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"Removing figures for rebasing?" Topic

25 Posts

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Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

I was moving some old boxes and I found a bunch of painted and based 6mm Russian & Austrian Napoleonics that I bought at a bring and buy almost 15 years ago that I completely forgot I had. I'm thrilled with the find, but I want to rebase them as currently they are on mounted on small .75"x.25" thin metal bases. I want to rebase them but do not know how to effectively remove them from their current base without damaging the paint job or the figure itself. The appear to be glued with some form of super-glue. It's not thick like an epoxy. Can anyone offer suggestions as to a safe but effective way to remove the figure strips from the metal base?

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 5:04 a.m. PST

Not tried it myself, however I know people swear by the cold method, i.e. pop them in a freezer for a time to get cold and the glue should break easily… theory.

Dervel Fezian01 Feb 2018 5:13 a.m. PST

The cold method is possible and maybe combined with the following.

If it is supper glue bending the metal base with some needle nose pliers will sometimes crack the glue.

I have used this technique successfully.

The alternative is to get the edge of a blade between the two and carefully work a gap.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 5:24 a.m. PST

Being very careful, use a utility knife. The key is to "twist" more than push. They usually pop right off. You might nick the paint on the base but I have done this with no mishaps to hundreds of bases.

Old Wolfman01 Feb 2018 7:02 a.m. PST

Will have to see about trying that on some of my FoW figs.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 7:09 a.m. PST

One of the flat blade x-acto works well.

In the past when I needed to rebase the first step was to do a future dip of the figure base and all. The dip can be clear or with ink(this help protect the paint job)

Then set the figures in a little water just over the base to soften the glue/terrain.

The final step is to slowly slip the blade between figure and base to pop off.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Feb 2018 7:12 a.m. PST

Before using the cold method, test with a sample base first. I've had experiences where the 'cold' affected the paint job (turned it cloudy).

With superglue, a good 'side impact' at the figure base with a heavy chisel should knock the figure loose.

The Beast Rampant01 Feb 2018 7:37 a.m. PST

Minis super-glued to metal are the easiest to rebase.

Simply grip either base edge with a pair of small pliers and bend. If they don't readily pop off (which they should most of the time), you can then slide a blade under them and lever them loose with very little force.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 7:43 a.m. PST

I have found an x-acto knife blade works best to slide between the base and figure to "pop" them off. (I save older less sharp blades just for this).

I have also had luck bending the bases for part of this process as others have mentioned. Both methods work well together.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 8:36 a.m. PST

I find that the cold method works very well. I only remove the individual bases from the freezer one at a time while I work on a base, then when I'm finished, I remove the next base etc. I have never had a problem with fogging.

The idea of bending the metal base is also a good method. The chisel blade Exacto blade is the one to use for popping off the figures.

Usually, some combination of these methods is needed to remove the figures as some of them will work on a particular base and others won't.

My problem is removing figures superglued to wood bases. Nothing that I have tried will remove the metal figure from the wood base.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 9:34 a.m. PST

Mike's solution – two pair of pliers and bend the base is the best method if you don't care about keeping the bases.

I've done it many times just make sure to point the figure in a safe direction.

KSmyth01 Feb 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

I rebased hundreds of figures last summer using the X-acto method. Worked fine, though I did suffer a couple of minor wounds. Keep your super glue handy just in case.

JimDuncanUK01 Feb 2018 9:51 a.m. PST

What are you debasing them to.

They sound quite small. I would just glue them to a bigger multifigure base.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

Thanks for the suggestions folks.

JimDuncanUK: The problem with gluing the existing base to a bigger base is that the strips will have gaps between them. So instead each rank looking like 8 figures wide, it will look like two ranks of four figures wide, which will be out of sync with the rest of my units. (But I did think about it)

Yellow Admiral01 Feb 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

If someone was overzealous with the superglue and you can't just pop them off without destroying them, you can try softening the superglue with acetone. Soak the base in a lake of acetone just deep enough to immerse the cast-on base under the minatures' feet. Don't let the acetone touch the (important) painted surfaces, because it also debonds many paints and clearcoats.

FWIW, this also works for miniatures superglued to wood, cardstock or other porous materials that absorb the superglue.

Minis super-glued to metal are the easiest to rebase.
No, minis based with PVA are the easiest to rebase. It only took me until my 183rd rebasing project to switch to using PVA to glue miniatures from now on… slow learner.

- Ix

JAFD2601 Feb 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

The new catalog from lists "# 80887 Z-7 Debonder dissolves all brands of cyanoacrylate adhesives like magic … $5 USD for 1 oz. applicator bottle. Ships by ground to 48 contiguous US only."

Don't know how useful 'twould be to you, but the stuff does exist.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

Regarding the gluing of the current base to the new base. If the bases produce gaps, get a pair of tinsnips and just trim the bases.

If that will tend to make them too tall, then follow the good suggestions above. Super glue on metal bases is pretty easy to overcome.

My worst experience was figures epoxyed to linoleum. I had to put them in water on a cookie sheet. And heat over the stove until they were pliable enough to cut loose.

The best tool I have Found for removing figures from all sorts of bases is

Just get it under a corner ó Snip and off they pop. It cuts sprues and flash.

leidang01 Feb 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

A set of model railroad track cutters can also be useful to get under the lip of the figure.

Timbo W01 Feb 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest rebasings in history…. That we are rebasing at many pointsóin Nottingham and in Readingó, that we have to be prepared in South East London. That the aerial basing is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home.

I would say to the Board as I said to those who have joined this website: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of rebasing struggle and of suffering.

You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to re-base by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to re-base against a monstrous basing system, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of figure basing. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Rebasing. Rebasing at all costsóRebasing in spite of all terroróRebasing, however long and hard the road may be, for without rebasing there is no wargame.

DJCoaltrain01 Feb 2018 7:13 p.m. PST

I use pliers on opposite sides of the base and bend. Normally the figures drops off or can be removed by hand with little effort. Same with wood, and then finish by cutting away the wood with and xacto knife/ utility knife. I then use a fine grit piece of sand paper to file down what's left. I've been using this method for deacades and never lost a figure. I only have metal figures, I don't have plastic figures. Good luck.

britishbulldog23 Feb 2018 12:01 p.m. PST

I use water soluble PVA glue to base my figures and just soak the bases to release the figures if required. Stand the bases in a baking tray and pour water to a level just a millimetre above the base leave overnight for the water to penetrate beteween the base and the base of the figure. No physical damage to paint or the bases. Of course you will have to add any enhancements to the bases again.

MiniPigs08 Dec 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

Anyone ever remove metal miniatures super-glued to wooden bases? They havent been terrained yet, just glued to the wrong frontage wood.

Rusty Gold22 Jun 2019 6:26 p.m. PST

How did you get on ?
Lose any finger tips with the Knife ?
How much went into the swear jar ?
In any case Helmars 450 glue is brilliant for bonding metal figures but mallable to prise off later .
It does metal to plastic bases , and to MDF just as good

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2019 2:20 a.m. PST

For future reference…too late now of course, especially if, like my early work, they are sett into Pollyfilla.

Instead. Collect real Waterloo mud (on a dry day when it is set like concrete but easily collected in a ploughed field). Mix with PVA glue. Reversing that is just like britishbulldog said above, plus you get a trip to Belgium. Excellent beer and mussels

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 3:48 a.m. PST

With any of the popping methods which includes using a knife don't forget the safety goggles . Knife blades can easily break and splinter.

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