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How to fix Bent Miniatures


russianmuffin
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Slow, gentle pressure against a flat surface works best.

 

Straighten a little... let the metal "rest" for a bit... straighten a little more... etc.

 

Also, depending on circumstances, use cloth or soft rubber to protect the metal from:

a hard surface that might flatten the surface detail on the model, or

jaws of pliers that might mark the surface of the model.

 

By the way, the pliers -- which I have used in certain cases -- are only to focus where the straightening occurs, not because the metal won't bend without the extra grip. Otherwise sometimes a sword wants to bend "back" in a different place from the bend that one is trying to straighten (yielding an S-curve sword, that surely would incur a non-proficiency penalty). But if used, pliers do require being extra gentle.

 

Even severe bends can usually be straightened, but better to be too gentle at first, than too firm and break it.

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   Before you bend anything, you want to visualize what the weapon should look like when it's straight - draw an imaginary perfectly straight line up through the hilt of the sword and along the path the blade should be following, then starting at the hilt of the sword follow the blade up to the site where it starts to bend...

(You start at the bend closest to the hilt of the weapon because it's easier to visualize the line the weapon should follow since you have the handle of the weapon to line up on. Then the more of the blade you get straightened the easier it is to see the proper alignment for the rest of it.)

Now determine which way you need to move it to straighten it out. First you'll want to bend it so that it's straight from side to side, and then from front to back. Depending on how it's bent, you may need to rotate it a bit as well.

 

As mentioned above, this is best done in small increments with only as much pressure as is necessary to move the metal - which isn't hardly any at all. A sharp bend may only require a couple of adjustments at a singe place, while a long gentle bend or multiple curves will require smaller adjustments in different places along the blade to straighten it. Depending on the size and complexity of the curve, you can sometimes just place the weapon between two flat surfaces and just press them together to straighten it for the gross adjustments, but you'll likely need to use your fingers and/or pliers for the finer adjustments.

 

When using your fingers/pliers...

 

Once you've determined the point at which it starts to bend, hold the blade with both hands, with your thumbs on the inside edge of the curve. One hand should be placed just below the curve on the straight part of the blade, and the other thumb should be just above the curve. Place the index finger of the hand above the curve on the outside edge of the curve, right in the middle of the bend. Keeping all your other fingers still, use a light, slow stroking motion with you thumb to coax the metal into the position you want it.

 

Here's a handy diagram...

 

Always keep checking to see whether your adjustments have straightened it out in all directions, and go slowly.

 

Once you get a small section of it straightened, adjust your grip a bit farther up the blade and adjust again. And again. Always rotating the mini to see if the blade is out of alignment in any direction.

 

With enough patience and a soft touch you can pretty much straighten almost anything unless the metal has been fatigued or torn.

 

(On a tangential note, if you ever plan to do a lot of conversion work with metal miniatures, you can buy a tiny jeweler's anvil and a jewelry hammer with several different detachable heads for around $30 or so...)

Edited by Mad Jack
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Since you haven't painted it yet, I think the easiest way is the Tom Meier method.  Take a wooden clothes pin (the two-piece kind with a spring), clamp it on the sword and draw the sword through.  Instant straight sword.

 

Note that you need to pull the sword through the flat surfaces.  Just pressing by itself isn't terribly effective.

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As already said, bend slowly. Also try to get it in one single pass as repeated bending is more likely to cause a crack ("small increments" is fine though) . If It does break, learn to drill & pin; most things can be pinned back on with a piece of brass rod or steel wire, or you could replace a metal item such as a sword or shield or axe with a plastic equivalent. Before you start bending, inspect for cracks and consider where the weakest point is; if possible, grip the weakest point with a pair of needle-nose pliers (or better still a pair of jewelers pliers) so as not to put any stress on the weak point.

Edited by Speak_Centurion
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