Plastic toy soldier figures (from Airfix to pound store figures) made in soft slightly flexible polythene frequently arrive still covered in traces of a chemical mould releasing agent that stops the plastic sticking to the mould. It also unfortunately stops paint sticking easily to plastic.
So before you start undercoating with paint (usually black, white or the base / core colour) picking out even simple details in flesh, silver or black, a quick wash is required.
Looing back ( I never noticed or did this as a child) even vintage Airfix from its earliest blue box days advised that “to ensure a clean painting surface, it is advisable to wash with detergent before painting.”
So a washing of the spears and rifles, of warriors and their weapons is required.
- First a quick squirt of washing up liquid into a washing up bowl of warm water to degrease your figures, followed by a gentle soapy scrub of handfuls of figures with a soft washing up brush.
2. I usually use a kitchen drying rack to pile up and drain figures. Check that no escapees can go down the plug hole.
3. Pop the still slightly soapy figures into fresh cold water, then use a kitchen sieve or strainer to scoop the figures out.
4. Again a drying rack will help then pop them onto a tea towel spread them around and leave them to dry slowly for several hours.
A bit of a surreal swimming lesson or amphibious landing to look at.
Oddly some colours of the same figures (like the mini red ones here) float whilst the same figures in green or silver don’t.
This amounts to pampering and spa treatment of tiny plastic soldiers!
Raking through and spreading out the figures has a lovely almost shellfish sound, indeed the whole process feels like a bizarre cooking lesson.
You now have shiny, smart and clean figures ready for painting, ready to attack and defend and express your imagination and character.
The range of Poundland smaller figures can be seen on this previous blogpost:
There are plenty of other plastic and pound store warriors, gaming ideas and budget gaming ideas featured throughout this blog. Enjoy!
Feel free to share ideas and leave comments via the comments page.
Posted by Mr. MIN, Man of TIN, June 2016.