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Painting old D&D figures


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#1 badgermaniac

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:39 PM

I have a bunch of the old D&D lead (??) figures made by Ral Partha (I think). When I was a youngin, I started painting a few of them by basically just starting to paint right onto the metal.

 

After painting many of my gaming figures (Descent, Last Night on Earth, etc.) I have become at least moderately proficient in painting modern plastic figures.

 

I am thinking about going back and giving my old figures and was wondering if anyone had any tips...

 

1. What is the best primer to use with the metal figures?

 

2. Since I didn't use primer on my first attempts (and they aren't any good anyway), I presume that I will go back and strip the original paint jobs. Tips for the best way to go about this with metal minis?

 

3. Basing tips, most notably how to attach?

 

4. Any difference in painting techniques in terms of how the paint operates on the metal minis?

 

5. Finishing tips? I often use the dip method (actually I just paint on the dip with a brush) on plastics...can I use that on metals as well?

 

Thanks in advance for any of you that have expertise in painting in this format.


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#2 ShadowRaven

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:50 PM

1: 'best' is a matter of debate. I have come to be quite fond of reapers brush on primer, but I have used krylon and rustoleum spray primers in the past with no problems. 

 

2: a soak in pinesol or simple green for 24-48 hours should clean the paint off, no problems. If they are lead, which is a good possability, avoid anything acidic

 

3: super glue works for me

 

4: once primed, the paint should behave pretty much the same as always

 

5: works like a charm


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#3 Loim

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:55 PM

I like RMS brush on for a few reasons. I can mix white and black into grey. I usually only prime 1 or 2 minis at a time. I don't have to wait on weather.


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#4 Pingo

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:56 PM

Buglips the goblin is your Ral Partha expert around here, but since he's not here yet, here's what I know.

First of all, congrats if you do have old Partha D&D minis. Word is that WotC forced Ral Partha to destroy their D&D molds about ten years ago, so they're a little scarce.

Ral Partha minis are usually stamped with the name "Ral Partha" and the date of original manufacture in the underside of the base.

They were lead up til around 1994, I think, after which they were a low-lead alloy.

Paint can easily be removed from metal minis by soaking them for at least a few hours in a jar of Simple Green, a cleaner/degreaser found in hardware stores and auto repair supply places, then scrubbing them with a soft toothbrush under running water.

Metal minis can be painted much the same as plastic, and are simpler in some ways.

I am outside of normal orthodoxy as regards primer. I like to prime just with regular white paint. Others have good experience with the variety of primers available and can help you with that.

I just epoxy minis to bases.

I believe metal minis can be dipped with no harm, but it is not a technique I use, so take that with a grain of salt.

And welcome to the boards.
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#5 Darkstar

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:04 PM

Hey, I paint a ton of old minis, plastic and metal from times gone by.  I say go for it with full gusto.

 

My best way for stripping minis is a product called L.A's Totally Awesome.  I get it at the Dollar store by the jug.  Put the stuff in a tupperware with lid, soak the minis in it overnight, use a toothbrush and soapy dishwater to scrub off the paint.  I've never seen a mini this won't strip...wear gloves.

 

I prime everything with an airbrush and specialty airbrush primers from Vallejo but if you don't have one you can go the old standby of spraying from a can, Citadel makes good (if pricey) stuff, it's consistent.  Wash the minis with soap first and let them dry, to get rid of any oils.

 

Can't speak much to the dip method, I remember experimenting with it years ago for kicks, seems like it would be fine, don't see why not.

 

Old classic figures are fun to paint, enjoy yourself!

 

Regarding basing, I use a product called E6000 adhesive for sticking stuff to other stuff.  Basing should be a breeze with that, spread some PVA glue around the base and dip in cat litter and sand or premade basing ballast or whatever non organic stuff you like and let dry.  Also, Gorilla Glue is a good one.


Edited by Darkstar, 25 June 2013 - 09:07 PM.


#6 CashWiley

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:07 PM

Word is that WotC forced Ral Partha to destroy their D&D molds about ten years ago, so they're a little scarce.

Source? Because if that's true I now loath WotC.


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#7 badgermaniac

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

For my plastic minis, I just use the Krylon paint that is labeled specifically for plastics. Since these aren't plastic, is there another version of the Krylon spray that would adhere better to the metal?

 

(I am cheap so I don't typically invest in expensive/top level quality materials if there are solid alternatives.)



#8 72moonglum

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:19 PM

I'm just happy to hear somebody whipping out the classics! Strip them, paint them, then show them off on the forum!

a little gallery of my old and new painted miniatures found at:  www.miniatures-workshop.com/lostminiswiki/index.php?title=User:Antautunut


#9 Pingo

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:26 PM

Word is that WotC forced Ral Partha to destroy their D&D molds about ten years ago, so they're a little scarce.

Source? Because if that's true I now loath WotC.

This purports to be from someone in a position to know:
http://www.reapermin.../32-wotc-sucks/

And this gives the timeline, says WotC did it in '97.
http://www.purplepaw...ech-miniatures/

As an artist who has worked as an archivist, I am horrified.
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Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.
-- Terry Pratchett


"Therefore, O Painter, make your smaller figures merely indicated and not highly finished, otherwise you will produce effects the opposite to nature, your supreme guide"
-- Leonardo da Vinci


"All alternate histories produce zeppelins."
-- Ken Hite's Law


#10 Grimreaper71

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:26 PM

I strip my old partha minis with goof off and it takes about ten minutes

#11 Tom T

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:12 PM

I have a bunch of the old D&D lead (??) figures made by Ral Partha (I think). When I was a youngin, I started painting a few of them by basically just starting to paint right onto the metal.

