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"Assembling lots of plastics!" Topic

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Galloping Jack Reports from CanCon

Mal Wright Fezian journeys to and from the Australian national convention - and tells us what he thinks of panicking tank hordes and flat terrain!

1,131 hits since 10 Aug 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Aug 2019 7:30 p.m. PST

I like to save money, so those boxed deals with lots of figures and vehicles and special values really draw me in.

My problem is that, for some psychological reason, I'm more likely to sit the box on a shelf and forget about it. I think it's because the box is so full of sprues, my brain doesn't visualize it as "figures to paint". grin

So my project this week was simple: open some of those boxed sets, organize the figures, prep the figures, do whatever it takes to get the contents moving on to the next stage in their wargaming life!

So my workbench has been loaded with plastic figures, plastic vehicle parts, plastic scenics, and it really does seem to "flip the switch" in some part of my brain to where I'm getting excited to paint these up and see them on the wargaming table! (Or in the cases, ship them off to painting services.)

I also messed around with one of those mega-multi-part, can-be-built-nine-different-ways, super-posable boxed sets. What a nightmare – and this is my second time with this kit! You need Special Arm A if you use Special Weapon B, but then you can't build any figures with Special Weapons C or D! If the weapon is two-handed, you have to somehow assemble three or four pieces simultaneously while guessing what the correct pose is supposed to be. And you can pose the figure in any direction, looking up or down, but when you look at the weapons you realize every figure should actually be in the exact same pose.

And what's with pieces on the sprue that are so close you can't get your tool in to clip them out? Or pieces that are so delicate that they snap/warp/twist when you try to clip them off the sprue?

And, Mr. Game Company, if you offer a set with two different forces in it, please put the forces on different sprues. Nobody wants to spend time peering at each figure and comparing it with some chart to see if it belongs to Force X or Force Y.

And then, of course, the plastic cement I have isn't formulated for the plastic in the kit, so I have to use superglue. You realize that superglue was invented for gluing human skin together, right? What I hate about superglue is that you have never really be sure if the parts you just cemented together are going to stay that way for eternity, or fall apart the next time somebody bumps the table.

And then you get to the last figure in the kit, and you're desperately trying to figure out what you can still build with the parts left over. I can't use Weapon M because there are no more Arm D parts. What are my options? OK, it'll cost me extra points, but I'll make some berzerker figure with weapons I don't really want, in some pose like he's got ants in his pants.

The nice thing about being a wargamer is that it helps you forget everything more important and stressful in your life. grin

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 7:40 p.m. PST

Lots of prebuilt, prepainted stuff available to purchase as well.

Highly recommended, since you can put them into combat immediately.

Hydra Studios Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 7:51 p.m. PST

I really don't like plastic miniatures for that same reason. It's so much work to assemble all those figures and I don't have time for it. Metal is still my main choice for wargaming miniatures.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 8:29 p.m. PST

Metal for me, too.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine11 Aug 2019 8:46 p.m. PST

I like plastic because I can get more bang for my buck and my hobby budget isn't that big. It is a trade off though and I agree a metal miniature takes a lot less prep, in general, before it's game ready.

Plastic sets do vary in quality though. Some manufacturers don't seem to think about their sets,l and the construction process, resulting in some annoying and awkward moments when building the minitures. On the plus side if, like me, you like to convert miniatures plastic is a much easier material to to play around with thAn metal or resin.

I have no time for plastics that can't be glued with poly cement though. A number of companies have tried using other plastics (Mantic and Avatars of War spring to mind) and none of them have been to my liking

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 10:14 p.m. PST

For me, painting figures is way more fun than assembling them, so I don't buy figures that need to be painted.

On the other hand, putting things together to make buildings, vehicles, and terrain features is way more fun than assembling figures, so I do a good bit of kitbashing and scratchbuilding.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 10:36 p.m. PST

I love the process of assembling minis, especially when I have the options to give each and any of them that little character. For that reason I especially love the Perry and Victrix sets, though I probably have at least one box of each available ancient to renaissance plastic set.

