Over the years, a lot of my miniatures broke, either through rough handling, poor storage conditions, or simple wear and tear. Unfortunately, a lot of the time the bits that broke off — most often weapons, but sometimes feet and bases, and other larger parts — were lost. But generally speaking I held on to the remains of the minis in hopes of some day repairing them. As I became somewhat better at conversions and repairs, I also began to pick up bags of spare parts, broken minis, and such at conventions (mainly Origins, the two times I went) and later I also got some minis in need of some care from generous blog readers who contributed them to the Bruce Galloway Memorial Home.
This guy is a Heritage thief, and I got him, broken, so long ago that I am not 100% sure where he came from. I think it was from one of buddies who flirted briefly with D&D back in the early 1980s but didn’t really get into it. He had a number of Heritage minis which were beat up and badly painted but even back then I couldn’t turn a mini away. Missing an arm and his weapon, I used this guy as a zombie for a long time, to fill in the ranks of a hypothetical Undead army for Warhammer (3rd ed.!). But since then I stripped him and began to repair him. The new sword is a bit of florist wire and Liquid Nails*. I just drilled a hole and glued in the wire with super glue, and then once dry I dipped the wire in some Liquid Nails and shaped the blade with moist fingers. The arm is a spare from a Zvedza set for their fantasy game “Ring of Rule.”** I should probably add a loot bag to the hand at some point.
The next guy is from one of those bags of broken minis I got at Origins. Someone lopped of his right arm very crudely, leaving a big crease in on the shoulder. He’s a Ral Partha mini, and probably fairly late given his scale (about 28mm). I don’t know what he originally held in that arm but I thought I’d just use him as a young noble/civilian type, so I used another Zvedza arm on him.
These gnomes have been broken since my brother had them confiscated in 6th grade and returned at the end of the school year (1982). The sword is wire and Liquid Nails; the spear is from a Zvedza pilum, and the axe is from another Grenadier mini, probably an orc.
Here’s another Heritage thief or bandit, whose legs broke off. I could not find them, but made new ones (very crudely) again with wire and Liquid Nails.
Here’s a Heritage cleric, which Scottz sent me. Poor guy lacks both hands (he was holding an ankh and had his other hand open like he was fencing). I have one specimen in better shape so instead of giving him a new ankh I thought a cross would be a good symbol for this fearless vampire killer. Both hands are spares from the Zvedza set mentioned earlier and the cross is a bit of plastic sprue.
Next up, a skeleton which was a MageKnight figure I got for pennies at Origins (about 2004, I think). He was missing a bow so I took the one from a Lionheart mini I’d earlier decapitated for use in a larva. A little big but it could be a glove once it’s painted.
Here’s a Heritage Knights & Magick mini. His axe head broke off long ago, and for a while I had him painted with the haft painted as if it were a sword, but since I stripped him anyway, I thought I might as well make him an axeman again. The axe head is oversized by Heritage standards but still within reason for a bardiche or Danish axe. It came from the Zvedza orc set.
Here’s a Grenadier thief, who broke off at the ankles and I lost the feet and base. So, for him the lower legs and feet are entirely wire and Liquid Nails. In process. Not pretty but it’ll do.
This guy is cobbled together from (I think) a GW undead rider, who lacked his shield, arm, and mount. A Galloway Home donation provided a spare undead steed (Grenadier) and I added a spare Rafm shield (from a ‘build-your-own something or other kit) and an arm from a Lionheart mercenary.
Here’s my oldest goblin — bought in a bag of bits at a BASHCon in 1999 or 2000. He’s one of the old Minifigs guys, and was missing his sword, and was broken at the ankles. Wire/Nails sword. It always feels good to restore something really old.
This freak came as the draft beast for the Grenadier Orc Beer Wagon. I used a Ral Partha giant boar to pull the wagon instead, and this guy’s been laying around for over a decade, unused because of his yoke and tackle. So the other night I fired up the Dremel and removed them as best I could. I’m fairly certain they were just added as an afterthought & this guy was released sans tackle around the time of the Monster Manuscript series; I’ll need to check. I just roughed up the areas where the extra lead was ground off to look more fur-like and I think he’ll paint up fine.
This guy is a Heritage fighter (maybe a berserker?). His sword is laying partly over his shield and broke off at the shield edge. He was the first one I tried the wire & Liquid Nails blade reconstruction on, and it turned out pretty good.
This one is a Yaun-Ti, and another Scottsz donation. His sword was pretty close to being broken off when I got him so I flicked it off and replaced it with more wire & Liquid Nails. I wonder if Swords & Dorkery can get a sponsorship from Liquid Nails if I type that one more time. Liquid Nails.
These two are from one of the first AD&D Grenadier boxed sets me & my bother ever got: the Halflings. They may look like human dwarfs with overgrown arms but I love them. The javelin thrower (who seems to have a strap on his javelin, which is something that was common in ancient times — it helped the thrower add spin, and thus accuracy) had a broken javelin right out of the box. So he’s waited like 30 years for this repair!!! The other guy had his sword hacked off and replaced with a very crude spear some time back, and after seeing Belched from the Depth’s awesome halfling fighter I had to restore him. Now he has a spare sword from the Zvedza skeleton legion.
Saving the goofiest for last, this is a Lawful Evil cleric from a Grenadier Action Art set (I think this is another Scottsz donation). His shillelagh*** was broken, so I made a goofy rod topped with the head from a 1/72 plastic Greek mini (an Atlantic mold, recast by Nexus). I’ll probably paint it metallic, as a funky mace.
Right now there are several more figures in need of TLC: several Saurus lacking their arms; a GW black orc also lacking an arm; a Reaper flying ape lacking wings and an arm; half of a WotC Abyssal Maw; a headless GW Chaos knight; a legless Citadel baboon; and few other odds and ends. These will require serious epoxy putty work, or a new home. Some could become casualty markers. As a last resort: melted down for more home casting.
*FWIW, “Liquid Nails” is an American brand of construction adhesive, sold both in caulking tubes and smaller foil “toothpaste” tubes. I like it because it dries fairly fast and is very strong. Better modellers would probably use an epoxy putty, but Liquid Nails are a good “quick and dirty” alternative if you don’t have any on hand or just need a tiny bit. <Update — Liquid nails now has a new formula, at least in the small tubes, and it is much thinner and not very useful for sculpting. Sigh.>
**The Squadron was liquidating their Zvedza fantasy minis a while back, and I got the orc set and a boxed set with medieval humans vs. skeletons in Roman legionary uniforms. All are nice but the skeletons are incredibly complicated to put together (separate skulls, helmets, torsos, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, shields, weapons…!!!) and the orcs are really ogre-sized (which is ok — they can be some other species, I have tons of orcs anyway). Best of all, lots of spare parts, like the OLD Games Workshop kits which gave you spare heads and weapons and stuff.
***I believe this is pronounced, “shill-ale-ee”. My mother had a shillelagh, passed down from relatives on her mother’s side. In the olden times they even hollowed out one end and filled it with lead to hit harder, but this was more recent specimen, just used as a walking stick rather than a cudgel. I think my sister ended up with it, which makes sense since she married a Irish-American.