Over the last series of articles, I’ve endeavored to try and suss out the differences among metal and plastic minis - both have their strengths and weaknesses in a variety of areas.
Today, in the final part of this three-parter, I take a look at maybe one of the most complex and sometimes maddening of miniatures materials: resin.
In general, resin is similar to plastic, but is different usually from the run-of-the-mill plastics you’ll see used in most minis. Resin tends to display details better than plastic or even metal, and has frequently been associated with “high-end” and “boutique” types of minis and models, until recently. Though resin minis are becoming more and more common, they are still more expensive generally than common plastic ones, usually at about the level of a metal miniature, if not moreso.
Prepping a resin mini for painting and building can be a chore. Strangely, like metal minis, resin minis frequently have issues with flash that needs to be removed. Nonetheless, it can easily be excised with common hobby tools, as you would plastic minis.
However, due to the chemicals used in manufacturing resin minis, I’ve universally seen warnings on resin models to take precautions when sanding them and otherwise working with them so that you don’t breath in any resulting particles or dust.
Certain companies’ resin minis have been favorite punching bags for hobbyists because there tend to be issues with how the minis were molded, including things like air bubbles, which many feel they need to fill. Resin minis tend to be of a softer material than usual plastic minis, but they can also be more brittle – I’ve had issues, when trying to clip a bit of excess resin off of a mini, that the area easily cracked and fell apart and I needed to glue the mini back together.
Furthermore, you’ll notice upon handling a resin mini that they have a greasy, almost waxy feel to them. Like some plastic minis, you’ll want to give them a wash with dish soap, cold water and an old toothbrush to remove that coating, or else the mini could have difficulty holding paint.
Really, painting a resin mini isn’t too different from metal or plastic minis once you’ve got it all built and primed.
Resin minis are pretty light, sometimes even lighter than plastic ones, but they should still be treated the same. I again recommend a varnish or clear coat to protect the mini once you’ve finished painting it, but do some research and be sure that the clear coat you’re using won’t react badly with the resin.
About the Author;
Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube
Premium Game Mats for your favorite miniature wargames at GameMats.com
3D Printed Wargame Terrain for miniature wangames at our PrinTerrain Etsy shop