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Please leave all your feedback for testing the new Bones USA material in this thread, if you have made a post somewhere else on the forums please link it here! You will know that it is Bones USA on the bottom of the model it will have "USA" stamped into it! There are some natural ones out in production currently (LTPK models) and the new Krampus from 2020's holiday sampler. We are looking for feedback on how it feels, priming, filing, gluing ETC Just everything you want to test with it. 

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Bones USA review, part 2:   Mould lines: behave more or less the same as on Bones Black. Specifically, some of them can be scraped off, but they do not want to, so it will be necessary to ca

Update #2: Super glue works fine, especially when combined with acrylic resin (vallejo plastic putty) which is a combo I use alot as it sets faster then just superglue and is rock hard. The resin acts

So Christmas Eve 2020 brings gifts at the post office; a pack of Bones USA. I believe they are the LTPK models. Together with a breast cancer awareness pink. I won these in a lucky prize draw on twitc

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So Christmas Eve 2020 brings gifts at the post office; a pack of Bones USA. I believe they are the LTPK models. Together with a breast cancer awareness pink. I won these in a lucky prize draw on twitch some weeks ago. (I live in Norway, these things take time to arrive ;)

 

First impressions - generally positive.

 

 the look and feel:

 

Spuncast. They "feel" spuncast.

 

These have a very similar feel, apparent hardness, weight and heft to them as the minis from other companies known to be made in "spuncast resin plastic".

 

They have a similar smell too, which probably is mould release grease/silikon. However, the odour is less apparent than with other spuncast minis I have handled. My fingers do feel slightly greasy after touching them in the same way as well, even thought the models themselves do not feel greasy as such.

 

They will definitely need a bath before painting, just like the other bones.

 

Very good definition of detail. I would go as far as to say "metal quality", at least on par with Bones Black.

 

They have a slight flex to them, which is good. They do not seem brittle, but st the same time not rubbery at all. They could be described as a more flexible Bones Black maybe?

They have withstood the drop test, falling 1,5m or so to the floor without damage. (Bones black did not pass the same test)

 

There are some mould lines, more pronounced on the skeleton and orc than on the pirate and halfling. Generally the mould lines are not very apparent on the models, just here and there.

The mould lines seem to be on the same level as on any given metal model.  If they can be scraped  like on metal or bones black, they will pose no problem at all. If they need to be carved off like on classic white bones, they will be similar work to classic white bones. I suspect the former will be the case.

 

There is also evidence of vent-flash (slivers of extra material, like on metal models) at extreme points such as the end of a sword and the end of a staff. This also makes me think these are spun cast like metal and not injection moulded like Bones or HIPS plastic.

 

Also, what seems to be evidence of slight shrinkage when compared to classic Bones. The Bones USA chaos warrior seems to be about 1 mm shorter than the Bones classic one. The sword is shorter by 2,5 mm. That might be a redesign or something, as the rest of the model does not seem that much smaller.

 

Several weapons were slightly bent when they arrived, much like Bones black.

 

 

Further review to follow when I get the time. Now I am off to make Christmas dinner. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Maledrakh
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Bones USA review, part 2:

 

Mould lines: behave more or less the same as on Bones Black. Specifically, some of them can be scraped off, but they do not want to, so it will be necessary to carve as well.
Verdict: The material is easier to clean mould lines off than Bones Classic, but not as easy as metal.

 

 

Hot Water trick to straighten bent bits: Does NOT work. That means that the material either is not a similar thermoplastic to PVC or even a resin such as polyurethane, or if it included such thermoplastics, the compound also includes materials that need a much higher temperature than near-to-boiling water. Luckily the slight bending present in a couple of the models is not very pronounced. Maybe I can use brute force to straighten like with metal, but I doubt it as the material seems too flexible for that.

 

Shrinkage: I got out the calipers and have compared both whole minis and parts of minis. The Bones USA models are measurably smaller than Bones Classic models, and have shorter weapons, shorter shields etc by a half a millimetre or more. 

Exception:  the wizard seems to be exactly the same height in both materials.

The bases are not the same thickness, wich makes measuring a bit of a pain, though.

