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Author Topic: Miniature painting  (Read 23742 times)

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Offline Sprikut

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #450 on: September 09, 2018, 09:40:49 PM »
I'm not saying I shouldn't pay for nice models. But when I can get a box of 7 Really good Models from Corvus Belli for $40~ or a box of 5-6 Alright Models for $70~ I might as well go with the nicer models. ;)

I'm not against expensive minis but I believe the dark age guys at least have been pushing to swap to Plastic in part to reduce their price point. I know there was very little uptake locally in part because it was a high cost for a product that was just alright. 

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #451 on: September 13, 2018, 10:53:44 AM »
Pockets, thanks for bringing Mierce Miniatures to my attention! I see that they have their own game, Darklands - I admit I don't think I'd be picking it up. But the minis are interesting! I might get some of them...

Here's a new idea: Dragon Rampant. Some of the guys at my local gaming shop brought it to my attention - apparently, it's a light-weight system for fantasy battles with no dedicated miniatures. The idea is you can whatever you want! I'm tempted to try this - that way, I'd be able to mix-and-match minis from different games and paint (and play with) whatever I find appealing.

But, here's a question: Pockets, do you have human minis from WFB, WH40K or AoA at hand? If so, could you measure them and check how they fit with the Mierce Miniatures's stuff size-wise? I wonder whether minis from the two games could be used together...

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Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #452 on: September 14, 2018, 03:50:46 PM »
But, here's a question: Pockets, do you have human minis from WFB, WH40K or AoA at hand? If so, could you measure them and check how they fit with the Mierce Miniatures's stuff size-wise? I wonder whether minis from the two games could be used together...

That's not something I can do for two reasons, 1) I don't have the models anymore, they were commission pieces, and 2) the different models from Mierce range from normal to monstrous depending on what you're buying.

Offline solkar

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #453 on: September 15, 2018, 09:16:23 AM »
I'm not into miniature painting myself, but I'd like to share an anecdote.

Years ago, a good friend of mine was quietly sitting at the large table he had fashioned for his roleplaying group, which included me. The table consisted of a board of joint planks supported by two sets of connected A-frames and could easily be stored when he didn't need it.

But right now, he did. For on top of his table were numerous unpainted miniatures, and of course also pots, cups, jars, brushes, and whatever else he needed. A wide variety of colors was available. Imagine a peaceful scene on a sunny weekend afternoon. The house is quiet, nobody else is there, he is both relaxed and focused on the job at hand. Immersed in his artwork, a wash here, a finishing touch there, he's making nice progress, and has all the time he needs.

Somewhere in his house, hidden under a chair in the nearby kitchen, a demon lurks. It is jet black, four-legged and has a ferocious temper that may flare into violence at any time and for any reason, or for no reason. The artisan could have suspected it, the beast had been around for some time.... but alas, he had paid no heed.
It took the cat mere seconds to accelerate, and the distance between its hiding place and the nearest A-frame was perfect for allowing it to reach full speed. With a tremendous crash it thundered into the support. The table disintegrated into its three components. Paint flew everywhere. The floor, the ceiling, furniture, clothes.... miniatures had the shock of their virtual lifetime. That half-painted metal dragon could really fly. The elven chariot charged faster than it ever had.

"AAAAARGGGHHHH!" It all ended with my friend chasing his cat all around the house. Of course, he didn't catch it. Fortunately.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #454 on: September 16, 2018, 05:52:07 PM »
Ouch! That cat was quite lucky that it didn't get caught after a stunt like that! :D

I've long learned that I need to be careful around my minis, when my cat is around. The furry guy would really like to steal some of these... :) On the other hand, my cat is the only person in my household that actually pays attention to these minis. Quite often, when I'm painting or assembling, he just sits around at my table and watches...

On another note:

I'm trying to get into playing Dragon Rampant! It's a nice excuse to buy some interesting minis from games I don't play :) That said, I'm a bit stumped right now: I would really like to field a group of fantasy human infantry. The problem is, I just can't find affordable minis for that. I could use Sisters of the Watch for that (yeah, they are elves, but they could pass for humans), but they have those bows with flaming magical arrows... Even worse, they actually have big honking *hearts* on their belts. They look like Care Bears. Agh!

I have found a really nice-looking shieldmaiden infantry, but they look quite a bit on the barbaric side. I could use something a more... regal (I'm actually trying to do a "Dark Queen and her army" here). Any ideas?

The minis should fit the 28mm scale, BTW.

