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Hey everyone,

 

I have some metal miniatures I would like to base properly.  I am not sure if my hobby knife will be able to cut through the thick metal base that comes with the minis, and would prefer not to break a blade.  I am wondering what all of you use for this?  Thanks in advance.

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Hey everyone,

 

I have some metal miniatures I would like to base properly.  I am not sure if my hobby knife will be able to cut through the thick metal base that comes with the minis, and would prefer not to break a blade.  I am wondering what all of you use for this?  Thanks in advance.

I use a jewelers saw or hobby clippers. Go to the Googles and look them up as we can't link commerce here. You'll see a lot of examples.

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Mostly the same as Ub3r: diagonal cutters, end cutters, or a razor saw. (I like the rigidity of the razor saw and that it is very difficult to snap.)

 

Then I commonly grind off any nubs of metal on the bottoms of the mini's feet with a bench grinder.

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I trim off most of the unwanted base with cutting pliers...the scrap is used for weights for under raised plastic bases. Then I either use my Dremel (60 Grit Sanding Band) or a sanding block (50 or 60 grit rubber back...I cut down the belt sanding paper) either works just fine as long as you work carefully. 

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I use my heavier cutter from my tool belt for thick metal, sometimes a jeweler's saw, depending on the shape/location. Then clean up with razor and files.

 

I reserve my hobby offset cutter for plastic and resin.

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Yeah, don't use a knife to try and cut through the broccoli bases.  Way too much danger in that.

 

I prefer a saw blade (there's even one that can fit in an X-acto handle).  Just go slow.  It'll take a while, but there's a lot less danger.  Once the majority of the metal is gone, I'll finish with nips/cutters or a knife and some light work with sanding or files. 

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this type of blade fits in an X-Acto #1 handle, and is very useful for cutting broccoli!

36106_T_T.jpg

#13 according to Micro mark...

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I have a cheap jeweler's saw that I really like for this.

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You're probably pretty safe with modern miniatures, but some older ones (made during the Great Lead Panic) can be a bit brittle and run the risk of the legs snapping when you cut the base between them with nippers. Those ones need to have an initial cut made with a saw to relieve pressure before starting to cut away with the faster nippers.

 

It can be tricky to tell if you're working with a mini in danger of breaking, but generally they will feel lighter in the hand than a lead-pewter miniature of a similar size.

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Razor saw, metal files, and a cheap pair of hobby spruce cutters are what I use for metal bases.

Though a little bit of epoxy putty ie green stuff can help hide the broccoli and blend it into the base if you don't feel like hacking and sawing. That's mostly what I do with broccoli based minis.

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Hey everyone,

 

I have some metal miniatures I would like to base properly.  I am not sure if my hobby knife will be able to cut through the thick metal base that comes with the minis, and would prefer not to break a blade.  I am wondering what all of you use for this?  Thanks in advance.

 

For any project working on models, use the right tool for the job. If you don't have the right tool, buy one.

For solid metal bases, I would use a small pair of sidecutters to nibble away the bulk of the base, and then use a needle file to grind away the rest. A jewelers saw works well for larger bases.

You probably shouldn't remove all of the base though; I've noticed that those kind of minis tend to have small feet or have weak points at the ankles.

 

What people often do is sink the base into putty - just glue the mini to a plastic base and disguise the metal base with putty.

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The reaper bases don't have a bevel. So if you flip them over and see how the metal base sits inside the base you can start on a seamless base. If it's down in the base a little, put a piece of balsa wood, corkboard, or whatever underneath until the top is roughly flush with the opening. Now take some putty and roll it up as a sausage and circle it around the edge. Take a sculpting tool, popsicle stick, finger.. whatever.. and mash the putty into the base and level it off. If you're brave you can try to replicate whatever texture is on the metal and create a textured base.

 

I know that sounds like a lot and it is a little bit of effort but the end result is a miniature on a scenic base that has a nice amount of heft at the bottom so is less likely to tip over. No cutting metal and hoping for the best.. just a bit of putty work and glue ;)

 

I've done this for 4 or 5 metal minis by now and I don't know that I'll ever go back to trying to fight with trimming thick metal again.

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The reaper bases don't have a bevel. So if you flip them over and see how the metal base sits inside the base you can start on a seamless base. If it's down in the base a little, put a piece of balsa wood, corkboard, or whatever underneath until the top is roughly flush with the opening. Now take some putty and roll it up as a sausage and circle it around the edge. Take a sculpting tool, popsicle stick, finger.. whatever.. and mash the putty into the base and level it off. If you're brave you can try to replicate whatever texture is on the metal and create a textured base.

 

I know that sounds like a lot and it is a little bit of effort but the end result is a miniature on a scenic base that has a nice amount of heft at the bottom so is less likely to tip over. No cutting metal and hoping for the best.. just a bit of putty work and glue ;)

 

I've done this for 4 or 5 metal minis by now and I don't know that I'll ever go back to trying to fight with trimming thick metal again.

That is very true for that kind of thing, but sometimes you want to radically change the base on a mini, then you don't have much choice except to cut away the metal for pins...

If you look at this WiP I did a while ago, you can see what I mean...

 

Sometimes you need to trim the broccoli to make it fit in the upside down base...

I used to use Ral Partha Hex bases that were made for that type of thing, but I would have to trim them down...

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Thanks everyone for the great advice.  I do have some clippers, and may have to get that X-Acto saw.  Now to decide how I want to base them!

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