Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Myth of Mold Release
My Chinnork/Ravager conversions had been moving along smoothly, as you can see from the picture above. Ciaran, from The Overlords, was kind enough to send me the exact dimensions of a Dark Eldar Ravager, and I have built my conversions with those specifications in mind. As with all of my conversion work, I have added a bit of size to the model, in an effort to show my opponents that I am in fact modelling for dis-advantage. I really enjoy creating unique collections of miniatures, and the possibility of someone calling my conversions unfair is something that I go great lengths to avoid. Here is another shot, including a Rhino to give you a sense of scale:
While I know that it is not easy to see detail on the conversion work that I have done, I think I like the ambiguity. Once the army is painted, I will post detailed close-ups. Regardless, I was in the process of building my second Chinnork/Ravager when disaster struck.
Naturally, I had washed and scrubbed all of the resin parts to these kits before attempting to build the models. The second Chinnork kit I was working on, even after a thorough washing and scrubbing, seemed... off. The model had MANY bits of the original pale-blue rubber mold stuck in the cracks and crevices, and the resin itself just felt greasy. No matter how I tried to wash the mold release off, the model was still a bit slick. Due to the somewhat caustic nature of P3 primer, I hoped I could just "prime through" this issue. Taking a stick of this greasy resin sprue out to my garage for a primer test, I found that the mold release was not to be so easily defeated. The P3 primer scraped right off. Zap-a-gap wouldn't stick to the greasy resin, either. Something was amiss.
I scoured the internet in search of solutions. I read about people spraying a layer of varnish onto their kits in order to give the primer something to stick to, but that sounded like a good way to lose detail. I read one story about a guy accidentally dissolving part of his titan (eek!) in some chemical cleaner. I even read a forum where someone said that grain alcohol was a great solvent for removing mold release. Not wanting to accidentally waste my expensive resin model, or my cheap grain alcohol for that matter, I decided to go to the source.
This morning, I called Forge World directly, and told them my problem. Interestingly enough, they told me that this was not a mold-release issue, but a resin issue. They said that sometimes the resin itself does not "set" correctly, and so it took on a greasy finish to it. They assured me that no amount of scrubbing or chemical dips would remove this, as it would be like trying to wash the meat off of a meatball. They have since mailed me a replacement kit, hopefully of a less slippery resin.
What have I learned here? First of all, not all slippery resin models can be fixed with washing or dipping. Secondly, that Forge World customer service is top-notch. While I would love to high-five myself here and think I somehow scored a free $100 kit out of the situation, I honestly cannot do anything with the greasy Chinnork parts that are now on my desk. I also hope that this anecdote does not motivate anyone to try and scam Forge World by claiming their order is unusable... I would think they can keep a record of these things, and can identify by order number when a batch of "bad resin" may have gone out.
In other news, my Dais of Destruction is coming along quite well. While I had visualized all of the components and the final product, seeing the bits coming together has been extraordinarily exciting. I think it really captures the aesthetic I have been going for with this project. Once I have something worth showing, I will post it up. Over the last few weeks, I was struggling with feeling disconnected from these Skaven / Dark Eldar models I have been building. I suppose reading codexes and websites that never have pictures or stories about such a unique army, left me feeling a bit isolated from the more "official" 40k universe. However, seeing the Dais take shape, with my Ravagers and Reavers in formation on a nearby shelf, is beginning to get me pretty excited.