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Recommendation on smoothing metal minis

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Since vhaidra mentioned using 1000 grit sandpaper for prep in another thread, I thought I'd throw out one of my tips.


After I'm done removing flash from my mini I go over it with a nylon brush in a rotary tool. This gives me an extra smooth finish, and smooth painting is something we all pursue. Then I wash and prime as usual.


Q: But doesn't that remove detail?

A: Not that I can tell.


Q: On metal minis only, or also resin/plastic/Bonesium?

A: I've only used it on metal minis, since my experience with other materials is extremely limited. I would definitely test it on a non-metal scrap piece first, as metal is much harder than other materials.

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A technique I use often with metal miniatures that have large areas that need to be smooth (sword blades, armor plates, whatever), is to use a burnishing tool. The result is relatively quick and very controllable. Though there are some problems when you get close to surface details (you can't burnish very close to such details without risking damage).

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Another method to smooth out areas of a mini prior to priming is to apply a few coats of varnish and allow it to dry. This is especially useful if the surface has pits in it. A brush can't help with those as much, but a coat of varnish can provide a smooth surface to prime and paint. 

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