are mold based as they are repeated over multiples of the same models so it got me thinking about how they create the molds. Now Bones does not hold the details as well as metal or resin so if you machine the molds up to the detail level of the masters than you will have random chance of catching some the details and get say a blade that part of the length has an edge then not than an edge again. So you have to make you molds at the detail level you expect the material to hold.
So how do you generate these lower resolution sculpts. The best way would be to scan the master models at high resolution and then go in digitally and trim the edges either with a program or digital sculptor. That is going to be time consuming and you have 250 models to get done as fast as possible so if you just lower the scanner resolution then you get it without going in editing each file. Problem here is that when the scanner has a little plip or something, significant detail will be lost since you have set the thresholds to capture less detail. Essentially some of the details that could be captured were lost in the rounding error of the mold production process.
This is just a theory. It is also possible that the mold machiners did a crappy job to either be cheap or fast or both. Unfortanutely either way it leaves a few models that are just not going to look right unless you go in and resculpt them or Reaper gets a new mold made.
Where does this leave the Bones catalog? Obviously the Kickstarter was still a good deal at like 75 cents for a human sized model but at 2-3 dollars some of the models do not stand up. The Bones are great for monsters or models that you do not expect to be using all the time but for your PCs and such you are better off with the metal ones since they will be used over and over agian. Unfortanutely they made a lot of PC type models in the set, less Elves and more monsters would have been better.