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Subject: Bent miniatures vs. hot water rss

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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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When I checked my newly-arrived Scoundrel mini earlier today, I noticed that it is bent backwards in a fairly noticeable manner - she looks a bit like Keanu Reeves dodging bullets in The Matrix. Now, I do have some experience with reshaping minis by dipping them into hot water, but I seem to remember that this method doesn't work well for some types of plastic (and in some cases, it can even be harmful, if I'm not mistaken).

Does anybody know how the Gloomhaven miniatures react to the hot water treatment? Is it safe to try fixing the Scoundrel's pose this way?
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David desJardins
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DrGosburoCoffin wrote:
When I checked my newly-arrived Scoundrel mini earlier today, I noticed that it is bent backwards in a fairly noticeable manner - she looks a bit like Keanu Reeves dodging bullets in The Matrix.


Wow. She will probably fare better in combat. Lucky!
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Nathan Stiles
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DrGosburoCoffin wrote:
Does anybody know how the Gloomhaven miniatures react to the hot water treatment? Is it safe to try fixing the Scoundrel's pose this way?


Yes, I disliked several of there poses and "fixed" them with hot water (especially the beserker). However, this plastic seems to have memory and it was back in goofy pose in a few days. Try it, and maybe you'll be lucky.

I obviously took it out of the water before it was "too soft", and I'm not sure if boiling has a chance to hurt them-- but I did 75% of them with no issue (and little long term success). Also, they are of course very hot to touch, be smart about it :-)
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Greg
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I do this routinely with PVC minis and boiling hot water and never saw any ill effects.

I haven't tried it with Gloomhaven's minis, but I don't see how they're any different.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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Thanks all for your encouraging (and/or entertaining) replies!

SaintHax wrote:
However, this plastic seems to have memory and it was back in goofy pose in a few days. Try it, and maybe you'll be lucky.

Actually I hoped for the plastic to have memory, since I'm trying to bring the Scoundrel back to her original pose - basically the opposite of what you tried to do.

And thanks for the warning about the water's temperature. But as I hinted at, I am familiar with the process. For example, I did it to a handful of Cthulhu Wars minis. Some of them looked like Godzilla sat on them before they arrived, but after a nice hot bath, they were more or less like new. cool
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Vince De Zutter
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I've also done this with a wide range of games and never noticed any problems with it. If you want to be sure the plastic sets immediately, it helps to dip it in ice cold water right after the mini is in position.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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Vinceness wrote:
... it helps to dip it in ice cold water right after the mini is in position.

Yup, I've been doing that too in the past, it really helps a lot.
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Rick Vinyard
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I haven't seen any plastic minis that are damaged by hot water treatment. However, it may damage the paint on a mini depending on what paint and/or sealant was used.

Personally, I prefer a hot air treatment with a hair dryer and possibly a heat gun if the plastic seems solid enough.

Using hot air is also safe for painted minis like the HeroClix line.

Unless I'm familiar with the plastic used I always start with a hair dryer on low/medium. A hair dryer with a diffuser is best.

If you're careful and start with low heat and work your way up to higher heat levels you don't have to worry about melting the mini.

The key is that you don't want to blast it with super hot air on the surface. You want the heat to penetrate into the inner plastic and warm it. You also want to make sure you don't melt the surface details of the mini because they'll get soft first.

Thicker pieces are hardest because it takes patience.

After one or two minis with a hair dryer you'll get a feel for the characteristics of the plastic used, and might be able to use a heat gun. I generally use a heat gun with the Reaper Bones line and other firmer PVC plastics.

I like the heat gun because it's a more directed heat than a hair dryer. But, it's also more intense so it would be easy to melt a mini if you weren't careful.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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rvinyard wrote:
However, it may damage the paint on a mini depending on what paint and/or sealant was used.

My game arrived yesterday, so it's not painted yet. (I know that you were speaking in general here, don't worry.)

I must confess that I'm a bit wary of the hair dryer method because of its more direct heat application. I can imagine that it's a huge advantage if you're trying to alter the pose of a mini, since you can target the specific area you want to work on. But all my mini reshapings have been done to restore the original pose of the figurine, and for that purpose I prefer the even heat distribution of the hot water approach. Plus, all the things you need for the process are generic household items: one bowl with hot water, another one with cold water, and a spoon to carry the mini from one bowl to the other without cooking your fingers.

By the way, I actually threw the Scoundrel into hot water earlier tonight ... It took her about ten seconds to regain her original form. thumbsup
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Rick Vinyard
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DrGosburoCoffin wrote:
rvinyard wrote:
However, it may damage the paint on a mini depending on what paint and/or sealant was used.

My game arrived yesterday, so it's not painted yet. (I know that you were speaking in general here, don't worry.)

I must confess that I'm a bit wary of the hair dryer method because of its more direct heat application. I can imagine that it's a huge advantage if you're trying to alter the pose of a mini, since you can target the specific area you want to work on. But all my mini reshapings have been done to restore the original pose of the figurine, and for that purpose I prefer the even heat distribution of the hot water approach. Plus, all the things you need for the process are generic household items: one bowl with hot water, another one with cold water, and a spoon to carry the mini from one bowl to the other without cooking your fingers.

By the way, I actually threw the Scoundrel into hot water earlier tonight ... It took her about ten seconds to regain her original form. thumbsup

For altering a pose, I generally use the heat gun. The hair dryer usually takes way too long.

Fortunately my wife has a hair dryer with the diffuser so I didn't have to buy one.

One other note, when a mini has bent ankles/legs I usually heat them upside down. It seems to better restore the position.
 
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