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Newbie Guide?
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Newbie Guide? Reply with quote

Hey, all—

I just purchased some Starline 2400 miniatures. I got a Federation Heavy Cruiser, Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, Romulan War Eagle, and Gorn Heavy Cruiser. I am a complete newbie to miniatures. I gather I am supposed to use some sort of glue to assemble them? They didn’t come with an instruction manual, and I couldn’t find a newbie guide of any sort on the ADB Miniatures web site. I’m sure such basic information must be available somewhere, if someone would just kindly direct me to it.

I did know that people commonly paint them and/or (?) apply decals, but I was hoping for some info on how to go about that, too. Are there specific brands of paint that one should use? Do you use primer before an exterior coat? Does anyone just use these unpainted?

For the Federation CA, do you glue the pieces together before you paint, then paint, then glue it onto the base? What kind of glue do you use?

The plastic bases seem really flimsy for some of these ships, which seem really heavy (especially the Gorn CA). Will they hold? Do I glue the two parts of the base to each other?

The support wings on the Romulan WE seem really flimsy. I accidentally bent one all the way down. I carefully bent it back into shape, but I was afraid it would snap off! Is that normal? Will I have to caution my players to be very, very careful whenever playing with it?

The interconnecting dorsal on my Federation CA has some, er, extra metal hanging off of where it looks like the edge ought to be. Do I file it down to shape, or what? What would be the proper tool for that?

Sorry for the noobish questions, as usual. Thanks for your help!


Last edited by Falconer on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry about sounding like a newbie--we were all there sometime.

I'm no authority on all this, I'll just share some ideas.

Yes, you do need to glue some of the miniatures together. Many, like the Gorn CA, Klingon D7, and Romulan War Eagle are one piece, and don't need assembly.

For the others, you can use any type of superglue, cyanoacrylate, etc. There are so may brands out there. Lots of people use Maxicure or Instacure. I use whatever my local Ace Hardware has, but your mileage my vary.

But before you do that, you're going to need a sharp hobby knife and some metal files (or emory(?) boards to get rid of that extra metal, or flashing that inevitably come on miniatures from the casting process. Just be careful not to cut yourself, or remove too much flash and start removing parts of the miniature.

For the bases, you should glue to two parts together. I know they seem weak, but they hold most ships up. I wouldn't trust them with a battleship, but I have several all metal dreadnoughts on them, and they work just fine. Some people glue bases to minis, I don't.

Paints are a personal preference. Some people like enamels, some like acrylics, some like using spray cans to get the base hull color on the miniature, other use airbrushes, and others hand paint them. Some people use basecoats, others don't. It's mostly a matter of trial and error. Paint something up with whatever colors you choose (there are suggestions on the miniatures page that you looked at on the "back" of all the pages). Not all ships are there, but since most ships of any race are very similar to others, you can easily adapt the colors and locations to others.

Decal tips are harder to give since there are several types of decals out there that have different instructions for best use. I personally use waterslide, so I cut them off the sheet, dip them in water to remove the backing and then place them on the miniature and let it dry. That may not make sense to you right now, so I'd wait to worry about that until you've got them in front of you.

I would say assemble the miniature, then paint it. Glue tends to get everywhere, and it can absolutely RUIN paint. In some cases, wet glue can eat paint away.

Lots of the miniatures have small flimsy parts, it's how they are. You probably want to warn people about that. They may or may not break off, but bending them back in place can be tough.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4453
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie Guide? Reply with quote

Oh boy... now you've opened up a can of worms!Wink
Just kidding... but seriously, there is no single right way or wrong way to answer many of your questions.
Everyone who paints minis has a different opinion on correct procedures and they are all correct.
I can only answer your questions from my own perspective - but I'm sure that Will and Paul (among oters) will chime in with their own two quatloos worth of advice...
Falconer wrote:
Hey, all—

I just purchased some Starline 2400 miniatures. I got a Federation Heavy Cruiser, Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, Romulan War Eagle, and Gorn Heavy Cruiser. I am a complete newbie to miniatures. I gather I am supposed to use some sort of glue to assemble them? They didn’t come with an instruction manual, and I couldn’t find a newbie guide of any sort on the ADB Miniatures web site. I’m sure such basic information must be available somewhere, if someone would just kindly direct me to it.

Surprisingly enough... there is no single, consolidate source of info. We've tried a couple of times to create a thread with beginners tips and tricks in it... but it never seems to take off.
A quick review of previous topics in this forum will provide some insights, as will looking at hte galleries posted by those of us who paint SFB minis.
The link to my site is in my signature box below...

