We recommend the following tools:
Most figures are cast in sections, examples are shown on this page.
Step 1. Cleaning flashing & shaping to fit
Lay the pieces out and make sure that the figure fits together well before gluing it together (figure 1). Some points may need to be whittled out with the X-acto knife (see figure 3) in order to fit correctly. Horse bodies may need to be bevelled where they connect to the head to mimic the rolls of the muscles in this area. Use the X-acto as a paring knife to accomplish the bevel. The sides of the horse may need to be slightly bent to fit, seams may be filled with epoxy glue.
Any seam lines from the mold, called flashing, should be trimmed or scraped away with the X-acto knife. Fine grade metal files may also be used.
These figures are somewhat malleable due to the type of composition of the metal. This alloy contain a small amount of lead and is therefore not for children under 14.
You may very carefully and slowly bend a piece such as an arm by warming it first under a 75 or 100 watt light bulb, if an adjustment is required.
Step 2. Gluing
Once the pieces are ready to join, use epoxy or metal glue on the joints. Two part epoxy may be mixed on a non-porous surface such as wax paper, or a plastic lid, with a toothpick (figure 4) and then applied to the seams to be joined. Refer to the glue's directions for set time. Rubber bands or masking tape may be used to hold the pieces in place until they are set, for example the sides of a horse. Scrape off excess glue immediately with a clean toothpick. Do not use two part epoxy that has turned stringy as it is beginning to harden and will not hold. Gaps may be filled with epoxy like a spackle. After the figure has set you may need to file off any excess glue after it has dried throughly.
Step 3. Primer
After glue has set and dried the next step is primer. Wipe the figure down with a clean cloth to remove any dust or dirt and then cover the figure in a thin layer of metal primer. Most people prefer a white based primer so the paint colors will "pop" but clear primer is fine.
Step 4. Paint
Your kit will contain the pieces required for the figure and a coloring guide. The colors refer to a discontinued line of I/R paints, however the lists of paints we do offer, Humbrol and Vallejo, indicates which colors correspond to the original I/R miniature colors so you will be ensured of obtaining the correct color.
We highly recommend "The Model Soldier Manual" by Peter J. Blum and illustrated by Clyde Risley. This comprehensive guide is great for the beginner and has information on diorama building, converting figures and painting figures. Osprey books are fantastic in their detail and a great resource for painting your figure and setting up dioramas. Our selection of Osprey books changes frequently so we recommend calling or emailing to see if we carry the subject you are interested in.