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soothsayer
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PostSubject: How To   Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:57 am

INTRODUCTION

I really didn't want to make another thread, thinking I could have squeezed this into some other group, but after some pondering I realized it does deserve its own... "How To". We've all made stuff, whether what we made was of metal, pewter, plastic, or paper. We all have our own techniques and styles, but sometimes we may come across something that just doesn't go right. Maybe the assembly process is messed up, perhaps the painting just doesn't look right, orothere you might have tried something new and got lost because of it.

This thread will cover it all! Well, eventually at least.

I do not care if we have repeat posts. We may all find an article or a guide or something that covers the same subject, but handles it differently. That's fine; we all have to find what workd best for us, and the only way we can do that is by collecting as much on the subject as we can.

There are a few guidelines I would like to request.

1. All I ask is that the first line of the post be in caps and of a different color than the text, to make it stand out, so that people can scan through more easily to find what they want.
2. If at all possible, if you are doing direct quotes or cut&paste, please include a link to the original site. Sometimes there are pictures included that may not be easily copied to this site.
3. Do not cover various subjects within one post. By making each subject a different post, it'll again be easier to find and norice.
4. You do not have to post an article from another site. If you yourself have come across an easy way to do things, or found something that works for you, post it. Describe it in detail so others may try!

Model building, or crafting in general, is a fun hobby. Let's make it so for others, let us teach others how to get the most from this!
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PostSubject: ASSEMBLING PEWTER MODELS   Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:02 am

ASSEMBLING PEWTER MODELS

This article is taken from Privateer Press, the company that has brought us the game WarMachine, and covers how to assemble pewter models, detailing pinning, and has a couple interesting suggestions that are so obvious that you probably never thought of. Follow this link to see the article in its entirety, as well as a step-by-step in color photography!

Quote :
Have you ever wanted to throw a mini across the room while you are building it? Rather than having to build it multiple times as it breaks down on you, let’s take the time to build it right the first time. This blog will demonstrate some more advanced modeling techniques for building really challenging minis.

Multipart models with thin attachment points and two-handed weapons offer some of the most enjoyable challenges in modeling. As an example, let’s take a look at how I build the badass Scaverous.

I started out building the model legs so it would have a stable platform. Then I moved on to the areas that would be difficult to glue in place later.

Next I did the arms and weapon. After dry fitting them a few times I decided to pin the arms but not glue them so I could later precisely position the weapon into the arms before gluing it all together. I made the pinholes in the body almost half an inch deep with the hole straight through the arms. The arms will be covered by a shoulder pad so there’s no issue with having a hole there. I also sanded the pins with 150-grit sandpaper so the glue would have a rougher surface to grip. This also allows a little space for the glue to get in between the pin and model.



After this I scored the attachment area with a knife. Scoring a surface gives the glue more area to grab onto while curing, so often we use scoring more than pinning. I scored and pinned the leg attachments and then scored the head and the chest claws.



I glued the pins into the body. Because I wanted the arms to remain free to rotate until I got the arms positioned where I wanted them, I crimped the ends of these pins with pliers so they would grip into the drilled-out holes of the arms and hold without gluing.



It took a couple of crimps before I got the arms to rotate and stay. Check out Scaverous holding up my knife with unglued, pinned arms!



I scored the hands and arms where they would be glued together. While dry fitting the weapon with the arms I rotated them, adjusted them, and even bent them at the brass rods until they held the weapon perfectly. When I released the weapon to add glue the arms remained where I wanted them because of the crimping and deep-set pins I had used earlier. Then I glued the weapon shaft on. This was simple and took 15 seconds with no frustrations. Note that I did not have the weapon head attached to the shaft at this point—no need to make it difficult!

Next I glued the arms to the body by using a brass rod as the glue applicator. Just let the glue flow into the cracks and do its job. I used a lot of glue on the rod for this picture just so you could see what I am talking about; normally I would not use that much glue.



After gluing the weapon onto the arms I drilled a hole through both parts. This is the first step of bone pinning, which I was told has that name because it is how they pin broken bones during surgery.



Next I dry fit a brass rod into the hole to make sure I had no resistance and marked the depth on the rod.



After putting a ball of blue tack on the end of the brass rod so it wouldn’t fly across the room when cut, I cut the rod on the marked spot.



I then sanded the rod and glued it into the hole. You can see that it poked out a bit; that was fine, since I did this on the underside of the mini. You can be more precise if you need to. I pinned both hands in this way.



Next I scored both the weapon head and the shaft surface, then glued them together. After that, I bone pinned them with a thinner gauge of wire in a criss-cross pattern. Pinning in two directions like this helps make sure the weapon head will not break off.



