Sunday 10 October 2021

Hobbying Safely

Humans are uniquely gifted with intelligence and foresight to enable them to avoid hazards, but so often we ignore the risks until it's too late. Model makers and miniatures painters are just the same and many of the common hazards (and accidents) associated with our hobby have remained the same for as long as there have been gamers painting miniatures to play with. The first step in avoiding accidents is identifying the risks and this video discusses some of the common ones and how to avoid them.


  1. Thanks Lee for your video. Very interesting

    Your title page of a gas mask - I was advised to dispose of any correctly due to asbestos risks

    We have Households allergies to epoxy resins like Milliput and green stuff.

    Where do you stand on lead - filing and repairing lead figures old and new?

    1. Thanks for the feedback, and your right some people can have allergic reactions to and skin rashes when using Milliput. I've not had this myself, but I know it can happen, particularly if you are more exposed to the irritant (i.e. your using the material regularly).
      The same goes for Lead. Many gamers of a particular age (ahem) will have at least some Lead figures in their collection. However so long as they are sealed (i.e., painted) they are safe and sitting on a shelf or in a drawer they represent no hazard. If you have a lot of actual lead figures in your lead mountain then cleaning and sealing them may be a good idea.
      The general advice (in industry) where lead is concerned is to minimise exposure, avoid ingestion, and if you are soldering or creating fine dust wear a suitable mask. For gamers/modellers I’d imagine the main exposure would come from filing or drilling, creating lead dust. Again, I would advise wearing a dust mask, clean your work surface and hands properly after working with lead figures and avoid eating and drinking on that surface until it is cleaned. However, having said all that, unless you are working exclusively with pre 1980's figures most people’s exposure will be relatively small. On the other hand, if you are licking lead models on a daily basis, you may be in trouble… for multiple reasons!

    2. Regarding lead, that's much how I treat it (or any metal filings) on my work station, especially when working with some of the older figures like this most recent batch of waifs and strays

    3. You have to make your own decisions about the safety. That said, there is no evidence, even after quite a bit of searching by politically motivated government employees (notably in NY), that lead-alloy miniatures are chemically dangerous to anyone. (The referenced testing involved using a masticating machine to chew on a lead miniature for a week, which resulted in lead levels that did not approach the maxima allowed for the most vulnerable portion of the population.) Metallic lead has very low bioavailability. The same is not true of lead carbonate, the pigment in lead white, which is easily taken up by consumption and also tastes sweet. The other two culprits for lead poisoning are lead salts and lead acetate.

    4. Interesting video on hobbying safely, I tend to use a set of plastic welding glasses to protect my eyes as they also protect the sides not just the front. When cutting something tough or awkward I cut it inside a large clear plastic bag. Prior to doing this a piece would fly off at speed never to be seen again! This way the flying piece is contained within the bag for easy extraction. Your advice about drilling into lead, I have used in the past a small electric drill as I have found a dremel drill to be too awkward to use. The small electric hand drill can fit into your hand and is much easier to use.
      I generally wear both my facemask and welding glasses when drilling or gluing. The problem here is the glasses can steam up so I have to keep starting and stopping. Regarding using sharp blades, I know about losing concentration and I think its imperative that a person focus when doing this. I have had a few nips myself when losing focus, and its easily done!


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