Tools of the Trade: Minis: Bones Black

“I’m back! Now, tell me about Bones Black.”

Bones Black is a new material developed by Reaper Miniatures. As of January 2019 they will be releasing a mini a month in this material throughout the year. If you were a part of their fourth Bones Kickstarter you will also be getting some along with the traditional Bones. All of the expansion packs and several of the add on options will be in Bones Black.

If you didn’t get in on the Kickstarter don’t worry! Reaper is doing a promotional sale and you can get your own. Each month in 2019 you can get a free Bones Black miniature with orders over $40. You can also just buy the model individually. These models are not a part of the Bones 4 Kickstarter.

Does this mean traditional Bones are going away?!”

The original Bones line is not going anywhere. Reaper will continue to produce them and continue to make new models in the original material.

“What’s the difference between the two?”

The differences between Bones and Bones Black are huge. First and most obviously they are not white like traditional Bones; though they are not black either, they are a dark grey. The color difference makes it not only easier to see small details but makes the mini easier to photograph.

“Speaking of detail, how does it compare?”

The detail is great! Traditional Bones can be known to have softer details in some cases. I have the January promo Owlbear and I can tell you the details are very crisp. In some cases it can be compared to the detail of resin without the fragility.

Bones Black Owlbear

“Well, since you mentioned fragility, how durable are they?”

They are every bit as durable and sometimes even more so than Bones. They can be tossed around, stepped on (probably not suggested due to rigidity), and dropped. They are much, much more rigid than traditional Bones. Because they are so rigid it will help prevent some things that happen to the original Bones, for example this will cut down on bent weapons like seen below.

As you can see his scythe is bent at an odd angle. Bones Black will remedy this problem. (Darkrasp, Evil Priest)

“How do you prep them?”

You prep them the same way you would any other mini. Wash with soap and water, remove mold lines, etc. The one big thing that is different is that you are able to scrape off the mold lines rather than having to cut into them to remove which will prevent cutting into the model. As said by Reaper themselves, mold line removal is similar to that of models made of styrene.

“Can I spray prime them without it going sticky?”

Absolutely! Reaper has tested many brands of both hobby spray primers and many hardware store brands such as Krylon and Rustoleum. They work just like it would on most any other hard plastic model. No stickiness to be found!

Of course, they always recommend brush on primer. However, it is now truly up to you how you want to prime. No more fear of spraying to find out you can’t paint it because it became sticky.

“How do they paint up?”

While I have not yet painted my Bones Black Owlbear, they are still touted as paintable out of the box. Sometimes you can even start painting completely straight out of the box, no washing needed, though as always washing is recommended. As mentioned in one of the Reaper Live Episodes (#007) on YouTube the painting experience is similar to that of painting resin and even sometimes metal.

Another nice quality is that they are not completely hydrophobic like the original Bones. You are able to, reasonably, thin your base coat and it won’t automatically bead off like a lot of traditional Bones minis.

“Those sound really neat! How does price compare?”

The price of Bones Black is totally comparable to traditional Bones. They may vary by a a little, especially depending on size, but nothing as drastic as getting a metal mini instead.

“Well, this sounds great! I can’t wait to get my hands on some.”

I’m glad you agree with me! Next time we’ll be back to talking about some other tools that are essential to painting and not more materials minis are made of. See you soon, and in the meantime, happy painting!

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