The other day I wrote “Being newly cast, the minis won’t need the cleaning that older minis would require”. It appears that isn’t the case. Newly cast minis may even have a greater need to be cleaned first.

While looking for tutorials on the internet, I ran across a wonderful site called How To Paint Miniatures. It is a treasure trove of tip and tricks and general good advice pertaining to the painting of miniatures. Here is a quote from the “Getting Started” section:

Prepare Your Miniature for Painting – Cleaning

Before you apply the first dab of color to your miniature, there’s a little work to do. Why? Because right out of the package, paint won’t stick well to your miniature.

When metal, plastic, or resin miniatures get cast, casters apply a “release agent” to the mold, an oily or powder substance. This allows the miniature to come out of the mold cleanly. The release agent also prevents paint from sticking to the miniature well, so we must remove it.

Powdered release agents gets into the miniature’s cracks, crevices, and fine details. Cleaning the miniature well makes the details really pop out. Until you properly clean a miniature, you don’t know what intricate details may remain hidden, so doing this well is really worth the time. Crisping up the edges by cleaning also helps you to find the borders between areas of the miniature, making it easier to paint.

How To Remove Release Agent

The “magic formula” for washing off release agent is as close as your kitchen sink. Any liquid soap you’d use to wash dishes by hand work well. Us a good toothbrush to scrub the release agent from your miniatures. Your dentist will recommend a soft brush to clean your teeth. For miniatures, ideally you want a hard bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles get into the cracks and indentations of the miniature, doing a much better job of cleaning out release agent than a softer bristled brush, which cleans less aggressively.

When cleaning your miniature, be careful of fragile areas of the miniature, such as swords or spears that can bend or break if you apply too much pressure or scrub too vigorously.

You’ll be amazed at how much detail you’ll uncover upon giving a miniature a good scrubbing. Often, rough surfaces becomes smooth, metal miniatures often shine after cleaning. The best miniatures are those with the best details, so don’t sell your minis short. Give them a good scrub. You’ll love the difference in how much better your miniature looks.

I am so happy I ran across this site. Otherwise, I probably would have just blundered in and wondered later why I wasn’t getting the detail I had hoped for.

I’m still waiting for my storage boxes so I can see what size bases I can use and still fit in the box. Then I need to clean the bases and minis, attach the bases, and start gathering the rest of the materials to get started. I figure I won’t even order the paints for another month, so painting is a ways off yet.