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Bones quality question


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I've accumulated a LOT of bones over the last few months and just getting around to painting them.

 

I noticed a very marked difference in quality between some of the miniatures. The dragon hatchlings, for instance, were pretty .. well, really crappy. Really bad mold lines and flashing, no detail (can't find eyes, make out teeth, etc), etc...

 

Meanwhile the bones versions of Townsfolk were spectacular, great detail. (I ordered a few off the same mini in metal AND bones and the ones in bones required zero prep work, were flawless, with outstanding detail)

 

Are those from different processes or something? I haven't unboxed most of the minis I've bought yet (it's an overwhelming amount), but was kind of taken aback by the extreme ends of "good" vs. "not so good" quality between those hatchlings and the townsfolk. 

 

Is there a way to identify lower quality castings? Like, were those hatchlings from an earlier run of bones? And the townsfolk a later run? Is there a SKU range breakdown on those?

 

I don't mind some things being lower quality; those hatchlings were destined for a speed paint anyway - but I don't want to order something in bones that I *do* want to do a presentation level paint on, only to find that it's 'not one of the good ones'... and have to re-order in metal.

 

Not trying to nit pick just wondering how there could be such an extreme swing in quality like that.

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I think with casting material, variance happens. While it's true that some bones models as a whole turned out better than others. Even in the ones that are normally good, bad casts will happen. That's why I generally prefer to buy minis from a store rather than sight unseen online because I can pick around bad casts that slipped by QC. Same goes for metal minis. If there are more than one of the same model on the shelf, I pick the one with the best detail and fewest mold lines.

 

 

Of course even with that I've ended up with a few bad casts. I have a one handed halfling that I got from a by the ounce bin and I purchased an out of print metal mini from soda pop miniatures that was missing part of her forearm so her weapon hand won't attach.

Edited by EvilJames
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In my experience, I find the smaller the details the worse they are. The bones figures are fantastic for the beginning painter, someone who wants to get into the hobby cheaply, and people who paint for tabletop to put a bunch of characters and monsters out to play with. The BIGGER bones figures actually have really great details, it seems that the material is better for the bigger figures, whereas for smaller figures it loses those details that I like to paint up. Really if you are going for displaying figures and doing competition pieces, it's better to stick with Resin and Metal, but if you are going for inexpensive, tabletop quality, and quantity, stick with bones.

 

I also don't like how floppy and bendy the weapons are for bones figures, so the smaller and thinner the weapon or body part, the worse it is. Sure you can heat them up and try to re-position, but sometimes that takes 2-3 tries to get to stick.

 

Bones do have mold lines no matter the size, just like any other material. Best to use sanding needles of very fine grit and a sharp hobby knife to get rid of them, don't use metal files on them as the metal will rip at the bones material instead and cut into it unevenly. 

Edited by ub3r_n3rd
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I agree with ub3r. The big dragons and stuff I have have held up fantastically... Except the one I left in my hot car. He's now scowling from a crouched position.. But overall I like bones for hordes. Playing d&d and want 8 actual gnolls? It's like $7 instead of 25.

Want to enter into a painting competition? With few exceptions, I would say plan for metal, and add bones that are the quality you want.

 

I will also say, the first KS seemed to have many more 'bad' minis than the second one.

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If you want to specifically paint for presentation, metal is probably your better bet anyway.  While people like Adrift proved many Bones can be painted nearly identical to their metal counterparts, they do tend to have varying degrees of detail softness.  If you're doing a special job of something I would recommend the metal version. 

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I will also say, the first KS seemed to have many more 'bad' minis than the second one.

I think overall the quality has improved, although the townsfolk mentioned in the OP might be, I think, from the first Bones Kickstarter and the baby dragons are certainly from the second.

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I will also say, the first KS seemed to have many more 'bad' minis than the second one.

I think overall the quality has improved, although the townsfolk mentioned in the OP might be, I think, from the first Bones Kickstarter and the baby dragons are certainly from the second.
Ah! True!

Well, barring those examples, then. 😉

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I've accumulated a LOT of bones over the last few months and just getting around to painting them.

 

I noticed a very marked difference in quality between some of the miniatures. The dragon hatchlings, for instance, were pretty .. well, really crappy. Really bad mold lines and flashing, no detail (can't find eyes, make out teeth, etc), etc...

