Thursday 26 September 2013

Aphid barker - Assembly

Here's the assembly guide for Aphid loader Barker, from the wave 2 Kickstarter miniatures.

This is quite a complex miniature to assemble, definitely the most tricky we have done so far for Sedition Wars. Unfortunately, with a design like this it was always going to be that way. It all went together pretty easily though - and the only part that caused any problems was fitting the roll-cage at the end. With little thin parts like that, some bending and warping is inevitable, so it took me a little while to get the fit right. I ended up heating it slightly with a hair drier, and that made it easier to get it into the right shape - then blowing on it to cool it down so it set like that.

The parts had a little flash on them - the lower legs in particular. They are quite complex shapes to mould and that always leads to more mould lines to remove. It took me about 45 minutes to clean all the parts and get them ready for assembly. There were still little tiny bits of mould line showing here and there - but I'd consider it more than adequate for a gaming miniature. Another 15 miniatures and I would have had it really well finished. I used a clean fresh scalpel blade - two in fact - one curved and one straight edge. I also used a home made emery board (a length of brass with abrasive paper glued to it) to clean off the mould lines on the flat surfaces. It had quite a fine grit on the paper, and it actually did a really good job of smoothing down the surface without causing the plastic to tear and 'fluff'.

When the mould lines were removed, I roughed up the areas that were going to be joined with a little piece of abrasive paper to give a better key for the glue. I used Zap-a-Gap medium for gluing - it was a fresh pot, and that really made a huge difference to the speed it took the parts to grab - in fact it was just a couple of seconds for each join.

I was originally planning to pin the arms in place - but when I started assembling, I found there was quite a strong bond created with the two points of contact, so I didn't bother. I think if the miniature was going to be gamed with, and carried in cases a lot, I would be tempted though.

Here is the step by step -

All the parts as they came in the bag
Join the two halves of the body first
This is quite an important join. You need to get his back flat to the seat,
and make sure the legs are central to the 'thigh' parts of the exo-suit
so they will interface with the lower legs of the miniature.
Add the left leg, making sure the exo-parts of the leg are touching.
Add the right leg, making sure both feet sit flat on the ground.
Add the round end piece to the weapon
Add the single extra claw to the arm - then the double
 claw-piece in the slot in the middle
Add the right arm - gluing at both points of contact, the shoulder
and forearm.
Add the left arm - again, gluing at both points of contact.
The roll-cage was carefully bent into shape and glued in place.
The two shoulder pieces were added and the miniature attached to the base.