Review: Flashmaster Blades

by David

Disclaimer: I received the product as a free sample from the producer. This will not predetermine my review, which will be a fair summary and assessment of the product's strengths and weaknesses as I perceive them.

Hey all,

David here.

The sun's out and I'm slowly coming out of my hobby-hibernation with another little product review. This time it's not a book (reviews of exciting books are in the pipeline, however - watch this space!), but a tool:

the Flash Master.

These are knife blades specifically designed to make the removal of flash and moldlines easier, especially on soft-plastic miniatures! Their inventor, Jon Metters, contacted me after reading my article on preparing soft-plastic minis here on the blog and sent me a set of blades to test and review. So, here goes.
Functional container...

My pack of the the Flash Master came in a set of eleven in a small, practical container. Jon sells them also in larger sets of 20 and 40 blades per package. 
... with eleven blades in the pack.
The first observation is that these blades are much smaller than your "normal" hobby knife blades - and much thinner. This greatly facilitates cleaning moldlines from hidden, hard-to-reach and delicate parts, such as folds, between arms and the chest, or across faces. Different to most hobby blades, the sharp edge runs along the straight part of the blade, not the diagonal. The blades are made to be fit into a wide variety of normal hobby-knife handles, and it fits neatly my Army Painter handle. Jon's website has a comprehensive list of handles that can "take" the Flash Master.

Size comparison with a "normal" hobby blade...

... and next to a 1/72 (20mm scale) miniature.

Next to their small size the most obvious particularity - and its greatest asset - is that the blades are very flexible and able to bend. This is extremely useful as it allows you to follow very closely the surface of the miniature while carefully cutting off the moldline. As anyone who tried cleaning up a soft plastic mini (and I explained in that lengthy article) knows, you cannot just scrape off moldlines from these figures. You need to cut them, leading the blade parallel to the plastic surface. And the Flash Master's flexibility makes this much easier.


While its ability to remove moldlines on small, soft plastic minis constitutes the hardest test for the blade I also tested the Flash Master on hard plastic and resin. It deals with small imperfections in the cast really well, nicely cutting away resin flash. I probably wouldn't use the blade much for scraping off moldlines from these materials - for that it is a little too flexible for my taste.

The Flash Master in action: cutting moldlines from soft plastic...

In terms of handling, I found it a bit fiddly to get the small and thin blades fixed into the hobby-knife handle at first. But after doing it a few times, it became second nature. It also takes some practice to get used to the bendiness of the blade, you just have to be careful and learn how the blade behaves "under pressure" and when you handle it in different angles. The fact that the blade's straight edge is the sharp one and not the diagonal (different than with your "normal" hobby knife) has confused me a bit early on - but that's also just somthing for your "muscle memory" to get used to. My main concern is that the blade could be a bit sharper for my taste. While I found the Flash Master blades to be sufficiently sharp to deal with most tasks, I like my blades super-sharp. I am talking fresh-razor-blade-directly-from-the-package-sharp. This is especially important for removing mold-lines on minis made of the more "resistant" soft plastic some manufacturers (e.g., Zvezda) use.

... and removing this adornment on the shield.
The Flash Master als deals with resin and hard plastic moldlines!
That being said, in sum I found the Flash Master a good and useful product that certainly will have a place in my soft-plastic-mini-preparation toolbox! I am excited to see how Jon will develop this product further and what else he has in store for hobbyists in the future!

You can get your own set of over at Jon's website:

As always, let me know if you have questions in the comments.

Best, David


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