+ inload: Sprucing up second-hand miniatures +

+ Aberrant +

The feared Abominant of the Catipürnan World-Turners Dunpha Gnao (you can blame Warmtamale) alongside some of his less twisted brethren. Not quite at the level I'd normally hope for, but I think he works. +

+ Buying second-hand +

+ Renovating miniatures can be a fun part of the hobby. For single-piece models like metals, it's often a necessity, as they're no longer available directly. There are lots of guides on stripping paint (I use a dwindling supply of Fairy Power Spray, for the record), so I won't dwell on that. Instead, I thought it might be useful for people to see what you can do with second-hand plastics. +

+ The finished Plague Marine from yesterday's inload [ref: pictcapture above] is an example of a second-hand model that I've repainted.  As a point of interest, I thought I'd post up some of the others from the batch, to show what I look for when buying second-hand. +

+ For this example, I worked directly over the underlying paint: buying the right second-hand models can mean the difference between a frustrating strip and rebuild, and a speedy, pleasing experience. +

+ Buying second hand +

+ The things I look for are:
  • Thin paint – details should still be clear. This is less important if you're planning to strip before repainting, but blobby paint is generally a bad sign anyway. It can hide poor construction. If you can, examine them in person, or ask for close-up details.
  • Quality of build – Look for outstanding mouldlines and sprue detritus, plus any nicks, cuts or scrapes. Do always ask how the model has been put together – superglued plastic figures are easily broken apart to rebuild, while poly cemented ones are more labour. 
  • Parts used – This is the big one for plastic kits. Unless the seller is including the leftover parts, you'll be stuck with the options they've picked. Make sure they're what you want; or you can end up with false economy. 
  • Construction – Are they well-posed? Multi-part kits can easily look a bit [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] if they're badly assembled. I prefer to look for ones with more standard posing, as this eliminates the need to break them apart and rebuild.
  • Basing – Although bases are amongst the easiest things to update, the base is something that is very distinctive. If your aim is for the second-hand models to fit in with your army, look for models with bases that match yours  or better still, are unbased.
  • Compatibility –  This is more of an issue if your army is heavily converted or otherwise non-standard; in which case out-of-the-box models can stand out like a sore thumb. The same applies in the other direction too – cool converted models don't always fit in nicely.
  • Price – The price can be the kicker in these deals. A seeming bargain can be outweighed if you can't fix them up to your satisfaction; and equally it's sometimes worth paying near-retail if they're exactly what you want. Do make sure to take fees, postage etc. into consideration. If the difference is a couple of quid, it might be worth just buying retail (or discounted retail) and having the reassurance of the full, fresh kit.

+ These models are a good example of great second-hand models. I paid less than half retail price for them, they're nicely assembled, unbased and have only a thin coat of paint. +

+ In order to fit into my army, I'm only going to need to make minor tweaks – drilling out the weapon barrels, a couple of head and weapon swaps etc. They've been cleanly assembled. +

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