October 22, 2013 by catomighty
A few weeks ago, the big 8 pound box of chibi minis from Impact Miniatures’ first chibi Kickstarter campaign arrived! Rather than the obligatory open-box photo of just-arrived KS goodies, here’s the post-Scrooge-McDuck diving into the money vault scene:
Now that they have finished shipping all the KS packages, the figures are now available in their store (it’s a US company with a British software storefront – you need to register and log-in to load your cart in USD rather than GBP).
And as soon as the last package shipped, they started up their 2nd KS for Chibi Asian Adventurers & Ninjas. This is running until 2 November 2012, 11pm EDT.
Back to the happy pile of chibi goodness. First thing was to come up with a plan of action to get them tabletop-ready. With 195 regular sized figures and 36 larger ones, plus a handful of accessory packs, this will benefit from a methodological approach. During the initial sorting and inventory, I divided them into piles based on what colour primer the figures will get. After trimming and cleaning, I’ll prime everything using a wide variety of Krylon Fusion and Rustoleum Ultra-Color. Priming figure types, especially the monsters, in its predominant colour; heroes and more polychromatic types primed white; base everything so they can start getting used in games ASAP; then start doing detail painting in small groups.
The figures are cast in Troll Forge resin. They need some prep work to clean mold lines and fill in some air bubbles.
Most importantly, the figures need to be washed with warm water and a drop of detergent and scrubbed lightly with an old toothbrush to remove mold-release agent. Then rinsed and dried.
The material is delightfully easy to work with. X-Acto Knife and File work nicely for the trimming. With all the curves on these figures, I find myself using the tiny curved X-Acto Blade #212 a lot, as well as the stand-by #11 and #16. This is technically designed for a smaller handle, but I just clamp it into the standard chuck no problem. A pin vice is handy for drilling and pinning limbs, heads, and torsos for larger conversion pieces. A saw is useful for cutting the aforementioned pieces for conversion. And a set of snips for removing larger pieces of sprue.
As faithful readers of this blog know: Testor’s Contour putty is dirt cheap and works great for filling most of the air bubble and smoothing over any joints. A light coating of Zap-a-Gap hardens it up nicely. For some larger putty work in conversions or repairs, I break out the Green Stuff 2-part putty.
And now, I am settling in to the process of trimming the great piles figures by the colour they will be primed, and priming each colour lot as it’s ready.
But since I have a wandering attention span and want to do some of the more fun modelling work, I’m also interspersing the basic trimming with conversion work. I picked up a number of extra figures specifically for conversions and am doing this work as the whims strike.
The first converted batch is Cat Ballou and her outlaw gang of murderers and robbers, the legends who brought real justice to Wolf City! Now I just need some wandering minstrels to accompany her….
Cat herself is made with a Ranger’s body (carved and puttied into a female body shape) + Warrior Red head + Pony hat; ears are green stuff, tail is a piece of plastic sprue heated over a candle.
One Halfling Thief has a Pony hat, the other a Pumpkin Hat. Each one had its cloak trimmed off on opposite sides, giving an appearance of much different cloaks on each figure.
The Darkling Thief has been converted to a female by carving in the waist and widening the shirt tails into a skirt with some Contour putty; she a cut-down Pumpkin hat + putty feather, and the top portion of what was originally his cloak has been carved into a neckerchief (only visible under the hair from some side angles). All of them have Crossbow pistols from the Darkling models.
Here’s a top view that gives a better image of the Crossbows, and also included in this shot are a Half-Orc with one of the Crossbows, and a Super Dungeon Explore figure of Candy & Cola for comparison:
And another comparison shot with an SDE Pixie and Kobold:
Comparing the figures, they have similar heights. The Impact ones have larger heads, and consequently larger eyes which are a critical component of chibi painting. For my tastes, I think the two different figure styles work well together, and I will continue acquiring and using both of them together with each other for Chibistein gaming.
And Hello Displacer Beast! The next completed conversion uses parts from 2 Panthers, plus tentacles from a metal Octopus that I had on hand. The torso parts, head, and front limbs were sawn-off, those parts and the tentacles drilled, then pinned and glued with a short piece of brass wire in each joint for strength.