Quote:
I did know that people commonly paint them and/or (?) apply decals, but I was hoping for some info on how to go about that, too. Are there specific brands of paint that one should use? Do you use primer before an exterior coat? Does anyone just use these unpainted?

In order:
1) No... no specific brands. Some of us use water based acrylics (me... for one), while others (Will "djdood" McCammon... for example) use enamel paints.
Some of us use Vallejo paints, some use Citadel/Games Workshop paints, I tend to use the cheapo brands of craft paints from your local Wally World type mega-marts.
The big thing is to prep the minis and the paints before use.
Always wash your minis with soap and water to remove any mold release agents, file away and flash / mold lines to get a clean mini before painting.
Prep your paints: most paints are too thick straight from the manufacturer and need to e thinned. I like to have my paints at about hte consistency of milk. A nice, thin, free-flowing paint will work better than a thick, gloppy, detail-obscuring paint. Several thin coats are better than one thick one
2) Primer: This is a must. Every mini should be cleaned (soap an water) and then primed before applying paint. This provides a slightly roughened and uniform surface for the paint ot adhere to.
Primer color: this gets into another battle of choices. Everyone has their favorites and everyone is right. I tend to use Black if I want a metallic color, gray for neutral colors, and white primer for the bright vivid ships I prefer to paint.
3) Unpainted: Yes. Several people use their minis unpainted. There's nothing wrong with unpainted lead... but a flashy paint job makes a ship fight better.

Quote:
For the Federation CA, do you glue the pieces together before you paint, then paint, then glue it onto the base? What kind of glue do you use?

Yes... No... Maybe...
I know it's not a lot of help, but there are various approaches to this.
I usually glue the minis together before painting as I like to file/sand away excess adhesive - but I have been known to paint the individual pieces and then glue them together if some areas will be obscured and inaccessable once assembled.
I never glue my minis to the stand before painting them... at least not permanently.
I almost always paint the underside of the mini first... especially my Romulans with the fancy birds underneath. Then, I usually use either Handi-Tak or Elmers white glue to temporarily attach the base to the mini. After it's painted and clear coated - that's when it gets permanently attached to the base.
Glue:
Most of the time, it's plain old super-glue... but I have been known to use a two-part epoxy (or even a combination of CA glue and Epoxy) on really tricky, really fragile ships (think - the old style, 14-piece Kzinti SSCS)
You should also carry a spare tube of CA adhesive in your minis case for game day repairs after the inevitable, gravity-induced tabletop impact.

Quote:
The plastic bases seem really flimsy for some of these ships, which seem really heavy (especially the Gorn CA). Will they hold? Do I glue the two parts of the base to each other?

They are a bit unstable for some of the larger minis. That's why my minis don't get attached to the stands until after they're painted. I currently have about two-dozen stands being prepped for ply. This includes filling the base in with spackling compound (to provide additional weight), a hex-shaped piece of felt glued underneath the stand, and then a good even spray coat of black paint.
Definitely glue the two pieces of the stand together.

Quote:
The support wings on the Romulan WE seem really flimsy. I accidentally bent one all the way down. I carefully bent it back into shape, but I was afraid it would snap off! Is that normal? Will I have to caution my players to be very, very careful whenever playing with it?

Yes... those pieces are particularly fragile.
Yes... that's normal for those units.
Yes... your players will have to be careful (unless you want to bulk up the wings before painting - but that's a whole 'nother topic)

Quote:
The interconnecting dorsal on my Federation CA has some, er, extra metal hanging off of where it looks like the edge ought to be. Do I file it down to shape, or what? What would be the proper tool for that?

The extra metal is typically referred to as "flash" and is the result of the two halves of the mold not fitting precisely together before casting. It should be removed prior to priming/painting.
The proper tool is the one that works. I've been know to use Exacto knives, needle files, sand paper, sanding sticks, or even my Dremel tool to remove flash. It depends on the amount and where it at and what tool will reach that area.

Quote:
Sorry for the noobish questions, as usual. Thanks for your help!

Don't worry about the questions. Ask anything anytime... Most of s curmudgeons are only to happy to expound on our favorite subjects.