Due to the pinning location I was able to file the pins until they were flush with the metal.



Because the small smokestacks had to slide onto the model’s back diagonally, I scored the surfaces and glued them in place. I bone pinned them into the body, again using a thin-gauge wire. This time I made the cut on the wire so that once it was inserted into the holes it would be sunk just a bit so I could cover the hole with putty. For these I did not having the working room to file down the brass tips if they stuck out.

Here we have Scaverous all assembled. After I putty it, I’m going to give it to my buddy and coworker Will Shick, who broke his in battle. But I have to admit, I’m tempted to throw it across the room first. I bet this one will stay together.
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PostSubject: What comes first, paint or assembly?   Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:39 pm

WHAT COMES FIRST, PAINT OR ASSEMBLY?

Now that's a good question, isn't it? Ask a dozen people, and you will get a dozen answers. Each has their own pros and cons, their own supporters and denouncers, and everything else in between.

So let me state that there is no clear cut answer. Do a google search (or yahoo, or bing, or) and you will undoubtedly find this debated on many a site. All I can do is offer suggestions and tell you what I do. Or something.

No matter what side of the issue you are on, or which method you prefer, one thing is clear: prime the pieces first, while they are still attached to the sprue. This will ensure that all the pieces are covered, and that there won't be (many) bare spots. The few spots that will be in need of touch up, of course, will be those areas which are still connected to the sprue. Worry not, because for the most part, chances are those areas will be the ones that glue is applied to.

But what if they aren't? You could just touch up those areas after assembly / before painting and brushing on the primer, but whay take that extra step? If at all possible, clip away the connecting piece from the piece and the sprue, carefully filing a space wide enough for the paint mist to go through. Or, if you are really talented, cut away the connection and gently bend the piece away from the sprue, being careful to make sure it still remains attached to the other connection.

Some people may prefer to prime after assembly, and that's fine. Just keep in mind that you will have to rotate and flip your model about to ensure that the primer covers all areas; this may lead to overspray. As long as you are careful and sure of yourself, as long as you hold the primer spray can far enough away so that the model is covered in mist instead of a direct stream, you should be fine.

For smaller models, like soldiers, I have my own "lazy susan", (a plate that spins). I put the figures on that and lightly spray, rotate, lightly spray. This makes for a nice even coat and covers most of the visible areas. For larger assembled models, a nicely bent wire hanger, or even some string, can be used to suspend the model in the air, which reduces handling.

Now we hit the main point of this post... paint or assemble. Know what? Why not do both? it may be a little more time consuming, but it will be worth it in the long run.

For soldiers, it is going to be a pain to paint everything when assembled... the backside of the rifle, some parts of the backpack, inner portions of arms or covered chest areas... and so on. Save yourself the headache and some brush heads and do this: assemble the torso, legs, and possibly the head. Assemble the arms / weapons, but do not attach to the model... you could just as easily leave them on the sprue if you desire. After you have everything painted, then assemble the rest of the model: everything is painted, everything looks nice!

Larger models are easier. PAINT AFTER ASSEMBLY. Except, of course, those hard to reach areas, such as wheel wells, tank chassis, engine mounts, what-have-you. Your best bet is to dry fit the pieces and judge for yourself if you can paint it in an a manner that is suitable to your needs or style. As an example, I am currently working on a 1/32 scale model of an MGS 1128 Styker. I've assembled the body and have dry fitted the wheels in place so I can easily remove them come paint time, and as a seperate assemble the turrent section: if I had assembled this all together, I would never have been able to get in between the body and turrent.

Now, I know this part is something that really should go unsaid, but there might be some who smack their heads everytime when it comes to this. On anything that has exposed interiors, whether it be an airplace cockpit or engine hatches, or exposed ports, PAINT THE INTERIOR BEFORE ASSEMBLY. You may not think it really needs it, and splash paint inside after it's altogether, but I promise that if you do this, you will see the mistakes, you will see the areas that you know could've looked better. It doesn't matter if other people can't see it, but you will, and it will bother you.

So there you go... not a simple answer, but an answer nonetheless. Paint or assemble first? BOTH.
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PostSubject: Re: How To   Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:37 am

Magnets and Modeling

The will come a time, especially with tabletop war-gaming models, that you may wish to add magnets to your model so that you can swap weapons, armor, accessories, whatever a mission may call for. Likewise, using magnets to your model will aid in those scenarios where a weapon is destroyed.

