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FireImp

How to mount tiny bits for painting?

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How do you handle painting those tiny bits like arms and shields before gluing a figure together? I’ve got one arm drilled and mounted on a piece of paper clip that worked pretty well, but I’m looking at my next mini and wondering if there isn’t a better way...or at least one that doesn’t involve drilling, which I’m not very good at.

Edited by FireImp
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If it's small, fiddly bits that isn't suited to pinning you could look over to the World of Greenstuff. They have 'wax picking pencils'.

(Look in the 'Amazing tools category. It's a wax rod encapsulated like a pencil, that you sharpen to somewhat of a point, then stick parts onto the tip.  )

They're really designed for beading, but yeah, they'll work.

 

 

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If it's plastic, alligator clips. I've also kept them on the sprue (mold lines removed). Dunno how well this works for display-level painting, though...

 

pic3420581.jpg pic3808914.jpg

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Poster tack and a stick can be useful to hold small pieces while painting, but:

  • @TaleSpinner is right that small pieces, especially small-diameter long pieces, really need to be pinned anyway, especially for gaming, but I'd recommend it even for display.
  • If you can paint the figure after assembly (sometimes you can't, of course), I find that to work better than separate painting. Matching paint on both sides of a later join and covering glue joints between painted pieces are both serious pains in the rear.
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I usually mix a tiny bit of Greenstuff apply that and then glue the part to the mini.

On the other hand, I don't game, I only paint for display.

 

As for holding tiny bits for painting before assembly, I mostly use a small cork bottle stopper, I have cut some holes in their which will fit most of the small pieces.

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Wow, some great ideas here, thanks everybody. I especially like Ced1106’s suggestion for leaving things on the sprue, as I have quite a few Frostgrave minis that will work beautifully for. And also picked up the tip of practicing my drilling on the sprue itself, so that’s going to be a help.

 

I’m currently painting a gnoll with a two-handed sword, so no way could it be preassembled. I’m even a little sorry I put the one arm on. I think I’ve about reached the point where I can put the arm on, and touch up the paint.

 

 

image.jpg

Edited by FireImp
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1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:

To simplify pinning, you might want to take a look at this tutorial:

 

http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/1589

 

It's pretty straightforward for a piece as large as that arm.

 

Thanks! I’ll take a look at that.

 

I’m using model glue on this figure, which is supposed to melt the two parts together. Would you still pin?

Edited by FireImp
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18 minutes ago, FireImp said:

 

Thanks! I’ll take a look at that.

 

I’m using model paint on this figure, which is supposed to melt the two parts together. Would you still pin?

 

I assume you mean model glue (which is usually some sort of styrene solvent) rather than model paint.

 

For plastics that I'm doing something similar to, I often won't pin, but it will depend on intended use (Frostgrave can result in models falling from a height to the table, so it needs a bit more robust models than some games) and the exact piece. Banners are about the worst, followed by arms with long weapons like spears, but two-handed weapons tend to be attached more robustly than one-handed weapons.

 

I'll note that if you base the figure, especially if you use a heavy base (which can be useful to keep the figure upright), a fall can be more problematic than if you use the bare plastic because of the increased mass.

 

If a weapon breaks off and you have to reattach, I'd almost certainly pin on the second try.

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Erk, yes, glue. Fixed it.

 

I will be putting it on a larger base, mostly because the figure is unstable as is. Thanks for the heads up on that.

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On 3/20/2019 at 8:25 AM, Gadgetman! said:

If it's small, fiddly bits that isn't suited to pinning you could look over to the World of Greenstuff. They have 'wax picking pencils'.

(Look in the 'Amazing tools category. It's a wax rod encapsulated like a pencil, that you sharpen to somewhat of a point, then stick parts onto the tip.  )

They're really designed for beading, but yeah, they'll work.

 

 

Will the little actually pieces stay on the wax tip while your painting? 

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3 hours ago, TheMandolin said:

Will the little actually pieces stay on the wax tip while your painting? 

If you're careful, and also shape the point suitably, yes. 

The wax pencils were made for beaders, but why should they have all the cool tools?

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