Saturday, February 28, 2015

Miniatures Without Paint

This past week, I received a bounty of Kickstarter Toys in the mail. Not only did I get my classic-style demons and devils from the Fractured Dimensions Kickstarter, but Reaper's Bones II arrived, and with it, hundreds of plastic toys to play with and play.

The question of which Bones II miniature I will paint first remains a mystery, but the first miniature assembled does not:

I immediately grabbed and opened a pack of clear plastic slimes and oozes to get at the beautifule gelatinous cube within. Anybody who grew up with Dungeons and Dragons will hopefully appreciate my delight in obtaining this carnivorous, dungeon-dwelling, platonic solid.

Among the simply brilliant features of this model are that it is completely hollow, but also comes with an optional bottom plate. The former point leaves a void that will accommodate many human-sized adventurer miniatures, should the be so unfortunate as to be engulfed by the cube. That alone makes this one of the most entertaining models possible.

The latter fact means that you can choose to paint the sculpted remains that are a part of the bottom plate, and leave them partially visible through the translucent walls of the jelly, adding quite a bit of character and visual appeal to the model. I expect to have great fun with this beastie.

The main body of the cube comes in two parts that meet along two of the vertical edges of the cube. The top of the monster is attached to one of those parts. I was able to bring them together with traditional superglue, but I did not seem to get as solid an instant bond as I have come to expect from Bones. I'm not sure if that was related to surface geometry, chemical composition, or some other factor, but I had to make a couple of tries before I got the two parts stuck to my satisfaction.

When I fitted the pieces together, the matched reasonably well, but there were definite gaps to be filled. My usual strategy of filling with Green Stuff wouldn't work, for obvious reasons, so I decided to try filling things with Water Effects gel, by Woodland Scenics. The gel is thick enough to hold up to some gentle shaping while it is wet, but it dries clear, hopefully making it a nearly-ideal gap filler for a clear plastic model.

It takes a while for the gel to clear, so I proceeded in stages, filling one section at a time. I applied the material in a solid bead, and then spread it around, nudging it into shape using a steel sculpting tool. The end result was not perfect - the Water Effects gel is clearer than the Bones plastic, which makes it visibly different than the surrounding material, but it is still pretty good, and the seams are far less visible than they were before filling.

So there you have it: Modelling with no paint required. I can't wait for this thing to eat an adventurer!

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