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Author Topic: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases  (Read 553 times)

Offline armchairgeneral

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Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« on: December 13, 2021, 11:00:42 AM »
I find myself with quite a number of metal slotta based figures at the moment. Can anyone tell me the best tool for removing the metal slot that minimises filing under the feet?

Offline Cubs

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2021, 11:25:31 AM »
I always use sprue clippers. They snip neatly and deal with the soft metal very well.
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Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2021, 11:36:08 AM »
Yeah, sprue clippers or similar nipper tools. Some people use a fine razor saw, which also works but takes longer and makes more mess to clean off your workspace area.

If the slotta tab is thick, and/or if the model's legs are thin, you may need to gradually nibble away the tab under one foot until it's free, and then just clip off the other end. If not, when the metal of the slotta tab is squashed by the clippers as they cut through, you can distort the model and even in some cases snap the legs/ankles.

For most chunkier style minis like Citadel's this isn't an issue, but for others like Malifaux, Warmachine, Infinity, etc, I have snapped (and had to re-pin) a few ankles over the years...  :?

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2021, 11:49:24 AM »
Thanks for the replies chaps. I have tried using sprue clippers but they still leave a bit of a lump of metal on the base of the foot for filing. I guess this is as good as it gets so maybe I should invest in a better file!

Offline Citizen Sade

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2021, 12:01:43 PM »
There are cutters and there are cutters.



Xuron flush cutters on the left and old GW clippers on the right. Iíd use the former for any tougher white metal jobs.

Offline 2010sunburst

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2021, 01:31:45 PM »
+1 on the Zuron.  Failing that, a fine razor saw will do a good job.  To file them flat afterwards, some 80 grit wet or dry stuck to a board like a shelf offcut will be fastest.  Itís also great for flattening white metal and plastic figure bases.

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2021, 01:46:19 PM »
Thanks for the replies chaps. I have tried using sprue clippers but they still leave a bit of a lump of metal on the base of the foot for filing. I guess this is as good as it gets so maybe I should invest in a better file!

If you place the model on a firm surface (old flannels are good for bracing figures on your cutting mat so they don't slip, and are a convenient size too), you can shave most of the residue with a strong sharp knife.

As for tools in general... I believe that spending money on good tools, and then taking care of them in use, means they will faaaar outlast huge volumes of cheaper equivalents. Of course, everything has a sweet spot in terms of value-to-cost ratio, and sometime it seems that tools can be expensive.

In my case, I have been using my craft knives for over thirty years, requiring only fresh blades. Files are good quality, and I run a little white chalk over them periodically to stop soft metals gumming them up. I use ground drill bits rather than rolled ones, and if drilling metals, a quick drill into a wax candle first coats the blade with just enough wax to help prevent it from binding and breaking in the model. I also use brass rod rather than steel, as it is just as good for pinning but is easier to cut (and therefore kinder to your tools).

I used to use a variety of different side cutters too, and found that over time I was getting hand cramps from using them (made worse by the fact that most cutters have small handles, whereas I have quite large hands). Eventually I stumbled across a pair made by Lindstrom with some large comfort-grip handles, and I've never used anything else since; they weren't cheap, but cutting sprues and slotta tabs and such was effortless, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. I've used mine for over ten years at this point, and aside from the occasion drop of fine oil on the pivot, they are as good and sharp as the day I bought them.

And finally, on costs of tools... Well, I used to get the cheapest I could get away with when I was younger, partly due to money (I had less!), and partly because "good enough" seemed good enough. Since then, with hindsight and several decades of hobbying experience under my belt, I've come to particularly appreciate the better tools in my collection as reliable workhorses than never let me down or spoil my projects at inopportune moments. So whilst they might have been somewhat expensive at the time, they have since paid for themselves several times over by this point.

To file them flat afterwards, some 80 grit wet or dry stuck to a board like a shelf offcut will be fastest.  Itís also great for flattening white metal and plastic figure bases.
Yes, I do this too! Plus if the model has largish feet, the texture left from sanding helps the superglue bond onto the new base (...but I always still pin anyway!).

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2021, 01:58:15 PM »
Thank you for all the further comments. All very useful.

Offline Silent Invader

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2021, 02:24:48 PM »
I use nail clippers - the sort used by chiropodists
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Offline dadlamassu

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2021, 02:49:38 PM »
I use a pair of good quality cutters I bought many years ago.  An important thing to check is that the cutting edge is flush on one side.  Many cutters have a triangular shape cutting edge that leaves a small ridge to file off.
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Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2021, 03:10:49 PM »
I use a pair of good quality cutters I bought many years ago.  An important thing to check is that the cutting edge is flush on one side.  Many cutters have a triangular shape cutting edge that leaves a small ridge to file off.

That's the problem with the sprue cutters I have.

Offline Blackwolf

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2021, 07:49:02 PM »
My 3rd best sprue cutters,clipping the tags will ruin  blades in no time.
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Offline Rick F

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Re: Best Tool for Removing Metal Slotta Bases
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2021, 09:44:38 PM »
One trick I sometimes use, that saves drilling and still gives a good join to the new base, is to make a single cut on the slotta metal between the feet, then bend each bit of metal on the feet in opposite directions, so you end up with each foot on a sort of ss rune shape. This is then superglued to a flat base and all the metal covered in brown wood filler. Sorry I can't be clearer and I don't have any before and after photos.

 

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