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    One part of the hobby I really enjoy is “restoring” used miniatures. Recently picked up a job lot of approximately 200 Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, and Ral Partha miniatures: badly abused with snapped off arms, bent weapons, broken legs, some aasembled with hot glue (seriously) and some victims of other Misfortunes. I paid the (local currency equivalent of) about 12GBP for this.
    Luckily the previous owner kept all the broken off bits and pieces in a box, so i have so far managed to restore 10 or so back to original condition with a pin vice and a bit of superglue, and am confident i can get 90% of the miniatures back to good as new. Dettol to strip the paint and they are basically perfect* (you literally cant notice the repair once the things are painted).
    Its not the first time I’ve picked up job lots like this for a ridiculously cheap price, and the restoration is something i really enjoy: taking something unloved and making it the way its supposed to be.
    Anybody else enjoy the “American Restoration” side of the wargaming hobby?

    *Perfect until I hit them with my no-better-than-average-at-best paintjob.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!


    I must admit it had never really occurred to me to do this, I doubt I will ever try it.
    But I can see how it would be rewarding..


    Paul, if you haven’t yet, you must read Philip K. Dick’s semi-autobiographical novel Confessions of a Crap Artist. Looking at your avatar, you may well have already.

    I’m the same way. I recognize no such thing as a useless miniature. I’ll repair it, I’ll fix broken limbs, pin it, putty it, slather it all up with epoxy, splint it with cigarette paper…worst case, I’ll turn it into a casualty, maybe a dismembered Gory Death marker. Migawd, I fix broken bayonets so they look originalĀ (sob). It’s undoubtedly a symptom of my high-function OCD. When I think of the hours and hours of my life I’ve spent, I’d have been a lot better off economically if I’d just pitched the old junk and bought new. But it’s soooo satisfying to bring one back from the junk heap.

    I need intervention. Help me.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!


    I just repaired a busted diecast 1/72 Tiger I tank. Got it for pennies at a flea market with the rear hull panel missing. Also got there a hopeless Airfix Tiger I, which is an inaccurate model in the first place, busted up, caked with airplane glue and Testor’s Pla Enamel, completely destroyed. Pried the rear panel off the Airfix Tiger and glued it on the diecast Tiger (epoxy). It was a little too small, 1/76 vs. 1/72, so I puttied up the gaps, sanded it down. One fault of the Airfix kit is that there are no covers on the Feifel air filters…they were missing from the old Bovington Tiger that the Airfix designer copied, so they’re not in the kit. I fabricated covers for the air filters from copy paper cut to shape and dipped in epoxy. They look pretty good (sob). Now I just need to get out my pin vice and wire snips and replace the busted hull machine gun, and I’ll be ready to repaint.

    Help me. Please. Help me.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!


    My first attempt at this was refurbishing my brother’s Aifix Panther tank a few years ago. It had a snapped gun, broken driving cog, and is a shoddy kit anyway. The gun join was hidden with camo netting, and the cog was repaired with a metal pin. It looked much better, and that led me to purchase a bunch of other broken models…that then sat in a box and are now in my attic as I switched to 6mm. They will reemerge in a few years, when I have a bigger house and probably more time.


    Intriguing thread. Didn’t realise there was such an interest in that aspect of the hobby. I’m of a different mentality, I suppose. I’m more likely to cannibalise figures (whether broken or intact) for conversion parts, assuming they’re not valuable or OOP. It’s all about what I’m ultimately trying to craft, not about the avenues available given what I have to work with from the start. I’d probably only repair a broken or poorly assembled figure or model if I genuinely desired that exact sculpt and couldn’t get/afford it another way. It might be relevant that I’m a glacially slow painter, so to go through the effort of repairing a figure before I can even begin painting it seems rather overawing.

    I do strip figures of paint quite often, but mostly just my own paintjobs as I’ve become dissatisfied with my previous painting styles.

    Terrain might be a different issue, though. I could see myself buying other people’s terrain pieces, then re-working and re-painting them to suit my style.


    I admire the idea but as I limit myself to nothing larger than 15mm and primarily 6mm or 1/2400 and under, aside from the odd broken mast on a 1/2400 ship, my rehabilitation is limited to paint stripping and repainting.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.


    Glad I’m not the only one, zippyfusenet. You don’t need help: if you enjoy it, why is it a problem? To me its part of the hobby.
    Rhoderic: the beauty about this is that you inevitably end up with a whole lot of spare bits for use in conversions.
    Funnily enough, I am sure I have bought some long-lost brother miniatures in two seperate job lots. Both lots contained a dozen or so metal Imperial Guard troopers, all painted in the same black, blue and white colour scheme, same block painting style, bases all painted the same green with the same flock on, and all on GW slotta bases with “1992” embossed on them. These were bought by me about 3 years apart, one lot from an old-fashioned toy store, and another online. I collected the online purchase from another toy shop run by a friend of the seller, and the owner is friends with the owner of the first toy shop where I bought the first lot years previously.
    So I not only restore the dignity of abused miniatures, but I also reunite families!
    Edit: Oh, and I haven’t read Confessions of a Crap Artist, but it is on my to-read list.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Paul.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

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