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Fingernails and Figurines...


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So, I was hanging out with my friend and fellow DM Rachel. She's a lot older than me, and her models are all pewter/lead - they aren't that great compaired to newer pewter casts I've seen, but they look very... vintage, I guess? They do have one thing I think is really neat, tho... tiny Rhinestones! The paladins have little silver ones on the backs of their gauntlets and on the horses' forehead-armor thing, and the wizard has a red one on the cover of his tome - they came like that, according to her.

 

I think it looks really neat, and so I took to the intarwebs to find tiny rhinestones.

 

What I found are these: Nail Art Rhinestones.They look about right for what I want, and so I ordered a set - at 1.30, I'll not feel bad if they suck and I have to chuck em.

 

So, on to the questions!

 

1. Has anyone ever heard of or seen rhinestoned models? I've looked online, and seen nothing. They could be forty years old or so, so maybe someone who's a bit older than me remembers something like that?

 

2. Has anyone ever used these rhinestones, or attempted something simi lar? I got tweezers to apply them with, but beyond that, I have only a vague idea of how to apply - can I use the little glues I got to put minis together/attach them to there bases, or do I need to do something else.

 

3. On a related note, I was looking at the other nail tools, since it's about the right size, and I saw these: Nail Art Brushes. As a broke college kid, 15 brushes for 1.58 is really appealing, esp. when they have a 4.5 rating with 83 votes... Anyone ever used them? I'll report on them when I get them, if they're any good, but I wanted to know if anyone had ever tried anything similar, and how it went?

 

Thanks!

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1) I know several gaming miniatures companies sold the same miniatures into the general collectibles market by polishing the castings and adding stones. I suspect that's what your friend has.

 

2) Superglue will stick to stone, but I'd recommend using epoxy. Superglue is very strong in tension but weak against other sorts of force, so you would be likely to have to reattach the stones continually if you were to use it.

 

3) I wouldn't consider those nail brushes personally. I would expect them to be very hard to paint with (very short and no belly, so the paint would dry out between palette and figure) and not to last very long at all. Also, I'd say that at least half of them would be essentially useless for miniatures painting because of their shapes. The good news is that they're almost free, though, so at least when you replace them your newbie tax will be low. FWIW, a single good Kolinsky sable brush (at around $12 plus shipping) will last for years and will make painting easier that whole time, but nearly everybody ignores that advice at the start (I did, for years), so let us know how it goes. ^_^

 

Welcome to the boards.

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If you look at the figures that have rhinestones they're not typically attached to the surface since so few surfaces are smooth. Instead they're drilled out to fit the pointed back of a rhinestone. That also gives them the depth you're seeing.

 

If you want to do this you can use a cone shaped Dremel bit to create the cavity. I recommend testing this on sprue to learn just how much to drill them out.

 

If you you do plan on using flat back stones a hint is to make sure the glue comes up and forms a bezel around the stone. That will fill any gaps and give you a more secure fit, especially if these are going to be gaming figures.

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I have an old gigantic skeletal dragon "mini" from RAFM, and it came with a couple of plastic gemstones that are intended to be glued into the eye sockets. Pretty sure mine is cast in pewter, but I'd bet good money it was originally available in old-school lead. First thing I decided to do when I opened the box was to decide I'm not using the gems. But it is an actual gaming mini, not a pewter knick-knack in the display cabinet with the unicorns at the store where all the stuffy old ladies go to shop for their doilies and their collectible plates with pictures of kittens on them to hang on the wall (If anyone collects those things and is a stuffy old lady themself, please don't be offended; your presence here proves I wasn't talking about you). But they don't have any paladins in those dsplay cases, just cute 'N friendly dragons and unicorns. I doubt those are the type of minis your friend has. Especially if they're cast in lead.

 

Here's a pic of someone else's (RAFM skeletal dragon) who somehow managed to figure out how to assemble it without it immediately collapsing under its own weight: http://www.coolminiornot.com/176376

 

They didn't use the eye-gems on theirs either.

 

I also remember one of the miniatures companies that was big in the 1980's had a series of (much smaller) dragons that were packaged with these little stands that were meant to hold similar coloured plastic gems that came with the kits. Can't remember if it was Ral Partha or Grenadier though. But I think it was one of those...

 

Not exactly tiny rhinestones, but that's the closest thing I've seen that is an actual gaming mini.

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There used to be a vendor at the Minnesota state fair who sold pewter minis that were obviously RPG minis, but buffed smooth, blackened a bit for highlights and usually had a rhinestone or two on them. I'm guessing they are either the same thing or very similar. The buffing they did to them removed a lot of fine detail from them from what I remember.

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I also remember one of the miniatures companies that was big in the 1980's had a series of (much smaller) dragons that were packaged with these little stands that were meant to hold similar coloured plastic gems that came with the kits. Can't remember if it was Ral Partha or Grenadier though. But I think it was one of those...

 

Grenadier Dragon of the Month series. (There were three series, though I only remembered two.)

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