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.


Dai said...

Interesting. This is the one mini I found was rather simple to put together (The Grendlr was another matter.).
I managed to get it to work a little differently from your method –
1. glue the pelvis to the frame (I originally had the torso glued to the pelvis then stuck in place against the frame, but had troubles getting the back to fit flush against the shallow peg. So gluing the pelvis first allowed me to position the torso accordingly to get the best fit.

2. for the legs, after clearing the flash, I actually stood them up and matched them to the knee joints and did both at once to make sure he’d stand properly. It meant holding the model in place for a bit while the glue dried, but it seemed an easy way to make sure his legs were on evenly for the pose.

Still, as with your other guides (Most of which were great help btw!), this is well done and simple to follow. Will you also be offering a step by step painting guide for this lovely sculpt? The studio paint job is gorgeous, but it’d be interesting to see how you take care of all the strange angles, nooks and crannies it has.


StudioMcVey said...

Great comment Dai, thanks for posting!

I'll see if I can persuade Ali to do a stage by stage paint on him ;-)


Black Kestrel said...

Thanks for the step-by-step assembly instructions. I'd love to see a step by step assembly for the THI suits as well. I found them to be just as difficult or more so than Barker Zosa

inrepose said...

Nice guide and looks great when complete.