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 Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting

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merzbau
Hellion
merzbau

Posts : 73
Join date : 2015-03-09

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PostSubject: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 23 2015, 22:05

Hi- I recently found some unassembled, unpainted 3rd Edition Dark Eldar models while helping my parents move house and I'm looking forward to cleaning them up and painting them alongside the unfinished Warriors from the same box. However, they look a little rough- some have darkened a little, others are noticeably whitening, and I'm concerned about not only the ability of superglue and primer to adhere to them, but a "dirty" surface making it more difficult to paint details (since these are older, metal models the surface detail is often quite shallow, almost flush with the surface).

Does anyone have experience salvaging eBay finds or the like and rendering them paintable?

Thanks!
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Count Adhemar
Dark Lord of Granbretan
Count Adhemar

Posts : 7306
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Location : London

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 23 2015, 22:45

If they're not painted then I'd probably just dunk them in some soapy water and give them a good scrub with an old toothbrush, just to get rid of any grease and dirt that's accumulated over the years.

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Thor665
Archon
Thor665

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Location : Venice, FL

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 23 2015, 23:27

I would second the Count's advice - the darkening is actually just an aging of the metal and is perfectly normal for the most part.

Warm water and soap should make them as good as they ever were.

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stilgar27
Sybarite
stilgar27

Posts : 468
Join date : 2012-12-04

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 24 2015, 00:21

Ya, if they're lead-safe pewter, then they're mostly tin. Tin forms a patina (aka corrosion) when exposed to oxygen for long periods of time.  It really shouldn't matter if you're just going to paint over them, but a stiff tooth brush usually does the trick.

I usually take a jewelers file and lightly rough up the areas where I want super glue to stick on  metal models.  That would certainly help if the oxidized layer won't come off and is interfering with your assembly.
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merzbau
Hellion
merzbau

Posts : 73
Join date : 2015-03-09

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 24 2015, 01:58

Thanks, everybody. I hope to get these cleaned up and ready to go soon. Unfortunately, a few of them are missing parts, among them the classic Archon (or, according to the slottabase, "Dark Eldar Lord"), whom I can't help but think of as Edward Ginormoushands. Ah well; he'll have to wait until I can dig through my old closet around Christmastime, and if I can't find his missing arm, I'll have to think of something else suitably ridiculous to finish him up.

If anyone's curious, the full haul was:
20 Warriors (painted, badly, by a 14-year-old me)
16 Warriors (unpainted; I'm going to use these to practice the Kabal of the Flayed Skull scheme in Raiders of Comorragh, which I quite like)
Archon (missing his agoniser/claw)
Incubi with shredder (missing the shredder he can no longer use anyway)
2 Incubi
Haemonculus (the skinny male one)
Sybarite with agoniser
2 Wyches missing an arm each
1 complete Wych
Wych with shredder
Wych with shardnet and impaler
Wych with razorsnare & falchion
Succubus with agoniser (IIRC, at the time Succubi were the equivalent of Sybarites, not an HQ choice)

I'm especially excited to find all those Wyches; it'll be fantastic practice for painting skin.
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Calyptra
Wych
Calyptra

Posts : 802
Join date : 2013-03-25
Location : Boston

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 24 2015, 08:44

Metal models are great in so many ways, not the least of which being that they can be stripped down and re-purposed pretty much indefinitely.

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merzbau
Hellion
merzbau

Posts : 73
Join date : 2015-03-09

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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01 2015, 17:37

I finally got around to cleaning these up today (in both senses- good god, am I glad I'm not going to have to remove mold lines on metal miniatures again anytime soon), and while they didn't brighten up noticeably, and seem to have even gotten a little darker in spots, I'm ready to prime them and give them a go.

Annoyingly, the weather has been alternating between unseasonably cold and rainy or at least humid, and I missed an angle on the first squad of 8 Warriors that I need to touch up before I start. I know it's possible to touch up primer with a brush, but I'd rather just give them another quick spritz since the areas are fairly large (underside of the arms, lower back and bum) and I want to ensure as smooth and consistent an undercoat as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting   Cleaning up old metal miniatures for painting I_icon_minitime

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