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Flit

Some Questions Concerning Bones and Temperature

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As I have been reading up on how to work with Bones minis I have been wondering about the best temperatures for Bones. 

 

What is the best temperature range to store Bones? Do painted Bones have a different optimal temperature range than unpainted? 

 

I have heard of Bones left in hot cars getting floppy or changing shape. At what temperature does this happen?  If it happened to a painted Bones is there a way to reshape it without damaging the paint job?

 

Does anyone else have these kinds of questions. Or answers?

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Bones figures are cast from PVC. Without plasticizers, it's a hard plastic (the same thing used in white plastic water pipes). Most Reaper figures have some plasticizer, primarily to make it easier to eject them from molds.

 

PVC without plasticizer starts to get floppy around 105°C (221°F), but the more plasticizer, the lower the temp at which it gets really floppy. IME, somewhere around 70°C (150°F), most figures seem to have very limited rigidity. You can get to that temp in a hot car, and if you have Bones figures in that temp, your figures might droop significantly.

 

Note that this is not melting; the figures will still have basically the same detail as they did before heating. If you heat them again, you can move them back to pretty much where they were before heating. Depending on the paint you use and how lucky you are, you might not even see damage to the paint on a painted figure.

 

The standard way to repose a Bones figure is too heat it in hot water until it becomes floppy, then repose and hold it until it cools. Some people shock cool their figures in ice water, which speeds the process, but might result in a figure that reverts to its bent state over time. There is an argument for cooling the figures much more slowly (annealing) to allow internal stresses to relax while cooling.

 

For storage, there's not really a bottom temp below which you get problems. As the temperature rises, particularly for figures that start out fairly floppy, you'll get more droopiness, starting with figures that are tall and have narrow supports. Really hot is bad. Room temp is where you would really like to stay.

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That was about what I thought based on other Bones info. Was mostly curious about how much damage a painted mini would get from being in a hot car. 

Thanks

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18 minutes ago, Flit said:

That was about what I thought based on other Bones info. Was mostly curious about how much damage a painted mini would get from being in a hot car. 

Thanks

I can tell you I routinely left a box of bones in the trunk of the car this summer while I was at work. The biggest issues I had was with spears and swords and thin parts getting a bit wiggly. But as long as there was nothing else leaning on the mini, there was no major damage. Thick minis with few small pieces weather the heat better than thin ones.

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I've reshaped painted Bones, though generally this was during the painting process while the paint was still fairly fresh. I suspect the temperature per se wouldn't be an issue as much as how much bending would temperature changes subject the paint to. If you have it in a hot car and then bring it inside and it didn't bend much, it probably wouldn't make much difference to the paint. If you get a sword or other thinner part bending back and forth, whether from drooping/being reset by temperature fluctuations or after being manipulated by hand, that would be pretty likely to cause chipping. The other potential issue I could see is if the figures are all tossed together in a bag, when parts droop and reset they could scrape against other parts. Though this will happen anyway with figures all tossed together in a bag. You don't have to use a lot of fancy cases or whatever, but it helps preserve the paint a lot to just keep Bones from rubbing together during transport.

Now, much of what I've said is theoretical because I haven't actually left Bones out in a hot car, but I don't see anything about the composition of Bones or cured acrylic paint that would make the paint blister up off the surface or whatever just because of heat exposure. (The thing about paint scraping off if Bones are thrown in a bag is not theoretical. A friend did that, and had some paint damage. She had several crypts with square corners in the bag that I think were the biggest cause of it.)

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Thanks for the info. 

I have no intention of leaving any Bones or any other kind (painted or not) minis in my car or tossing them together in a bag, but Murphy's Law says it will eventually happen.  Just curious if anyone had dealt with the situation.

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