Insider 10-24-2011

At a recent First Friday here at the Privateer offices, I spent some time assembling the final model for my very small Legion of Everblight army. I had started with Absylonia—which might not have been the smartest move, considering that my amateur posing of her ended up making her look rather like a fan dancer—and had managed a Carnivean and a Seraph. That was the sum total of my model assembly experience, and it was time for the most challenging of the models: Typhon.

I have to admit, the prospect of putting this guy together was pretty intimidating. My poor fingers were already sore from being jabbed repeatedly with blighted spikes, and I’d had a heck of a time getting the Seraph’s second wing to stay on its body. (My efforts were highly amusing to several of my coworkers, who from all appearances have been doing this since they learned to walk. But seriously, I started having dreams about a pathetic one-winged Seraph that couldn’t do anything but fly around in circles, always looking mournfully off to the unreachable carnage in the distance. Poor thing.) As I couldn’t manage one silly wing, I didn’t see how I could hope to handle three snapping, snarling heads.

Wait, what am I saying? I work at Privateer Press. I’m surrounded by people who know what they’re doing when it comes to these models. They’re a friendly bunch; I’ll just ask for guidance. I did just that, and before I knew it I found I’d opened a can of wurms with one simple question: to pin or not to pin?

Camp 1: Pin It!
Even most experienced hobbyists will agree that pinning a model together isn’t always the best time to be had. It adds another step to a process that can already feel cumbersome to a player eager to have the finished model in her hands, and frankly, it can be a pain. That said, pinning does offer additional stability and strength—and the idea of avoiding having to repair a complicated model down the road is mighty appealing. Okay, I said, I’ll pin ’em!

Camp 2: Glue It!
But wait! Just when I thought I’d wrapped my head around Typhon’s, opposing opinions started cropping up.

“I never pin,” said one very experienced hobbyist working next to me at the hobby table. “It always seems like they end up breaking half the time anyway, so it’s just not worth the time and effort.”

The person on my other side piped up. “Maybe, but you’ve got to make sure you cross-hatch the pieces properly or the glue won’t grip.”

“Don’t use too much glue,” injected someone from down the table, who up to this point had given no indication whatsoever he was listening to the conversation. (For all I know he wasn’t, and this was just a random reminder.)

A coworker walking by brought the entire conversation to a halt when he said off-handedly, “Putty. Use putty. That stuff is gold.” Everyone stared at him for a second, then work resumed.

Conclusion: Go with Your Gut
In the end, I used a little bit of everything, as my instincts dictated. Typhon’s center neck pieces seemed to fit together quite well, so I only glued them—after cross-hatching, of course. The other two necks are pinned and glued. Two of the heads are glued in place. True to Typhon’s personality, the third head proved particularly wriggly, so I used a little putty to hold that one in place for the glue.

It’s quite possible the decisions I made in assembling Typhon aren’t ideal. The posing might be strange, the joins might be weak, and for all I know the whole model might simply fall apart at some point. And you know what? That’s fine with me. Absylonia has her family, and family’s all that really matters.