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"Speed Prepping Techniques - Metal, and Plastic Minis?" Topic

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480 hits since 17 Apr 2016
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Mako11 Inactive Member17 Apr 2016 7:27 p.m. PST

As I'm sure it is for many, starting from scratch on a substantial new army, or even a small one, can sometimes be daunting, given all the prep work that can be involved to get miniatures ready for painting and basing.

I'll personally be working on 15mm and 25mm/28mm scale minis, but suspect a lot of the techniques can be used for other scales as well, though perhaps they differ with larger scale minis, vs. the really little ones, e.g. 12mm figs, and smaller. No doubt, there are probably different techniques for dealing with metals vs. plastic figs too.

Seems to me having an organized and reasonably clutter-free work table would be a good idea, and working in batches assembly-line fashion might help speed things along. A variety of small files, sandpaper and/or sanding sticks, and a scalpel, or X-Acto knife would be key tools too. Perhaps even, a small battery powered Dremel, powertool, also.

A plastic container or baggie filled with those to be prepped, vs. those done, and ready for a post-prepping bath might be useful (in order to remove dust and any residual shavings, etc.).

So, any good tips (great ones would be appreciated too), for inspecting, quickly getting rid of mold lines and casting imperfections, etc., etc., on both metal and plastic minis?

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Apr 2016 7:33 p.m. PST

For plastic minis the best thing is a dull x-acto knife. That way you can shave the mold lines off quickly and safely.

jwebster20 Apr 2016 10:11 a.m. PST

There are lots of things you can do for prep, partly depends how much care you want to take and whether you want to do things like drilling out hands or large pieces of flash

My #1 general tip is use really high quality files (lots of teeth). The cheap files I bought initially ended up in the trash. You only need 2, flat and round (maybe triangular as well)

Another tip is to prep everything (or in batches) then leave for a couple of days and re-inspect them. It is much easier to find missed stuff this way.

For dust etc. clean up regularly. I did buy a hand held vacuum cleaner which was great until it stopped working (Black and decker not my favorite company)

Some ideas for efficiency
- group all models with same pose together. Once you have figures out what one needs, the others will get done quicker. Do not do plastics and metals in same batch
- use each tool on a set of figures rather than several tools on single figures
- don't have too many tools – lots of different sanding doodads could be counter-productive. Again, 2 files not a set of 12
- small boxes/tupperware for the different batches (I used jewelers boxes). I don't recommend baggies for figures you are working on because things get bent out of shape
- have a clear idea of the level you want to clean up to and be consistent. Don't suddenly decide to make every figure in one batch perfect. Don't suddenly decide to do some major conversions


ced110603 May 2016 9:31 p.m. PST

Great advice, John.

I'll add that an engraving pen will save you work. For gap filling (on small gaps in plastic, at least), I prefer Vallejo Plastic Putty. No mixing and easier to use than epoxy (greenstuff).

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