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jdizzy001

bones v black bones

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Question, has anyone posted a comprehensive review of the 2 materials. I am very familiar with bones, but how does the new black bones compare?

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Bones Black holds more detail and is a much harder material than original Bones. So the floppy sword syndrome is lessened.

The downside is it’s not as indestructible as the original Bones.

It’s more brittle and likely to chip and/or have pieces break off if dropped onto a hard surface.

 

I like it. My personal opinion is Reaper should have switched all future minis to Reaper Black.

 

I’ve only painted one piece so far. I’m happy with how it painted up.

The mini wasn’t washed (naughty me) or primed. Used Reaper paint straight from the dropper bottles.

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8 minutes ago, EvilJames said:

Is there a difference between bones black and the chronoscope bones grey?

 

There are Chronoscope figures cast in Bones Black (Chronoscope expansion from the latest Kickstarter). I will assume that you're referring to the earlier Chronoscope figures that were cast in a gray Bones plastic.

 

If that's correct, then yes, there are differences. The Bones Black figures are a harder plastic and it's my impression that they were cast in multi-part molds that the earlier plastic did not require. The newer figures have crisper detail and as noted above are more prone to breaking. It's also my impression that the Black (not to be confused with black) figures are less hydrophobic.

 

Background

 

There are four main components to casting plastic:

  • Casting resin. This is the actual polymer. It is my understanding that both regular Bones and Bones Black figures use PVC.
  • Opacifier. This determines the light transmissivity of the plastic. Put none in and you get a translucent figure. Put some in and you get the original Bones figures where you can kind of see some light below the surface (sub-surface scattering), which makes the textures difficult to see before painting. Put more in and the figure is notably more opaque. All the new Bones and Bones Black figures other than translucents seem to be using more opacifiers.
  • Tint. Determines the color. Most original Bones figures were white, later figures are going more gray. It's my understanding that there might be a change to make the Bones Black figures more, well, "black" in the future, but right now there's no substantive color difference. But any Bones figure can be cast in a different color if Reaper so decides.
  • Plasticizer. Used to increase the pliability of the plastic. More makes the figures more flexible, easier to eject from molds, and less likely to break. It also seems to increase the tendency of figures to reject water, reduces the glass temperature (which can increase the chance of bent figures), and makes the figures more likely to droop over time. 

Speculation*

 

All Bones and Bones Black figures are PVC, but Bones Black is made with much less plasticizer. This means that more complex (and expensive) molds and molding machines are necessary for casting and figures more often need to be multi-part for mold ejection. Large figures, which have less need for tight, crisp detail and little problem with bending are likely to continue to be made with more plasticizer (regular Bones) while figures that have/need crisp and copious detail and/or that are small or thin enough that bending is more likely will probably be cast in Bones Black. Older figures are unlikely to be redone in Bones Black because different molds (and thus an entirely new capital expenditure for molds without getting new figures) would be required.

 

* This really is speculation. Any part of it could be wrong. This should not be construed as either definitive or a statement by Reaper.

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2 hours ago, EvilJames said:

Is there a difference between bones black and the chronoscope bones grey?

 

Color is irrelevant, there are 2 Bonesium formulations - regular Bones, and Bones Black. They say that there is no difference between the white Bonesium and grey/black/off-white/etc. Bonesium, and aside from the rigidity on the Black formulation and the benifits that come with that, all other properties are the same. Yes, the naming conventions are needlessly confusing.

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Going forward, Reaper has said that Bones Black minis will be produced in a darker grey than those produced for the kickstarter, not black, just a darker grey.

 

And original Bones minis will no longer be produced in white. They’ll be a lighter grey, but still retain their softness and bendyness.

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2 hours ago, IgwanaRob said:

 

Color is irrelevant, there are 2 Bonesium formulations - regular Bones, and Bones Black. They say that there is no difference between the white Bonesium and grey/black/off-white/etc. Bonesium, and aside from the rigidity on the Black formulation and the benifits that come with that, all other properties are the same. Yes, the naming conventions are needlessly confusing.

I would say that there is a difference between those colors as the chronoscope grey was more rigid than the pure white bones as was the off whites from ks3. The chronoscope tin man was considerably stiffer and more detailed than the pure white bones. I'm guessing he's softer than the bones black though. I'll have to compare when I get home.

4 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

There are Chronoscope figures cast in Bones Black (Chronoscope expansion from the latest Kickstarter). I will assume that you're referring to the earlier Chronoscope figures that were cast in a gray Bones plastic.

 

If that's correct, then yes, there are differences. The Bones Black figures are a harder plastic and it's my impression that they were cast in multi-part molds that the earlier plastic did not require. The newer figures have crisper detail and as noted above are more prone to breaking. 