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Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #455 on: September 16, 2018, 07:11:32 PM »
Check out Raging Heroes. They've got plenty of badass babes.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #456 on: September 16, 2018, 07:27:11 PM »
The quality of Raging Heroes has plummeted since they switched from metal, I would not recommend anything that doesn't specifically say made from white metal. It's melty, miscast-prone plastic in a material that sloughs primer, at the same boutique price point as the metals.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #457 on: September 17, 2018, 01:55:11 AM »
It's an important point you raise, Dhi... Apparently, not all manufacturers can be trusted :(

So, do you guys know any games / companies that have bad minis? I suppose that Games Workshop can be trusted (on the other hand, I keep hearing about "failcast"...). What about the minis from Warmachine / Hordes? Malifaux? Are there any lesser-known companies I should stay away from?

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Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #458 on: September 17, 2018, 10:03:17 AM »
Avoid the cheap Reaper plastic models, even when primed they have a hard time keeping paint on. Other than that... hit or miss. I've had good casts and bad casts from nearly every company I've purchased from. Both metal, plastic, finecast/resin, etc.

Offline Thorne

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #459 on: September 17, 2018, 11:08:21 AM »
Avoid the cheap Reaper plastic models, even when primed they have a hard time keeping paint on. Other than that... hit or miss. I've had good casts and bad casts from nearly every company I've purchased from. Both metal, plastic, finecast/resin, etc.

That's because you don't prime Bones.
Wash them, yes. If you /really/ want paint to stick, people have had the best luck with Reaper's Brown Liner as a base coat. I've dropped and accidentally stepped on Bones minis I treated that way, and they were fine; no chipping or anything. Not all the liners perform the same way; YMMV. But for whatever reason, Brown Liner is crazy effective.

The general consensus is 'Don't hit Bones with rattle-can spray primer'. Some work, some don't, most will get you a sticky mess, and you'll have to give the thing a Simple Green bath and start over; it has something to do with leaching and chemistry.
http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/48669-bones-the-first-coat-is-the-difference/ - seriously, read this if you're going to paint Bones, even for lols.

That having been said, Bones are best utilized at larger sizes; human and smaller-size miniatures in Bones don't always retain the detail that metal does, and some of the fails are … well, let's just say I don't have as many human-sized minis in Bones as I do monsters. A lot of noseless humans, and one or two really odd casting WTFs that don't seem to happen as much when you start going up into larger models.

I have a few of GW's more recent plastics, they're alright, and I do like the detail on their wolves. A bit fiddly, and a little more fragile than some, not as bad as resin. I don't buy much of their lines, or Privateer Press', because I don't play Warhammer, or Warmahordes, and while I like some of their bigger models, I don't like them enough to throw that kind of money at them.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #460 on: September 17, 2018, 01:59:31 PM »
If you don't mind, I have a general question: are there any important differences between minis made of metal, plastic or resin? Is any of these materials better than the rest?

For example, I've noticed that Mierce offers some miniatures in resin and metal versions. Metal versions are cheaper - would that mean they look worse?

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #461 on: September 17, 2018, 02:54:01 PM »
So much of that depends on the manufacturer, unfortunately.

Kingdom Death does great resin with hair-thin detail and is currently moving into photo 3D printing for the best quality possible. There are retired sculpts which will never be cast in mass production plastic because plastic cools in the mold, and shrinks slightly, and so does metal.

Sometimes resin is more expensive due to such a slow production process, or because they are the original castings used to populate the metal molds. They are closer to the originals, and a little piece of history.

But usually a company will see the price of metal going up, talk about switching to resin or plastic to keep costs low, and then charge just as much while quality control is handled by an overworked factory in China.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #462 on: September 22, 2018, 02:09:57 PM »
So, if I understand correctly, resin is more detailed that metal or plastic?

On another note - gah, I got myself the Dragon Rampant rules. Now, I really want to play it! I scoured all the miniature games I know of and I realized that, actually, I'm most keen on using the Age of Sigmar minis. I have this crazy concept for an army of a Dark Queen: a mix of harpies, snakewomen, wraiths and other weirdness. If only these minis were cheaper! I really, really want to get a Verminlord - but it costs so much... Especially as I also want a Sylvaneth Treelord with Driads and Tree-Revenants. Eh...

Online Chanticleer

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #463 on: September 22, 2018, 02:43:54 PM »
So, if I understand correctly, resin is more detailed that metal or plastic?

