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Paint flaking off bendy sword - best way to stop this?


Simon
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I recently painted my first Bones, a squad of 'Evil Fighter'. I noticed yesterday that the silver paint (Vallejo Game Color) has already flaked off the swords of some of them. I have a bunch of old Citadel hard plastic dwarf minis from ca 1987 where the same thing happened - the metallics flaked off their axes, and off the horns on their helmets. But that took years, this happened within a few weeks.

 

So, what do you think is the best way to stop this?

 

1. Would sealer/varnish stop or slow the flaking?

2. It seems to be a general issue with metallic paint - should I use non-metallic on swords & similar?

3. Is it to do with the lack of Primer? I painted straight onto the white Bones material.

 

Any other thoughts? Thanks! ::):

77023_w_1.jpg

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Did you wash the mini with soap and water prior to painting?

Yes, a sealer will help with that issue. You may also want to apply a base coat of regular paint or primer under the metallics. I personally have never used VGC metallics, but it seems that each companies metallics have some little quirk.

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I didn't wash them AFAICR - my wife only likes oily liquid soaps and we don't seem to have any washing-up liquid either. Mold release residue could be the cause. I may invest in some washing up liquid when my Vampire arrives and wash them all in the bath...

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I use metallics a lot, and I tested this very thing. While typing, Martin's post came up and he's dead-on. If you wash the Bones with dish soap and water, and put an undiluted basecoat of regular paint under the metallic, it should prevent this issue. But I have no experience with Vallejo, so I've only tested it with reaper pro paint, reaper master series, and coat d'arms. With an undercoat and a cleaning before I start, none of those have flaked - and as I expected this might be an issue because my Bones are destined to hard duty, I was a bit rough with them.

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I've been using the Vallejo Model Color 'Oiled Steel' metallic, and I get good results without any flaking from that - but for metallics I tend to base coat with a complementary color for the look I'm going for (brown for rust, black for dark steal, white for light steel, that sort of thing) and dry brush the metallics on quite heavily. I've not had any issues with flaking but then again none of the figures I've done to date have a long skinny sword like that particular one.

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I had the same thing happen with a Bones fighter from last year's Origins paint-n-take. I have found that paint formulated for Lexan (used for RC model car bodies) helps. It is a very thin and flexible paint that also adheres well to plastic. The brand I use is Faskolor. I put down a base coat of black and dry brush the metallic.

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Use a non-metallic basecoat prior to painting your metallic. I've found that it keeps that from happening. Besides, it'll give you a deeper, richer metallic.

Thanks - that definitely seems like the way to go in future. None of the non-metallic paints I've put on plastic have ever flaked off, only metallics painted straight onto plastic, so that should sort it.

I'm thinking in future for Bones minis that are mostly metal I'll just prime them with spray primer, I have a grey primer I like a lot which makes a good undercoat for armour, with silver highlights.

If it's just a sword, I guess maybe a black undercoat then silver on top?

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Reaper's brush on primer seems to work well.

 

The issue that folks have fun across with some of the spray on primers, is that they are fairly brittle, which is not a problems with metal minis, but with the flexible bonesium those primers flake off. For my metal minis I use Tamiya white fine surface primer, but will not use it on any bones minis as it was one of the first to be identified as a brittle one.

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