First things first. I hope everyone is having a relaxing and enjoyable festive break (for those lucky enough to be off). I often find hobby time is at a premium this time of the year, what with visitors, lots to do and although I always aim to get some painting done during the break inevitably I can’t seem to set aside any significant time. Instead I resort to cleaning and assembling miniatures instead when I manage to steal a little time for myself here and there. Today was such a day and I thought I would put it to good use assembling the rest of the Dreadball Teams, in particular the Forge Fathers and Veer-myn.
Nothing really post worthy as such, but in doing so I did realise there may be a couple of gotchas with the Stealers in particular which were worth pointing out. Especially for those who may have purchased Dreadball on the strength of it as a boardgame as opposed to being miniature collectors.
Tip #1 – It might look like plastic, but it isn’t quite what it seems.
The teams in Dreadball are made from a type of plastic resin which is not to be confused with the kind of injection mold plastic used in Games Workshop’s kits. This means polystyrene cement (or plastic glue) will not work on these models and should not be used at all. Polystyrene cement works by melting the plastic and re-setting, creating a strong bond. Unfortunately, as these models are made from an entirely different material the glue will not react with it in the same way. Instead you should use an ethyl cyanoacrylate or ‘super glue’. Personally, I feel Mantic could have made this a bit more obvious for those not from a model making background. If none of the figures required assembly I could forgive them for this. But as they do, instructions really should have been provided in my opinion.
Tip #2 – Re-balancing the teams
I am not talking about the rules here, or whether ‘Jacks’ are too powerful. No, I am talking about adjusting your player models so that they don’t keep falling over like they are drunk. In particular I am talking about the Veer-myn team the Skittersneak Stealers, but the advice below equally applies to any of the Dreadball models.
It is possible I may just have had a dubious batch of Veer-myn Strikers, but I did find after assembly they were remarkably low to the ground. So low in fact they quite literally would not stay upright. Looking at the miniature, the left arm is designed to straight-arm with the paw flat against the base level. I would guess attached by the thumb or dew claw. The model is then counterbalanced by the raised left leg and right arm. At least, I suspect that was the plan. The resin however I think may have had other ideas coming out of the mold and has set with the base at such an angle as the figure is practically bent fully over with its centre of gravity far too forward. In the photo I have placed a file to counter-balance the base so you can see just how low we are talking about. As the body, head, right leg and base are all a single piece, this isn’t likely to be an assembly issue. Unfortunately it is entirely down to the casting.
Fortunately, all is not lost as this can be very easily remedied following the simple application of heat from a handy hair-dryer. The resin the figures are made from softens very quickly allowing it to be re-positioned while it is warm. Once the resin cools it will hold its new position quite happily. Any old hair-dryer will do as the aim is to warm the resin up, not melt it completely. So hot air paint strippers or the salon replica turbo-inferno 2000 is not recommended. Instead just a gentle and brief warming focusing the airflow onto the base and right leg/left arm will suffice. You will know when it is ready because the base will yield easily when given a gentle push. For me, I think 15-20 seconds was sufficient to get the resin pliable. Holding the base flat with the file, I then carefully coaxed the figure into more upright position, holding it for a few seconds to allow it to cool and harden again.
After a little application of deep heat you can see the back issues the Striker was suffering from has been much improved and the poor chap is now able to stand upright on his/her/its own two feet/paws.
The same method can be used on any of the figures to adjust them, however please bear in mind this is really for only making small adjustments and you are aiming to warm the resin enough to allow it to move slightly, not soften so much it loses detail. It also depends on the thickness of the component as well. Thinner pieces are more likely to warp, but equally are easier to re-position. Thicker parts won’t be as easy to bend as they will need far too much heat. Although they are also less prone to warping in the first place.
despite initially saying Mantic’s Dreadball resins were pretty free from requiring much in the way of cleaning or straightening, the Stealers just had to go and prove me wrong. That said, hopefully you can see it is not a big problem to overcome. If you don’t have a hair dryer, a short time immersed in hot water does the trick also. I just prefer the hot air method because you can control where you want the heat better. Both work however.
I wasn’t going to do a post today, but felt it was worth pointing this out for those who may have received (or treated themselves) to a Veer-myn team for Christmas.
Until next time, have a great week.