I know I gave you a lot to chew on... and others will give more (or possibly even contradicting) information. The best thing to do is take it one step at a time.
Get all you minis cleaned, prepped, and primed... Ask any questions relating to this process as they arise...
Then paint them... again, asking questions as they arise.
There is no time limit on painting. I have some minis that where base coated several years ago and set aside, only to be pre-empted by other items...
So if you need to stop painting the Fed CA and switch to the Klingon while awaiting an answer to a specific query... no one will hold it against you.
All we ask is that you post photos of them for all to enjoy once they are complete.
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Last edited by Scoutdad on Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See.. I told you.
Paul has already beat me to the punch. Wink
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys! If you don’t mind, I will continue to post questions in this thread as they come to me. You’ve given me a lot to think about. One thing I will say is that specific answers (“I use x which you can buy here”) are a lot more helpful than safer but more general answers (“some use x, some use y, some use z, you do whatever you want”)!

With that in mind, does anyone have a link for the various tools mentioned—file, sharp hobby knife—and a good brand of glue that I could just order off the Internet? I know I’m really starting to sound needy now, but that would be a real relief. Or should I just go to a game store some time when their resident mini expert is known to be on-duty, and have him get me started? Though getting to a game store is a bit difficult for me right now. Anyway, the priority is to get this Fed CA all in one piece!

The Romulan KR mini in Squadron Box #9 – is that the same mini as the regular D7/D6? (I would expect so, but it’s not clear.) By the way, I am blown away by the awesomeness of the D7 mini! I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be hooked by this hobby...

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
Some people glue bases to minis, I don't.

Could you clarify this comment?

Scoutdad wrote:
They are a bit unstable for some of the larger minis. That's why my minis don't get attached to the stands until after they're painted. I currently have about two-dozen stands being prepped for ply. This includes filling the base in with spackling compound (to provide additional weight), a hex-shaped piece of felt glued underneath the stand, and then a good even spray coat of black paint.

Wow, that sounds involved, but attractive. I noticed they also sell metal stands (plastic base, metal pole) and heavy metal stands (all metal). These seem like an attractive option, no?

Scoutdad wrote:
All we ask is that you post photos of them for all to enjoy once they are complete.

Will do! Very Happy
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get a Middle Years Federation Dreadnought, it looks like I have two options: Federation DN (Zocchi Plastic) and Fed Dreadnought (Zocchi plastic cloaked). What is the difference? One is glow-in-the-dark and one isn’t? Why would I want plastic minis when the rest of my fleets are, by necessity, pewter figures? Would the Federation DNG of the General War work for a Middle Years DN? Thanks.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With that in mind, does anyone have a link for the various tools mentioned—file, sharp hobby knife—and a good brand of glue that I could just order off the Internet? I know I’m really starting to sound needy now, but that would be a real relief. Or should I just go to a game store some time when their resident mini expert is known to be on-duty, and have him get me started? Though getting to a game store is a bit difficult for me right now. Anyway, the priority is to get this Fed CA all in one piece!

If you're got a Hobbytown USA close by - most everything you need can be found there. Failing that - you can go to HobbyTown USA's website and shop online for files, hobby knives, glue,etc.

The Romulan KR mini is the Klingon D6/D7 mini - you simply paint it in Romulan colors.

Stands:
The two-piece plastic stnd is typically sold with the smaller, lighter minis.
Most of the normal minis come with the metal post/plastic base type stand.
The Heavy Metal Stand is the one sold with Battleships and such. It's very stable - but can be costly if purchasing a lot. [I've got about 600 or so SFUminis painted up right now and another 2 to 300 in various stages of prep work. That's a lot of heavy metal stands... Shocked ]
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


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Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I’m taking it slow. Here is what I want to collect initially:

1 x Federation Dreadnought
3 x Federation Command Cruiser/Heavy Cruiser
2 x Federation Light Cruiser
4 x Klingon D7 Battlecruiser/D6 Battlecruiser
3 x Romulan KR Cruiser
4 x Romulan War Eagle/Warbird
3 x Gorn Heavy Cruiser
3 x Gorn Light Cruiser
2 x Kzinti Strike Cruiser
3 x Kzinti Light Cruiser
1 x Base Station
1 x Planet Crusher

After that, some Drones and Plasma Torpedoes, and I’m good to go for a while. Maybe slowly buff up the number of Federation, Klingon, and Romulan ships, especially Federation Heavy Cruisers, for a while before branching out into different units, starting with Shuttles, Orion Raider Cruisers, Tholian Patrol Cruisers, as well as the other Franz Joseph ships.

This post wasn’t a question, just thinking out loud! I know the costs will start adding up even with so modest a list.


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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:


OGOPTIMUS wrote:
Some people glue bases to minis, I don't.

Could you clarify this comment?