 

After painting many of my gaming figures (Descent, Last Night on Earth, etc.) I have become at least moderately proficient in painting modern plastic figures.

 

I am thinking about going back and giving my old figures and was wondering if anyone had any tips...

 

1. What is the best primer to use with the metal figures?

 

2. Since I didn't use primer on my first attempts (and they aren't any good anyway), I presume that I will go back and strip the original paint jobs. Tips for the best way to go about this with metal minis?

 

3. Basing tips, most notably how to attach?

 

4. Any difference in painting techniques in terms of how the paint operates on the metal minis?

 

5. Finishing tips? I often use the dip method (actually I just paint on the dip with a brush) on plastics...can I use that on metals as well?

 

Thanks in advance for any of you that have expertise in painting in this format.

First off ~ Way Cool! Have Fun with 'em! 

Second ~ Please think twice and save a couple of your favorite old paint jobs from the stripper, regardless of what you might think of them now!

 

1. I've been Real Happy with Army Painter White (spray on) Primer. Everyone has a favorite spray or brush on and YMMV.

2. I 'm happy using "Simple Green" and an old tooth brush. I've used the same bottle for about three years now. I run 2 jars to strip figures (nasty one and cleaner one) You're talking about Lead figs, so wear rubber gloves until you've primed/sealed 'em.

3. I used to use Elmers white glue, because of long term (archival) questions. Now I seal the base with white acrylic craft paint and use Locktite brand super glue when I base 'em.

4. Not that I've seen! Once your figure's primed you should be good to go. (I'm a bit behind the times and apparently miniature paints really have progressed. so you'll have to play around to decide what you prefer.)

5. Personally I don't dip. I've used a number of spray on sealers. Most have been pretty darn good. but one bad can, or humid day, will break your heart!!! Recently I've  switched to "Winsor & Newton's Galeria Acrylic Mediums Matt Varnish". It's a durable brush on sealer. Depending on the figure, and finish you want, you might want to finish of with a coat of Testor's Dulcoat. (Been around sooo long I guess we should call it Old School?)

 

I really hope that you have some Serious Fun with your old lead minis! For me the main thing is to get 'em cleaned up and painted and into a Game and played with!!!

 

After all of these years that is what is doing it for me! Good Luck and just have fun with 'em.



#12 buglips*the*goblin

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:53 PM

 

 

Word is that WotC forced Ral Partha to destroy their D&D molds about ten years ago, so they're a little scarce.

Source? Because if that's true I now loath WotC.

This purports to be from someone in a position to know:
http://www.reapermin.../32-wotc-sucks/

And this gives the timeline, says WotC did it in '97.
http://www.purplepaw...ech-miniatures/

As an artist who has worked as an archivist, I am horrified.

 

 

 

To the best of anyone's verified information, this is accurate.

 

But!

 

Three things:

 

1.  Rawcliffe minis may have been produced after this using the likenesses of licensed figures.  I.E. Huma's Silver Dragon, Red Dragon of Krynn, Fizban, etc.  So some molds possibly survived to produce these.  These may have been Rawcliffe specific.  I don't know how the Rawcliffe licensing worked, and how they got TSR minis into their line.  But I spent a long time trying to run down the timeline, and I'd say with 99% surety that ex-TSR or TSR-modified molds were still in use after the sacking of the library.

 

2.  So far as I have been able to determine, only the molds were destroyed.  The status of masters and greens has not been verified.  Suspicion/rumor is that due to the many changes of hands these have been scattered/lost/wound up in various private hands. 

 

3.  The molds destroyed may have only been the production molds.  That rumor is strictly unverified.  However, in response to my pestering inquiries on the subject when I heard of this, Mike Noe replied with interesting language that suggested, to me, that they are prohibited from making those minis but not necessarily unable to.  However, I would caution to treat this wholly as speculation.  I might be reading more into it than intended, and possibly caught him between cups of morning wake-up juice.

 

In any case, I suspect it's highly unlikely we'll ever see these minis in production again.  However, like Pingo I'm horrified at the prospect of the molds being irrevocably destroyed and a significant piece of gaming history possibly lost.  I understand the business side, but we are talking about culture here.  Just like Congress preserves books and films of note, I believe miniatures deserve no less consideration. 


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#13 Darsc Zacal

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:00 PM

This is just like watching an episode of History Detectives on PBS.

Except instead of Elyse Luray, we've got buglips.

Not sure how I feel about that.
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#14 ShadowRaven

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:03 PM

It really was a mess. Oddly enough, I had no idea about FASA's involvement in it. I had no idea they had purchased Ral Partha before they went belly up. I say Oddly, because my involvement in miniatures begins with Battletech and I have a heavy interest in that area of the hobby still. Seems I do not know as much as I thought I did.


There are some who call me.....Tim

High Quisitor of the Space Quisition as appointed by Space Pope Bryanzilla the First

Warning: expecting sanity and rational posts from this person is liable to get you into trouble, and severely mocked. It does happen from time to time, but don't expect it

 

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#15 buglips*the*goblin

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:04 PM

Conflicted.  Your default stance should always be conflicted.  I am a grit of chaos forming pearls of wisdom in the oyster of trivia, and however nice those pearls may be the process is assuredly gross and something you don't want to really know. 


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