Insider 10-31-2011

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.