Friday, July 28, 2017

Treating Reaper BONES minis

If you have been following me for a while, you would know I actually really like Reaper's BONES line of minis. They are cheap, there's a huge variety, and have a decent amount of detail, but there are problems with them, namely the soft plastic they are made of. But I don't fret over that as with a little creative hobbying, you can get around the flaws. So here are some tips I have found for preparing BONES minis for tabletop.

TIP 1) Replace Bendy Bits
 A common complain are the bendy and warped weapons. Some guides will tell you to stick them in hot water, bend it back, and let it cool. But for me, don't be afraid to replace them with whatever bits you got. Superglue works best for this as plastic glues don't work on BONES materials.
In this case I simply chopped off the spear bits, drilled holes in the hands, and fed in this bit from the Drukhari Venom kit. Common fantasy orcs are different than the 40k Orks are some of us used to. A spear with skulls on it seemed to fit.
TIP 2) Base them on Washers
BONES minis are made of a very light weight material, and have little bases built into them already, but they are rarely big enough and for especially tall minis they are prone to tipping. So put them on something cheap and weighty. Put them on washers.
I got these at a local Home Depot. When looking for good washers, you want ones with the right size on the outside and as small a hole inside as possible. The washers also don't need to be especially thick. I got these ones because I can use them for 25mm, 32mm, and 40mm bases respectively.
For gluing them on, I would recommend E6000 or GOOP. You can get either at any hobby story and they are essentially the same things. They are very strong but have a long set time and cant do detail gluing very well. But it is great for gluing BONES to washers. Hot glue isn't strong enough and doesnt glue to metal very well, and superglue is too brittle. E6000 does great with metal.
This gives us a decent amount of weight on the bases and holds them upright fairly well for cheap. Again, E6000 works great on metal, so even one of my old Reaper metal minis has a nice stable base now. But what about the leaning model syndrome?

TIP 3) Prop them up with Paperclips
Some models have weak ankles. Literally. They lean forward too far or back too far. Again others will tell you just to put them in hot water then correct them, but I found the strongest solution is to use the same stuff I pin models with. Paperclips.
When painted up in a flat black, the pins should be fairly invisible.

TIP 4) Transport them on Magnets
With metal washer bases and light plastic minis, they have a very good advantage with magnets and transportation. I found a cheap plastic container with lid at my Walmart. I wanted something about 3" deep, so it could hold my bigger bones minis.
Next I got this magnetic tape. I hear you can buy sheets of this stuff instead of the tape, which may have been better. Crafters usually use this to make refrigerator magnets.
Line the bottom of the container with the magnetic tape. I found the sticky material on the back of the stuff to be incredibly weak, so I just glued the strips down with the ultra strong E6000.
And now you have a decently stable carrying case for your minis without having to bother with foam trays or liners. Granted the magnets are not strong enough to hold the minis when they are really shooken around or bumped upside down, but for normal jostling and transportation, it's definitely good enough.

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