For this post, I will be demonstrating this technique with Warhammer 40k's Tau model, the XV-104 Riptide, as seen below. In my experiences, the Tau stand to gain the most from utilizing magnets, as their battlesuits can use numerous weapons and support systems (I would hazard a guess that the Orks probably come in second).



For starters, one needs magnets. The magnets you need cannot be found in any local store such as Wal*mart or Shopko. Heck, I haven't even seen them in gaming stores like Hobbytown; more than likely, you'll have to order them. The ones I ordered were 1*3mm (that's millimeters, kids!) in size; I was able to obtain 150 of them for $5.00, including shipping. How big is that, exactly? Well, to put it in scale...



That's a standard X-acto knife with the standard blade. Anyway, as an other comparison, 3mm is just under 1/8 of an inch (1/8" equals 3.18mm). Some people may wish to go higher than that, but for the scale of the weapons and sensors used, this is an ideal size. The only downside is that this is a really tiny piece to work with... AND, from hands-on experience, this is a real pain-in-the-ass thing to work with when you place magnets on both the model and the support system, as you have to make sure that each system's magnet is the polar opposite of the one on the model. As most Tau battlesuits have four places to attach support systems / weapons (the Riptide has eight), that makes for a lot of magnets that could be placed wrong. The funny thing is, you'll see many "professional" model makers do exactly that, take the time to properly place magnets on both sides for a better / stronger connection.

Why? The whole purpose of magnets is to affix itself to metal (okay yeah, and the whole compass thing, and gyro thing, and... know what? shut up), so why not attach a piece of metal to the model? And that's when I came up with this idea: use small precision sized screws and put them on the support systems, so that they can "join" any magnet, no matter how it is placed.

Good idea. Wrong direction. Where the hell would I find precision sized screws? So, wandering through the local hardware store, I came upon Cut Tacks, with the size I was looking at being the #2. The head is roughly 3/16 of an inch, and the shaft 1/4 of an inch in length. When compared to the magnets being used, you'll see that the magnet is slightly smaller than the head...



Do to the weight, I decided that the tack would best be used attached to the body of the model. Using a dremel bit the same size as (or slightly smaller than) the tack's shaft, push a hole into the model, being careful not to go all the way through; hold onto the pice being drilled, and use the lowest dremel setting (if you don't have a dremel, a 1/16 drill bit would work.) Then, after the hole is made, take a 7/32 drill bit and make a small recess so that the head of the tack will be flush against the model. Use your fingers to turn the drill bit, and only drill a tiny bit at a time so that you don't go too deep into the model! I then use a super glue and cover the hole / recess I just made before placing the tack (I prefer using a gel for this).

In the following pictures I demonstrate this. Note that there is already a recess drilled into the model; I originally made this so I could place the magnets. It really isn't a big deal, as I'll be making the recess wider to house the tack.







For the weapon or system support device, you will only be using an 1/8 inch drill bit to make the recess, as the magnet is being placed. Again, I like to use a super glue gel to affix the magnet to the plastic.



And there you have it: complete customizable models for you wargaming needs. The only time I would use magnets for both pieces would be if the removable piece is rather large or heavy... just make sure to place the magnets as polar opposites, or else they will not attach!

Oh, and a bit of last minute advice: wait for the glue to completely dry / cure / set on the magnets and tacks before attaching / removing from the model... there might be a tendancy for the magnet to come loose.
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PostSubject: Re: How To   Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:44 pm

Get Better

Practice makes perfect, but what if you haven't practiced in a while?  What I like to do involves very little money, and it helps me with a variety of things, from painting, painting techniques, and modifications.

I buy cheap toys of things that I like to build.  These toys can come from the likes of Walmart, any dollar store, or any thrift store.  We've all seen them: cheaply made military playsets, construction playsets, fantasy or whatever... or in regards to thrift stores or even rummage sales, someone's old toy.

You can get these sets (or item) from 50 cents to, at the most, ten dollars (maybe twenty for the really big sets).  How is this cheaper than buying a model?  Heck, for a $20 model, you can get a group of figures, some structures / landscaping, and at least three vehicles.  You can practice whatever you want on these, and not worry about wasting your money on something pricier!

As an example, a couple years ago, I found a military truck by a local swimming hole.  Cleaned it up, and I was able to practice some basic painting (I'll post pictures later today.  maybe).  I think it went well; it showed me what I needed to practice on, and at the same time it gave me a toy that doesn't look anything like a simple toy anymore. Come this fall, I'll be doing the same, but with a large amount of plastic army guys (and cowboys, and pirates, and and and). Remember my Risk table? I have six full armies of plastic men. I could just leave them alone, as each group is it's own color, but where's the fun in that?
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