How To Recycle Figures
Stephen Gilbert was kind enough to send me some figures that had those bases on them, the kind with stats and stuff where you click or slide it around to change the values? Well, I never have nor want to use the actual game systems these were meant for, but I do like to add more figures to the gaming table where possible. What we have here is a recycling situation just waiting to happen.
First step it to separate the figure from its annoying base. I was able to do this with an exacto blade as these guys are held on with some sort of super glue adhesive which yields easily to the cut. With some of the figures that have a solid figure structure I was able to snap the figure off the base. Be sure to use proper pressure and leverage while being careful you don't break your mini off at the ankles, knees or snap their heads/arms/weapons off in your other hand!
Next I located my favorite, fender washers, and found one already prepainted with my black spray paint. The figure that was originally on this base had snapped off at the feet and I figured it wasn't worth trying to save him. Since the recycled figure has nice shadow detailing I won't hit him with an ink wash, but some of the figures need one to tone down the gaudy colors and to pick out the crannies in the miniature.
You might have to use some sort of tacking mechanism to hold the figure in place long enough for the PVA or white glue to set in. In this case a little help from Mr. Super Glue on the feet of my figure worked just fine. I did manage to glue the side of my finger (again) and I had to gently flex the feet of the figure to get him to stand up straight as there was a slight lean to him. For worse situations you might have to use air dry clay, hot glue, or green stuff to create a hold where super glue fails.
Once the creature is set, place add a nice pool of white or PVA glue and spread it around with a small brush. Make sure it touches the outside edges of the feet so that it dries with a grip under and around the figure. I use Twice As Tacky Glue which can be found in most craft stores in the USA. I like it because it is thick and sets rather quickly finishing its drying process within twenty-four hours.
While the glue is still wet you add liberal amounts of flock to the base. Where possible I'll leave the figure with the flock piled on it overnight so that if the glue seeps up through the flock it finds more to grab on to. With the base already black coated this combination should work just fine to hide the shiny metal of the fender washer.
Once the glue on the base has dried brush off the extra flock from the figure's legs and body. Then take the fellow outside where there is nice ventilation and spray him with a matte finish clear coat. Get the bottoms of the washers too as they can rust over time and make a mess of your magnet sheeting or drawer bottoms. Let him dry outside for a while and then he's ready to go! The awesome thing about recycling figures of this kind is that they're already painted and in this case I'm very happy with how he looks.
So, as you can see it's pretty easy and takes only a few minutes for each figure. This is a good thing, as I look in the box Steve sent me and see one, two, three, four, five, six - six hundred more to go! Don't worry, I'll soon have them done and then you'll be seeing more Fantasy based game reports coming from me soon. Thanks Steve!
© 2008, Gabriel Landowski