Welcome back to the Beginner’s guide to Beginning! Today we’re (finally) going to begin assembling our minis.Just beginning with some housekeeping notes: Today’s article only covers cleaning the mini. Pinning, gluing and greenstuffing the gaps will be in next weeks tutorial There exists controversy over many parts of the order we do these things. I’m going to outline what I find to be the most effective, and point out there are other options. As with any area where such controversy exists, there is no correct answer and you should figure out what is going to be best for you There are a bundle of useful links at the bottom of the article. Even if you don’t care for what I talk about, these may be of some use to you. To Begin …
Miniatures are made by pouring a casting material (Plastic, resin, metal, plaster, etc) into a mold. The mould consists of two (sometimes three) halves that sandwich together and leave a void in the middle, that is the shape of the miniature that is to be made. Casting material is poured via specific channels into the mold, filling the void. When it sets, the mold is opened, and the mini is removed. To help with removal, the mold is first coated in a “release” agent – greasy stuff that stops the casting material from sticking.
The implications of this process for us include:The mini may still have a coat of release agent on it. This stuff resists being painted on, and needs to be washed off. The channels that the casting material pours through produce sprue, tags, and other bits that need to be removed the mini. To prevent air pockets forming at the tips of projections from the mini, there are sometimes extra blind channels that produce tags (see below) And the process creates flash and mold lines – the bane of our existence, and the topic of today’s tute.
Mold lines are where some of the casting material squeezes out of the mould between the two layers of the sandwich forming a thin sheet called flashing or flash. Sometimes there is a slight misalignment between the two halves of the mold, which creates a small step line. Well made molds will place this flash/step somewhere where it won’t be visible, or where it attaches to a natural ridge on the mini. And then there are molds that place these lines down the middle of flat plates, or on faces, or along the tops of a line of rivets. These are somewhat more annoying.
We are about to use Sharp Knives!
You are about to use sharp knives. You don’t want to cut yourself. Go watch this video by Agamemnon. Don’t worry I’ll still be here when you get back
Agamemnon on not cutting yourself