Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Killjoys in 28mm - Step 3: In Our Prime

Here are the three minis right out of the padded envelope. Hasslefree does a good job packing their minis to avoid damage during shipment.

After taking them out of their baggies, they are inspected for any damage or miscasting. I look for places where the metal didn't fill the mold as well as flash. These three are very well done, but have the normal amount of flash and mold lines,
Using a sharp blade and some needle files, the flash and mold lines are removed from the minis. After that, the minis are washed in warm water with hand soap, then allowed to dry. This step removes the mold release agents, which can prevent primer from adhering to the metal.

John needs a holster for his handgun. I start by adding a thigh belt using a photo-etched webbing set. This is wrapped around his thigh and super-glued into place. Another piece of webbing is cut and glued from the thigh belt to his shirt, giving the appearance that this is connected to his belt. After drying, a holster from a set of plastic mini accessories it glued to the webbing.

As I'm going to use custom bases for these minis, the slotta-base tabs need to be cut away. Using my red-handled snippers, I carefully cut the tabs from their feet and then file their soles flat.

Using a small bit, holes are drilled through their soles and up their legs. Small pieces of metal paper clips are cut and super-glued into these holes. These pins will allow the minis to be held while painting, and then used to mount them on their custom bases.

The minis are then mounted to the holders that I use while painting. These are made from 1 inch wooden blocks with a half a wine cork glued to them. A small drop of glue is put on each cork and the mini's pins are pushed through the glue into the cork. They aren't pushed flush to the cork to allow room to paint the soles of their shoes.

These miniature holders also have a 1/4 in diameter rare earth magnet countersunk and super-glued into their bottom. This allows me to hang the mini on it's side or even upside-down if need be to allow washes to sink into crevices and folds accurately.

Before priming, I wrap the holders in blue painter's tape to protect the corks from being saturated by the primer spray.

The minis are primed with a spray primer using three light coats. After each spraying, I let them dry for about 15 minutes and check them. If there are any areas that still show bare metal, another light coat is sprayed on. Priming with multiple light coats works better than one heavy coat, and it avoids any chance of the primer running or covering up the detail of the mini.
Once primed, I let them dry for several hours.
Each mini then gets a light primer wash. The bright white primer can make it difficult to see the details of the mini, so a wash is applied lightly with a brush, taking care not to create bubbles. The minis are held upside down so the wash will settle into the bottoms of the folds. Checking them every couple of minutes, the excess is wicked off with a dry brush. After about 10 minutes, they are turned right-side up and allowed to dry for at least an hour.

The three minis are now ready to begin painting. You can see how the wash helps highlight the details of the mini as well as provide some pre-shading.

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