Tuesday 30 March 2010

Shrapnel Wounds

I had a slight equipment failure at the weekend. My modeling knife exploded in my face... and it came as something of a surprise.

I guess many gamers bare the wounds of their hobbies and wayward blades. I've certainly had my share of accidents over the years. I once slipped with a scalpel and buried the blade in the bone of my finger. Twenty years later the scar is still vivid and the tip of my finger still has no feeling. I've had a few other accidents that have left scars but its usually been down to carelessness on my part and the damage has been relatively minor. But this incident not only takes the biscuit for being utterly bizarre it could so easily have been very very painful.

I was cleaning flash off the base of a model with the edge of the blade. This is a task I've performed countless times and I've learned, through bitter experience, how to do it safely. The blade wasn't new but it wasn't blunt either and hadn't been heated or otherwise weakened. I've had blades break before but this didn't just break, it shattered like glass. I picked up half a dozen fragments from the table and then had to hoover the whole room just in case I'd missed some bits. I had at least one minor cit on my forehead and one on my hand from shrapnel.

I don't normally wear safety glasses when doing this sort of work but I might change this policy in future.


  1. Yikes !!! I have a modelling knife that is very similiar !

    Glad you weren't seriously hurt.

    BTW, are you off to Salute ?



  2. Opps, just spotted your early post about going to Salute !!! Dooohhhh

    Hope to meet up with you there.


  3. Glad you are ok Lee ..... makes me wonder if there is a "Purple Heart" for modelers ?

  4. Thanks for sharing, I own a similar knife

  5. Wow. That is weird. I've also had Xacto blades snap but never shatter. Thank God you're ok and no blades hit your eyes!

    I have a pair of safety glasses and wear them when cutting resin. Those pieces can fly everywhere. Never thought about it when scraping metal and shattering blades though.

  6. Definitely time to invest in some safety glasses for when you're working like that. I think the universe gave you a warning shot. :)

  7. Poor you!

    I have to say, I use an 'Irwin' Stanley-style knife for most things, as I prefer the robustness of the blade, and...I dunno, I feel more comfortable with it.

    I occasionally use a scalpel, but they blunt too quickly for my liking. I tend to take them if I'm travelling with models.

    The worst have to be those knives with the segmented blades which click forwards - God knows how many of those shattered on me whilst I made Airfix kids as a lad!

  8. A nasty accident - but great news that there was no serious injury!

    I always wear goggles when using my dremel - I've had too many near misses.

    In addition I have had Swan Morton blades break on a regular basis - I use the No. 11 blade mainly and can count at least 60 occasions when they have broken, but not shattered. The Case Cutter Knife or Snap-off blade knife can also cause issues when breaking a new blade. I do not use the small plastic attachment to break blades - but a pair of pliers instead.

    Be careful.


  9. Use a sturdier Knife for trimming flash. I've never had one shatter like that before.
    Glad you weren't hurt. I drilled into my left index finger with the pin vice Tuesday night.

  10. I've bought myself a pair of Overspecs...safety glasses that'll fit over my glasses comfortably.


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