Filling gaps/joints in minis: a question
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Thread: Filling gaps/joints in minis: a question

  1. #1

    Default Filling gaps/joints in minis: a question


    I\'m new to miniature painting/sculpting, having just started a month ago.

    So far, I\'ve only painted miniatures that come in one piece (eg, the Night Goblin that comes in GW\'s Battle for Skull Pass paint set)

    I\'m interested in painting more complex minis, but I have a safety concern regarding the minis that require assembly. So far the only product I\'m aware of for filling gaps in joints is Green Stuff. Correct me if I\'m wrong, but Green Stuff is pretty toxic before it cures, isn\'t it?

    (If I\'m misinformed about Green Stuff, please correct me, and disregard the rest of this post.)

    I have a daughter who\'s not yet a year old, and I don\'t have room for a dedicated workspace-- our apartment is smallish, and I pretty much have to work on the kitchen table. I don\'t want to expose my wife or daughter to any toxic fumes or substances. Is there a non-toxic alternative to Green Stuff for filling gaps?

    It doesn\'t have to bond to anything but plastic, because I won\'t be buying any pewter miniatures because of their lead content.

    I know I\'m being overcautious, but it\'s the hand I dealt myself and I\'m playing it. Any help would be very much appreciated.


  2. #2


    not over cautious at all. i don\'t think GreenStuff or knead-a-tite has any fumes. i am wondering what glue you use that doesn\'t have fumes?

    how do you keep them away from minis while glue or paint dries?

    i know a tube of testors contour putty has little smell and sticks good. takes a while to dry but holds if you can put it up on a shelf away from the daughter.

  3. #3


    well i have never heard that it is toxic

    oh yes i have actually, only if it is swallowed/chewed or whatever.

    As long as your daughter (or wife lol) cant grab it and put it in their mouth then you should be fine

    just put it on a high shelf

    (greenstuff has almost NO fumes)

  4. #4


    greenstuff - kneadtite, is a plumbing putty. i don\'t see why they\'d use something toxic for plumbing. that said, i wouldn\'t eat a load!

  5. #5
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Well I certainly can\'t criticise you for not being a concerned parent.
    Green Stuff isn\'t the best of material to eat but as for curing I\'ve never heard of(or smelt) fumes.
    Personally I think that you are more at risk of your daughter getting hold of and drinking the paint. Now I could be evil here and say that one mouthful of GW Flesh Wash will cure that (*) but thats no comfort. (* tastes vile by the way).

    Knowing what kids are like sooner or later something is gonna go in the mouth, so your concentration on plastic for her safety is highly laudable. Trouble is I\'m not sure how bad plastic is for the digestion.

  6. #6


    Thanks for the replies.

    I went to (the company that makes it) and found the product datasheet on Kneadatite.

    Health warnings include the fact that it\'s a skin and eye irritant, harmful is swallowed, and requires a particulate respirator if you\'re sanding or drilling it (a lot like resin in that respect-- resin will destroy your lungs if you\'re not really careful about the dust from it)

    No indication of fumes or anything of that nature, which is good. I think if I restrict my use to a folding table in our bedroom, keep it safely away from anywhere my daughter could get to it (in the padlocked closet with solvents and some other things that a future toddler shouldn\'t have access to), and wear some gloves (I have a feeling the stuff will make my hands smell) it should be fine.

    As for the glue, I\'m using a special non-toxic model glue that my wife used to repair some baby toys. It\'s plenty strong enough for what I want to do with it and no dangerous fumes. Also, since it\'s a model paint, it will take paint.

    That makes things easier.

  7. #7


    Oh, by the way, if anyone was wondering about the safety information:

    Product datasheet for Kneadatite Blue-yellow:

    Material Safety Datasheet for Kneadatite blue-yellow:

  8. #8


    Originally posted by pat3ot
    Health warnings include the fact that it\'s a skin and eye irritant, harmful is swallowed, and requires a particulate respirator if you\'re sanding or drilling it
    Always a good idea to err on the side of caution, especially when there are young kids around.

    Most people never sand GS anyway (because it\'s not very sandable) but do remember that the safety info for this type of thing is geared to the industrial user and the quantities they\'re likely to be exposed to. This is much like the issue with heavy-metal pigments in paints - they\'re really no more risky to use than a standard toilet cleaner... as long as you don\'t put your brushes in your mouth or handle the paint a lot and then smoke, eat a sandwich, wipe your eyes etc.

    Originally posted by pat3ot
    (a lot like resin in that respect-- resin will destroy your lungs if you\'re not really careful about the dust from it)
    The primary danger from resins is in the casting. The VOCs given off by liquid resin manufacturers have to be very careful of.

    Anyway, that aside you could also try MagicSculp, which is marketed as being very safe and non-toxic.


  9. #9


    A while back I found a statement of info Sandry Garrity (a sculptor and user of GS) posted about the safety of it. Unfortunately I can\'t seem to find it again. Not good to eat, but overall not a particularly toxic substance IIRC. I\'m pretty sensitive to both fumes and skin irritants, and GS has never caused me any trouble.

    I would avoid using any two-part pourable style resin, when I was researching those it sounded like pretty much any option (polyester, urethane, forget the other) is going to have fumes and is best worked with in well-ventilated or outside areas. This includes just about any clear \'water\' option so far as I could figure out.

