Let’s face it; trimming flash is not our favorite part of the hobby. If we’re painters, we can’t wait to get painting! In fact, I bet most of us at one time or another just cut the figures off the sprue and dove in with our brushes. We soon realized that all that flash was really frustrating to paint – and REALLY made a difference in the quality of our finished figures.
So we busted out the hobby knife and got to work, only to discover that to do this right took a lot of practice, and a lot of time.
Then came the stage when we searched for alternative method, like melting the flash with a hot needle or flicking a lighter under the figure to “flash the flash away.” We got some burned figures, and some burned fingers. We got some good results, but not good enough.
And then we came back to the trusty hobby knife and went back to work. It soon became clear to some of us that while this was the best method, it was kind of a chore. Maybe we even stayed away from figures with too much flash. Maybe trimming the flash was even became a barrier to starting another session. (Gasp! The kiss of death for any hobby!)
This was my story, but I eventually dug down deep and perfected my method of trimming flash with a traditional hobby blade. I got good. But not all plastics were the same, and some resisted my very best efforts. I always wanted one more tool, something that could cut even the most stubborn material, get at the most hard to reach flash, and trim the most delicate areas without ruining the details.
Enter the Flash Master Blade. I spent more time developing this than I care to admit, and if I told you how I did it, I would have to kill you. ;)
The result is a slimmer, flexible blade that gives you much more control of how much flash you remove. Think of the figures that you have encountered with the toughest material to trim and the worst flash. The Flash Master will glide through the flash. It won’t make the job easy, but it will make it EASIER – and the results will be so much better.
The Flash Master will hold its edge at least THREE TIMES as long as a traditional blade. If I am trimming flash on some of the harder plastic figures with a traditional blade, I honestly can trim only one or two figures before the blade has lost the best part of its edge. With the Flash Master Blade, I have trimmed at least SIX of these same figures before having to swap out the blade.
THE NEW TOOL IN THE TOOL KIT
You ask, “So, should I throw out my old hobby blades?” No! Think of these blades like another tool in your tool kit. Did you throw out your #1 brush, once you discovered #00? It’s just a different tool for a different job. I now keep a traditional blade and a Flash Master blade handy when I’m working – and I transition back and forth. Sometimes the rigid traditional blade is better at tasks where I need to scrape a little – or chop a big chunk away. But when I get to some of the most important and delicate spots, (like when there is flash across a figure’s face, or an important part of the uniform,) the Flash Master is the only way to go.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART
Why do we do all this in the first place? Because it is fun! Shopping for sets, the excitement of unboxing a new kit, painting the figures, setting them up for display, sharing photos, getting feedback, learning new techniques is all fun stuff. But no one ever mentions “trimming the flash” as part of the fun. At best, it is a necessary step so the fun may soon resume. What if I told you that these Flash Master blades are so good, it makes trimming the flash a deeply satisfying part of the process. Can I call it fun? Almost. Can I say I now approach trimming flash without dread? Resounding YES! For me, I was able to take something that was previously a chore, and turn it into something I look forward to. And isn’t that what it’s all about?