Reaper Bones KhanJira the World Breaker arrived!

I just got my shipment of Bones Kickstarter #2 figures in and couldn’t resist putting this bad boy together right away.  Not only is he huge but minis have come a long, long way.  He’ll take some putty work, but nothing like the old metal GW dragons from back in the day.  For the most part the pieces fit together relatively snugly and some putty on the seams to fill small gaps is all that will be needed.  Instructions aren’t necessary, and the parts were all sculpted so you literally can’t make a mistake when you assemble him.

Did I mention he’s huge?  This guy is ready to take on your party and pick his teeth with their weapons!

I’ll be painting him to my best standard (spending 30-40 hours) next week and he’s headed for the Ebay store.

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Let’s talk matte / dull coat sealers for Miniatures – Testors, Krylon, Plaid, and Vallejo

Last year, Testors Dull Coate was my go to sealer for all my miniatures.  I’d spray 3 coats of Krylon or Rustoleum gloss for protection then spray a layer of Testors to kill the shine.  A little gloss brush on from Vallejo for weapons, slime, or water, and the figure would be done.  This miniature was sprayed with the old version of Testors dull coate.  (Yes, I said “old version.”  Keep reading for an explanation.)

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There’s no shine on this figure except around the thighs because she’s in water.

Unfortunately, Rustoleum bought out Testors.  I didn’t know this until I began doing some research online, and I picked up 2 cans of Testors dull coate at my local Hobby Lobby as usual.  My results changed dramatically, and I got things that looked like this:

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I’m still learning how to use my camera, so excuse the poor photos, but it no longer takes off the shine at all.  In fact, it looked like gloss.  I thought that the labels might have been switched at the factory and I had semi-gloss in a dull coate can.  That’s happened before, but after going through 6 cans I can give a confident verdict.  Testor’s Dull Coate is a terrible product now.  Older cans are fine and will work but they have to be made before the change in owners.

Final Verdict: Do not Buy / Avoid

plaid

Next up is Plaid which claims a matte finish.  As you can somewhat see in the photo, they’re no better than Testors.  It also stinks slightly worse than Testors.

Final Verdict: Do not buy / avoid

vallejo
Let’s take a look at Vallejo brush on matt varnish.  This is a true matt finish, no smell, and washes out of your brush with water.  The only drawback is that you do have to brush it on.  When I’m painting armies or putting up 15+ auctions a week up for sale, I don’t want to take the time to brush a sealer on each one.  Can be bought at some Hobby Lobby stores or on the internet.

Verdict: Excellent but slow because you have to brush it on.

krylon

And the final product that I tried: Krylon Matte finish.  This can be found at my local Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and Michael’s stores.  Hobby Lobby has a perpetual 40% off one item coupon you can print from your computer.  This makes it a very cheap alternative and it does a job very close if not as good as the original Testors.  You’ll get a true matte finish with this stuff.

Final Verdict: Excellent and will be using unless something changes about it

There’s also a Games Workshop spray can sealer but I didn’t try that.  I used a can years ago and it was excellent, but I don’t have a GW store close to me.  By the time I paid shipping or for the gas to drive and make a purchase, it wouldn’t be worth the money.  If you can’t find Krylon Matte or Vallejo brush on but have a GW store handy, you might try them.

More on Primer Plus the Reaper Cloud Giantess from the Bones / Kickstarter Set

This isn’t for sale, yet, but the new Cloud Giantess from the new Reaper line of plastics.  The figures which I haven’t been particularly impressed with were some which also weren’t particularly good in metal, either.  The female Spider Centaur / Drider hasn’t got a very well defined nose in either casting, and her face isn’t as good as most of their miniatures.  This figure is about 3 inches tall and has really nice details.  The same can be said for the dwarf warrior I tackled and some others.  Those will be showing up on here during the week.

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I settled on Tamiya fine, light grey spray primer for them.  As you can see below it’s not that dark so it didn’t interfere with my paint colors.  The beauty of this brand is that it sticks to nearly anything.  I’ve been able to spray odd plastics like toys with it and it stuck, where that’s not always the case with all other major brands.  If you don’t want grey,  you can buy it in white, too.  You can find his shop on Amazon.com Deep Discount Hobby or contact them through there  if you don’t see it for sale.

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Above is a primed Bones figure.  They’re not really easy to photo as light as they are on a white background, but it let me see where I’d primed / missed without interfering with my details or paint colors.

Just when I thought it was safe to abandon the primer can…

Just as I was ready to plant my flag firmly into the camp of “never need to prime the Bones,” I was thrown a curve ball.  All the figures were treated the same way.  I put a drop (or half dozen in the case of the large demon) of green Palmolive dish detergent on them, gently rubbed it into the cracks with an old paint brush, rinsed thoroughly, and allowed them to air dry.  I used only Reaper Master Series Paints with the exception of my black and white.  They’re Liquitex from a tube, thinned with Grumbacher artist medium.

My first few figures were a success, which I can only speculate is because of the roughness of them.  They trapped and held the paint – the scorpions held up.  So has this large demon who looks like he’s about to devour someone’s face or toast them with his unholy hand full of fire.  He has a basic paint job with some drybrushing, and took all of it well.  I feel the need to drop in here and say that my first impressions about the Bones aren’t accurate.  They didn’t seem as detailed as the metal versions when I first looked them over, but I blame that on the fact they’re bright white.  The details didn’t really start to pop out until paint hit them, and now I’m not sure I see much, if any, difference between metal and plastic.  I would also like to add that this demon is much easier to deal with than the metal version.  The lighter weight means you aren’t constantly wrestling with it.  One slip or fumble of fingers doesn’t end in language which would make an onion run for cover nor tears of frustration.  Even if the plastics are dropped, they’re much more likely to bounce, even on tile floors, than their metal counterparts who can, do, and have ended up with parts flying under the furniture on a few occasions of my mini painting life.  Trust me when I say if you’re looking for a tiny weapon which has flown off in the dark recesses beneath a quilt box that the dust bunnies do not relinquish victims easily.  I much preferred the plastic this time around.
demon

Now, back to my priming problems.  I was merrily laying down some Swamp Green as a base coat for orcish flesh.  It went on smooth and without incident.  I began to move on to other base coats, only to notice the paint was flaking off with the lightest of touches.  I rubbed my finger over the chest and this happened.

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Here’s what he looked like with some dish soap and a toothbrush – I barely had to soak him in my Simple Green Stripper.
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The paint seems to be sticking to the demon well enough.  The smooth bodies of the spiders I painted are not faring so well.  They might withstand more if they’re sealed, but I don’t want to take the chance on it.  I stripped the orc, washed him again, then primed him with Krylon spray primer.  The paint stuck to him the second time around, and I’ll photo him with some others soon.  I’ve also made inquiries on Tamiya primer and mean to try some of that if it’s the same as it was a few years ago and can be bought again.  My supplier told me a few years ago that there were some problems in the state it was made and environmental laws so it was nearly impossible to get.  When I experimented with it, that particular brand stuck to plastics like dolls and toys which no other brand would.  If it’s still out there, I’m hoping to see how it reacts to Bones and if there’s any difference.