Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Prepping Dem Bones: Bones 2 Kickstarter in De House!

I backed the Reaper Miniatures Bones 2 Kickstarter.

My goods arrived a few weeks ago. I have however been so busy that I wasn't in a hurry to open up the package.

Finally broken down and realized that I may a pretty big omission to my order and working with Reaper to see if I can fix my mistake.

But with all of these miniatures in house, I thought I'd take a moment to share some ideas on HOW to paint them.

There are a few things that can be taken into account and some of them are entirely optional.

For example, you can take it out of the bag and paint it. Use 'thick' paints for that first layer, something like Privateer Press, Games Workshop Base Coats or Reaper's HD paints. This will work. It may not be the best method and may lead to some frustration as paint can bead on the Bones material if it's just the slightest bit too thin.

Instead, I recommend having a list of supplies and deciding what you want to do ahead of time. Some of it may vary.

For example, if you're just using the Bones as stand in figures for your role playing games, then you might just take an unpainted figure and throw it on the table as a physical object to represent something in the game. No different than say using a Lego or Marble.

Actual Prep: You may be interested in taking it a step further. Read on!

Xacto Knife: For under $17 bones, Amazon has a good starter set. The benefit of the Xacto Knife is that it will allow you to clean the mold lines on the figures. For those with more experience and patience, the Bones material is soft and the knife will allow you to easily cut the figures up.

A word of caution. Be careful. Even when cutting away from yourself, if you're working on say, a rounded object, the blade and find it's way back around. I'm sure many people have a horror story or two about it as I know I do. Blood for the Blood God indeed!

Having said that, an Xacto Knife and mold removal isn't necessary if you're not worried about it. The Bones material is nice. This batch seems a little... firmer and more quality control in place than the last one. But if you're throwing some zombies on the table and aren't worried about mold lines? Skip the prep with the Xacto.

Cleaning: I clean my figures with an old toothbrush, soap, and warm water. I'm sure some one has some recommendations on what type of soap to use, but I've never had a problem with it.

Hot Water: Here's the 'original' deal. I like tea and hate boiling water. So I bought a electric hot kettle. Then Coolminiornot has this stuff, Insta Mold or something. You heat it up and can use it like a miniature mold. I've never really got the full 'geist' of it. My bad on that. But it's also handy for Bones figures. While I stand by my statement that the quality this time around is better, there are still bent swords and spears. Having something to get water hot quickly allows you to dip the afflicted part of the figure into the hot water. Straighten it out, and quickly put it into cold water. I've heard that the colder the water, including water with ice, the better off you are.

I've actually been using my Keurig for this. Alas, since I bought my Keurig, the electric hot water kettle has gone unto the back porch never to be seen again.

Bases: Many of the figures are fine as is. Some have smaller bases. If you have some glue, you can glue them to a more sturdy base. For most role playing purposes, 1" bases are good for medium sized creatures. Amazon has a fair amount of objects that can be used. One I've seen is the bag of 100 1" wooden disks. Strangely enough, the 1.5" disks are like, half the price. Look around.

Stand: This one is very optional. I use a few different things with blue tack to hold the miniature in place so that I don't touch it with my own hands. This helps minimize paint on me and helps me to reach different areas of the miniature without worrying about touching a wet part of the miniature. For those on the thrifty side, use old pill bottles. For those who want something a little different, I use these wooden squares along with the pill bottle,s along with a few other things.

Primer: I've heard a few horror stories about people using primer on their Reaper Bones. Don't get it honestly. I've used Vallejo Primer, both with a brush and through an air brush, as well as Army Painter primer and a few other brush on primers including Game's Workshop and Reaper's own brush on primer.

A bigger question for me, is what COLOR primer to us.

The figures here are some of the "Rats" from an expansion on the Bones 2 pledge, and some 'Giants' on the bones two pledge. The rats I hit with Army Painter leader and the Giants with Flesh. Saves a ton of time putting that first layer down as well as acting as primer. Note you can also see one of those wooden bases under the giant to the right. That big boy didn't come with an integrated base as the one on the left did.