On another note - gah, I got myself the Dragon Rampant rules. Now, I really want to play it! I scoured all the miniature games I know of and I realized that, actually, I'm most keen on using the Age of Sigmar minis. I have this crazy concept for an army of a Dark Queen: a mix of harpies, snakewomen, wraiths and other weirdness. If only these minis were cheaper! I really, really want to get a Verminlord - but it costs so much... Especially as I also want a Sylvaneth Treelord with Driads and Tree-Revenants. Eh...

Plastic has usually been the bottom of the barrel, but some companies have recently done amazing things with it...It depends on the metal. It depends on the resin. It depends on the mold.

Plastic has the advantage that it's injected into stainless steel molds. These molds don't deform or erode, so the mold never loses clarity. The problem is that the plastic, in order to be extractable from the mold, shrinks significantly as it cools, therefore plastic rarely takes as clean and sharp detail as metal or resin, neither of which suffer so much shrinkage while they're soft.

Metal and resin are both poured into flexible molds (usually silicone for resin, not 100% sure about metals, I've seen various kinds of rubbers), which means that there's some variation of the molds due to flexibility. Additionally, the silicone or rubber 'erodes' or wears slowly, which means that the 100th batch of miniatures out of a mold won't be quite as sharply detailed as the first batch.

Historically, the molds themselves were made from a positive original figurine, so there was an additional 'copy fade' element there, but some modern molds are made using 3d printing technology, which means they should be as precise and exact as the computer/printer can define them.

Basically what I'm saying is that the medium used for the casting isn't the only factor. Your only option for certainty is to see the miniatures in person, because the 100th generation of miniatures cast as a mold is wearing out will NOT look as clean and perfect as the first fifty-sixty-seventy sets...So even a company that you've dealt with before isn't a 100% guarantee.

Always be ready to return the product with 'These miniatures are not as detailed/cleanly cast as the ones shown in your catalogue/brochure, I want a refund.'

Just the way it is.

Sorry, but that's how it is.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #464 on: September 22, 2018, 03:04:14 PM »
I see! Thanks for clarification.

BTW. Is there any difference in painting and assembling models made of resin?

I've been also wondering: is there a way of getting the paint off a plastic or resin model? I know how to do it with the metal models, but can you strip other types of minis?

Online Chanticleer

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #465 on: September 22, 2018, 03:30:51 PM »
I see! Thanks for clarification.

BTW. Is there any difference in painting and assembling models made of resin?

I've been also wondering: is there a way of getting the paint off a plastic or resin model? I know how to do it with the metal models, but can you strip other types of minis?

You can use superglue or epoxy on resin, just like on metal. I used to actually use a rubberized CA glue on metal minis.

I've used Simple Green as a stripper for all three. You can't leave plastic minis soaking forever in it though, like metal, because it'll soften the plastic. So, for metal I just dump the minis in Simple Green and come back in 3-4 days and the paint just falls right off when you swirl them around in the liquid. If you do that with plastic it'll be soft as clay. With plastic you want to dip it in for an hour or so, then gently scrub with a soft nylon-bristle toothbrush, then dip again. As you get more of the plastic exposed, dip the mini for less time. Sometimes I've used a brush to paint Simple Green on the parts which still have paint layers, to make sure the plastic doesn't soften too much. In my experience, Simple Green doesn't soften resin, but there are different kinds of resin so I'd treat it as carefully as plastic until you were reasonably confident.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #466 on: September 22, 2018, 05:28:41 PM »
Simple Green is sold in HDPE plastic jugs, it'll be okay on plastic minis. That's just an old mini painting wives' tale.

Online Chanticleer

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #467 on: September 22, 2018, 05:42:52 PM »
Simple Green is sold in HDPE plastic jugs, it'll be okay on plastic minis. That's just an old mini painting wives' tale.

No, I can state from personal experience that it's not.

It may depend on the plastic in question, however. I had some old GW skeletons that got bendy/flexy/squishy after I forgot about them for a few days.

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Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #468 on: September 22, 2018, 05:49:26 PM »
Simple Green is sold in HDPE plastic jugs, it'll be okay on plastic minis. That's just an old mini painting wives' tale.

Yeah, this is not true. It depends on the plastic. If you're going to strip models try 91% or better isopropyl alcohol.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #469 on: September 22, 2018, 06:04:45 PM »
I appreciate that you had a bad experience stripping minis, I've had a lot of bad experiences with primer and the variables therein that can go wrong. But, what happened to your minis wasn't the fault of Simple Green. Simple Green doesn't have anything in it capable of that chemical reaction.

