Cleaning the ForgeWorld Reaver Titan
Before construction can begin in earnest, each of thousands of individual components (311) must be meticulously cleaned… a laborious effort directed by tech priests and carried out by menials and servitors… who literally go over each part with a toothbrush.
- The first step is to pop off the gates, cutting away from the model to avoid damage. This allows good access by the brush while scrubbing. I’m keeping all the extra resin, as I’ll use it to test primer adhesion and paint colors, test drill holes for magnets, and eventually use it as rubble in terrain. 90% of the gates can/should be cut with sprue cutters, and few large gates (like on the main body) require a razor saw.
- I then let the parts soak in hot soapy water for 5 minutes (not scalding, as I don’t want to deform the resin).
- After a bit of a soak, for the larger parts I loaded up a relatively stiff brush with dish soap and water and scrub away. The goal is to get the mold release off the resin, and having dealt with paint adhesion on resin issues before, I don’t half ass this part. For the smaller pieces I use a toothbrush, and am VERY careful to not loose track of any small pieces. I typically take an inventory after the scrub down to make sure nothing is missing.
- Next comes the detailed mold line cleanup of each piece. I absolutely love the citadel mould line scraping tool. Previously I used the back of the x-acto knife, which dulls quickly and when it slips you run the real chance of cutting yourself. With the scraping tool, it’s continued to be a healthy scraper for dozens and dozens of models, and there is no real risk of getting cut.
- After the mold line scraping, where possible and required, I’ll wet sand rough flat surfaces. On a titan, the edges of the armor plates are a good example of edges that sand well, and I ‘wet sand’ to keep the resin dust down. I don’t like wearing my respirator for the hours that this cleaning takes, and by keeping everything nice and wet no dust is generated (just a wet paste that is easily cleaned up). You have to be careful to ‘find the square’ when you put the edge down on the sandpaper, and to keep your angle consistent so you don’t round edges too much. Another thing I’ve noticed is getting very dry hands after wet sanding resin. I should (and probably will) wear nitrile gloves while doing this to keep my hands from drying out. I sand with 320, 400, and 600 grit sandpapers.
- Once all the parts are scraped and sanded, I soak and scrub them AGAIN (removing any remaining resin dust/paste).
- Large parts go back in the original Forge World bag for now and small parts go into a parts tray… ready for the next step, which is filling any air bubbles, which I’ll start after cleaning up all the parts.
- Here is a pic of the last few bits (in this case, all the weapon bits) drying. It took me 4 sessions of cleaning (legs, torso/body, carapace, weapons) which each took 3-4 hours. It took me between 12 and 16 hours to de-flash/sand/scrape the 311 pieces of the Reaver Titan (with all weapons)!
- Finally, a pic of me, covered in wet resin dust, just a few minutes before finishing the cleaning of the last few bits! I enjoyed cleaning the parts up, but am glad that I won’t have to do that again in the near future (until I finish this model in a few months and start my NEXT big Forgeworld model!)