Sunday, June 1, 2014

Keeping minotaurs on an even keel

They serve no immediate gaming purpose, but I just had to assemble the awesome Minotaurs from Megalith Games' Godslayer range.  They are great models.  Dynamic, natural poses; excellent detail and character; and expert engineering, with very few parts to put together, excellent fits, and very few mold lines.

Of course, you can't see them very well here, since I have them upside down!

I'm trying an experiment here, which requires a bit of explanation.  Note the container at the upper-left.  There, you can see my preferred transport method in action.  I don't trust foam, because I fear it will abrade the paint, so I prefer to magnetize my bases by adhering zinc washers or plates to the bottom of the base.  Then I use containers and/or movement trays that have magnetic sheet on the bottom.  I can fit more models in a given space.  Unfortunately, I just learned the hard way that I still need to stuff in some cloth to cushion the models and prevent any shifting.  Cojo now has a very noticeable scratch, thanks to some unexpected hard braking on the way over to game night.

When I glue round washers to the bottom of a slotted base, only the slot itself provides any surface area for the glue.  For the 40mm bases, that presents way too much wobble.  So I tried to think of a way to fill the base and provide more surface area. 

Here, I've tried Liquitex modeling paste.  I took this picture shortly after filling the bases with the paste and leveling it out with the side of the cardboard box that the models came in.  Turns out that the modeling paste shrinks a little bit.  Plus, while I knew this particular paste is flexible when it dries, I didn't expect it to be as soft as it turned out to be. 

So I added a second layer and finished up the job.  Next time, I'm going to try spackling compound.  That will be a much cheaper material anyway.  I didn't use it this time, since I was worried that it would crumble (which is why I figured the more expensive flexible paste would be worth it).  Spackling compound may very well crumble, but it's worth a shot.

In any case, here are the minotaurs, threatening me to paint them!

Lastly, you'll notice in the first photo one of my latest acquisitions.  A new release for Dystopian Wars -- a mercenary air fleet!


  1. To fill those bases, you need to use Apoxy Sculpt. It doesn't shrink and won't flake, so you can just pack the bases with that and after letting it cure overnight, glue the washers to it. It also has a nice weight to it.

    As to transport, I've done and do both approaches: magnetic sheet in a plastic container and foam trays.

    I waffle between the two: I've never really noticed an issue with abrasion, but foam is so _particular_: you need the right tray to hold the models you're bringing with you and sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. It' also takes up SO much space and is a pain in the ass to pack/unpack.

    Plastic trays, though: I've slipped and fallen down the stairs before while holding my models with the magnetic/plastic trays and it _sucked_. It annihilated my army and left me too traumatized to repair it for nearly a year.

    So, I swing between the two. Right now, I'm trying a thing with plastic trays (a scrapbooking tray and a Christmas decoration tub that has the same 14"x14" footprint that's also stuffed with foam in a Sabol Motor Pool bag packed with foam. The jury's still out.

    1. Ah, yes, good ole Apoxie Sculpt. I've had in mind to pick up some of that for a long time. This experiment may push me to finally order it. I've been hoping to stumble across it at a game store or a convention. But that hasn't worked out for me for, oh, what, 6 years now? ;-) Yeah, probably time to chalk up that extra shipping from Australia, or wherever it's from.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with this rather more mundane aspect of the hobby. I'm sure everyone deals with it to some degree, so I hope someone out there finds it helpful to hear some discussion about it.

      I waffled back and forth between adhering sheet magnet to the movement tray / transport container, or adhering it to the base of the miniature. I finally decided on the former. That means I have to track down washers and order pre-cut metal plates. But that's easier than cutting and deburring and gluing metal plates to movement trays. And it's easier and more reliable to glue metal plates/washers to bases than trusting the adhesive on sheet magnets, which may curl away from the edges, too. Plus, plastic models benefit from the added weight and lower center of gravity that the metal affords.

      It's good to hear from you, Richard. I look forward to seeing your new entries at the Capital Palette this year!

  2. I'm pretty sure I got my Apoxie Sculpt at either AC Moore or Michaels... but I sure can't find it on either of their sites. They stock it at Amazon, though:

    I'm wholly unprepared for NOVA this year, but I'm sure looking forward to it!

    1. Thanks so much for the pointer, Richard. I'm such a Luddite -- I still think of Amazon as where I can only buy books and "record albums"! I know it sells everything now, but it just never occurs to me to search it for anything that pops in my head. And I figured it was too specialized to find at Michael's or AC Moore. I'll definitely look for it, next time I visit. If I don't find it there, I'm glad I'll have an online source for a backup. Thanks again!


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