Monday, October 5, 2015

We can rebuild them, we have the technology

As much as we'd like to live in a perfect world, the fact is that we don't.  Things are not perfect, and that includes our toy soldiers.

Opening a new box of toys to find them missing pieces, or even broken, is always heartbreaking.  However, these can be repaired.

When I received my fleabag riders from the Kings of War kickstarter (to be honest, these are not new pictures - because I'm talking about the FIRST Kings of War kickstarter, not the one for the 2nd edition) I went through the package, and discovered that three of the models were miscast or had been broken at the factory - they were missing the left fore paws.
One of the five models that was missing a paw
Now some people say if your mount is lame, you have to take them out and shoot them.  But that would be a waste.  I could have contacted Mantic about replacements (their customer service is great about these things, if a little slow at times) but I figured this would be simple enough for me to actually fix.

I had picked up some Instant Mold at Gencon, so now was a great time to try it out.  This is a wax like plastic that is very soft and pliable when heated, and then stays in the new shape when cooled - so it basically makes a simple mold for cold casting (I don't know if it would work with resin or other material, but it works great with green stuff).  You simply take a piece, put in in near boiling water for about a minute, then press the piece you want to mold into it.  It was big enough that I did two of them at once.
Creating a double mold based on the good version of the model
You then let the molds set.  When I removed the good minis, I had two molds of the shoulder, leg and intact foot.  The one drawback is that these are single sided molds - so the inside details will be lost on the cast pieces.  However I figured that since these were underneath and on the inside of the model, it would not be noticeable after painting.

After the mold cooled, and the models were popped out
Next I simply placed the miscast pieces into the mold
Now put the miscast models into the mold
 and then mixed up green stuff and pressed it into the mold for the feet, making sure it overlapped to attach to the good part of the model.
Fill the empty part of the mold with green stuff, let set for several hours
 Once the green stuff had set completely, the models easily popped out of the mold.  There was a bit of excess green stuff around the new foot
Popping out the miniatures, now have legs with some excess
 however it was quite easy to trim the excess off with a hobby knife.
Quick trim with a hobby knife and ready to paint!
I then painted up the regiment and based it - and looking at them now, I can't find which of the ten models are the three that I had to recast the paw on!
Painted up and ready to go!

Note: A version of this was originally posted on the my Mantic blog two years ago - I was thinking this might reach more people here (but then I saw that post had over 1400 views - so maybe not).

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