This is the first part of a collaborative project that Ali are going to do - we're going to assemble and paint the Raven Priest, and post each step here on the blog. While it's going to be specific to this miniature, the techniques can obviously be applied to any miniature.
The initial process is cleaning and assembly. The casting I used was just the first one I pulled out of the box - so it should be pretty typical of this miniature. The first thing to do it clean off any marks left from the casting process - on this miniature that mainly consists of the injection marks and vents, and I have marked those in red on photo 1. I just carefully cut them off with a sharp craft knife - the only place that you have to show a little care and attention is on the end of his hair - if you were too heavy handed there, it might be possible to loose the end of the curl.
Photo 2 shows where the only mould line I could find on the miniature runs - just down the left hand side of the feather cloak on the back. It was just a ghost of a line though (this picture was taken before I removed it...) - and is really easy to remove with the edge of a sharp blade.
We decided to add the birds/spell-effect to this miniature - it's really designed to be an optional piece, but I do think it really adds to the atmosphere. There's a fitting already there - a piece of resin that neatly fits into the mouth, but it is pretty thin and would certainly be a weak point on the miniature. To make it a little more sturdy, I decided to replace it with a small brass pin. Photo 3 shows the birds with the end of the piece cut away and replaced with a pin - I just cut it completely flat, making sure that there was enough surface area to drill in for the hole. Photo 4 shows how I have cut the pin down a little and trimmed away the harsh edges, so it fits the mouth better. Photo 6 shows the completed bird piece in place.
I also decided to pin the sword in place. There are two square locating lugs on the sword piece, so it fits neatly onto the arms, but I always add pins if I can - just to be sure of a strong join. I only replaced one of the lugs with a pin.
Photo 7 shows the miniature assembled and ready to undercoat. At this point the birds and sword are not glued in place - it's just easier to get access to some areas with a brush if you leave those parts off. That was one of the reasons I decided to add pins - it makes it far easier to assemble at the end. One thing that I haven't shown here is since I know it's going to go onto a scenic base - I removed the tab that fits into the base, and replaced it with a large pin. Then I lightly glued the miniature to a base for painting.
That's it for the first stage - next up, Ali is going to paint the skin