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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Weight of Plastics; Adding Heft to Plastic Models.

My first experience with plastics in my Flames of War hobby was a few years ago when I cracked open a copy of the Open Fire! starter box. The Shermans left me disappointed which prompted me to straw away from plastics...that was until I recently bought Grimball's Beasts. WOW! Battlefront has really stepped up their game. Every piece was easy to assemble and to be quite frank I really enjoyed it.

That being said there was still ONE issue. The weight. The minis just felt fragile and cheap. I love the "heft" that some minis have. This may be personal preference but can be a very effective defense against those stray dice that come rolling across the gaming table.

Today I am going to show you how I weigh down my plastic tanks. Along with a comparison of weights between different Sherman models.

To start off I have an M4A1 I acquired way back when V1 was alive and well.

Here we have a model made of resin and good old pewter tracks coming in at 56 grams.

This here is an M4A3 with resin body and plastic tracks at 29 grams. Already a considerable difference.

Now before we compare the weighed down shermans let me show you how I do it.

Things you will need.

-Spackle or filler
-Hobby glue or plastic cement
-An unassembled model with a cavity
-An old brush
-Modelling spatula (I use shaped kebab skewers)
-Pewter bits or something similar (Optional)
-Tweezers (Optional)

Start off by placing a bit of spackle and water in the bottom half of the hull and mixing it around to coat the interior areas.

Next use your tool of choice to fill with spackle. Do not overfill!

Do the same with the top of the hull and glue together.

There is still room for more spackle!

Jam as much spackle as you can into the front of the model. Be sure to keep a finger over the post hole on top of the hull.

Before gluing on the front housing add some spackle.

Overflow may be noticeable out the back of the model. Just be sure to clean it up before it dries by using an old brush and water.

Fill up the turret, finish assembly as usual and let r' set.

Alternately to add more density, do the same as above but instead mix in pewter bits to the spackle.

After letting these guys set for a few days I took them to the weigh in.

First is the plastic Sherman without any filler.

At just 9 grams this little guy is ready to be launched off the table with one wild die.

Next is the Sherman filled with spackle.

Coming in at 27 grams this is just shy of the 29g that the resin/plastic has.

Last is the Sherman filled with the spackle/pewter mix.

A near heavy weight at 49 grams this is getting very close to the 56g of the old pewter tracked Sherman. A denser mix of spackle and pewter might get it there.

All said and done I am very pleased with the results. I feel like the plain spackle holds enough weight for my taste but the pewter mix will come in handy for those minis with smaller cavities.

Please comment below if you have any suggestions or ideas!

Nic has been playing Flames of War since 2005. Known as Patsycoconut on the the net. An avid tabletop gamer of all kinds, he finds his best nights at The Game Chamber in London, Canada.


Schogun said...

You might also try lead tape, used to add weight to tennis racquets and golf clubs, so found at most sporting goods stores.

John Doe said...

Lead birdshot is a good high density option for filling in those voids in my opinion.

Nic Laporte said...

Birdshot sounds like an excellent idea! I'll have to add it to the inventory. I imagine it will be easier to work with over the pewter bits.

Johnnie Drummer said...

I use divers lead shot and blutac

Miniature Gamer 72 said...

Another trick is to add the lead weights from boy scouts pinewood derby cars.

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