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The Great War» Forums » General

Subject: Yet another miniature removal post rss

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Jim P.
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This is a beautiful game both in the box and especially when setup. I completely understand why some have turned to counters and blocks to play because of the sprue problems…separating these mini's from their mold matrix were the toughest I have ever encountered.

I am obviously late to the party having just received my copy a week ago. I am writing this post anyway for new owners who have not yet started removing the miniatures from the sprues and do not work with plastic models routinely. The places where the injection ducts were put on these sprues annoys the Hell out of me…and I decided that I must win the first battle of the Great War: removing the components cleanly. Here is my approach...

Who am I to give advice about plastic sprues?
I have built models all my life, including balsa wood airplane models as well as plastic. My current favorite models to build: Wingnut Wings WWI plastic airplane models from the company Peter Jackson started in New Zealand. They are EXTREMELY historically accurate and precise and have many pieces that I must assemble with a magnifying lens.

I managed to remove the Great War minis from the sprues breaking only one bayonet. As I was working I thought a lot about writing this post and describing a technique that was turning out OK. It is probably too heavy on detail, though. I hope I do not sound arrogant or a chest thumper in this document…just trying to maybe help someone.

Tools:
Only one: This pair of sprue cutters… Xuron 2175ET Professional Sprue Cutter.

They are available from amazon with Prime shipping. They are about $15.
Exacto knives and Diagonal cutters are straight out. Unless you are tweezer certified, so are tweezers. Nine times out of ten, the small piece that you grab with tweezers will be long gone in seconds. Try to use your fingers if you need to glue pieces together if you can.
A tensor light is handy if you have one - this is explained below.

Area Prep:
White sheer fabric such as a white t-shirt works great for a work area, as pieces will bounce less if they break off and drop; and be easy to spot. It is also nice to work over a light colored non-carpeted floor. Because plastic pieces really prefer the floor and will find a way to get there any chance they can, a t-shirt or two beneath your chair means less time on your knees searching when a piece goes awol.

Approach:
Below I am referring to removing the British soldiers as they present more difficulty than removing the Germans.

Take plenty of time to study the piece before beginning to cut. Check for distended sprue connections indicating tension. Work out a plan for removing the entire piece before starting on any one connection.

It is usually best to remove the most delicate connection first. On the Brit rifle infantry minis in this game, that is - of course - the bayonet.

While near impossible to absolutely immobilize the bayonet, try placing a finger gently beneath the bayonet, and then use your thumbnail to minimize the chance of the bayonet deflecting away from the blades when cut.


Finger Position When Removing

The sprue cutters should be placed so that they cut through the thinnest part of the connection. The cutter blades should lay along the rifle barrel very very close to the bayonet where the connection exists like this:


Do Not Cut Without Supporting Mini as shown in proceeding image!
This image just shows how the cutters should be placed

After you have your finger and thumbnail gently supporting the bayonet right where it is attached to the sprue, cut SLOWLY and GENTLY. Five to six seconds is NOT too slow. Quickly clipping the area is a bad idea. Let the plastic take its time if it must slightly deflect during the cut. I think this is the most important practice when doing this task.

When the bayonet connection has been cut, the opposite side shoulder should be done next. Put a wee bit of pressure on the model moving the bayonet away from the recently cut sprue, when you cut the second connection, so that the second cut does not force the bayonet back up into the sprue connection from which it was just severed.

Flush cut the two connections on the bottom of the base last. As you cut them, hold your fingers on the base and give it a gentle twist as you cut - keeping the delicate bayonet away from its former bond.

If it is tough getting your fingers to reach an inner mini, remove the edge minis first and chop out part of the remainder sprue frame to get your fingers where they need to be for the next cut.



This may sound extreme, but i recommend that you NOT remove more than six rifle troops at a sitting. Take a break after cutting a half of a dozen loose. The longer you remove pieces in one go (and especially when you are having success) the more comfortable you become and you focus less. I really believe that concentration, along with taking it very slow and careful while removing just a few at a time, is the key to this task turning out well. If you break one, put the pieces in a very small baggie to glue together later, and get away from the job for 15 minutes, then start again.



