Monday, December 22, 2008

Cleaning and basing

Here's a sample of the figures cleaned and based.

In the cleaning process I remove the mold lines, flatten the bases and straighten out rifles, bayonets and such. I work hard to make the mold lines invisible or, failing that, to make them easy to find and clean up. The metal flows into the cavity through the base, so there's always a bit to clean off where the figure attached to the sprue. These were all clean and it didn't take long to touch up the lot of them.

Now it's time to execute the process I described in the previous post about basing. Natives and French command figures go on round Game Crafter's bases. French infantry go on #19 3/4" square bases from Wargame Accessories and the animals go on their 3/4" by 1 1/2" bases (or their 20x40mm bases, which are essentially the same size). Some people use round bases for all their Colonials; many use 1" fender washers with a hole in the middle. I don't like those because of having to fill the hole. Also, they're too big and too thick for my taste.

I use a variety of glues. Mostly I use "Heavy Duty Welder Contact Adhesive" I found at Walmart. It holds well and takes some time to dry so that you can re-position the figure if needed. I've also used something called E6000, billed as an "Industrial Strength Craft Adhesive." It dries faster but in both cases at least overnight--the the tubes say 24 hours or more for maximum strength. For the loads on the donkeys and mules I used a two-part epoxy. This dries in 4 minutes--no need for the long cure here.

Usually I paint horse and rider separately and then glue the rider on with PVA glue (Elmer's in the US). A couple of reasons for this: in case of dropping, the rider pops off instead of having the sword or rifle broken off. I also find it easier to paint each piece separately. Recently, for example, I had a Chasseur d'Afrique lose his sword after three trips to Historicon, one to ConQuest in LA, one to MilleniumCon in Austin and numerous treks to Denver. Just popped him off, painted another figure and mounted him on the still-good horse. Painting horses is a chore. This time, though, there was only the one mounted figure and he has no breakable appendages so I thought I'd try the glued-on method.

I didn't find an el Krim figure lying around, so I used one of the new Berber command figures. You can see him in the center foreground of the picture, in front of the mounted French officer and just to the right of the Algerian native officer.

Next step: apply the pumice.

1 comment:

  1. Always like to hear about how and why people manufacture miniatures, enjoyed the blog on how molds expire. Good luck with the blog.