Jerk a knot in his tail

Back in the day, my Dad used to go to the chiropractor once a month to have him "jerk a knot in his tail".  I'm not sure if that is an actual chiropractic manipulation.  However it seemed an appropriate title for fixing a bent miniature.


I really like Mantic Ogres.  Their aesthetic is much more of a lean, tough mercenary than the fat baby-eating monsters that GW does (now I do have a GW Ogre Kingdoms WFB army, though I haven't used it for quite some time).  However one (minor) issue they have is when they went to the gym, they skipped leg day.  They aren't the only sculpts that have this problem (the trolls also need a few Leg Presses), and generally it is just a matter of aesthetics, the models work fine.

Almost.

I have run into an exception.

In the first edition of Kings of War, you paid for banners and musicians in units, and they actually had an effect in the game (a banner in a unit worked like brutal, while a musician worked like the brew of courage).  These were dropped in 2nd edition, but Mantic still makes bits to create banners and musicians (because they look good, and people do need army standard bearers (and maybe 3rd edition will give us army musicians (like the Kings of War: Historical rules)).

This was before Mantic brought their resin manufacturing in-house, so for small runs of items, they were in metal.
Standard, Champion and (highlighted) Musician metal bits

You simply replaced the standard "restic" arms with the new metal arms.  I really like the babpipes - they are some of my favorite bits Mantic has done (though with all the excellent new models coming out they are slowing losing their place on the list).
If you can play it for her, you can play it for me!
This is where "leg day" has an impact.

Most people who have Mantic armies have dealt with an occasional bent model (either restic (or premium plastic as they label it) or PVC (the newer, softer "board game" plastic), and know that it is a simple thing to dip the model into hot (not quite boiling) water for a little bit to make it extremely pliable and able to be re-positioned.

However you don't have to heat the model to bend it.  Gentle pressure does the same thing, especially if you apply that pressure over time.  Pressure from, say, a big piece of metal attached to the top of a miniature that has tiny legs.

Of course, I didn't realize this until I pulled out my 1000 pt Ogre army a few months after painting it up to make sure it was ready for a convention.  And the unit looked like this

This is what happens when you skip part of your workout.
I tried to push him back into place, but he just continued to get worse.

I've fallen and I can't get up
So I had two problems now.  First, the model is part of a fully multi-based regiment, and I didn't want to go dunking him in water (the paint should be waterproof at this point, but the static grass on the base is definitely NOT). Second, even if the chiropractor in me bent him back into shape, he just gradually fell over again.

Of course you realize <SPOILER WARNING> I fixed it </SPOILER WARNING>, otherwise why would I be writing this up (yes, I will admit to my mistakes, but I don't see a need to advertise them :-) ).

The first problem was properly straightening out the model.  Since hot water was out of the question, it was simply a matter of applying heat to it (in a controlled way).  A quick trip upstairs to the bathroom was all it took to procure the right tool for the job - a simple blow dryer.

There are actually heat guns available for modelling, but most people have or know someone who has a blow dryer (they are even in a LOT of hotel rooms now).  So about 20 seconds with the blow dryer and the model was soft (as an ogres butt, you might say).

even Ogres need a spa day
A caution - do this slowly and carefully, and you can easily overheat and damage your model.  Also, the picture above is staged, because as messy as my desk currently is, turning on a blow dryer POINTING at my desk is a simple recipe for disaster (or additional disaster, as it were).

But a bit of heat, and I was able to bend him right back into shape, and hold him there until the restic cooled and hardened again (were it not painted and based, you could have dunked it in cold water to set it as well).

The next step is fixing it so it doesn't bend again.  To do this I simply pinned it.

This is where my Tamiya Electric Handy Drill made very quick work of the project.  Had I been forced to use a manual pin vice I would have been there all night twisting it to drill a long enough hole.  This did it in a matter of seconds.  I simply drilled from under the base up through the now straightened leg.
A bit of knee surgery
It took a bit of careful positioning to make sure I was drilling in the right place, but I managed to get it right with the first try, going up through the base into the foot and up the inside of the leg.

going in deep
This is also a case where I wanted the hole as deep as possible to get as much of the pin in there as I could, as this was a case of the more the better.  So I drilled all the way to the chuck (the irony was that while this was working quite smoothly, when I stopped the drill to take the picture, the bit locked up (though I was able to gently pull it out with pliers, so no harm done).  (And yes, this is actually three of the old Mantic plastic 40mm bases glued together with a piece of magnetic tape underneath (were I doing this today, I'd use a 120x40 mm magnetic base from Shogun miniatures),

Now most of the time, when you are pinning a model, you use a very small piece of wire or rod (like 1/4" or 1/2" maybe).  You also have a wide variety of materials to use (you can buy pinning kits with brass rods in them, or some people use paper clips).  For this you need something much stronger than brass however (and smaller than a paper clip).  For this you need steel.  And a bit more than 1/2 an inch.
1/32" steel rod
a dry fit of the rod, then a bit of super-glue on the end and up it goes.  Then trim the rod off as close to the bottom of the base as possible (unfortunately my heavy duty lineman's pliers don't have a flat cutting edge (and the rod is too strong for my flat sprue cutters (it just dents them and they don't do anything to it) so I ended up with a fraction of the rod sticking out from the bottom.  On hindsite, I should have marked the rod during the dry fit, then cut it before re-inserting it so it could have been flush. However this was, as they say, "close enough for government work".  (It is just a demo army after all).

After surgery, ready to get back to the battlefield
Overall this took just a few minutes to fix (honestly, it took longer to write about it (and taking all the pictures) than it did to actually do the work).  It was quick and easy enough that I should have done it years ago.  So remember kids, don't put off doing something until tomorrow when you can put it off for a few years and get a blog post out of it.

Because it is all fun and games . . .