REPAIR:
I use gel super glue for jobs like this. It gives you more time to make the connection between the pieces. Loctite makes a product called Gel Control that doesn't kick until 10 - 15 seconds. It allows you to gently push the bayonet straight after it adheres if it is sagging.

Immobilize the large part of the mini by gently pushing it in some stick 'em or tacky-tack or some such (not too deep!). Position it so that when you are not touching it, the rifle barrel where the bayonet needs attaching is pointed straight up towards the zenith; this way gravity is less likely to warp the direction as the glue sets.

Working with a tensor light can be helpful as well. After joining and positioning the pieces during the 10 second window, hold the glued piece near the tensor lamp bulb for as long as your skin can stand the heat (5 or 10 seconds…before the mini starts to soften) and it will make the glue kick faster.

I hope that there is something usable in this description for anyone involved with this task. Good luck.





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Eric Teoro
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Thank you for the advice. I have held off purchasing due to this problem, but I know I will eventually jump in. A Buddy recently picked this up, so I will point him to this link as well.

 
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Mayor Jim
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Very good article...the pics were helpful too. I used a Xuron cutter and still lost a few bayonets...but that was due to my being complacent after the first 5 or 6 troops being removed. Good advice there on taking a little break!
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Peter Magro
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I have the base game and tank expansion.

Tank expansion came damaged (and with the wrong tanks).

The base game plastic sprues are brtittle and easy to break.
No instructions what so ever.
I played miniature games for many years, this is like Games Workshop's "Fiencast" a.k.a. shitcast.
A sure way to damage models. In a boardgame.

Good game extremly bad packaging/sprues, mine is being returned to the shop until version 2.0 gets out. Yes I confirm I have built MANY plastic models in this scale incldig PSC tanks, these are easy to to break or get damaged compared to others.

Pure crap

Peter
 
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Cameron Robinson
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I had the same problem with the bayonets but didn't lose to many. I didn't bother repairing (as a figure gamer am used to troops losing bayonets)also bayonets were not always fixed so just trimmed the bit under the rifle. My biggest annoyance was the German bombers. The charge on the grenade hadn't come out, so they are actually just throwing sticks! I rang them about this and they said they would send replacements. They rang me back to say they had cheaked and all the figures were like this. I corrected this during painting, yes I wouldn't play with it until I painted them, putting a bit of filler to shape. I then got a special offer on the extension game last month which I took up. It arrived with 5 of them having broken guns, I complained and they replaced all the tanks. Apparently they changed the interior of the box and I got an old one. Well I shall just repair the originals and now will have plenty of tanks, in fact I will paint some of the British as German (they captured a lot after they counter-attacked at Cambri). Oh yes don't try to stick broken plastic one back on, drill out the broken piece and replace with metal rod, they will last forever. All are now painted and I have made magnetic bases to hold figure group. Plastic Soldier Company seem to have a problem about cheaking their product, they seem to be in to much of a rush. I have a feeling that the British figures were made first so when they made the Germans they made them without bayonets.!
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Jim P.
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"I went out to the hazelwood, because a fire was in my head..."
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diflin wrote:
I have a feeling that the British figures were made first so when they made the Germans they made them without bayonets.!


My first thought as well!

laugh

Welcome to BGG! There are plenty of figure gamers here. You need an avatar though.

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Mayor Jim
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Cameron...welcome to BGG hope you use your gold to get an avatar...and then subscribe too
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Freelance Police
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When cutting miniatures off the sprue, I cut the join between the sprue and miniature last. Keep cutting the sprue itself until you can twist off the pieces of sprue from the miniature. BUT don't actually twist it! Use a hobby knife or cutter of choice. More cutting, but you can use the sprue bits as basing material.
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