 

Meanwhile the bones versions of Townsfolk were spectacular, great detail. (I ordered a few off the same mini in metal AND bones and the ones in bones required zero prep work, were flawless, with outstanding detail)

 

Are those from different processes or something? I haven't unboxed most of the minis I've bought yet (it's an overwhelming amount), but was kind of taken aback by the extreme ends of "good" vs. "not so good" quality between those hatchlings and the townsfolk. 

 

Is there a way to identify lower quality castings? Like, were those hatchlings from an earlier run of bones? And the townsfolk a later run? Is there a SKU range breakdown on those?

 

I don't mind some things being lower quality; those hatchlings were destined for a speed paint anyway - but I don't want to order something in bones that I *do* want to do a presentation level paint on, only to find that it's 'not one of the good ones'... and have to re-order in metal.

 

Not trying to nit pick just wondering how there could be such an extreme swing in quality like that.

Did you contact Reaper about the hatchlings?

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When I got my Bones 2 stuff I reported the ones that were the absolute worst and they sent me replacements. The replacements were still pretty bad. I tossed a bunch (maybe 1/3) of my bones in a bin for my kids to practice painting with because they're frankly unusable for anything.

 

That said.

 

The ones that are good and usable are almost impossible to tell apart from their metal counterparts once they've been painted. I am still backing Bones III but I skipped a bit of it and will wait until I can see the blister in person before purchasing those.

 

The worst tend to be anything with fine features like human noses, open human sized hands, thin legs, hoods or other overhangs around the head, or heavily textured thin pieces.

Granted, this is all just my opinion.. and it's not meant to bash Bones so much be as a note of my observations so others might look out for things I've personally seen and felt less than thrilled about from my collection.

Edited by 4tonmantis
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Also, while some Bones just did not translate well from metal, in many cases I've found that it's nearly impossible to see detail when it's in bare state, but once I get a base coat or some liner on it I find the details that I thought were missing. 

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Also, while some Bones just did not translate well from metal, in many cases I've found that it's nearly impossible to see detail when it's in bare state, but once I get a base coat or some liner on it I find the details that I thought were missing. 

True, but the opposite happens, too. Sometimes you don't realize how much detail is missing until you start to get some color on it.

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 If I recall correctly, they altered the composition of the material somewhat between the first and second Kickstarters. There's a noticeable difference between the older figures and newer ones, even within the same model, so if the Bones you got were from an older run (i.e., they came from a store or distributor who had older stock) they may not be as good as the later ones.

A handful of the figures that were available from the Kickstarters were later pulled from production due to defects that have since been resolved by having the molds retooled.

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 But overall I like bones for hordes. Playing d&d and want 8 actual gnolls? It's like $7 instead of 25.

 

This! ^^^

 

Actually.. No.. Unless you were a KS backer. The bones gnolls in the store are mostly right around the $3 mark.. so 8 of them would be right around $24 not $7. That's actually more expensive than an MSRP box of GW Beastmen.. which are really the closest thing I can think of. Cheaper than their metal counterpart yeah.. absolutely. Cheap as in the low end of the market? Nah.. not really.

 

For this specific example, Frostgrave will be releasing a box of Gnolls a bit later in the year as well.. which are probably going to be $31 for 20 Gnolls.

I'm not trying to start an argument or debate or anything. I'm more just trying to put perspective as to what we're discussing when we use the term cheap. For Bones, this typically doesn't apply to infantry models which are if anything, priced the same as places like GW and Mantic for their HIPS multipart kits.

Now the big beasties.. those "usually" end up MSRP'd at a really nice cheap price. Sometimes not so much.. but a lot of them are a fantastic steal deal.

Again.. this is only the case if you didn't back the KS. The KS prices are all easily worth it and I wouldn't have backed B3 if I didn't think so. It's the MSRP after the fact that I'm referring to.

Edited by 4tonmantis
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Also, while some Bones just did not translate well from metal, in many cases I've found that it's nearly impossible to see detail when it's in bare state, but once I get a base coat or some liner on it I find the details that I thought were missing. 

True, but the opposite happens, too. Sometimes you don't realize how much detail is missing until you start to get some color on it.

 

Oh, absolutely. A few of the Bones minis really disappointed me with this.

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