Tuesday, February 17, 2015

For a Limited Time Only: Ruby and Ferris

As blogged recently, I spent some of my Christmas hols stripping old lead figures from my Eighties horde. It was worthwhile AND enjoyable, save for a few nervous days when a couple of my figures, some 25mm SF characters, looked a little more pitted and worn than the others on the other side of the wash. In fact, I'm not convinced they weren't looking a little worse for wear before then, but as many of the minis had been literally rattling around rubbing each other the wrong way inside old ice cream containers and the like for maybe twenty years, I couldn't say for sure.

Now, having looked at them a little more closely during the clean-up and having done a little more research into actually identifying them (I was given them by a fellow gamer, possibly as payment for painting some of his fantasy minis?) I think I've found an answer, but it's not great news.

Ruby and Ferris, as I've named them, are probably TSR miniatures produced in the early Eighties for their Star Frontiers RPG. The sculpts match the dimensions and styles of those I've seen online, though I've yet to find actual matches. I'm convinced, though. The kicker is that this particular range is notorious for lead rot, an insidious corrosion that devours figures of low-quality make (more recent pewter and white metal minis are virtually immune.) It certainly explains Ruby and Ferris coming out of their bath a little more pitted and stained-looking, and while I couldn't see any of the tell-tale 'blooms' of pulverised lead on them, they were messy to clean and are somewhat porous. I did what I could, sealing them in a primer and painting them quickly. They'll be given a matte varnish once done, and fingers crossed they'll be okay.

Ruby might have a retro halmet, so I sculpted one.
But I'm not taking chances, and so despite the grand plans I had for these guys to have their own diorama with a scratch-built crashed ship, robot, alien beastie and terrain mimicking the ubiquitous Vazquez Rocks, I'm just rushing to complete them, cleaning my kit and moving swiftly on. Lead rot will spread to other figures, so these guys are now effectively in quarantine until I see anything that looks worrying - and then they'll be binned.

Yeah, a little blurry. But also unfinished!
In the mean-time, here they are, painted in an approximation of their Eighties liveries painted ooh - probably thirty years ago (though Ruby has had a change of ethnicity), and for a limited time only...

 My tip: if your minis have integral bases and you can't spare the change for fancy recessed plastic bases? Yup - use a button. You're welcome!

No comments:

Post a Comment