Friday, January 20, 2012

Preparing plastic bods

Good evening,
today I'll start  to show you, how I prepare my 1/72 (20mm) Plastic figurines for painting. The figures, which are used here, are Ceasars "WWII German Army with Camouflage Cape".
First, I sort out, which figures I'm about to use from this set, depending on what I need for my wargaming units. At this time, my focus lies on K98 troops but since they are kind of rare in this set, I need to use some MP 40 and StGw 44 sickos if I don't want to waste half of the set. I generally do not use more than 2 figures with the same pose, if possible, better only one...

Next step, I glue them to 2 European Cent-Coins, using PVA. Takes quite a time to set and does not work with all kinds of plastic. Especially Italeris "German elite troops" won't stick with it very good. They're either cowards or Blitzkrieger ;-)

Step thee: Unflashing! In the picture above, you can see quite a big piece of flash at the left lower edge of the cape. This is pretty unusual for Ceasar figures, as far as I can say after buying my second box. Nevertheless, I'll put quite some effort in these figures, so I won't let this step out, even if it's quite time-consuming and air polluting. Here's how it works:

I pierce a long needle through a cork from a wine bottle to have a handle. Next, heat the needle up, using a candle. When it's hot enough, wait about a second and scrape along the flash line on the figure. Be sure to keep the needle as clean as possible! What you see below is much too "dirty" and will stick with the figure in the next iteration of unflashing.

The figures always have some mould-release-agent on the body on which your colour will not attach very well. Since these poor bastards are frozen like Han Solo, they won't go and have a cleanup by themselves like my grandpa's pal does on the pic below :)

So you'll use some warm water with detergent and a toothbrush (hello DotT :) ) and scrub them. They are dirty bastards, late war, have marched some thousand miles, almost to Moscow and back. They are lousy and filthy. Give it to them!
When they're spick and span it's time to correct all those bent weapons. Here's an extreme example of a Landser who cuddled his Panzerfaust a bit too much:

The figure's pose  itself is way too cool to not to be used (was this a correct sentence? =) )
The trick is: Hot water. Use your microwave oven, a stove top, fire some rounds with your vickers machine gun or use anything else to heat up a small bowl of water. I think this step works from 75°C onwards... Don't make it too hot or you'll brew your clumsy fingers and poor plastic soldier! If you're doing brits, you have the chance to earn the title "Tommy-Cooker" ;-)
 Dip that poor lad into the water and wait for a few seconds. After you saved his life by pulling him out, use your fingers -or better- some flat tweezers to bend the Panzerfaust, his third leg or what ever to what it should look like:


In the follow-up post which is to come in a few days (maybe earlier), I'll show you how to boost combat the moral of your troops before painting them :)

Stay tuned!

Oh, but also tune in on my brand new followers!
Welcome Anne O'Leary (, Zed ( who made me hit the SEVENTY FOLLOWERS MARK (Thanks for that!) and Anibal Invictus (



  1. A very informative post, thanks! Good little tip using a cork as a handle!!

    1. Thanks Ray, hope this helps to keep your fingers from cramping ;)

  2. Very interesting, I've never used Caesar stuff before; aren't they really soft plastic?

    1. They're softer than the Italeri "German Elite Troops", that I have, but much harder than the Revell Artillery set.
      They take up paint pretty good :)

  3. Now that's helpful especially the heat work, good advice.....

  4. Thanks for the heads-up, Mojo.

  5. Nice tutorial!

    I'm keen on seeing the painted miniatures.


  6. Some great tips there. I wouldn't have thought about using a hot needle to clean off flash. I may have to try it out on some Ceaser brits I have with some rather bent Bren guns!

    1. I learned that somewhere else, too :) Sharing wisdom is always a good thing :)

      I have noticed that the guns already bent back a bit. Not as extreme as before, but not straight either. Keep them away from heat sources after you straightened them.
      I tried to dry the PVA-Sand mixture on the heating and that was a big mistake ;)


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