    I believe sprays of any sort are not good to use indoors either, so you might want to get brush-on primer and sealer. Reaper Miniatures produces these along with paint that they\'ve taken efforts to keep non-toxic when used as intended (meaning I don\'t think the non-toxic label on anything means you can chow down on it without consequence). If you don\'t already have dropper bottle style paints, I\'d think about those or transferring the ones you have, I think it\'d slow down potential mess or hazards with a child.

  10. #10
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    I believe that GS is an epoxy based product?
    Epoxies themselves are fairly non-toxic - especially after they have cured. BUT some people may develope skin allergies to epoxies and exopsure at a young age would not be good in that respect.

    I wouldn\'t worry about it after it is cured, but keep it where your little one cannot get to the uncured ribbon (same place you keep paints, x-acto blades, your good brushes, etc.)

  11. #11


    I also believe that most white-metal minis have very little if any lead content anymore as well. They altered all that quite a while ago if I\'m not mistaken. For gap filling on a typical mini, you will use an amount of green stuff basically equivalent to the size of the \"o\" I just typed, rolled out sausage like. Methinks even if the little one did eat that it\'d come out the other side with no too much problems. And as for being a skin and eye irritant, I use it bare fingered constantly and have never had a problem (never thought to stick it in my eye though...I\'ll give that a shot and let you know.)

    All that said though...why are we concerned about this when there\'s global warming, mass epidemiology and the pending end of the world in 2012 to worry about? Not to mentions germs EVERYWHERE and the chemicals in all of our non-organic foods. AND WE\'RE NOT EVEN COMPLETELY GREEN YET!!!



  12. #12
    Superfreak!!! Sand Rat's Avatar
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    Most, if not all manufacturers are using non lead pewters these days, thanks to the NYC Department of Health. As a matter of fact, the safety warning on the back of the reaper mini I\'m working on says \"This is not a Toy! Not for children under 14 years of age. This product contains small components that should be considered a choking hazard.\" Reaper is strictly white metal so things there are good.

    Course the damn thing weighs about half a pound, so it could do damage falling from the table.

  13. #13


    This thread on pF is worth a read.

    I don\'t want to be alarmist, because generally for most of us who use things like this in small quantities they won\'t cause a problem. But if you have any pre-existing allergic reactions you should be very careful not to develop any more. GS is I think the only putty I\'ve used where I have a mild reaction to it on the softer & thinner skin away from my palms (I use the back of a thumb for dampening my tools) and when I used to put my tools directly in my mouth GS was the only one that began to leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

    Originally posted by mattrock
    I also believe that most white-metal minis have very little if any lead content anymore as well.
    Should be none for stuff produced in the West. With something cast in Eastern Europe or somewhere dodgy in Asia (no offense to my old Chinese compatriots) then there might be lead, as there are alloys of the old type still available according to the research I was doing on bullet casting recently.


  14. #14


    That being said, I think the guy should still avoid metal models at least until the kid is walking and talking a fair bit. That metal dust gets EVERYWHERE and you can never keep it where you want it nor can you really clean it all up when you\'re done. Not realistically anyway, not in my experience. So much easier to keep the dust factor down with plastic minis too, I\'d hate to think what that metal dust would do to a little wee child after they swallow it. Not that plastic would be all that great, but at least the plastic isn\'t coroding in stomach acid or quite as sharp on its trip through. I like to convert so I dislike metal models anyway, but yeah.

    You can also get other things to fill gaps. If you don\'t need any structural support, they will work great. For example Squadron putty, which is really more like a a tube just like toothpaste. There are dozens, most are fairly toxic to injest and give off fumes fairly bad to boot, but there are some that dont. Any hobby shop should have a fair selection to pick from. Just SO much easier to use for simple gap and pit filling.

  15. #15


    Hi Pat,
    i know where ur comming from as i have 3 kids and at one stage they were all small. trying to keep them away from super glue, metal shavings, GREEN STUFF can be quite hard. There is no easy soloution. 1 is to only work on the model when they are gone to bed, 2 go to a hobby shop or a mates house ( this can be quite good as ur painting skill will improve with help from mates, also fun ) 3 get/ make a storage box that u can insure ur child can not get into. Even a small one that u can hold on ur lap. Always ensure u put up safe before u go to bed ALWAYS because s as the small childs starts to crawl they WILL find models and glue P.s the wife does not loke it when the green stuff falls on the floor and is left to set hard lol. Basicialy time and patience cause it worth it

  16. #16


    First time I'm paitning GW minis And this was really helpful. Greenstuff, can you do more than just filling gaps? Or can you create your own figures from scratch?

  17. #17


    Greenstuff can do it all. Depending on what you're doing, other putties might be more recommended, like brownstuff or milliput for hard edges (weapons, electronics). For gap filling, I'd suggest something easier, like Squadron putty. There are others, like Vallejo and Tamiya as well. Basically they're tubes of paste you can fill gaps with, they dry hard without shrinking noticeably, if at all and then you can sand them if required. Just avoids having to mix up the putty and it's easier to smooth out when you apply it and after it dries too. The downfall is you have to buy something extra and they don't add much support to the joint/gap, whereas greenstuff adds lots of strength and support.

  18. #18


    already found out that green stuff is not toxic at all? it hardens everywhere and your daughter or wife can easy digest them and let it work its way out the 'normal' way.. Our stomachs destroyes almost everything we swallow..LoL

  19. #19


    yup.. look at all the mock-ups, they are almost always green..

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