Tjrez

Metal purist attitude slowly fading

44 posts in this topic

 For some reason I have this mental stigma against painting plastic. I painted a few plastic things in the past and when working on them I got this discouraging feeliñ of not being able to achieve a desired result on it. Mind you they weren't minis so it may be different. I have seen the work achieved on the new resin models and now the bones and I am curious to see if how the paint holds to the bones material. I don't want to invest in a model that i wouldn't be happy with , especially when I already had the previous notion that I wouldn't be happy with plastic to begin with.  Anyhow I'm going to to try one of the bones to see how it goes .Has anyone else faced this problem ?

 

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YouTuber Trovarian gives a very good explanation of the pros and cons of plastic versus metal:

 

 

 

Bones miniatures for human-sized figures aren't very good; if you compare the same Bones miniature to the original metal you can see how much sharpness of detail is lost. But they're a lot cheaper than metal.

 

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If you look in the inspiration gallery for minis in the seventy-seven thousand range you can see some of the work people have done on bones minis.

 

Speaking from personal experience, I enjoy working with bones minis. Since I paint for game minis, I feel like I don't have to make them absolutely perfect, because they're inexpensive and easily replaced. Likewise, if I mess up a conversion replacing it is inexpensive, compared to how much more metal minis cost. Also the pvc plastic is sooooo easy to manipulate! 

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At first I disliked the weight of Bones but I've gotten used to it now.

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1 hour ago, redambrosia said:

 

If you look in the inspiration gallery for minis in the seventy-seven thousand range you can see some of the work people have done on bones minis.

 

 Iagree alot of nice work there, thats kinda what made me want to try the bones.

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From what I have seen, the bones do lose some detail. But they are super easy to work with, you don't need to prime them, they're greatly cheaper and you can still get stunning results with them.  If I was ever going to paint something for a contest, I'd definitely go with metal. But, for my own enjoyment, for tabletop, and most importantly, while learning and improving my paining skills, Bones are phenomenal. I have a $50 gift card I wanted to use to get minis and I looked at some metal ones, I would have been able to purchase 7 metal ones.  I then looked at Bones, I was able to purchase 18 minis.  Now that is a major upgrade to me! Besides the detail, the only other issue I see with Bones is that the range of figures is limited currently compared to the catalog of metal ones. But they are growing up the amount so that will change in the future! 

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If you're looking for information about the best way to paint/prep Bones figures, as well as what to expect, I HIGHLY recommend Wren's extremely informative thread here: 

Incidentally, she's the awesome lady who wrote the instruction manuals for Reaper's Learn to Paint kits (including the new Bones ones), so she is a wealth of helpful information. ^_^

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

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Posted (edited)

On larger models, you don't really notice the loss in detail. For smaller minis, the loss in detail still isn't really that noticeable once you have them painted up. In general for smaller minis, I'd say you still want metal, resin, or hard plastic for display, but the difference in price makes plastic much better from a budget perspective.

 

EDIT: Gonna add that while Bones are a bit softer on detail, this is exacerbated badly by backscatter. That is, light penetrates a bit into the plastic before reflecting back out, which obscures detail even further. Once you have some paint on them, the detail becomes much sharper. And the Bones have improved in quality as the line's progressed.

Edited by JackMann
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37 minutes ago, JackMann said:

On larger models, you don't really notice the loss in detail. For smaller minis, the loss in detail still isn't really that noticeable once you have them painted up. In general for smaller minis, I'd say you still want metal, resin, or hard plastic for display, but the difference in price makes plastic much better from a budget perspective.

 

EDIT: Gonna add that while Bones are a bit softer on detail, this is exacerbated badly by backscatter. That is, light penetrates a bit into the plastic before reflecting back out, which obscures detail even further. Once you have some paint on them, the detail becomes much sharper. And the Bones have improved in quality as the line's progressed.

When Reaper started to make Bones a darker shade than pure white, some details became more obvious on many models.

 

The light color problem is compounded if they're still in their blisters in-store. With light reflections, details are even more obscure.

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Here is why I love the BONES line. Monsters and mooks.  That's right. As a DM I can make my hobby budget go so much further than I could with any other line of figures. I now cringe when I think back to just one year before the introduction of the BONES line and bought 15 skeleton figures in metal that cost me nearly $50. Now if I needed those same figures I can pick them up for almost half that. The added benefit to having Bones antagonists is that when my excited players knock over a figure or drop one I don't cringe like I used to. The durability of the figures is a huge boon. They paint up just fine for tabletop play. There is a degree of liberation knowing that that single skeleton figure is not going to be a $4 bent figure with cracked paint, but a $2 figure that will just spring back into shape without any noticeable paint damage. Now on the flip side, hero figures work out pretty well too. Easy to convert. Cheap to replace with a leveled up version. And again the durability of the figures is well in evidence.  

 

Do I want to use the smaller human BONES figures for painting contests? No, obviously not. But for everything else, you bet.

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hmm , i dont play with mine. I have calculated my time per mini and it takes roughly 20 to 25 hrs average per mini to paint  . So im now thinking do I really want to spend that much time on plastic or just invest a few more bucks and know Ill be happy.   I didnt notice the popularity to bones was essentially from the need for cheaper tabletop miniatures. 

1 hour ago, Cranky Dog said:

When Reaper started to make Bones a darker shade than pure white, some details became more obvious on many models.

 

The light color problem is compounded if they're still in their blisters in-store. With light reflections, details are even more obscure.

I have noticed that also Cranky, i just wasnt sure what caused it. They do look much more detailed once painted. Some of the pictures I have seen the white plastic looks blobby... with no detail but once again that may be from the lighting. The bones faces all seem to have a major detail loss, is this just from the lighting?

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2 minutes ago, Tjrez said:

hmm , i dont play with mine. I have calculated my time per mini and it takes roughly 20 to 25 hrs average per mini to paint  . So im now thinking do I really want to spend that much time on plastic or just invest a few more bucks and know Ill be happy.   I didnt notice the popularity to bones was essentially from the need for cheaper tabletop miniatures. 

I have noticed that also Cranky, i just wasnt sure what caused it. They do look much more detailed once painted. Some of the pictures I have seen the white plastic looks blobby... with no detail but once again that may be from the lighting. The bones faces all seem to have a major detail loss, is this just from the lighting?

 

The raw Bones plastic just doesn't photograph well.  It's just a bit translucent which means ambient light  tends to glow a bit through it, effacing what would be shadows and visual cues to its shape.

 

I would not say all Bones faces suffer from loss of detail, but some of them certainly do.  Reaper pulled five or six figures from production after Bones I because of that, as I recall.  

 

I am no expert, but I have the impression that far and away the major appeal of Bones figures is that they are sturdy, inexpensive miniatures for active game play.  Even those of us who love Bones agree that metal and resin miniatures have superior detail.

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Pingo said:

 Reaper pulled five or six figures from production after Bones I because of that, as I recall. 

Those models were fixed and reintroduced recently.

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I'll second that the human sized figures are not as crisp detail wise. But anything that 50ish mm and up have excellent detail. 

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4 minutes ago, redambrosia said:

Those models were fixed and reintroduced recently.

 

True, but while many Bones figures have pretty decent facial detail (if not quite as much as metal), there remain figures with softer detail.  My copy of 91002: Hellstromme hasn't much of a face at all.

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