Sunday, 3 April 2016

Modelling Tips

I don't usually have many modelling tips to pass on as I am quite conservative in my modelling abilities; most of my minis are as they come out of the box, are painted as per the source material and very rarely converted. Safe, safe, safe. It is a bit like doing DIY in my home - I rarely want to go off the beaten track or try anything new in case I muck it up. So, I am hoping with this resurgence in my gaming mojo I will try to do a few of these things in a different way.

First up is a little tip I picked up many years ago when plastic minis first came on the scene. At a trade show (I cannot remember which one) I got chatting to an old grognard about painting and modelling and the virtues of plastic miniatures versus metal ones. He suggested that to give my plastics a little more heft so that they are less likely to be "blown away" during a game, that I fill any cavities on the minis with Plasticine (for those outside of the UK, this is a kids' modelling clay that does not dry out). The reasoning behind this was that it was cheap, flexible enough to fill the cavities, gave the miniature a little more heft and because it does not dry out will remain serviceable for a long time.

Above is a picture of the plasticine that I bought the other day (it was only £1.50 for the pack from Hobbycraft) alongside the horses from one pack of knights of Minas Tirith that have been snipped from their sprues and cleaned up in readiness for preparation for painting.

I previously followed the old gamer's advice with my Norman knights from a few years back, so this is the reason for going the same route this time with my Lord of the Rings minis. All of my plastic animal miniatures (mainly horses at the moment, but there are others that can benefit from this treatment) will be treated in this way.

Once the horse halves had been clipped from the sprues I tidied them up with a scalpel and needle file to get rid of as many mould lines as possible. I then tested them so that they went together correctly and then filled the cavities with Plasticine.

I then tested the fit again to make sure that the filler did not bulge and thus not allow the two halves to come together neatly. Any excess was scraped out with the spatula that came with the clay until I got a good, tight fit. I then used standard plastic glue to stick the two halves together and then the completed horse to the base.

It does not make much difference to the weight of the miniature (only a few grammes) but it is noticeable and allows for just a little more "grip" by the figure on the gaming table, especially on slopes.


  1. Good idea...I wish I had done that on some Normans I have just assembled.

  2. God idea! I've been filling the slotta bases of GW plastics with plasticine, but never thought of filling in horses too.