If you ever sift through your Simple Green after a soak, you might notice intact paint shed like a snake's skin. It doesn't melt, or soften like acetone. It's an enzyme that weakens the adhesion of paint by swelling it. In fact, if you let it dry, it will settle right back where it was. That's why it's difficult to get paint out of little crevices with a Simple Green soak alone.

Maybe your GW skeletons are made with cheap filler foam that soaks up water. I don't know.

Online Chanticleer

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #470 on: September 22, 2018, 06:44:30 PM »
I appreciate that you had a bad experience stripping minis, I've had a lot of bad experiences with primer and the variables therein that can go wrong. But, what happened to your minis wasn't the fault of Simple Green. Simple Green doesn't have anything in it capable of that chemical reaction.

If you ever sift through your Simple Green after a soak, you might notice intact paint shed like a snake's skin. It doesn't melt, or soften like acetone. It's an enzyme that weakens the adhesion of paint by swelling it. In fact, if you let it dry, it will settle right back where it was. That's why it's difficult to get paint out of little crevices with a Simple Green soak alone.

Maybe your GW skeletons are made with cheap filler foam that soaks up water. I don't know.

Late 80s-early 90s, GW product. Don't know. It was brittle stuff...Until it spent a few days in SG. Maybe the 'flimsy plastic' fairy waved a wand over it at night when I wasn't looking. All I can tell you is they had a very different feel to them prior.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #471 on: September 22, 2018, 09:10:16 PM »
After sketching out chemical formulas searching for a way to best explain the difference, I think a compromise is to say that Simple Green and products like it use a chemical p-glycol (C3H8O2) to interact with the e-glycol (C2H6O2) in water-based paints, trading an intermediate methylene (CH2) which seeks another bond. This process changes a chemical's shape slightly, and the result is to lift paint off.

Plastics like PLA, ABS, HPDE, etc. don't share that structure. They all end in methyl groups already and won't budge.

Acetone has a very similar structure to those plastics. It lacks the OH bonds of p-glycol, so it is an aprotic solvent. Reactively, electrically, they're opposites, and it rips apart those plastics because of it. P-glycol is protic, it has OH bonds, it can't melt plastic.

I hope that helps explain the difference in a more satisfying way than fairy wands or because-I-said-so.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #472 on: September 23, 2018, 11:48:41 AM »
Isopropyl was mentioned yesterday. It's fine for loosening paint. I use it for a number of things while painting. The main drawbacks are that isopropyl is more expensive, but also more reactive. It's a solvent for all kinds of filthy organic matter, of which plastic is, perhaps counterintuitively, one.

P-glycol is C3H8O2.
Isopropyl is C3H8O.
The two are similar structures, except for the extra oxygen in p-glycol. That added tail makes it nonreactive to many of the things isopropyl and other alcohols will dissolve. P-glycol is specifically a key to e-glycol's lock, which enables it to potentially peel off a number of stainables like paint and makeup.

Isopropyl is C3H8O.
Acetone is C3H6O.
It is just a free radical away from reacting with plastic.

I think it's fine to use. I wouldn't use it to soak, because that's going to evaporate in minutes and then you're out like $10, and you may have damaged the container, and good golly is it flammable.

But it isn't gentler on plastic minis than Simple Green.

Online Chanticleer

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #473 on: September 23, 2018, 12:42:49 PM »
This has been an enchanting chemistry lesson and it's all theoretically the case, but outside of the lab, depending on what other contaminants may be present, the molecules will do what they damn well please.

I appreciate your chemistry competence, but I saw this happen and I've got half of century of interpreting the evidence presented by my eyes, nose and fingers. Throwing molecular models and bond diagrams at it will not change history. All I'm saying is that it's wise to exercise caution with plastic miniatures because they're more likely to experience a reaction to chemical strippers than metal alloys or resin. Different plastics will react more easily to different stripping compounds, and companies may use different plastics from year to year in order to try to eke out a wider profit margin.

Therefore I will continue to recommend that you test on small, unimportant surfaces (bases) before soaking for days at a time unobserved.

Offline Dhi

Re: Miniature painting
« Reply #474 on: September 23, 2018, 02:04:54 PM »
The ultrasonic cleaner I picked up for airbrush cleaning is a great time saver when it comes to Simple Green. It agitates the reaction and does in minutes what might otherwise take hours or days. Low end ones are pretty cheap now.