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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adventures in Pinning

Tragedy struck the other day when Boss Zagstruk's arms popped off. First one arm, and then as I was trying to re-glue it the other one. Being a heavier metal model I had thought about pinning his arms, but decided that since there were rectangular guides pinning wasn't necessary. Sadly I was wrong.

The guides for Zagstruk's arms are just that, they are guides. The recesses on the arms and the protruding guides are both very shallow, so they direct how to have the arm on the body, but they don't really hold it in place. The leg is different, there is a very pronounced rectangular post you have to fit the leg piece onto (I actually had to file the post and the hole in the leg to get the leg to fit properly).

So I decided to pin the arms. Man I was really nervous. I spent so much time on Zagstruk I didn't want to ruin him, but I didn't want parts of him just coming off either.

First lesson in pinning: Pay attention to the instructions. I didn't buy a pinning kit, I just used the how to guide from a recent White Dwarf. If I hadn't paid attention I would have likely had holes that didn't line up that would have led to some very uneven looking arms that weren't quite flush with the body. The instruction have you drilling a hole, putting in the pin, then dipping a little glue on the end of the pin so that when you put the pieces together you have a clear spot where to drill. Solid advice.

Second lesson in pinning: It doesn't take much to pin. The piece from White Dwarf suggested using a paper clip to create the pin as it is the right size for the hole and you can clip it down to the length you need. This is ideal for me since a)I'm cheap and b)I have no problem with white collar crime. So I took some paperclips from work to have a supply for pinning. However, it doesn't take much paper clip to create a viable and working pin. So my handful of paperclips will last me forever. After realizing that I had way too much for pinning I clipped the piece down. And then clipped it down again. And then one more time. You need something to hold it in place, but you don't need it to be too big (mostly because you have to drill forever to get a hole deep enough for a large pin).

Third lesson in pinning: Glue. You need to glue the post into the first piece too. My first attempt at pinning Zagstruk I thought I had the post in snug, so I put a bit of glue on the end to line it up, but I didn't actually glue in the post. So after mounting the arm onto the body, the arm fell off the body having transferred the post from one piece to the other.

Fourth lesson in pinning: Putting the pin in the first piece. The book said to put the pin in the deepest piece to drill first, this wasn't the easiest way (for me anyway) to pin. The deepest piece to drill into would be the body on Zagstruk. But for the second arm I put the pin in the arm first. I actually found it easier to work with the pin in the arm. Maybe it's splitting hairs, maybe it's just psychological. All I know is I felt more comfortable having the pin in the arm first.

To be honest, pinning was a lot easier and less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be, once I got started and worked out the kinks. I will be continuing to pin my heavier metal models from now on as I feel much more comfortable that the added weight of the metal won't break the glue bond with that pin there.

Anybody else have any suggestions or ideas for pinning?

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