Author Topic: Modifying white metal figures  (Read 4015 times)

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Offline Weaver

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Modifying white metal figures
« on: July 08, 2013, 03:56:54 pm »
Question for the figures/wargames folk:

I want to modify a 28mm white metal figure by adding a furry edge to a coat. I presume the best way to do this is by adding a putty "sausage" to the edge and then stippling it, but what's the best putty to use? I know some putties stick by using a solvent like polystyrene cement and that obviously isn't going to work on white metal.

Any hints and tips greatly appreciated.
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Offline Thorvic

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 04:11:12 pm »
Way back when i was a sixth form one of our RPG used Milliput to modify her whote metal figure to represent her character. You certainly need a two putty type filler as a material, try scoring the metal to give the putty something to grip and have it pretty soft so it can get into the cracks, you should be able to work it for a while to shape it and texture it if milliput asyou can add water to soften it up again unlike the epoxy types
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Offline deathjester

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 04:15:08 pm »
I would use DAS Air Drying clay - I've used it before to make a cloak for a 25mm Jedi Knight, so I know it will do what you want.  You can always coat it in superglue when done to fix it in place...

Besides, two part stuff is dearer, and can be real tricky to mix properly - I had some that didn't harden for FOUR years!!  :o

Offline Mossie

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 01:50:39 am »
I looked into modifying figures recentley but I haven't attempted it yet.  GW's Greenstuff comes highly reccomended, it apparently will role thinner and take detail better than most putty's.  It's workability changes over time which can work to your advantage.  It's blood expensive, but fortunately, it's a rebranding of Kneadatite which you can find much cheaper on t'web

I still like good old Milliput though, like Geoff says, easy to work.  I've heard folks here mention that Milliput can through up hard chunks, and I've finally worked out what causes it.  One of the two epoxy sausages develops a rind as it gets older, this doesn't react well with the other sausage and leaves hard bits.  Cut off the rind, or use a newer batch.
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Offline Mondria

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 05:04:20 am »
as semi sculptor prof I recommend Procreate, it as a grey color much easier to look at then that awful green of greenstuff

I use Procreate for most of my sculpts but sometimes I use Magic sculpt for weapons, see link below for my figures 

will list the pro's and cons of the most used putties

Greenstuff (GS), industry standard, awful color that makes detail harder to see, it has a bounce if you press a tool in it it will push back a little, expensive, easy to get as most gamer stores as them in stock, dries rubbery, cant be sanded or drilled, pretty sticky

Procreate (PC), nice grey color, dries rubbery, can be sanded and drilled but not as easy as MS or MP but better then GS, harder to get, cheaper then GS but more expensive then MP, as no bounce, less sticky, can be mixed up to 80%-20% and still dries, more black makes harder, more white makes it more flexible

Miliput (MP), different color some with different properties, easy to get at modelstores, can be sanded or drilled, breaks easy, easy to smooth out with water but its messy, unused putty forms a hard shell and has to be cut away, dries rock hard

Magic Sculpt (MS), if you like MP you will love this, dries rock hard, can be sanded and drilled, breaks easy but not as easy as MP, harder to get

DAS, very cheap, easy to get a toystores, but almost useless for smaller things, simple stay away for the stuff for sculpting

Fimo, most art stores has it in stock, not that expensive, big down side it need a oven to dry making it useless for plastic conversions, brittle.

if any of you guy needs more info or want tips let me know

« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 05:08:44 am by Mondria »
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Offline NARSES2

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 06:50:16 am »
In the old days back in the early 60's (oh here he goes again  :banghead:) we used plasticine which was then sealed with banana oil, which I think was used by balsa aircraft modellers. Obviously you couldn't really sculpt it but was ideal for things like plumes, kit bags/packs/boxes etc. So could work for what you want Painted up well.

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Offline Steel Penguin

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 12:52:08 pm »
green stuff , brown stuff,  milliput  knedite, quicksteel, das  are all useable and its personal choice and ease of obtaining them that will determine which way to go,  if your in the UK, green from a games workshop store is easy, as would be quick steel from an auto store or mili from somewhere like hobbycraft.  if you want to mail order, have a look at here  http://heresyminiatures.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66_69&products_id=169
ive got stuff from there numerous times and never had a bit of trouble.
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Offline pyro-manic

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 11:53:20 am »
I have used green stuff/kneadatite and Milliput. For the task you want, I would go GS - Milliput is harder to sculpt at that sort of scale. I've heard very good things about ProCreate, but have never used it.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 05:38:52 pm »
Thanks for all the replies folks. I asked the same question over on BTS and was given a link to a load of interesting articles here: http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/5760-Articles-Index (cheers Moritz  :thumbsup:)

One thing that comes out of that is that Green Stuff dries to a slightly rubbery texture while Milliput dries to rock-hardness, both of which can be a disadvantage, so many people mix the two to get just the consistency they want.

Another thing is that many of the materials and techniques discussed here and elsewhere are either being done on scratchbuilt figures or plastic ones, so the issue of adhesion to metal really doesn't come into it for them.

Since I'm assured that Milliput WILL bond to metal, and since I've already got some (including the fine white stuff), I'm going to stick with it for the moment rather than buying more expensive stuff, since I don't anticipate doing a lot of figure modding. What I will do though is experiment first before plunging into working on the actual figure I want (two examples of which arrived today  :wub: one for backup in case I screw up  :rolleyes: ).

Thanks again. :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 05:43:19 pm by Weaver »
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Offline pyro-manic

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 12:58:21 am »
I have used GS and Milliput on metal figures, with no problems at all. Not a concern. :thumbsup:
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 05:20:54 am »
I have had good success creating short hair or fur with an NC putty called Presto (ask PR19-kit, he's a believer, too). I used it on white metal minatures for fantasy RPG years ago, but also on recent, bigger figures, e .g. on 1:6 or 1:8 anime resin figures - I apllied a thick (it's relative to the scale) coat of the stuff, and "sculpt" the hair with a coarse brush - an old tooth brush does wonders at larger scales.

Unfortunately I cannot show a benchmark pic on the 28mm fantasy stuff (long gone...), but here's a 1:8 scale figure which received a new hairdo through this method, plus dry brushing.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 11:57:55 pm by Dizzyfugu »

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Modifying white metal figures
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 12:00:09 am »
Hmpf, picture got lost after trying to improve contrast - but I took more pics of that figure last weekend, with close-ups so that the home-made, short hair is easier to see:


1:8 'Race Queen' Figure (sort of, kit conversion/customisation) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:8 'Race Queen' Figure (sort of, kit conversion/customisation) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr