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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Making lead minis safe

    So I found a bunch of old lead minis and need to make them safe to use. I read a lot on how they aren’t that dangerous but would still like to make them safer. Is there a spray out there to seal the lead away inside? Would primer work? Thanks

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Bah, you’re worrying too much. There’s nothing dangerous about a little lead. I’ve been using lead minis with lead paint on ‘em for years and I haven’t glockenspiel flugelhorn rutabaga boing boing flibbertigibbet.

    Seriously, they’re fine. Lead is only dangerous if ingested, and you’re not going to be eating or drinking your minis. Handling them won’t get near enough lead into your system—even if you don’t wash your hands afterward—to be any kind of safety or health issue.

    And acrylic paint will seal them, so once they’re painted they’re definitely nothing to worry about.

    Edit: the majority of metal minis these days don’t have lead in them at all. So if your minis were made recently, odds are the soft metal they’re made of is lead-free. But some old minis were just plain lead. Or lead-containing alloys. If you do a lot of modding and filing to lead minis, that could create dust, which has a slight chance that it could be a potential issue, but there’s no paint that will help if you’re intending to physically alter the shape of the mini other than by bending (e.g., if you plan to file, wire-brush, scrape, cut, Dremel, etc.) since that would remove the paint too—you can still do that stuff safely, just do it on some newspaper so it doesn’t get everywhere, and wash up afterward, and you should be fine.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the above should not be construed as medical advice.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2018-11-02 at 05:33 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mordar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    Bah, you’re worrying too much. There’s nothing dangerous about a little lead. I’ve been using lead minis with lead paint on ‘em for years and I haven’t glockenspiel flugelhorn rutabaga boing boing flibbertigibbet.

    Seriously, they’re fine. Lead is only dangerous if ingested, and you’re not going to be eating or drinking your minis. Handling them won’t get near enough lead into your system—even if you don’t wash your hands afterward—to be any kind of safety or health issue.

    And acrylic paint will seal them, so once they’re painted they’re definitely nothing to worry about.

    Edit: the majority of metal minis these days don’t have lead in them at all. So if your minis were made recently, odds are the soft metal they’re made of is lead-free. But some old minis were just plain lead. Or lead-containing alloys. If you do a lot of modding and filing to lead minis, that could create dust, which has a slight chance that it could be a potential issue, but there’s no paint that will help if you’re intending to physically alter the shape of the mini other than by bending (e.g., if you plan to file, wire-brush, scrape, cut, Dremel, etc.) since that would remove the paint too—you can still do that stuff safely, just do it on some newspaper so it doesn’t get everywhere, and wash up afterward, and you should be fine.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the above should not be construed as medical advice.
    I recommend sending them to me, particularly if they are Grenadier or Ral Partha fantasy models..especially dragons. That will keep you safe.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    I get what you are saying. However I forgot to mention a few things:
    They are indeed lead, It says on the box
    They were painted already by paints that use lead
    I have never painted a mini in my life, and hope to get into the hobby soon.

    So I take it a coat of normal paint will be sufficient. Now I ask what do I use? The paint jobs on them are amazing so I don’t want to redo them. Would some clear spray paint work?

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by username1 View Post
    I get what you are saying. However I forgot to mention a few things:
    They are indeed lead, It says on the box
    They were painted already by paints that use lead
    I have never painted a mini in my life, and hope to get into the hobby soon.

    So I take it a coat of normal paint will be sufficient. Now I ask what do I use? The paint jobs on them are amazing so I don’t want to redo them. Would some clear spray paint work?
    Does it say they are lead or that they contain lead? There are lead heavy alloys used for this sort of thing (pewter, mostly), but if primarily lead with a few impurities (think steel and iron here) then it generally will produce a small amount of lead dust if handled roughly. Even hard lead alloys are generally pretty soft and fragile as far as metals go, and that's including things that are high antimony.

    The most likely scenario is that you have pewter minis which use a lead based paint, which means they're mostly tin. I also wouldn't worry too much about them unless you needed to child proof, if so any number of sealants will work for this; clear spray paint is not a particularly good option. I'd probably paint on a thin layer of an epoxy coating, though if the minis are small enough the coating thickness might be an issue.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    I think putting epoxy on the miniatures would be a good idea. Where do I get epoxy and how do I thin it down? Then do I just put it on with a paint brush?

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by username1 View Post
    I think putting epoxy on the miniatures would be a good idea. Where do I get epoxy and how do I thin it down? Then do I just put it on with a paint brush?
    Hardware stores, generally - as for thinning it down, I'm just saying to use a small brush. The epoxy itself will usually have instructions on it. If you're in the U.S. try Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware. Elsewhere I don't know, though any of those three could be international.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Spray clear coat them and be done with it.

    Make sure no one chews on them. Lead is a thing but so is the exhaust from the car in front of me.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Anxe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Spray clear coat them and be done with it.

    Make sure no one chews on them. Lead is a thing but so is the exhaust from the car in front of me.
    I use a spray on clear coat for my minis as well. If you're really worried about the lead in the minis you should reapply the coat every 6 months or so to ensure they remain fully coated. Picking up and using the minis will wear off the protective coating. As others have said, I don't think there's much you need to worry about unless you're using the minis as a profession.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Lead can be absorbed through the skin, but no harm will be done by the minute quantities involved in handling lead minis.

    In the past, lead was used in stupid places - food tins (where it leached into the food and got ingested), petrol (which was inhaled after burning), water pipes (where it slowly contaminated the water to dangerous levels through prolonged contact), childrens' toys (!) (which the kids put in their mouths), and even as a food additive (!!!)

    The amount of contact you'd get from painted lead minis is minimal. If you are really worried, seal them with spray varnish. If you really want to epoxy-coat them, you might want to thin the epoxy first, eg with paint thinner or acetone.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Why not just spray them with Shellac or any matte sealant?

    Stick em on something that spins, get it rotating, spray em good 360 and bob's your uncle.
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    Blymurkla's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Yikes.

    Stop worrying.

    Lead is toxic, yes. But the tiny amount you'd be exposed to is almost nothing unless you eat them.

    If you're this risk averse, I'm going to assume you don't drive a car to avoid being killed in a road accidents, moved to the most rural part of the middle of nowhere to avoid air pollutants and won't eat bananas because of the small amounts of radioactivity in them. Okay, the lead miniatures are possibly going to be slightly more dangerous than eating a normal amount of bananas each year. But not by much.

    And besides, lead and other heavy metals are part of a group of toxic substances that we as a community try to avoid because they bio-accumulate and can injure developing nervous systems. That's the big reason to why lead has a 'bad rap' - not because of the dangerous, but very rare acute injuries associated with lead poisoning. And while the world should worry about lead, you shouldn't unless you're a child or a woman planing to have children (and even then, picking up a miniature to paint it or move it around a dungeon isn't going to do anything. Unless you use your teeth to pick it up. And accidentally swallow it).

    Finally, do you really think epoxy, paint thinner and what-ever suggested here is completely without harmful effects? Again - if you're going to be this risk averse, you should sit in an organic panic room at all time. This is ridiculous.

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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Don't lick them or eat them.

    That's the complete answer. Really.

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    In the past, lead was used in stupid places - food tins (where it leached into the food and got ingested), petrol (which was inhaled after burning), water pipes (where it slowly contaminated the water to dangerous levels through prolonged contact), childrens' toys (!) (which the kids put in their mouths), and even as a food additive (!!!).
    Bolding mine, optimism yours. Lead doesn't usually go into new pipe systems, both because we know about issues with lead poisoning and because we've gotten pretty good at producing PVC cheaply, but there is a lot of infrastructure that still uses lead. It can be safe, assuming that you don't do something like completely fail to regulate PH because you switched to a different water source without paying attention to how it changed your system. Sadly that assumption is itself overly optimistic.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Ken Murikumo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    I would coat them with epoxy or a clear coat of some kind (hell, dipping them in a vat of modpodge would work). Everyone saying don't eat/lick/ingest them is probably overlooking the fact that there is a good chance you will be eating or snacking at the table and manipulating your minis throughout the night. This is very much so ingesting a minuscule amount of lead. It may be a very small amount, but doing it every week for years will add up (im making assumptions on frequency based on my gaming history).

    At the company i work for, i sometimes deal with some pretty nasty chemicals. On the SDS/MSDS they all say "do not ingest". 99% of the time, it's not some shmuck spooning the toxins into his mouth, it's more that when the chemical is on your hands and you eat without washing properly, THAT is when the chemical finds its way into your system.

    Bottom line is, it may be a negligible amount of lead and it may do nothing in the long run, but why risk it? After reading the nightmare fuel that is some of those datasheets, i thoroughly wash my hands before eating, both in and out of work.

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    Blymurkla's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Murikumo View Post
    Bottom line is, it may be a negligible amount of lead and it may do nothing in the long run, but why risk it?
    Because having precautions constantly in mind, considering how you're eating, being aware that the models are made of lead, is a source of stress. And that stress might very likely be more harmful than the models ...

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Risk is pretty low, but if you want to be at ease, maybe a brush-on varnish, like Vallejo's polyurethane varnish? It's cheap, pretty tough and thick, and you don't have to use a potentially toxic spray.

    But lead paint? Pretty oldschool. Most mini painters use enamels, oil paints or acrylics. Are they traditional toy soldiers, or gaming miniatures?
    Last edited by Kardwill; 2018-11-07 at 04:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    Risk is pretty low, but if you want to be at ease, maybe a brush-on varnish, like Vallejo's polyurethane varnish? It's cheap, pretty tough and thick, and you don't have to use a potentially toxic spray.

    But lead paint? Pretty oldschool. Most mini painters use enamels, oil paints or acrylics. Are they traditional toy soldiers, or gaming miniatures?
    Maybe not even bother with Vallejo's polyurethane, just go to the hardware store and pick up a can of clear polyeurethane for 1/3 the price and dip the figures. Or just get a spray sealer/varnish which are in ready supply.

    I can't imagine this is any different from dealing with lead abatement in a house. Encapselate it and call it a day.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookshw View Post
    Maybe not even bother with Vallejo's polyurethane, just go to the hardware store and pick up a can of clear polyeurethane for 1/3 the price and dip the figures.
    A 2€ dropper bottle and a 1€ brush will allow you to coat an entire army with a nice, predictable finish (you just have to shake it properly), so I don't think price is a particular issue here.

    Time might be, though. I brush-coat my miniatures (I had some VERY bad experiences with sprays like Citadel's crappy "Purity seal", And I'm somewhat health-conscious, so not a big fan of sprays), but I do them one at a time, so it's just a "let's spend 5 minutes to seal that mini I spent 6 hours on" zen moment. I guess it would get somewhat tedious if I had to do it for 8 hours straight to coat a 100 mini army in one go

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post

    Seriously, they’re fine. Lead is only dangerous if ingested, and you’re not going to be eating or drinking your minis. Handling them won’t get near enough lead into your system—even if you don’t wash your hands afterward—to be any kind of safety or health issue.
    Pretty much this. I feel you are overreacting to the danger of lead minis as literally just existing. I've had lead mini's for years and not died yet, but then I have never tried to eat any of them.

    SO basically do not try to consume them; no putting mustard, mayonnaise, A1 sauce, Barbeque sauce, soy sauce, cinnamon, or anything that would cause one to want to ingest the lead mini's and your good.

    The following are some need to read articles for you concerning Lead and the interaction thereof.

    https://zippyfacts.com/how-is-handli...l-to-children/

    https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/...-sheet-of-lead

    http://www.lasc.us/FryxellSafeHandlingLead.htm

    https://www.health.ny.gov/environmen...hood/leadq.htm

    https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead
    Last edited by ngilop; 2018-11-09 at 09:31 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    OP, please don't ruin classic minis by spraying them with gunk as part of some weird phobia. I'll buy them from you if that's what it takes.

    If you live in an old house you're probably getting a bigger lead dose from old water pipes then from handling vintage minis. Yeah, lead is poisonous if you're a child or you're getting a large cumulative dose ingested over time, but you're acting like it being in the same room is killing you.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Go with a clear acrylic clear coat. You can go with either matt finish or gloss finish, depending on the paint youre covering. Do multiple thin coats, so there's no issues with messing with the paint.

    Also, you could attach the models to plastic bases. That would give you a safe place to grab it.
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    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    Pretty much this. I feel you are overreacting to the danger of lead minis as literally just existing. I've had lead mini's for years and not died yet, but then I have never tried to eat any of them.

    SO basically do not try to consume them; no putting mustard, mayonnaise, A1 sauce, Barbeque sauce, soy sauce, cinnamon, or anything that would cause one to want to ingest the lead mini's and your good.
    I'd extend this from "eat" to "eat, melt, or burn". There's a reason tetraethyl lead is so much more dangerous than the lead in lead minis, and it's pretty much entirely because the use case there involved deliberately burning it.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Sorry bud don’t use lead figs. There are many out there without lead

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    Default Re: Making lead minis safe

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombguardians View Post
    Sorry bud don’t use lead figs. There are many out there without lead
    Says the ad account that didn't seem to get the point of the OP or the definition of the word "found".

    At least there wasn't a link...

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