Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Cleaning up plastic soldiers

Burkish Naval Infantry Part 12 - Tidying up
This is a relatively small but quite important part of preparing plastic toy soldiers for painting - cleaning up seams and moulding marks.

Being moulded plastic figures there are signs of the process that created them, mainly in the form of  seams and little round marks which are to do with the way the moulds work (don't ask me). Were this a hard plastic kit I would be reaching for the files and sand paper, but soft plastic is a different kettle of fish...

The only paper abrasive material I find that works without chewing up
the surface too much is a very fine glass paper, but used sparingly.

Soft plastic doesn't so much sand as fray. So the better course of action is to shave the worst of the blemishes off using a very sharp hobby knife and then finish off with a very fine glass paper. I also use the oblique side of the scalpel blade which I draw over the left over marks to smooth off.

It's still not perfect by any means - but these are toy soldiers and I think having the occasional seams might actually be in keeping. I'll probably experiment with this when I move from plastic to cast metal figures.

...Anyway, 18 to do. But while I work through these I am starting to think about my next regiment and am looking for ideas based on Romanian and Balkan uniforms from the 1890-1900s.


  1. I keep wondering why I haven't done all this stuff on my own figures! Laziness I suppose. And I have found AIP figures to be reasonably flash-free. When will Motalero be in a position to invade one of its neighbours?

    1. I agree Tim, they aren't that bad. Little things niggle me - which is why I take so long to do anything! :)

      I suppose how long it will take Molatero to mobilize will depend on the minimum it needs to field a feasible army...I could use some advice on that!