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One word: Plastics


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Twyst

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:00 PM

I just received my Reaper BONES Kickstarter shipment and I come here asking the advice of the miniature pros.

1) I've never had plastic minis before. Many of these, while well sculpted, are bent - long parts that should be straight like swords, staves, etc. What can I do pre-painting to reinforce these pieces and make them stay straight? I imagine I might be able to drill out a core and sink a wire into some pieces but some are too thin for that.

2) Also, when painting, do I need to spray on a base coat like I do with metal minis or does the white plastic work as a base?

3) Will the paint stick differently to the plastic than the metal? Will green stuff stick if I need to fill in holes or make modifications?

4) If I want to strip paint and start over, can I soak in Simple Green like I do with metal or will that affect the plastic?

5) What kind of glue/epoxy is best for attaching pieces (I know some melts plastic)?

I don't expect to get around to working on these for a very long time, but I'd like to know what techniques, if any, are out there for when I do. Please feel free to add any additional plastic advice for situations I might not have anticipated.

Thanks!

PS: Bonus points for anyone old enough to recognize the movie reference of my subject.
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#2 LightPagoda

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:40 PM

Bastard! I am still waiting on mine.
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#3 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:06 PM

Got mine yesterday...I have the same questions! I hope Balgin has some advice...
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#4 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 09:07 PM

PS: Bonus points for anyone old enough to recognize the movie reference of my subject.


The Graduate. I should watch that again some time.
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#5 Balgin

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:41 AM

There's a good guide on the Reaper Forums for straightening bent bits.

Link.

I hope you find it useful.

Bastard! I am still waiting on mine.


Mine kind of arrived a few weeks ago. I've been following the guide. Just boil some water in a kettle. Then I've got two old tin bowls (great for cooking) and a knackered old alarm clock that's easy to see the hands on.

I set both bowls and the clock on the edge of the sink.

I run the cold tap 'till it's gone beyond mildly cool to cold and fill the first bowl.

Then I pour enough boiling water into the second bowl to cover a figure then drop it in & make sure it's fully submerged. I watch the clock hands for exactly two minutes at which point the figure's gone pretty bendy and I pick up the bowl and pour the warm water away so that I can just pick up the miniature from the bowl with my fingers.

Then I bend it into the right shape (sometimes using the handle of my scalpel/modelling knife (I use a scalpel) as a flat straight surface to bend stuff straight to*). Once I'm happy with the shape I submerge my hands, figure and all, into the cold water and hold it in position for 60 seconds (one minute).

Then I pull it out and leave it to dry. A few miniatures have needed two or three dunkings but most get sorted in one.

* Needless to say, when using a knife handle as a tool be very aware of where the blade is. I've tried a lollipop stick but it didn't work as effectively. I might try carving down the end of a lollipop stick so it;s less spatula like and fits behind the thing I'm trying to straighten but haven't got 'round to it yet.
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#6 Balgin

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:58 AM

1) I've never had plastic minis before. Many of these, while well sculpted, are bent - long parts that should be straight like swords, staves, etc. What can I do pre-painting to reinforce these pieces and make them stay straight? I imagine I might be able to drill out a core and sink a wire into some pieces but some are too thin for that.


See my previous post.

2) Also, when painting, do I need to spray on a base coat like I do with metal minis or does the white plastic work as a base?


Reaper claim this kind of plastic can be painted without an undercoat. You'll still need to wash them first to make sure you remove any residue of the agent used to ease them out of the mold.

To test this claim I painted faces on five of the Bones without an undercoat and it worked out quite well. I took a few photographs but wasn't happy with the lighting in them so I might take some more to share if people would like to see them.

3) Will the paint stick differently to the plastic than the metal? Will green stuff stick if I need to fill in holes or make modifications?


When I was applying the first coat of paint I noticed that it was going on a bit thinner than I'm used to. This was a problem I used to have back in the 90's when I was quite young and used white undercoats but not one that I've had recently. So I waited while it dried and applied a second thin coat of the second paint which fixed the problem.

The other coats went on just fine. So you should be able to paint them just fine. Just make sure your first coat is a little bit thicker than what you're used to.

If you undercoat them then it will feel just like painting metal miniatures (apart from the weight in your hand). Additionaly, because they're bendy, you can bend things like hat brims or shields out of the way to get at awkward places you wouldn't always be able to reach with a brush and then bend the stuff back into shape again.

4) If I want to strip paint and start over, can I soak in Simple Green like I do with metal or will that affect the plastic?


OOh very tricky. Generaly you can't strip paint from plastic figures as most apint strippers are very acidic and tend to eat away at the plastic swallowing details and melting figures. I'm familiar with Nitromorse, not sure we have Simple Green over here in the UK.

5) What kind of glue/epoxy is best for attaching pieces (I know some melts plastic)?


Tricky. Are you sticking metal to plastic or plastic to plastic? For metal & plastic you'll probably need to sue superglue (possibly with some modelling putting in the joint as well). For plastic to plastic look for some kind of plastic glue. Sorry, can't think of any brand names off the top of my head. There's some advice on gluing and converting in the thread I linked you to in my previous post.

Hope that all helps,
Balgin :).
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#7 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:12 PM

Thanks Balgin!

I am taking the minis over tonight to open before our pathfinder game. Good to have some info for others on hand about how to paint and fix em up. I'll probably take some pictures of the minis unpainted too.
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