Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The terrible things people do to nice miniatures!!

You know you've seen it yourself, heinous mistreatment of what some of us consider to be small sculptures. Sometimes its the kid at the game shop just tossing his miniatures into a bag without a care. Or the guy assembling that new awesome tank or warjack- and his lack of skill tells him MOAR GLUE!!!! will make the little bitz stick better. Maybe its the guy that sells on ebay, or trades stuff, and is a total moron when it comes to safely packing them.

Lets talk about Crimes against miniatures!

Several months ago I found a smoking deal on ebay. Is was mis-listed, so the usual Warmachine shoppers didnt see it. 78 Retribution infantry. With blurry pics, and no list of what there was. I ended up getting it for 84$ 'including foam carrying case'. I knew it was a bit of a gamble, but hell, at about 1$ per miniature and a carrying case....

Well, it was a gamble lol. It took 10 days longer to arrive than it should have, the seller seems to have gotten arrested and was in jail, and sent the stuff once he was out on bail. How awesome is that!?

So, the 'foam carrying case' seems to have turned into 2 sabol foam trays. ALL of the flimsy little metal elf minis were piled into one tray, a couple handfls of the plucked foam bits thrown on top. Then the second tray placed on top, and wrapped with brown packaging tape. This amazing foam and crunchy pewter sandwich was then placed into a box that was about 5 sizes too large, with nothing to stop it from bouncing around.

So, If any of you ship stuff frequently, Im sure you can imagine the sort of carnage the poor elves endured.

ebay wasn't much help, so I decided to just keep the minis. I have an abundance of spare time, and the skills needed to fix them. So I figured it would be good practice and some opportunity for conversions I wouldnt try otherwise.

But thats just one atrocity I've witnessed over the years. I decided I should just list the myriad of abuses minis sometimes endure.

Glue monkeys. These are the guys that think more glue is always better. Gap filling super glue is how they 'convert' stuff. To most people these 'conversions' often look like the miniature was dipped in glue and rolled through a bitz box. Or they use the thin stuff- and it runs all over the mini, seeping into the crevices and just erasing all the fine details.

AII's. Assembly impaired individuals. This is were you see stuff like dudes with thier legs on backwards, 2 left arms, backwards heads, 5 guns glued together to make it a 'gatling' bolter... Then the vehicles...GW- spend an extra 13 cents with your chinese printers and give these guys some damn instructions! Tread sections glued on backwards, one backwards and one forward, hull pieces so poorly aligned that the troops inside wouldnt need hatches to get in and out. Crooked seams. Bitz glued in oddball places, like searchlights glue to exhaust stacks and missle pods poking out of the drivers hatch.

Little Johnny. This is the kid seen at the shop, he's probably 9 or 10. He thinks these pricey little miniatures are really cool toys. He never has the right minis at one time to make a playable army- mostly because they just dont survive long enough. His mommy buys him more minis and then leaves him at hte shop while she goes shopping or does her girl stuff. On the upside, sometimes little Johnny outgrows smashing his Rhinos around like hotwheels and turns into an avid gamer. But that only happens if they avoid being strangled when they lay thier little mitts on other peoples miniatures.

The repainter. This is the guy that paints terrible(but at least he paints them right?), and decides he hates the color he used- so he just paints over it. And over it. Stripping the old paint is either 'too much work' or they just dont know how. But the minis eventually get 4 or 5 layers of heavy paint and end up looking like blobs shaped like guys. The paint fills in all the details and sometimes is bad enough you cant tell what the original miniature was. Like chaos space marines dipped in purple latex house paint. Yes, really. Purple house paint. Dipped in the stuff like a fat kid dipping smores in a chocolate fountain. Except smores in a chocolate fountain are actually tasty and its a good idea.

Im sure there are a myriad of combinations of the types I list above. One heinous abuse is usually like a gateway drug to the rest of them.

Fortunately, the numerous internet forums with painting and modeling sections have really helped spread the skills and knowledge. Its gone from a dark & obscure skillset to a plethora of information thats available for those willing to look for it. And that, that is what makes it so maddening to see people still doing this sort of stuff.

So, fellow gamers- don't condone miniature abuse! When you see it happening, see of the vile offender is willing to learn a better method. Preach the good word of 'Less is more!' when it comes to glue. Teach somebody that feet face toes forward, that space marines have a right AND left arm(possibly including a lesson in right vs left).

Until then, I'll keep up the good fight of trying to resuscitate the unfortunate victims and returning them to the tabletop ready to do battle in which they may die- but they get to remain intact ;)

What Crimes against Miniatures have you witnessed?


  1. A few more that stand out for me are;

    Mr lazy, the guy who wont remove any mold lines or fix any imperfections that don't stop them from assembling their miniatures.

    Green stuff = Glue, where no miniature in the collection sees a single drop of glue, and is held together by small blobs of green stuff.

    The "L" plate green stuff user. This guy has large bulbous growths wherever they've used green stuff to fill gaps.

  2. You girl have won the internet (at least for today). While it was a very serious topic I could not stop laughing at how eloquently you described the common abuses I see almost daily.

  3. @Mark- Oh yes!! Nothing is quite as annoying as trading/buying a 'painted' model only to see huge chunks of flash and mold lines on it!

    Im not too annoyed by the GSG (green stuff guys), green stuff comes off a mini far easier than super glue does. Green stuff will peel right off after a day or two in the paint stipper. Super glue...takes a couple weeks :( Or never if its solvent resistant glue for model airplanes like Jet.

    At least using green stuff is a step in the right direction- they just need to use it better ;)

  4. Okay, I can see your point about purchasing a miniature from a GSG.

    My view is unfortunately coloured by the fact, that when I see a GSG, it's usually while I'm smoothing things over after they've been crushed by a "veteran" of the hobby who has decided to stroke his ego rather than help the poor guy. One of the perks of running a gaming club I guess.

  5. Great post, though it made me squirm a bit. I feel honour bound to restore abused minis, there's actually a kind of joy to seeing a formerly mashed up ball of lead return to it's former glory. I was in a local game store a week ago where 4 plastic bins full of minis were left there for folks to mine for bits. They were pretty mangled, but there was gold in them thar hills, like a complete Empire war wagon, which could have been easily stripped and restored.

    1. @ Mr Saturday- I agree! I save wayward minis since they are often to be had at bargain prices I can afford. But they are usually discarded for the reasons listed above, and its just sad to see it happen.

      Maybe I'll do an article on refurbishing abused minis next ;)

  6. I quite like the paint over minis, a week or so soaking in Simple Green and they're usually good to go. Nail polish remover for the tricky spots.

    I did pick up a Empire War Altar that had been subjected to the glue monkey treatment though. I suppose I should go buy a few bottles of nail polish remover to soak it in, but I'm just not that enthusiastic at the moment.

    That Orc up top is, I believe, an Orc cheerleader from Blood Bowl. They really were that ugly.

  7. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.