Working with Resin
WORKING WITH RESIN MODELS
This guide will take you through the basic techniques and methods required to prepare, clean up and assemble resin models. If you have any queries or problems, don't hesitate to ask us.
Resin is the best material for making high quality miniatures and models, as it has excellent working properties and captures far more detail than plastic or metal. We have put together this short guide for gamers not used to working with resin.
Please be extremely careful when working on resin with knives, saws, files, etc. Take extra care if you are unused to the material, as its physical properties are a little different to plastic/metal.
Breathing in small particles is potentially hazardous to your health (they can act as an irritant). If you sand or file DFA Miniatures products, please work in a well ventilated area and wear a dust mask.
- Hobby Knife/Scalpel
- Detail Cutters/Sprue Cutters
- Needle File Set
- Sand Paper (grades 60 grit to 400 grit)
- Super Glue
- Green Stuff (or similar)
Other Recommended Products:
- Modelling Saw - Available online or from any reputable hobby store.
- Hair Dryer
Please note: When using tools please make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use them with care, as these tools can be dangerous if improperly handled.
DFA Miniatures products are cast in a high-quality resin which is durable and slightly flexible. However, it is not as strong as plastic/metal, so take care to store your models safely.
If you’ve not worked with resin before, we recommend you practice on a piece of sprue or unimportant/invisible part. Experiment with cutting into it. It's always best to shave off small amounts, rather than attempt to cut larger chunks.
Firstly, please check all the components are in the box. We are more than happy to supply replacement components, just contact us with your order number or email address.
Our products are cast by hand. In most cases they are 99% bubble free. However they may still require sanding or you may need to carefully remove any "gates" where the resin flowed into the part.
You may find that the components have a slight glossy sheen or white coating to them. This is caused by the release agent that our Production team use to remove the parts from the moulds.
You will need some cool tap water and a mild abrasive cleaner, such as washing-up liquid. Do not use bleach. Simply place the parts into the soapy water and leave them to soak for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly scrub each part with an old toothbrush. When finished dry each component.
Resin components are produced from silicone moulds that usually have a split line. Consequently there will often be a slight line on the model that shows where the mould joins together. These are usually very fine, but will need to be removed so that they don't show up after painting.
Mould lines can be easily removed with a Hobby Knife, Scalpel or Needle File by carefully scraping or filing away the line. This shouldn't take too long and makes a big difference to the finished model.
GATES AND VENTS
The gate or vent is the area where the resin is poured into the mould. Detail Cutters and a Needle File will be fine for removing these from smaller components. Remove the gate at a point above where it joins the components using your Detail Cutters. Don't snip it off right next to the actual component in case it breaks. After clipping most of it away use a Needle File to remove the remnants.
Larger gates and vents should be removed with a Modelling Saw. Again, after the gate or vent has been removed, use a Needle File or Sand Paper to ensure a smooth finish.
This is a thin membrane of excess resin that can be trimmed away very easily using a Hobby Knife or Scalpel.
On rare occasions some components may warp during the casting process. To get it back to the right shape you should heat the component up. Using a hair dryer is a simple way to do this. Once the component is sufficiently heated, it will be noticeably pliable. Gently bend the component to the correct position and hold until cooled.
To get a larger warped piece back into its correct shape, immerse the component in recently boiled water. Take extra care not to scald yourself while working with very hot water and use kitchen tongs or something similar to remove pieces from the water.
You should leave the part in the water for 10 minutes, then carefully remove it. If the part feels soft and pliable, gently bend it to the correct position and hold until cooled. If not, return it to the water for a few more minutes.
With large components it is best to do this in stages. Bend it a little, allow it to settle and repeat until it is in the correct position. Larger pieces may also require longer immersion to become soft and pliable.
Once the components have been washed, dried and all excess resin removed, the model is ready for assembly. Before gluing the components together it is a good idea to dry fit them. A dry fit means test-fitting the components together without any glue, and this is a useful way to see any potential problems such as uneven joins and slight gaps between the various components. If there is an uneven join, use a Needle File and Sand Paper to fix it before gluing.
If there are any gaps after assembly, use Green Stuff or other modelling clay to fill them.
We recommend undercoating your miniature with model primer before painting.
We do not use large quantities of mould release spray (which can cause trouble with other kits). Thus our miniatures and parts will usually take primer spray and paints with no problem. A good quality matt primer spray is recommend to get a good coverage without obscuring details.
You can also hand undercoat with a brush or use an airbrush with good results, as Vallejo's "model air" range adheres excellently to resin.
We hope this guide has been useful. Please get in touch if you have any further questions about getting the most out of your miniatures.