Saturday, July 27, 2013

Learning Experiences, Case #3a UPDATE - Reaper Bones Werewolf (77009) "Rolf"

Shortly after receiving my Reaper Bones Kickstarter rewards package, I figured out the following:

  1. That's alot of miniatures.
  2. I need to find out more about how to work with the material Reaper uses for the Bones line.
  3. My Reaper Bones Werewolf needs a bath in Simple Green.
  4. My Reaper Bones Werewolf also needs a name so that I don't keep typing "Reaper Bones Werewolf" when writing these posts. I gave "Worf" and "Shaggy" careful consideration, but decided on "Rolf" for now.

Regarding point #2, there is a vast amount of information available about working with the Reaper Bones line. Unfortunately, much of it is contradictory. Different people have different experiences with the same techniques. Many folks report good results from painting directly on the surface. My own experiences convinced me of the need to prime first. The trick is to figure out what to use as a primer.

On point #3, Simple Green worked fine on Rolf. An overnight immersion followed by some scrubbing with a brush took the paint right off. The Simple Green smell took a few days to fade away. I followed up by cleaning the miniature with dish soap and water.

A trip out to the garage revealed that I had a fair selection of spray primers and paints on hand. I decided against my usual grey auto body primer. This was an experiment and I wanted to push the envelope a little.

I settled on a can of Brown Krylon Camouflage Paint. It was left over from another project and I had no other plans for the rest of the can. The stuff is supposed to work on "most plastics, PVC, hard vinyl, ceramic glass, wood, metal and wicker". Given that Bones is a soft vinyl, I wasn't sure about what the results would be.

After waiting for a lower humidity day (sometimes tough to find during a Texas summer), I hit Rolf with the Krylon Camouflage Paint. The spray flowed evenly with no clogs. Two thin layers provided a good basecoat with no gaps in coverage.

Then came the wait. I could see that the paint had dried after 15 minutes, but Rolf was sticky to the touch. Rolf was still sticky an hour and a day later. Rather than abort the attempt, I decided to leave Rolf in an out of the way spot until the paint cured completely.

It took about 3 - 4 weeks until Rolf was no longer sticky to the touch. I not sure about the exact time since I got out of the habit of checking daily.

(I purchased another Reaper Bones miniature while waiting on Rolf as another test piece. Also, I really wanted a purple worm for my next D&D or D&D-flavored fantasy game. I'm experimenting with some alternate techniques with that miniature. More on that project once it's complete.)

Rolf still lacks the smooth feel of a completely dried coat of paint or primer. There is a faint tacky sensation when handling the miniature. Still, this is a vast improvement over a few weeks ago.

Rolf's coat is also shiny, which would be fine for a real canine, but is odd for a layer of flat, non-reflective paint. The shine and the long curing time suggests some kind of reaction between the Bones material and the Krylon paint.

It doesn't come out well in this photo, but look closely and you can see the shine.

At this point, I'm not recommending using this technique. Although the brown does produce a rich basecoat, the long drying time is not really practical. I might put some paint over the Krylon basecoat sometime in the future, but Rolf was pushed back in the project line during the wait.

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