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Bending Metal Minis


Nanite
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Hi all, thanks for the great feedback and discussions!

 

I just had another question though. I picked up a set of Reaper Heroic Armatures, and I'm trying to bend them into different poses. The problem is they are fairly substantial minis, and I'm afraid I'm going to break them if I try too hard.

 

What are your experiences with modifying minis? Cut them up and Greenstuff them back together? Heat them and then bend them?

 

Just curious!

 

ETA: WHoopse, this should have gone in Conversion. Would a kind mod please move the thread?

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Well if you are going to bend them I highly suggest warming the mini in hot water first, it will make bending easier, and bend it SLOWLY. I cannot stress the slowly part enough.

 

You can also cut it apart and pin it too, That works well and there is no chance of pieces breaking.

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Heating the metal before bending is usually beneficial. Do not use an open flame. Miniature alloys have a very low melting point and will melt in partially in like one second. Learned that the hard way.

 

For standard armatures, I'd favor bending them if at all possible rather than cutting. Drastic poses work because it's just a skeleton. It keeps all the limbs proportioned and you haven't added the 'meat' yet.

 

For the heroic armatures, bending works fine for small changes. If you have a drastic change, you may want to cut, pin, and resculpt/touch up joints. Bending a set joint on a full humanoid form to an extreme change will likely create a very unrealistic look/shade to the joint. For example, positioning a straight arm to a full bend that is less than 90 degrees usually requires cutting some of the metal out from inside the joint opposite the elbow. This helps it fit and prevents the pure bending from swelling up and make a huge, stretched out elbow joint. Hope that makes sense.

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Here's another trick I use ( To repose an arm, to close a hand about a weapon ).

 

Get a jewelers saw, or those saw blades that fit in a xacto blade holder.

 

Make a cut at where you want move a elbow or knee, usually on the inside of the joint, you'll have to cut about 75% of the way through. Then, take pliers ( pad them with some paper towel ) or your fingers, and bend the cut close. If you need to bend further, just 'cut' into the previous now closed cut. This will remove more material, and you can bend it further. Keep doin this to get the desired about of bend. When you're done, the final cut is barely noticeable. I like to squirt and rub a lil thin superglue into the gap to help close and strengthen it.

 

You can use this technique to open up a pose as well, but you'll have a larger gap to putty with GS. For rotating a piece, well, you'll probably have to cut it off and repin it. Unless it's a hand, and say it's modeled as a 'soft' material such as leather, or bare. Then you can just brute force twist it into position. If it's armored, well the armor panels will get twisted, and this can be very noticable. It depends on the fig.

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