Thursday 17 January 2013

Grendlr - Assembly

I thought I would skip ahead a little on the assembly and have a look at The Grendlr, as some questions have been raised about the fit between the pieces. After a quick dry fit of the parts (just holding them together to see how they look) - it became very obvious that the fit between the two body halves and the mouth piece is pretty poor. I'm not entirely sure what has caused this - the samples I received earlier in the production process were far better. I can only assume that there was either some warping when the parts are removed from the mould - or they have been subject to differences in temperature during shipping (the games are transported in containers that have no temperature control). Either way, I have to be honest and say I'm disappointed, and apologise if that's the way you feel when seeing the miniature.

However... I have just spent the last hour putting the Grendlr together (and that was cleaning the mould lines, shooting a short video and assembling the whole thing, while taking pictures along the way), and I'm far happier now. There is a very simple technique that can be used to get a very accurate fit between the parts - it takes no practice, and the results are really, really good. I have never done this before, so I'm as new to it as you are. We shot a short video of the process - apologies for the quality, but hopefully you can see what I'm doing. We'll try and find the time to shoot a better one soon.

All you have to do, is put the parts you are assembling in very hot water for around 20 seconds (I heated water in a kettle, and turned it off just before boiling) - and while they are still hot, firmly press them together. I was really pretty astounded at how well this works - I did it with the two body halves, and the fit was great. I then glued the body together, and did the same with the mouth-piece - I put it in hot water (not the glued body though), and pressed it onto the body.

You obviously have to be careful with the water - I used a pair of pliers to remove the pieces from the bowl, but when I handled them (pretty much immediately), they were only warm. Nowhere near hot enough to burn you.

All of the other parts fitted very well - the exception being the head, which needed the location lugs trimming to get an accurate fit. I presume this is because the body parts have changed shape very slightly with the technique above.

Overall I am really happy with the Grendlr - I started this morning a little depressed about how poorly the body pieces fitted, but I now have the assembled miniature in front of me, and it looks fantastic. In all honesty I'd take this over a metal version any day of the week, and it's not far behind the resin castings.

Here's the stage-by-stage -

The fist thing to do was to clean the injection marks and mould lines from the parts. The mould lines were actually very light on this miniature, so that was a quick process. Just make sure you have a brand new blade in your craft knife - it makes it far easier and the results better.

The next step was to fit the two body halves together - and as mentioned above, I improved the fit dramatically with the hot water technique, so much that there was no gap at all along the spine and across the belly. There was still a slight gap where the mouth was going to fit, but I knew that was going to be completely covered.

The next part to fit was the mouth piece - and this was the only other part that I did the hot-water method on. I also removed the fitting lugs between the body and mouth part, as this made it easier to get a good fit. They were very simple to cut away with a sharp blade.

Next was the head - and again, I cut away the fitting lugs on the back to give a more accurate fit with the body.

Once the head was in place, it was simply a case of gluing the rest of the parts in place, one by one. There are fitting lugs for the legs and arms and they ensure you get a good fit between the Grendlr and it's base - so all three limbs contact the ground solidly. Here are the photos of the rest of the parts going on -

And here are a couple of different views of the finished piece. I know it's just a little more work than is ideal, but I think that is more than offset by the miniature itself - I really think it looks fantastic. It was always ambitious to put such a large piece in the game, but I'm really glad we did.


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