Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Stovetop: Mini Base Weights

So let's say you've got one of those top-heavy miniature figures that won't stand up properly. Very sad. But what to do? Recommendations follow.


Take an old rubber mold from the last time you tried to sculpt your own figures*, a ruler, and an exacto knife. Carefully measure the size of the figure base and scrape out a little box of that size.


Take some spare miniature modeling metal**, melt it down on the kitchen stove in your ladle, and pour it into the mold.

Let it cool down for a few minutes. Then remove it from the mold, snap the sprue off with some needle pliers, and file it down smooth.

Super-glue that into the base of your figure, nice and snug.

Now he stands upright and everyone's happy. Go get 'em, chief!


* Assumes you have this.
** And also this.

(P.S. If this didn't work the next thing we'd do is go get some lead fishing weights and melt those down on the stove. Fortunately, this sufficed. Warning: Thumb says metal is very hot.)

7 comments:

  1. I've been a big fan of pennies, although I imagine it really depends on the weight of the mini in question and also the size of the base.

    Very cool to see you smelting your own fix, though.

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  2. I've used scrap steel punched plugs from electrical outlet boxes, as well.

    Word of warning on lead - do NOT overheat the stuff. It will give off toxic fumes. Not hard to avoid, but you do have to pay attention.

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  3. N. Wright -- Yeah, originally I tried some pennies & washers but a few of my guys were so top-heavy even that didn't fix them. Also my tiny dash of OCD didn't like how they fit in the base, so my ideal solution was if I could fill the whole base completely with metal. :)

    Angantyr -- That's very good feedback. It was my girlfriend's idea for a plan "B" to use lead if the light modeling metal didn't work (apparently she did just that at the sculptor's studio she used to work at; I was surprised to hear it didn't take that much heat). Really good to keep in mind proper ventilation if I or anyone else do that in the future!

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  4. I imagined this as an episode of My Drunk Kitchen, albeit with somewhat more molten metal.

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  5. Have you considered casting a few extra bases? Why fill it when you can just cast your own leaden bases? Just a thought. I realize that's not practical for a lot of pieces that are already assembled, but we all know that no mini collection is ever complete, right? What about that next top heavy piece?

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  6. drcheckmate -- That's a good idea, too. In this case I bought them used and they were already assembled. I hadn't thought of just replacing the base wholesale.

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