Monday, October 7, 2013

H.O.W. TO: Preparing Forgeworld tiles

There's no denying how awesome the forgeworld cityscape tiles are. For most, it's the pinnacle of tabletop terrain. But if you're planning on purchasing these for your collection, there are some important steps to follow to insure you're getting the best out of them.

I purchased a complete set of forgeworld cityscape terrain tiles this spring, and began painting them immediately. Fortunately, my local GW store rep warned me about the essential preparation steps you have to take to make sure they are finished properly.

FW products, like all resin based products, including finecast, are treated with a mold release agent - a lubricating spray - to help them pop out of the mold when they are complete. While the manufacturer often rinses the models before they are packaged and sold, they do NOT clean them thoroughly, and release agent is often left on the parts. If you attempt to paint the items before they are clean, the paint will not adhere, and your work will be ruined as the paint flakes off over time. You can insure this won't happen in a few easy steps.

First, a warning: WEAR GLOVES!

Unexpectedly, the bottom edges of the tiles I received were razor sharp, and as I handled the first tile, I cut my fingers and hands in several places. The cuts were so fine that I did not feel them at first, but once I moved to the second step, and the soap was in them, I REALLY knew they were there. (We suffer for our art, I guess.)

While wearing your gloves, take a large woodworking file and grind down the inner edges on the back of the tiles. As mentioned, these can be razor sharp, and if you don't file them, you'll cut yourself when you're moving the tiles between games.


Use cold or room temperature water and dish detergent with a soft bristled cleaning brush to thoroughly scrub every inch and corner of the tile. NEVER USE HOT WATER. Hot water will warp the tiles and they will be ruined. NEVER LEAVE THE TILES OUT IN THE SUN. (I learned this the hard way!) The heat of the sun will also warp the tiles. Let them dry in the shade. Any household kitchen soft bristled scrubbing brush will be fine.

I hit the tiles with my garden hose set to "jet" and blasted every corner of crevice of the tiles, making sure the soap and release agent were completely gone. Run your hand over the surface of the tile, if it feels oily, you need to scrub it again, and finish with a rinse.


You see this thing? It's an absolute life saver. If you've ever spray painted anything for more than a few seconds, you know it can kill your fingers. Trust me, painting the surface of four, two foot by two foot tiles is a LOT of paint. This little 99 cent gizmo will save you some serious hurt.

Spray the tiles in broad, even strokes, covering the surface quickly. You'll have to turn the tiles several different times to get every angle needed to cover the details. Be sure to lay down newspaper to prevent overspray. (Note the small, unfinished section in the lower right corner.)


Follow these simple steps to make sure your investment is started off right, and all your painting effort isn't in vain.

Working on a terrain project? Have experience with forgeworld items? Be sure to comment below.


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