Mars Attacks Miniatures – Part 3

Just a few final thoughts to add to yesterday’s post.

Rentonite is likely to be with us for a while. Dungeon Sagas will be largely produced in it, as I suspect will many more of Mantic’s models going forward. Other companies use very similar stuff too, so this applies more broadly than just Mantic. The process suits inexpensive mass production and balances that with a reasonable ability to hold detail while still managing to be workable. It’s unlikely to go away soon.

Is it my favourite material? No, not really (that would be hard plastic). However, every material has its down sides, and I think with a little practice I’d work with Rentonite about as happily as I would anything else. Some high tin content metal alloys are more of a pain as they blunt and break tools. That can be quite unsafe, and I’m not fond of those either. Still, in the end it’s often more the sculpt and mould quality than the material that dictates the length of time it takes to clean up.

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15 Responses to Mars Attacks Miniatures – Part 3

  1. Ben says:

    Do you think Mantic will produce their wargames minis in it, or will it be just for the miniatures board games?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      That one i can’t say. I know Ronnie very much wants to get back to the hard plastic unit sprues that they set out with at the beginning. My guess is that that’s where they’d head for wargame troops. Unique heroes and the like could be Rentonite, or could equally well be metal. It’s all about what’s sensible in the volume.

      Vehicles might work in Rentonite. They tend towards large smooth areas, so would be pretty easy to prep. Again, it really depends on the volumes. It’s volume and timescale that make the real difference here. Whatever you want to make, hard plastic is a slow process, and doing lots at once is even slower.

  2. Danny says:

    Thanks for giving us the rundown on how the Rentonite cleans up mate, much appreciated!

    It seems to be about what I expected, very similar to the other mini’s in this sector of the market, like the Descent mini’s or the SDE mini’s when they changed to the softer plastic after the first box set. It’s not perfect for modelling, but you can work with it.

    That mould line running closely and parallel to the sculpted line on the martians leg sounds like a real bugger to remove…

    As you’ve mentioned, I suspect (and from experience on other soft-ish plastic models) the larger the model, generally the easier it is to work on. I think the trolls etc will be fairly easy to clean up. Their details are not as fine and when they do have fine detail, like fur or hair for instance, it seems to be less obvious on a larger model, and hence easier to deal with, to me at least anyway.

    Did you draw blood with your new scalpel? Nothing quite like a good finger stabbing or cutting with a new blade to bring out the swear words 🙂

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I managed to stay intact. Having taken the tip off a finger some years ago, I’ve got a healthy respect for the sharpness of new blades. More likely to damage myself on some of the really hard metal models, I think. I’ve had blades snapping and pinging off all over with that. Not like the good old days of nice, soft lead models 🙂

      You’re exactly right about the big models. The trolls should be pretty straightforward.

  3. Matt Price says:

    Thanks for the comments, Jake. How similar is this material to the Reaper Bones plastic? That was somewhat softer, and (at least for their first project of Kickstarter produced models) did not take primer well – I’ve made permanently sticky a handful of Bones figures I primed black with Games Workshop primer (Army Painter primer, for some reason, does not do this thankfully!). Can these plastics take paint without primer? Or do they handle different kinds of primers OK (I.e., do you think someone at HQ could test the models on a few brands of primers to see if this will be a problem)

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Can’t help you with Bones, I’m afraid. I didn’t much like the sound of the stuff so I never bought any. I’ll grab a blister or two at some stage. It’s not exactly commonplace round here though.

      The paint I used on these was a very old pot of Citadel Space Wolf Grey, if that helps. It went on fine, needing a couple of thinned coats to cover the bold red, as you’d expect.

      I’ve already suggested to Mantic that they do some painting articles now they’ve got a painter in-house. I’ll mention it again as it would be useful.

    • Teskal says:

      Stickyness has nothing to do with the material
      1. it is important to clean the minis before using primer
      2. shake the primer 3 minutes!!! Do not underestimate shaking!
      3. use a primer for miniatures: Games Workshop, Vallejo, Army Painter,…
      (some primers from toolshops can need few days to dry.)
      4. climatic conditions could be a reason
      I think Point 2 is the most important.
      The material is little harder than the bones material.

      • Matt Price says:

        Unfortunately, it would be good to get a word from Mantic: it *does* have to do with the material, sometimes. For example, you cannot prime Reaper Bones figures, except with a few primer formulations, such as Army Painter.

        If you’re working with the soft PVC-like plastic, always try a test figure if you’re not sure.

        But yes, do shake the cans well, and don’t prime when it’s cold out! (Or wet/humid)

  4. scarletsquig says:

    From what I’ve seen of the material, it seems a lot like the plastic used for AT-43, feels like soft plastic but is hard.

    Possibly the best thing about the Mars Attacks minis is them coming already assembled. Nice timesaver there, if prepaints are off the cards, then pre-assembled and coloured plastic is still pretty good for the casual gamer crowd.

    And for the non-casual gamers, pre-assembled is still great since it gives me more time that can be spent on fun painting instead of boring assembly. With Deadzone, I sometimes had to spend more time assembling and prepping a miniature than it took to paint it so I’m really looking forward to just being able to give Mars Attacks a quick filing session then under the spray primer it goes!

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  6. Marcelo Ferrari says:

    I´m trying painting some martians right now. I have spray primed them, and it got sticky. =( Just like what happened with my reaper miniatures. It would be good to have an idea if it really needs primer or if we can just paint it without it.

    • Teskal says:

      1. it is important to clean the minis before using primer
      2. shake the primer 3 minutes!!! Do not underestimate shaking!
      3. use a primer for miniatures: Games Workshop, Vallejo, Army Painter,…
      (some primers from toolshops can need few days to dry.)
      4. climatic conditions could be a reason

      I think Point 2 is the most important.

      • Marcelo Ferrari says:

        Thanks for the reply, Teskal.
        But I did all that. What I know is that the same primer works fine with deadzone plastic, for example. It dries fast and clean. But it does not happen with mars attacks minis

        • Teskal says:

          Try army painter, it seems it has less problem with PVC.
          Alternatively do not prime it. It should hold acryl.

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