Sure. Some people permanently affix the stand to the miniature using glue. While this is convenient, it also meansthat if the mini is dropped or rattles around in a box during transport, it can break off--and that can be a real pain to fix. I like to make sure my minis balance on the stands on their own without glue. Many miniatures already do this. For those that don't, I add two part epoxy putty (Kneadatie, green stuff), and/or use pins to make sure the stand fits nicely into the stand hole. Generally, the metal stand with plastic base works the best for this. I can give you some examples once I get a chance to take some pictures of minis this weekend.

Meanwhile, you can see all my minis in the two links down below in my signature. None of those are glued to their stands--not one!

I would recommend just getting 3 Federation Command Cruisers rather than one and two heavy cruisers--the command cruiser saucer is just too awesome!

There is no difference between the Zocchi plastic and Zocchi plastic cloaked Federation DN minis, except that one is clear plastic and the other is some other off-white, glow in the dark, or whatever plastic. Once you paint them, they'll be just the same. The detail on them is great. I love them. And before you ask, it's just by the nature of the material. Plastic and lead hold more detail than pewter.

To get a middle years DN, you could use the Zocchi plastic DN (4 photons and 10 phasers, right?). The metal DNG has all the extra weapons that were applied in that general war upgrade (2 photons and a plethora of extra phasers), but you could get it and file off all the extra weapons, but I'd save your time and effort and just buy the plastic (it's cheaper too!).

The Federation Destroyer and Scout are now available in pewter, but the Tug is still just in plastic (I think ADB has something like 500 of those sitting around), seen here on the new releases page:

http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=S&Category_Code=NP
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
I would recommend just getting 3 Federation Command Cruisers rather than one and two heavy cruisers--the command cruiser saucer is just too awesome!

Is the saucer the only difference? The secondary hull and two warp nacelles are the same?

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
To get a middle years DN, you could use the Zocchi plastic DN (4 photons and 10 phasers, right?). The metal DNG has all the extra weapons that were applied in that general war upgrade (2 photons and a plethora of extra phasers), but you could get it and file off all the extra weapons, but I'd save your time and effort and just buy the plastic (it's cheaper too!).

The difference in material doesn’t seem jarring? I’m very detail-oriented (my friends prefer to say OCD), so I’m worried that will bug me!

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
The Federation Destroyer and Scout are now available in pewter

Yeah, I saw that. (Well, I saw the listing, not any pictures.) Cool!
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falconer wrote:
OGOPTIMUS wrote:
I would recommend just getting 3 Federation Command Cruisers rather than one and two heavy cruisers--the command cruiser saucer is just too awesome!

Is the saucer the only difference? The secondary hull and two warp nacelles are the same?


Yes, the rear hull and nacelles are exactly the same. It actually means that the two 360 phaser-1s aren't on the mini, and that it has two RH phasers instead (like the FC CA dos), but those are easy to file off and put on the bottom.

I'll get some pics of my Zocchi DN next to a metal one and some other minis to help you see any differences.

I can't find the pic her, but here's a link to the DD hulls on the legacy BBS:

http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/messages/7342/24115.jpg

From left to right there's the DDL, DDF, SC, DDG.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the difference between the Battle Station and the Base Station? Which one is closer to K-7? (Actually it looks like both are only vaguely modeled after K-7.)
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to remember reading that this was case of two miniatures made for the same unit and ADB decided to use both. One is more detailed than the other. The same thing happened for the Gorn Battle Destroyer--that's why there's an Advanced Battle Destroyer.

Here's the thread about it:

http://starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2645&highlight=battlestation
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Falconer
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brainstorming about colors. From what I have read, these seem to be the official SFU base colors for the five main races’ ships:

Federation: white
Klingons: blue-grey
Romulans: light grey
Gorns: grey
Kzintis: brick red

Although practically every ship on TOS is some sort of grey, I definitely want a good contrast of colors.

Klingons: Green, like the one in TSFS, seems to be a popular choice. It’s a shame to use up a color associated with Gorns and Orions (think of their skin color), but I think I’ll go with it nevertheless. I think the color just goes best with an angular design.

Federation and Romulans: The Enterprise is grey throughout TOS; the TOS Warbird is white. I wonder if the SFU went the other way around because people expected white Federation ships in the movie era. In this case I’ll go with TOS.

Gorns: It would be a shame to go with grey for yet another race. There’s extra flexibility here since it was never shown on TV, so people don’t have any preconceived notion of what it ought to be. I think copper looks pretty sexy.

Kzintis: TAS shows a purple Kzinti vessel. I think I might happier with brick red, but I’m not sure!

Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
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Falconer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, just trying to get an opinion, is the Battle Station a better mini than the Base Station? The Battle Station is more detailed, and larger, right?
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