Welcome to the third part of our hobby tips series Back to Basics. We continue our guides on how to work with different materials with us looking at working with metal this time around.

White Metal has seen a decline in recent years in favor of resin however it is still a popular material that is still used by many manufacturers such as Games Workshop. Like with resin, metal can be a little more tricky to use than plastic however it does allow for much better quality of detail on the miniature and an overall much more rugged gaming piece.

Tools

In order prepare and assemble your resin miniatures we recommend the following tools:
  • Metal Cutter
  • Hobby Files
  • Super Glue
  • Warm Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Toothbrush
I personally make use of the Army Painters range of tools and glues as they are of a good quality and a fair price. You can pick up most of tools required for this tutorial in their Metal Assembly Kit

Video



Step 1 – Washing components

When metal miniatures are cast the molds are coated in a release agent to allow the completed miniature to be removed easily. However this release agent can remain on the miniature and will make it difficult to glue and paint unless it is cleaned off. This can be done easily with a bowl of warm soapy water. It is important to use WARM and not HOT water as hot water can cause parts to bend. Normal dish washing soap can be used in the water.

With an old toothbrush scrub the miniature in the water ensuring that you get into any crevices on the miniature. Do not be too vigorous however as you may damage some of the more delicate parts. Once washed gently dab the miniature on a towel or allow to air dry for a few minutes.


Step 2 – Removing components

Some metal miniatures come with small tabs on metal still left on them that will need to be removed before painting. For this job you will need to use your clippers.

The Army Painters metal clippers have a flat and tapered side to them allowing you to more easily get into the joins between the components and the frame. You shouldn't require much force with the clippers in order to cut through the metal as in is quite soft. When using the clippers ensure that you do not accidentally cut the through the component itself.


Step 3 – Cleaning components

Once your pieces is free from the metal tabs you may notice a few areas with mold lines. These are thin ridges running around the circumference of the model caused by the two halves of the mold not forming a perfect seal. While annoying they are mostly inevitable and should be removed before painting. This can be done with your hobby files.

When using the files ensure that you use the correct shape file for the job. Large flat files are good for ,surpise surprise, large flat parts of the miniature. Angled files are good for getting into tight corners and the rounded files are good for curved surfaces. While a hobby knife can be used it is recommended that


Step 4 – Gluing components

As with the resin miniatures we covered last time, you cannot use Plastic Glue on metal. This is because plastic glue works by melting the surfaces of the plastic that are being glued together. However Plastic Glue does not melt metal meaning that only a very weak bond will be formed.

To glue together two components simply ad a small bead of Super Glue to one of the surfaces that you will be gluing and press the other component into it. You should hold the two pieces together firmly for a few seconds in order for the glue to begin drying. When you let go to two pieces should be joined together however you should avoid any stress on the join as the glue will take a few minutes to fully harden.

Avoid getting the Super Glue on your fingers as it very easy to glue them together. It is important not to use too much glue as this can cause it to spill out of the sides, marking the miniatures and getting on your fingers.  Also be sure to use Super Glue in a well ventilated area due to the strong fumes it creates.

Summary

By following this guide you should have your metal Wargaming miniatures assembled in no time. However, this was just a generic guide. Ensure that you follow any specific instructions that may come with your miniatures regarding assembly.
If you enjoyed this tutorial or found it useful let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for part three where we show you how to work with Sprueless Plastic/'Restic'.
 
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