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Assembling Plastic Models for Warhammer Armies

IMG 0518 300x225 Assembling Plastic Models for Warhammer ArmiesWow! It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post to Warhammer Armies. Been working on catching up on some things and got behind here!
Just a quick post on assembling plastic Warhammer army models. If there you are working on building an army, its critical that you spend a good amount of thought into army design before you buy and have a clear idea of how you intend to equip any unit that you’re building. You should also have a pretty good idea on how you will pose the models. Finally, if you’re building a <b>Warhammer Fantasy Battles army, as you pose individual models, think about how they need to fit into a unit</b>. Plan a good organization that will make it easy to get the models to fit on the movement tray.
Once you have your ideas clearly in mind, the first thing is to organize. Figure out what models you’re going to build and find the sprues those pieces are on. Pull together your tools. For basic assembly, you’re going to need (available from my store on Squidoo also called Warhammer Armies):
  • Snips (GaleForce Nine has great snips)
  • Hobby knife (like X-ACTO)
  • Small files (GaleForce Nine has great files, too)
  • Super glue, plastic glue, or plastic weld (I use Plastruct)
Get organized and make sure you have a nice, clean work area. You don’t want to be searching all over the place on your work table for an arm once you’ve got glue ready on the model! Cover your work surface with something you don’t mind getting glue on. Then start snipping. The tool I like to use is flat on one side — you want to <b>trim as close to the model as possible</b> without cutting detail or damaging the figure. Trim out all the bits you need to assemble several miniatures.
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The next step is to remove the mold lines left when they cast the models — these are little seams at some point. There are really two ways to effectively remove these — scrape with a knife, or use a file. My preferred method is to use the knife. Just use the sharp edge of the knife to scrape along those lines. If you come to a place where you’ve a bit left from where you cut the model from the sprue, you’ll probably need to cut that. Be careful, and take your time.
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As you go, organize all the bits for each model. This includes base, legs, torso, arms, head, and accessories. I like to arrange them with their respective base as shown in the pictures.
Then it’s time for actual <b>assembly</b>. Before I glue a piece, I always dry mount to make sure of the fitting. I glue all the legs to the bases first for all the models I’m building. Once they are dry enough to handle, I mount the torso on the legs, then usually the head. Depending on what I’m doing and how fast I need to paint, I might wait to put the arms on until after painting. This allows putting detail on easier, but also might be slightly slower (because of the detail). Then all the odd bits like scabbards and pouches and what not. And now you’re done!
A word on glue. You can use plastic model glue, which may be the safest, and is certainly easiest for younger modelers. It’s also very slow, and only and OK bond. It’s very good if you might want to unglue the part at a future date. You can also use cyanoacrylate, also known as super glue. This forms a better bond and can dry VERY fast. You can even buy accelerant to make it glue faster, though accelerant can be dangerous (it causes heat and if you get glue and accelerant on your finger, it will HURT). This is NOT recommended for younger modelers. Finally, and my preferred “glue”, is plastic weld. This has the most scary warning labels, and smells strong enough to give me a headache quickly if I’m not in a well ventilated place. But, it’s super fast and gives a very strong bond. Note that it melts the plastic, so don’t be sloppy.

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