 

The size differences might have other reasons than pure shrinkage in this material. Several details here and there lead me to believe that maybe these are not quite identical to the classic bones models. One could speculate that master models in metal or resin have been used, and one was digitally scanned and details changed in the computer before the mould was milled from the digital files, and the other maybe physically cast in moulds directly from the metal masters. Or some similar process. 

For example, the rivets in the chest that the pirate carries are more ring-like in Bones Classic, and the rivets are filled out in Bones USA. The sword of the chaos warrior is a lot shorter (2.5 mm or so) in the Bones USA version, the shape of the head of the Bones Classic pirate is longer/more oval than the Bones USA one. There are several such small details here and there that are just slightly different.

Maybe the material shrinkage is different in the masters used as well, if one was resin and the other metal they would probably not be the same exact dimensions. 

 

However, the size differences are not really noticable when the minis are standing on the table next to each other. It is only when in close up comparison this is any sort of an issue.

 

So far today , I have cleaned up what mould lines I found, and have given them a hot water bath with washing up detergent and a thorough scrub with a nail-brush. We will see how they glue and paint up at a later date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update #2: Super glue works fine, especially when combined with acrylic resin (vallejo plastic putty) which is a combo I use alot as it sets faster then just superglue and is rock hard. The resin acts also as a filler / gasket which makes the bonding surface greater.

 

Vallejo black primer applied by airbrush works fine. It is now 16 hours since application, the primer seems to have cured well and resists scraping with a finger nail, (unlike the 3D printed PLA bases I put them on where the primer comes off when scraped)

 

Verdict for glue and primer: very good.

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A few questions for @Maledrakh to better understand the testing of the material, and possibly to provide further guidance for anyone wishing to further the excellent work already done:

  • Mould line removal: what type of tools did you use? Hobby knife, scalpel, seam scraper? Were files attempted, and if so, how did the material respond to it?
  • Straightening with hot water: when you say hot, do you mean boiling or below boiling? Was there any response to putting it into the water, or no sign of softening at all? How long, on average, did you leave it in the water?
  • Alternative to using hot water: do you think a heat gun could be used to soften the plastic, or is it overkill/risk of melting?
  • Primering: while I personally prime my Bones as you have with non-aerosol primer, any chance you attempted or plan to attempt the "no need to prime" selling point of the Bones line?

If some of these have already been addressed on a ReaperLive or somewhere, apologies. These immediately popped into my head as I read your experience.

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12 hours ago, ManvsMini said:

A few questions for @Maledrakh to better understand the testing of the material, and possibly to provide further guidance for anyone wishing to further the excellent work already done:

  • Mould line removal: what type of tools did you use? Hobby knife, scalpel, seam scraper? Were files attempted, and if so, how did the material respond to it?
  • Straightening with hot water: when you say hot, do you mean boiling or below boiling? Was there any response to putting it into the water, or no sign of softening at all? How long, on average, did you leave it in the water?
  • Alternative to using hot water: do you think a heat gun could be used to soften the plastic, or is it overkill/risk of melting?
  • Primering: while I personally prime my Bones as you have with non-aerosol primer, any chance you attempted or plan to attempt the "no need to prime" selling point of the Bones line?

If some of these have already been addressed on a ReaperLive or somewhere, apologies. These immediately popped into my head as I read your experience.

 

1.I used a #11 scalpel, both the sharp blade and the back of the blade. I did not try a file. Based on how it responded to the scalpel I would think a file should work, but with slight resistance and feathering the same way as with Bones Black. i.e. not as good as metal, but much better then classic white bones.

 

2. I used water that I boiled in a water boiler, then poured over into a cup. It would be close to boiling but rapidly cooling.
I think the material softened ever so slightly, but not enough to reposition and it did not hold the shape I held it in after being subjected to cold water.
I held the part in the hot water for 30 seconds to a minute. 
for reference: with bones /PVC a bent sword will straighten out in 1-3 seconds after being put into hot water, and turn rubbery-flexible with 3-5 seconds, depending on the thickness.