Yes, that is what was referring to. The grey bones from the last ks felt stiffer and had sharper detail. Wasn't sure if they were truly different from Black or not as I only have a couple of Bones black and really haven't had a chance to compare.

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42 minutes ago, EvilJames said:

Yes, that is what was referring to. The grey bones from the last ks felt stiffer and had sharper detail. Wasn't sure if they were truly different from Black or not as I only have a couple of Bones black and really haven't had a chance to compare.

 

The core set from Bones 4 was cast in regular Bones (though with less plasticizer and with more experience in how to sculpt for Bones.) The expansion box figures were all cast in Bones Black. The other figures were not clearly identified as either, though the larger figures are almost certainly regular Bones.

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

The core set from Bones 4 was cast in regular Bones (though with less plasticizer and with more experience in how to sculpt for Bones.) The expansion box figures were all cast in Bones Black. The other figures were not clearly identified as either, though the larger figures are almost certainly regular Bones.

Oops, I meant I was referring to bones 3, the chronoscope miniatures and the mythos set and the power armor guys were all grey. I was aware that all the bones 4 expansions were bones black, sadly I didn't get any of them. :( I just got a couple of bones black in my last reaper order though I haven't had a chance to look at them much.

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8 minutes ago, EvilJames said:

Oops, I meant I was referring to bones 3, the chronoscope miniatures and the mythos set and the power armor guys were all grey. I was aware that all the bones 4 expansions were bones black, sadly I didn't get any of them. :( I just got a couple of bones black in my last reaper order though I haven't had a chance to look at them much.

The bones 3 chronoscope grey is still the regular bones. The black is much more rigid, but tends to have more seems and parts than the regular. It worked really well on the thinner chronoscope minis. The thicker ones don't seem to have benefited much. Though the grey does seem to be better at doing hard edges (to the point that some of them can be a bit too pointy, looking at you flail snail shell)

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From what I've seen, the Bones Black IS much more rigid, but I don't get the impression it's likely to chip or break without a LOT of effort behind it.  It really resists cutting and so on, making it a bit tougher to customize/modify for things like weapons or head swaps. 

 

I don't think it holds detail very much better than the recent non-Black Bones:  unpainted, some of the earlier "white" models seemed to have murky details that I suspect were the result of a lack of experience in sculpting and manufacturing for this material, but later Bones minis generally held detail rather well, IMHO.  I also suspect that opacity and light transmission/scatter of the earlier Bones figures was such that it tended to make the detail harder to see - in other words, it's easier to see the detail with the tinting.  Some of the earliest Bones minis also seemed to have a lot more of the plasticizer mentioned by Doug:  especially the more slender and delicate models had a tendency toward noodle-weapons and weak ankles that later Bones seemed less likely to suffer from (in part because of Reaper's improving experience with the material and its formula, and in part because of the sculptors' improved experience with sculpting for the material with less delicate modeling, etc.)

 

Anyway, I really don't see the smaller, lighter Bones Black minis breaking or chipping very easily - seems to me you'll need to take a hammer to them or run them over with a semi or lawnmower or something to do much damage on them - that plastic is some very tough stuff!  I struggled getting a hobby/Xacto knife through it, and, though it hardly seems brittle, it really doesn't seem to want to bend, either.  Make no mistake:  the Bones Black plastic seems MUCH more durable than pewter or that fragile hard plastic that those multipart wargames miniatures tend to be made from!

 

At a glance, I would say that Bones Black is best suited for the larger, heavier, more complicated models:  the stiffer material to me seems less likely to warp and collapse under the weight of the larger models. 

 

I'm not convinced that Bones Black is the best material for the smaller models, though I do appreciate that the stiffer Black formula results in models that hold their shape much better than those early, ultra-soft Bones figures with thin ankles and wobbly swords/spears/staves and so on.

 

Edited by YronimosW
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Several folks reported broken off wing tips and claws of the Bones Black Owlbear  within the blister pack they received. My own personal experience is some of the talons were broken of my Baba Yagas hut chicken feet.

The box didn’t show any damage so being banged around a bit in transit is enough to do the job.

Yet detaching those same legs from the hut apparently requires a near Herculean effort.

 

And at least one person reported damage on their Owlbear  after being dropped on the floor.

 

So yeah, not saying the Bones plastic is annoyingly brittle, but it is more brittle that the original Bones minis.

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I'd agree with Darsc. It is more brittle, but not annoyingly so. It is still very tabletop-durable compared to metal or resin.

 

It does take an edge better than regular bones; swords and spears aren't as bendy. I'm not convinced it is best on warping issues though. Baba Yaga's hut is BB, and that has a lot of sagging issues with the legs. Some is the design; it isn't well balanced and it is top heavy. Still, it does sag after time. More in a hot window, but still some on a cool shelf.

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