Home > kickstarter, Minis, Reviews, Tips > Mending Bones – How to get the most out of your Bones Kickstarter Minis

Mending Bones – How to get the most out of your Bones Kickstarter Minis

March 2, 2015

Reaper Miniatures2015-02-24 18.59.02 HDR has just about finished releasing the second of it’s $3 Million dollar Kickstarters for the Bones line of plastic miniatures. Between these two Kickstarters, both of which I supported heavily, I’ve got probably a lifetime of painting before me, and most of my miniature needs addressed.

That said, not all Bones are created equal, and if you’ve gone through your figures, you’ve probably seen some that didn’t make it through the shipping process that well. So, here are some tips to get your Bones reset and back into shape before you set to painting.

First, there are a few things you need to know about your Reaper Bones:

1) Due to being packed in with a few hundred other guys, not to mention the imperfect nature of the universe, some of them are going to get bent, twisted, and generally frog-legged. This can be remedied, and should be addressed before you put any paint on them.
2) A lubricant used in removing them from the injection molding causes them to naturally resist water (and water based paint) so you’re going to need to scrub them or prime them, or both.
3) Just like metal miniatures, you’re going to have some oddities, including seams and sprue bits that you’re going to need to trim or shape. We’ll get into that as well.

4) Glue ’em.
First, reshaping your Bones. Some of your figures certainly have come out at least as imperfect as this:

Maybe a backbiter?

Maybe a backbiter?

That spear doesn’t look like it’s going to be impailing anyone any time soon, but a little boiling water, and it’ll be right as rain.

You’re going to need:
A large pot
A stove or hotplate
A bowl of cold water (or cold running water)
Some napkins.

Bring your water to a rolling boil in the pot. You’ll need enough water for the largest figure you want to reshape to be fully submerged.

Boiling Water

Take the defective figure and submerge it in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. I’ve accidently left mine in the pot for a few minutes and the figures were none
the worse for wear, but I’m sure too long will have them ending up as goo, so be mindful.

Using the tongs, remove the figure, careful not to burn yourself or mke unwanted impressions on the figure itself.

I used running water but a bowl of cold water would work too.

I used running water but a bowl of cold water would work too.

The figure will be noticeably more malleable than when first submerged. Typically, a figure placed at rest will return to it’s original intended shape. Sometimes, it may need a little help, however. I found my figures to become cool enough to touch after only a few seconds in the open air, however be careful and use your own judgment. You can use the tongs or two sets of tongs to manipulate the figure into your cold water, but as I said, I found it no problem to do it by hand.

Be sure to have the figure completely in the desired position before placing it under the water, because it’s going to hold its shape whenever it cools.

Remove from the water and voila! The spear looks a lot more deadly!

Spearman ready!

This can be taken a step farther. I found some very repetitive ghouls in my set that looked a litle silly, and all had the same very unnatural pose. So, snipping some flashing holding the figure’s arm to his leg, I decided to see how much flexibility I could get out of a few bones figures, hoping to make each one look a bit more unique.

Goofy Ghoul

Following the steps above, I was able to preposition these ghouls while still warm into a variety of postures, including turning the head of one to look in a different direction, another bent over, and a third with arms raised. Holding these new positions, I submerged each figure and made sure it had become good and cold before removing it from the cold water. The end result was a fairly diverse group:

Four slightly different ghouls

Now that you’ve shaped your miniature, if you haven’t boiled the figures, you’ll want to give them a scrub. Dish soap and an old toothbrush should do the trick.
Note that submerging your reshaped Bones into hot water might cause them to revert to their original shape, but your boiling should have removed the chemicals anyway, so scrubbing is mostly for unshaped miniatures.

While Bones are ostensibly able to be painted without priming, I have never found them to be very receptive to paint without some sort of primer. Experiment with a few less favored figures to see how your preferred primer works on them. I found some spray primers to make figures a little more tacky than others, and who knows what chemical compounds might interact between plastic and aerosol spray. Use caution before you spray prime your favorite figure.

For figures with further defect, you’ll find that a good sharp hobby knife and a small set of files
will help to put them in better shape. Trim off any excess flashing, then gently file any seams or surplus rubber until it matches the surrounding textured surface.

For gluing remaining parts together, you’ll need to be careful using some form of superglue or zap-a-gap. You can use CA+ or regular superglue, but both will stick to your fingers together (painfully) if you’re not careful.

Good luck enjoying your new Bones! Let us know if you’ve discovered any other tricks, or shoot us some screen shots or links of your Bones masterpieces!

Categories: kickstarter, Minis, Reviews, Tips
  1. March 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Always a good trick. If you’re a superhero gamer who likes to mod Heroclix (There are a few of us) this trick works well with them too.

    • Scott D
      March 12, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      That’s good to know. I have a few that I’ve converted to my own uses, but never collected them, per se. Any other tricks?

      • March 13, 2015 at 5:05 am

        If you are in the market for HeroClix but only want them for RPG purposes then look for ‘Rookie’ figures. They have less value for the HeroClix game itself but if all you want is a half dozen thugs or cops to go up against your PCs them you’ll save some money.

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