Questions from a metal figure newbie

Hi everyone. In an effort to improve my techniques for painting faces, I've been buying various conversion heads. So far I've dealt only with resin, and am very happy with the results. However, during a recent browse of Squadron, I came across some interesting head sets by Andrea. I chose the one named "Movie Heads 3", and got them yesterday. Initial inspection impressed me, but these will be the first metal subject matter I've ever worked with. They have a thin white coating on them, which I read is normal for bare metal over time. What are some ways to clean this for a 54mm head? Some of the methods I read, such as sanding or using a Dremel tool, seem inappropriate for such a small item. Next, apparently I'll need to prime them before painting. I use enamels for my work. What sort of primer should I use?

Thanks for any help offered. I'm rather excited to try them. I feel pretty comfortable with plastic and resin, but have avoided metal because the prep involved seems so different. Take care everyone, and best wishes.

Randy IPMS Houston IPMS USA

We're living in a world that's been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth. Where are you, white rabbit?

Reply to
Randy Pavatte
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Hello Randy,

Working with metal figures is little different from working with resin figures. The basic tools, fillers, primers, and paints are the same. Not sure what your 'white coating' is; it sounds like minor surface oxidation or mold release... Simple Green or lacquer thinner and an old toothbrush should remove it. Neither cleaner has an effect on the metal. In both cases, wash any cleaning residue off the metal before priming. I use Floquil's lacquer-based railroad gray primer on resin and metal figures. I usually cut it about 75:25 (primer to thinner). It can be brushed on or sprayed. Others use Floquil, Tamiya, Krylon or automotive primers in spray cans. I use Andrea (and some Vallejo) acrylics over the primer. You can also use enamel hobby paints, artist's oils, or the craft paints from Hobby Lobby/Michaels.

The North Texas Figure Club will be having a display table at the IPMS Houston Show in March. Hope to see you there.



Reply to

It could be that your "white coating" is an undercoat applied by the manufacturer? I recall the UK Rose Miniatures used to do this back in the


You can also use a soft wire brush, like the type used to clean suede shoes. Gently buff the figure and it takes on a nice pewter look and doesn't wreck the surface detail.



Reply to
Chris Hughes

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