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You can use water not at the full boil, although so far as I know a few minutes in boiling water won't hurt acrylic paint.

 

Do you know the particulars of the boiling water trick, Gor? There's a thread somewhere around on it, in this subforum I think.

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I generally bend 'em BEFORE I paint 'em, but I've found that a hair dryer set for HOT warms and softens them and when they're bent back, simply run them under icy cold tap water (or dunk 'em in a bowl of ice water and hold 'em there for half a minute.) If you've clearcoated the mini, it shouldn't harm the paint.

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Holding it for long periods might work, but I'm thinking that would be measured in years, not days or months. Even then I fear it would have a tendency to try to return to the original shape.

 

Now doing Dr.Bedlam's hair dryer suggestion and then holding it position for a long time (a week perhaps?) may work. Worth a shot it your very worried about the paint.

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I've used the boiling water trick on some skeletons with unfortunate leaning tendencies, and it didn't damage the paint. Worth a shot.

Do you think that if (and I'm being serious when I say this) you held it in a certain position long enough, it would stay in place?

As Pegazus says, the amount of time you would have to hold it would be unfeasible. The skeletons I mentioned above were bent by being crushed in a carrying case for days or a week - you would have to exert equal force for equal time to bend them straight.

 

Easier to just use heat.

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Hair dryer trick works if you just let it cool to room temperature. Depending on the thickness of the bent part, tho, that could take a while. Easier to just have ice water handy.

 

Tried just bending them. Did not work within parameters established by my patience and attention span.

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Haven't tried a hair dryer yet (or a heat gun for that matter) but the boiling works most of the time.  You'll have to play with times and temps though.  I've had mixed success, but there are a lot of variables involved so that is to be expected.

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You could also hold it in the position you want it in while drilling up through the base, then stick some wire or a paper clip in it. Just be careful not to drill out the side. Also note that paper clips are usually steel and will damage cutters not designed for steel--which army painters side cutters totally are not. (My poor cutters.)

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I've used the hairdryer trick on painted ones, though I prefer to do it on unpainted where possible. (You can also use a hairdryer to speed paint drying, so it's fine for minis/paint.) Sometimes you need to bend them past the desired position in the opposite direction.

 

While you didn't ask about this specifically, I'll mention to be thorough. Bones is a memory plastic. There is no way to bend a figure into a new and different position, using heat or otherwise. If you want to change the bend of an arm or something like that, you need to cut it (easily done with  hobby knife) and glue it in the desired orientation (easily done with superglue).

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I'd be willing to bet you could place them in front of a space heater or something with padded clamps holding them in the position you want for a while then just turn the thing off and leave the clamps in place while it got back to room temp. Let it sit for a while, should be good. Maybe try moving it outdoors if it's cold where you live instead of worrying about room temp.

Anyway, some padded clips would be really handy I think if you are trying to correct a painted mini and want to keep the thing out of water.

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