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"Reposing soft plastic figures" Topic

9 Posts

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336 hits since 15 Sep 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Windward15 Sep 2023 11:54 a.m. PST

Can I use 2 part epoxy putty to fill gaps? I assume I'm going to need to pin. But at 54mm the should be easy.

epturner15 Sep 2023 12:56 p.m. PST

I've never used two part expoy, pins, yes, but I've used Gorilla glue for fixative.


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2023 1:47 p.m. PST

If you plan on using regular plastic Army Men figures, they're incredibly inexpensive. Get a bag at the Dollar Store, and experiment.

If you need to prime them, any primer + paint, made for plastic, would be best. If you prime them their main color, which I recommend, you will only need to paint the parts that vary from the color of the primer.

I would further recommend brushing on Minwax Polyshades Urethane Stain (any brand will do; water-based formulas have far less odor… and they dry faster!), blotting any excess pools with the edge of a paper towel, to absorb the urethane stain, to keep it under control. You can use Minwax Tudor (Black), available online and from hardware stores. My favorite Minwax color, however, is Royal Walnut (dark muddy Brown). Hit the dried figures with a matte clear coat.

You can buy 50mm MDF squares, laser cut, on e-Bay, or Amazon, or Etsy. I Hot Glue the figures onto the MDF squares. I brush on PVA Glue, in random patterns, then dunk them in colored sand mixes. Examples: One, Two, Three (only one Tan soldier is painted and Minwax'ed, the rest are bare plastic), Four (forces lined up for a beach landing game). Example Three shows small wooden dowel sections Hot Glued to the bases, prior to the sand texturing. Small, hollow, colored plastic beads are slipped over the dowel to mark each unit's figures -- each figure within a unit has the same color bead on it; I use very different colors for each unit, to avoid confusion by having similar colors next to each other! The plastic beads can also be Hot Glue'd to the bases, if you never plan to change their unit assignments. LOL! Cheers!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Sep 2023 3:06 p.m. PST

You might experiment with caulk as filler. Difficult to work with, but has flex to it when dry. Look for a non-shrinking variety.

I've never used caulk on a figure, but I did use it on some cardboard and Styrofoam terrain successfully.

Also, before committing surgery on the figures, you might be able to heat them and repose them. A hair drier is hot enough. A few seconds in a microwave also works, but if you leave it too long, you'll have melted plastic! I've only tried this on pre-painted figures, never on plastic army men.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2023 4:26 p.m. PST

I swap heads all the time with 1/72nd soft scale plastic figures. Cut off the heads. Lightly sand the base of the head and the neck of the body. Insert a length of #8 guitar string. Apply a bit of gap filling super glue gel, I use Gorilla Glue Gel but most will work fine.
Insert the head onto the pin and down to the next. Wipe away any excess superglue.
I used Rust-Oleum 2X Gray or White primer works on plastic.
Paint as normal.

I suspect the previous advice would also work, do what works for you.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

bobspruster15 Sep 2023 5:05 p.m. PST

I use zap a gap super glue, does a good job so long as the gap isn't too big. Brushing on some white glue in the gap can work, too. I have used epoxy putty in the past to add details, but I have not tried to use it as a substitute for glue.

Martin Rapier16 Sep 2023 2:11 a.m. PST

Superglue or UHU work fine. Back in the 70s I used to use Evostick to convert Airfix 54mm, those figures are still going strong.

Windward16 Sep 2023 2:44 p.m. PST

My reposing is going to be pretty significant. Turning an upright surfer in a paddling surfer. Fortunately all the male figures are wearing the same trunks. The one female figure will be the most difficult.

Windward18 Sep 2023 10:44 a.m. PST

Thank you all

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