Black is the most common primer followed by white though. I went with black here because the Bones are white by default. You can see the minotaur lord in the back on the left hand side along with a few others. Priming white over white? Not necessarily a great idea because you can't see if the primer is on the figure.

Note that color primer seems to be a thing now. I've seen the Army Painter ones, as well as a return to color primer by Games Workshop. Note I personally have not tried the Games Workshop color primers on the figures so can't say if that causes any problems.

But Vallejo has been doing some military color primers for a while and they work great as well. Even better if you're comfortable with an airbrush. The nice thing about Vallejo? They often have several sizes for their primers. For example, a nice neutral gray 200ml is under $17 from Amazon right now.

Take a look around and see if there are some primer colors that you want to use.

Accessories: I mentioned blue tack. I use that to hold the miniatures to other things. Sometimes I'll use it to hold a shield to a miniature or a miniature to a base.

Glue: If you're new to painting, you might not have any glue. Depending on how detailed you're going to get with the miniatures, you can do anything from skipping the glue, and just going with the single piece figures, to buying the different types of glue that will help you out.

Superglue is useful for keeping the pieces together. A word on that. Some of the figures are better off being assembled at the end of the painting process. This allows you to easily access parts that may be more difficult to reach after the figures are assembled.

Another note is that you should test fit the figures before you glue them. This allows you to see if there are any obvious problems or if you need to break out the hot water and do some bending to make sure that everything fits well.

For the most part, I didn't have any problems with the Bones figures. Most of the larger figures have huge tabs and fit nicely and glue quickly. The minotaur demon lord was a bit of a PIA but that was only because he had so many pieces to him. Highly unusual for a Bones figure.

For those who hate waiting around? Get some super glue accelerant. It makes the glue bond quickly. Some will warn you that it weakens the bond. I personally haven't had a problem with it. Your mileage may vary.

The other type of glue you'll probably want, is if you're doing any 'flocking', putting fake sand, dirt, grass, and other bits on your base, you'll want white glue.

White glue is pretty cheap so you can buy a small bottle and see how that works for you.

In terms of painting tools and brushes?

That's going to vary tremendously.

For someone brand new to the hobby, I strongly suggest you watch some videos and talk to friends who may already be in the hobby. If you have a local hobby store, go there. This hobby store doesn't even necessarily have to be a gaming hobby store. Some hobby stores may primarily be train or other type of hobby, but still have material relevant for a new comer to the hobby. See if they have any paint days.

One of the reasons Games Workshop does so well is that they have these stores. They also have some huge bundles that make getting into the hobby easier. If you just want something to start that's not going to murder your wallet, I'd recommend checking out Army Painter.

The Mega Paint set (which is pretty good price here) has paints, inks, and a few brushes. That's a good start to see if it's something you want to continue with.

If you get paints, get a cleaner and clean your brushes after every use.

It's important to clean the brushes because it keeps them viable longer.

For the more experienced painter who already HAS paints but is intrigued by time saving with an air brush?

The Badger 105 Patriot is a 'starter' air brush. It will handle a bit of abuse and while I always recommend thinning your paint before putting it through the airbrush, the 105 handles it a little better.

The strange thing, and I honestly don't get this, is that the Sotar, another air brush, is a more 'advanced' model, and at this time, is less expensive than the 105. Both from the same company. Perfect for the Vallejo primers.

There are a few things I didn't mention like a pin vice. Useful for using say brass rod and pinning two separate pieces of a miniature together and using glue to hold it. The pin creates more support. Useful for small joins or very large ones.

I'm working on a ton of things myself at this time. Just finished running the second book of Kingmaker, looking over the next chapter, The Varnhold Vanishing, one of my friends is prepping to run some Numenera, and well, the dreaded realities of work and what not.

But I was thinking, "Hey, I'm painting Bones. Other people might not be as familiar with the Bones and how they work. Let me throw together a quick blog post on it."

If you're new to Bones and have any specific questions, let me know. If you have some resources you'd like to share on it, let me know.