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Subject: Preparation for Painting? rss

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Frank Calcagno
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Hi all.
I've heard that "hot water" will straighten out bent plastic miniatures, but before I accidentally melt my minis into a gray plastic masszombie, my question is:

How Hot?

How Long?

My thoughts are to boil water and place the minis in a metal strainer to keep them off the bottom of the pot, but advice would be appreciated. Do you place minis in currently boiling water?

I am also considering a thorough wash with Dawn to de-grease the surfaces. Opinions on this? Ideas about a Windex spray and then a thorough wash?? (Windex seems to cut through a lot of stuff...)

Is brush-on primer acceptable, or spray only? (If brush-on, what's the difference between primer and just brushing on a base coat of paint?)

The OCD in me thanks you.modest
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Wouter Dhondt
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Almost boiling (80 celcius, convert to your scale as needed), not long at all. A few seconds. If it doesn't work, put the mini in longer.

I spray primer. Brushing it on seems tedious and not sure if you'd cover up a lot of detail that way.

Primer paint is different than the other paints you'll use to paint the miniature, so it is needed even if you brush.
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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I tried brush-on primer, and was sorely disappointed with it - though it may just have been a bad product (or a bad batch) and not a bad concept in general. The one I tried was way too thin and actually felt more like a shade than a primer, and it was pretty impossible to get a solid coat on the miniatures. On the other hand, I've also tried Citadel Imperial Black primer that was included in some Games Workshop quick-start product, and that one was very good and I don't think I would've got a better coat with a spray primer.
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John Dunn
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Hi

I wash my minis in washing up liquid (diluted) to remove residue and any gunk rinse and then leave overnight to dry.

Trim any mold lines if needed.

1 cup of boiling water, 1 cup of cold tap water and only submerge the part that needs straightened then dip it into cold cup and check (redo if needed).

Spray with primer then paint.

Hope this helps
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Forsetius
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A hair dryer is the easiest way to reshape bent swords, staffs etc. A few seconds (no more hot than what is acceptable on your holding hand) and then holding it in place while the plastic memory (yes, that is a thing) ensures the success.
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Frank Calcagno
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Fantastic comments. I appreciate it!
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E Kerr
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Vallejo make good brush on primers. I use them during winter months when I can't get outside to spray.

The black and grey are great, the white will look pretty patchy unless you do quite a few coats, but paint will stick to it fine even if it looks patchy to begin with.

You don't have to worry about it obscuring detail. It will "shrink" as it dries. I just slap it on straight from the bottle with a damp brush.

I think I actually prefer it to rattle can primer, unless doing a lot of minis at once. Don't have to worry about warming and shaking the can, humidity, overspraying or missing hard to reach areas.
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Kenny Felts
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I dip (holding with my fingers the base or head depending on what is bent) minis in just shy of boiling water for 5-10 seconds (depending on the thickness of the bent part) and have never had a single issue. You can even use this on painted minis with no problem. After taking out of the hot water you have a few seconds to make sure things are straight before placing in a cup of cold water to almost immediately re-harden them. I was very scared the first time doing this but have no concerns with it now.

You can wash the minis with soapy water if you want (I don't do this on very small minis) before priming. You can use an old toothbrush if you want to gently scrub.

Spray primer is better and faster. The biggest mistakes using a spray paint are:
1.) Using too much (you want an extremely light dusting of primer).
2.) Holding the can an improper distance (too close makes for a thick coat and too far causes the paint to dry a bit in the air causing a snowy look).
3.) Spraying in very low or very high temperatures/humidity (this messes with virtually all sprays).

For varnish, I have decided against ever using spray varnish again. It can work (and I've had it work well for many of my minis) but I've also had several instances of it going on much too thick, hiding all detail and ruining the paint-job. I recommend a brush on varnish (I use Vallejo) unless you need to varnish a LOT of minis.
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Gary McCloskey
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I use a heat gun that I got at pat catans for $17. I just heat it up for around 20 seconds or till I see the plastic start to change a little. Then I mold it back into place.

If you use any kind of dish detergent make sure you use an old toothbrush to scrub off the mold release. Don't use your wife or kids brushes. LOL

I use badger Stynylrez primer with both an airbrush and regular brush and it works really well. I use it when the weather is not so good in my area. I normally use Krylon color master rattle can primer when the weather is better. Either way will work. Using just a coat of paint will not adhere to the plastic and flake off. I got some stuff from a friend that I made a deal with and now it is flaking off. Either he did not wash the plastic well enough or didn't use a primer and just painted it. Now I have to repaint them.
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I use a quick dip of the part of the mini to be straighten into hot water, straighten it, and then dip into a bowl of cold water to set. Worked fine on my IA minis.


I high recommend washing the minis with some dawn or other dish soap mixed with water. I use a old tooth brush give them a scrub to make sure all the mold release is off.
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Aaron Corley

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Antares Rangers wrote:
Hi all.
I've heard that "hot water" will straighten out bent plastic miniatures, but before I accidentally melt my minis into a gray plastic masszombie, my question is:

How Hot?

How Long?

I tried this out for the first time over the weekend: a small glass bowl of water heated in the microwave for sixty seconds. I dipped one bent mini into the boiling water and it instantly went soft, so I pulled it out immediately thinking I had ruined it. Instead, the plastic was now pliable enough to move the re-position the way I wanted it and it took less than a minute of holding it in place before it reset.

I honestly did not expect it to be that easy.
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Frank Calcagno
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Yes, I used the hair drier method with a glass of ice water. It worked very well. The plastic softened and the ice hardened the plastic. And as stated above ^ the plastic does have a memory that it will "try" to go back to. Apparently the thin spears/guns misshape while they are in a bag for a long time and all it takes is heat to start the process.
It is quite easy...now the fun part.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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I usually just wait until the water is boiling, then dip the mini in for 1-2 seconds.

It doesn't take long. I've done this with IA minis and much lower quality minis, and I've been impressed each time. Seems like the original shape of the plastic (pre-bent) comes out pretty naturally when you do this.
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