Tool Tips – 2020

Tool Tips – 2020

I debated on titling this post ‘What’s Working for Me’, as that’s sort of what Tooltips is all about. Things I’ve found useful and then sharing them out. Again, this works for me, but maybe not so much for others. Enjoy!

Razor Saw

Yea, that’s right, RAZOR SAW! And I still have all 8 fingers!

Razor Saw and homemade Cardstock Sheath

I have been doing a fair amount of kit-bashing with the team I’m working on. And man, oh man, oh man, do I WISH I had this at the start. Seriously, where the F have you been all this time?!

If you’ve ever had to separate torsos, chop off arms, etc. (umm, on Miniatures, mind you), this is a dream. Previously I would use clippers, hobby knife, and sometimes the Dremel tool. The clippers especially, tend to mangle and warp bits as you end up squeezing the plastic. Hobby knife works pretty decent for shaving and cutting thin stuff. The Razor Saw though, will cut through things, much like a “razor saw!”. Separating a torso with this, I still had two pretty usable lower and upper halves. I probably should have taken some pics as demonstration, but next time.

I don’t know that brand would make much of a difference, probably blades more than anything, but here’s what I picked up:

Zona Ultra Thin Razor Saw

Glue

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Bob Smith Industries Insta-Cure

You would think something like “glue”, would be stupidly simple. I have all kinds of different brands of this stuff, and still run into a case of the ‘no stick Ems’ every so often. That’s not fun.

At that point I usually try to remove the glue, try a different brand/type, and eventually resort to the Baking soda/Superglue trick that I had learned from IRO’s blog.

I was watching an Adam Savage video one day and he mentioned that he buys super glue in the smallest bottles possible. Why? Because they apparently go bad (weaken?) faster than most people can use them. Ding! I tend to open a bottle and then not use it for a good long time…so that could be a really good reason for the glue fails I’ve ran into. Not sure that Bobs is superior to other brands, but I will definitely buy smaller bottles from here on out. 

Paint Brush

We all use them. We all love them (or hate them).

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Raphael Kolinsky 8404 Size 0

I picked this brush up on a sale:  Raphael Kolinsky 8404. I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s good quality, like the Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes. Though it has a bigger belly, so it holds more paint. I have a feeling a lot of it, is just having a new brush as my W&NS7 brushes are getting a bit worn now.

What Things Am I NOT Doing?

In an effort to do things quicker, I have looked at cutting some things out.

Magnets 

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I gave up on magnetizing weapon arms, adding small magnets to Blood Bowl bases and magnetizing balls. It’s a tedious process and an added expense. It ended up making things more fiddly in game and didn’t really improve things at all. So, one less thing to do.

Sub-Assembly

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I had been painting everything in sub-assemblies ever since I found it near impossible to paint under the Dwarves beards. Priming a whole bunch of individual parts, and keeping track of which parts belonged to which specific mini, etc. is pretty tedious.  Since I already prime with an airbrush, I can pretty much get colored primer into area I need. Getting the brush around spots can be more challenging, but I’m learning to not be so picky about parts that are mostly hidden from view anyways.

There will be exceptions to both of these for sure. I know that GW’s Lizardman team would be a real pain to paint with their jutting mouthguards in place, so that’s one I’ll have to paint in a partial assembly.

Speaking of Assembly

One other thought on my mind recently, while putting together these four pain in the butts together…

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Question: Do you usually snip all the parts for a mini off the sprue, clean up sprue joins/seamlines, and then glue together? Or snip, glue, and then clean?

Hard to believe those 4 minis took me nearly half a day to assemble, when I put together/cleaned up 15 minis from another manufacturer in the same amount of time! Granted, some of those were whole figs and just needed a few bits of resin flash and supports removed. I get annoyed when GW chops minis into 12 pieces, just so they can fit them on a sprue.

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Till next time!

14 thoughts on “Tool Tips – 2020

  1. Aye, like John says it’s always interesting to see how other people tackle things. I avoid painting in sub-assemblies if I can help it, sometimes it helps but 99% of the time it makes work and doesn’t really pay for itself. Sometimes it can be handy but most of the time if I can’t get a brush in to paint something then no-one will be looking there either.

    In answer to your question I snip a part off the sprue, clean it, attach it and then move on to the next part and repeat. So with your blitzer there I’d snip off parts 1 and 2, clean off any mould lines etc, glue them together, then whilst the glue was setting I’d snip off part 3 and get it cleaned up (by which time there should be a good bond on 1 and 2) and so on until it was done. You’re right though, the Blood Bowl and Necromunda sprues are very clever in the way that they fit so many bits into such a small space but damn they’re fiddly! All the more reason to leave things on the sprue as long as possible, that way I’m a lot less likely to lose them!

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    1. Thanks Wudu! I’m kinda full on in assembly mode right now, with the Dark Elf team. Hoping to get as much done as I can. At any rate, I’ve found my process to be snip all the parts for one mini, clean all those parts with the knife, and then start gluing. A lot of these are really fiddly, and you have to hold them for a bit before proceeding, so glue time is pretty negligible. Especially If you switch up fast gluing joins with slow gluing joins in-between. I would say I’m a Dark Elf Master Assembler at this point…but on the last one, I just had a small piece of a foot spring somewhere into the carpet… Maybe that ends up getting a cast and becomes a -1 MA Lineman?!

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  2. Sub-assemblies are rare for me as I very rarely do anything other than metal figures and although they sometimes have parts they are usually few. I do have a razor saw which I use for some diorama work and it is a great tool to have. Interesting about super glue going off. Will have ro check that tip out for sure. Trust all is well state side.

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    1. Thanks TIM! Doing well, lots and lots of indoor time. Hope you’re keeping that garden up! 😉

      Yea, I really don’t know how I did anything without that razor saw before. I wish I had some good ‘pre-saw miniature chopping’ and ‘post-saw minis chopping’ pics to share. Even on the last batch I put together, it would be hard to see where I messed it up after I painted it. Ah well.

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    1. If you lived closer, I’d buy ya a razor saw and walk it over to your house right now! Maybe some beers. Though a drunk IRO with a razor saw, sounds like a big mistake.

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