It’s just stuff. If I keep telling myself that, I might just believe it.
I have a bunch of old boxes and wooden chests of drawers where I -rather thoughtlessly – have kept my old piles of minis from the time before time.
It turns out that cardboard and wooden boxes and drawers are not a healthy environment for miniatures that contain lead.
What can happen is that acids in the wood or cardboard over time can cause impurities in the lead alloy to leak out and oxidize, making the surface furry or powdery, or with “growths”, like crystal druzy.
This corrosion is also quite toxic if inhaled or ingested.
Lead poisoning is not to be trifled with, and was the main reason lead was banned from use in miniatures back in the late 80s and early 90s. Well, I say banned. It was banned in most states in the USA. In Europe the threat of banning was enough and the largest manufacturer stopped using lead and instead introduced harder alloys with more tin content. Some smaller manufactureres here in Europe continued with lead but with “purer” alloys with a lower lead content. To this day, many metal miniatures are still made with some lead in them, at least in the UK.
But I ramble.
As the astute reader already has inferred, my piles have been visited by lead rot. So I have spent several evenings picking through the piles, discarding a bunch of basket cases, seeing what can be saved.
Luckily, only minis that were bare metal were affected, and not all lead alloys were affected either. My research into the matter has lead me to belive that the more impure alloys were worst affected.
I had some (I think) Demon Blade miniatures. They were not only lost causes, but had infected many minis close to the parts in the piles.
Other stuff lost is a few 1st editon Warzone, and chronopia minis, some Leviathan metals, lots of old Grenadier barbarians and mongols and some Ral Partha, in addition to some early Harlequin miniatures.
But there were also bright spots in the darkness. Almost everything that had been primed was unaffected, and many minis were affected just little enough to be saved with a lot of vinegar, my trusty old nailbrush and warm, soapy water.
Which also means that it would be prudent to expect a bunch of random old minis to show up with a fresh coat of paint in the immediate future. Such as these:
These are Ral Partha Fantasy Collectors 02-06x series Goblins, marked “1979” under their bases. Probably the oldest miniatures I own.
Sculpted by Tom Meier, the O.G. fantasy miniatures sculptor, and if the stories surrounding this mythical wizard are true, the very man who first sculpted fantasy miniatures using Kneadatite, an epoxy putty that was intended for automobile repair use. Kneadatite is what today is known as Green Stuff, the putty most hand sculpted miniatures are originally sculpted in.
I took them off the square bits of platic I had glued them to and put them on some 20mm round bases to match my Lord of the Rings Goblins, that are the same size and general scale as these.
I honestly don’t remember why I have two of the 02-069 chieftain. I bought these sometime in the mid- to late 1980s and originally I think had a few more.
These are Harlequin Miniatures 2103 Kustoss Orcs Elite B from a “booster” pack of 5 identical minis. Two of them had to be written off because of the lead rot, but these three could be saved.
Sculpted by Kev White, and mounted on their original 25mm bases.
These were released in 1996 or 1997.
The Kustoss Orcs were all armoured in this “clean” style, which set them apart from the reigning scrapyard Warhammer Orc look of the day.
Other stuff I have painted recently:
This is Reaper 30005 Bhonk, Bugbear Chieftain, from their Bones USA line.
After learning about SIOcast, I strongly suspect that Bones USA is either that or something very similar. The circumstantial evidence point towards this.
Sculpted by Bobby Jackson
Iron Reich Goblin with panzerfaust.
Some time ago I bought some Kromlech Ork Juggernauts from an online shop via ebay, and there was a wrong part in the box. I contacted Kromlech, who supplied the correct part without any ado, and also graciously included this mini as a surprise token of goodwill. I really appreciated that. Thank you, Kromlech!
I have not been able to find this specific mini on Kromlech’s website, so I don’t know if it is simply discontinued or some sort of special promo or somthing like that.
However, there are several similar minis, as the line it belongs to is very much alive.
Resin, 30mm base
Painted so far this year: (Miniatures: 230 / 365 goal // scenery and terrain: 6)
January: 38 // 5
March: 11 / 1
[per day #234: -4] lagging behind again.