(It is possible the bones usa would soften if left in the hot water long enough. Some thicker regular bones bits need more than a minute to soften enough to reposition, but that is due to the thickness more than anything.)

 

3. I have not tried. If this is, as @Reaper_Jon states in his post about the promo models, is actually an injected thermoplastic, they should soften if enough heat is applied.
I would advise against using open flames in any case, as the fumes presumably would be toxic. 

 

4. Sorry, that is too late. I have primed all the ones I recieved. (I simply did not think of this) Probably should have kept one or to for testing to destruction...Reaper, please feel free to send me more Bones USA for vigourous testing ;)

 

However, based on the "matte" feel of the plastic after washing, and how strongly the primer adheres, I think it should be OK to paint straight on top of it.


 

Edited by Maledrakh
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I also received these figures through that Twitch contest and my much less scientific opinion is that they're really good. The detail is great and I like their firmness. I haven't got the Bones versions of these models to compare them to, but I also think these figures seem slightly smaller/thinner than comparable models I have in Bones Black.

 

On a related note, does anyone know if Reaper is planning to phase out Bones and Bones Black? Seems like the inevitable outcome of this development.

 

P.S. One of my figures' sword had broken off (during postage I assume) in case anyone finds that detail interesting.

1 hour ago, cybertoine said:

Jon, are the original Bones molds compatible with your new machines? I know you said the Bones Black are not.

 

My uninformed guess would be "Yes", since some of the figures they have already made (remade?) were the Bones figures from the Learn-To-Paint Kits.

Edited by Kalibak
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8 hours ago, Kalibak said:

On a related note, does anyone know if Reaper is planning to phase out Bones and Bones Black? Seems like the inevitable outcome of this development.

 

Educated guesstimate based on historical evidence: Both yes and no. at least for the forseeable future.

Even though they might move a lot of production inhouse to the USA with the Bones USA material, they will still be needing Chinese factories that make the classic and the Bones black, simply to be able to deal with the bulk of the production as long as they are running kickstarters with 10.000+ pledgers.

 

They still produce new Bones classic models through the kickstarters such as the still being produced Bones 5. Even though many or even most of the human-sized and smaller models are moving towards Bones Black, there will still be alot of larger minis made in "classic" Bones.

And when I say "Classic Bones" it is worth noting that there also has been a significant development of that material over the years. What is made in classic bones today is a far cry from the rubbery, detail-phobic material of most of the first(and second, even thought there was a marked improvement there as well) bones KS. Compare any of the stark white bones models with the models in the Bones 4 Core set for example, both are sold as "classic bones".

However, I can see them increasingly moving to in house Bones USA for restocks when the initial china-production runs out.

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AFAIK only the Learn to paint kit-set, the krampus 2020 freebie and the january Lysette redesign freebie are currently in Bones USA. maybe some other promofigures.

The first quarters' releases in bones are (almost) all from the bones 4 core set, and in classic bones.

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12 hours ago, cybertoine said:

Jon, are the original Bones molds compatible with your new machines? I know you said the Bones Black are not.

no they are not. :( it is an entirely new process, Bones black and bones are really close and similar in production process, but this is different! 

1 hour ago, 72moonglum said:

Random related question, are there a lot of Bones USA figures now available? 

I dont know the exact number but it is not "A ton" it will be a slow process, with new mold makers and learning the new mold making process and casting process. It will be a ramp up for sure. 
 

22 minutes ago, Maledrakh said:

AFAIK only the Learn to paint kit-set, the krampus 2020 freebie and the january Lysette redesign freebie are currently in Bones USA. maybe some other promofigures.

The first quarters' releases in bones are (almost) all from the bones 4 core set, and in classic bones.


Male is right, we wanted to start by doing the models that we go through the most and the fastest first to be made in Bones USA. Thats why the LTPK models, and now we are looking at our top sellers and trying to figure out where to attack from there! 

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14 minutes ago, Maledrakh said:

any chance of a videoclip showing how these are made? 


Once we are ready then yes! We plan to talk about it, but it is still to early and we dont want to give away our secrets! :) As this is a big deal, being one of the first companies to start producing their own plastic in the US. We want to make absolute certain of everything first! 

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