Which means I have no hope on earth to ever paint all these minis. I see this as two different hobbies – assambling minis ans building armies to play with :-/

Timmo uk12 Aug 2019 1:32 a.m. PST

I've never got into plastics and now don't think I ever will. I've tried some but I just don't like them. Metal all the way for me. I enjoy converting metal figures and adding details.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 1:44 a.m. PST

I enjoy plastics. Yes there are times when certain arms can only go on certain bodies but that is just the nature of the beast IMHO. I assemble a bunch then paint them in small batches, may take a while since I paint slow & have only one or two days a week that I paint. I use metal only for specialty figures or if plastics are not available for what I want. To each his own.

athun2512 Aug 2019 4:52 a.m. PST

I did not think I would want to be bothered with plastic figures either, but have come to appreciate them.
1. Depends on the company. Fireforge go together great,
other companies not so much.
2. I like the variety of poses you can do.
3. As I get older, I really like carrying a box of plastic
figures vs. lead.
4. Using something like Plasticstruc Plastic Weld and not
glue makes life much easier!

WarWizard12 Aug 2019 4:57 a.m. PST

I have mixed feelings. I just assembled a box of Warlord Caesarian Romans and I really enjoyed it. And the poses and figures are excellent. But other times I thought assembling plastic figures was just too much work. I would rather get right to painting them. Maybe I enjoyed the Roman figures because they have limited assembly parts, unlike other sets I have done that just had too many fiddly pieces.
I do like getting the unique poses the plastic sets allow.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 7:45 a.m. PST

I kept my plastic sets where all you have to do is glue on a backpack and a head; all of the multi-pose ones got shipped off to folks who have more prep time than I do.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 9:40 a.m. PST

I have the same problem with boxes of plastics!

Personal logo JammerMan Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 12:49 p.m. PST

I concur Bill, besides I started out with 25mm Minifigs, where they all looked the same. And have been content ever since.

Yesthatphil12 Aug 2019 2:43 p.m. PST


Phil wink

manyslayer12 Aug 2019 6:42 p.m. PST

I love assembling plastics. Painting minis, that is where I have trouble getting motivated.

Sgt Slag12 Aug 2019 8:25 p.m. PST

Some plastic figure sets are great, some suck tail pipe exhaust. I prefer those which are fully posed, no assembly required.

Years ago, I bought some really neat (or, so I thought) Roman Skeletons, which consisted of separate arms (two pieces!), legs (one piece), feet (had to glue the legs to the tops of the feet!), and separate hands which had to be glued to the wrists… The plastic was very thin, and very fragile. Gluing the pieces together with solvent plastic glue, was relatively easy, but there were sooo many pieces for each figure!

I never finished those figures. And I am glad of it, to be honest. I recently purchased two sets of Frost Grave Gnolls, which are multi-part. They are quite different! I bought one set, at first, to test them out. Then I ordered a second set. They are quite wonderful, fulfilling a need I have had for many a year, nigh unto two decades. I am happy with the price I pay to fill that hole -- both money, and effort to assemble the 40 separate figures, choosing arms, weapons, and heads. ;-) Cheers!

Wolfshanza12 Aug 2019 9:53 p.m. PST

I like the plastic figs. Depending on which company produced them, though. They're cheeper and have pretty good detailing. One problem with them, though, is that after you've assembled this realistic pose…it can be a nightmare to get in and paint <sigh>

Gods Own scale 6mm13 Aug 2019 1:36 a.m. PST

My dilemna too. I hate having to do.much more than scrape flash off a figure before painting them. I remember when Redoubt released their lovely ACW range with separate heads. Sacre bleu!

Jeffers13 Aug 2019 11:06 a.m. PST

Depends on the figures. I bought a Warlord ECW army box and managed five figures before I lost the will to live. Valiant German infantry quickly went to landfill. All the Perry, Victrix and Gripping Beast I've tried have been a joy to assemble.

And if you are like me and have weak little arms then plastics are much easier to carry!

joedog13 Aug 2019 1:16 p.m. PST

If they are well done – sturdy, multipose, and a plastic that is easily glued, I prefer plastics. I find that I often enjoy building and customizing the models more than other aspects of the hobby.

For large, multi-part kits, plastic is the best.

Second best is single part metal.

I Like resin the least, as it is brittle, often has excessive flash, and doesn't glue nicely.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 2:13 p.m. PST

I'm excited when I first get plastics but if they are on the lower end of pose options then I burn out quickly.

BigNickR17 Aug 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

I love building plastics. Anyone in america I'll build your kits and ship 'em back for ya cheap. possibly even free if i keep enough of the interesting spare bits

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