torsdag 26. januar 2012

Fallen off the face of the earth...

Good, old real life got me good and has kept me away from the keyboard for the past two weeks. First a bout of illness, then a business trip. The most sad result was that the scheduled game was cancelled due to illness, so no after action report for now - better luck next time!

With RL matters resolved, I finally got back on the horse over the past few days. Here is an update on progress on the Dorniers! The poor buggers have really been neglected lately, as most of my available time has been spent finishing the rules revision and preparing game aids.

Bagged: The Dorniners arrived from Museum Miniatures in individual ziplock bags, all contained in a single, large bag of the same kind. 

 Ziplock bags seems like an industry standard, and is all the protection the miniatures get. Or need, really.

 Step 1: After unpacking the beauts, they were brought over to a friend's house where the evening was spent watching Live at the Apollo stand-up comedy with some pals and removing molding lines with a file. The molding lines on these miniatures were very small and neat - still, the painter in me has to smooth them over. Molding lines showing through the paint of a finished model still gives me the creeps. Earlier in my modelling career, I used to trim off lines using a scalpel - some years ago I purchased a file to use instead and never looked back. A file is faster, cleaner and offers less risk of inadvertent bloodshed.

 Step 2: Drilling the guiding hole for the magnet, using a pin vise and a 1 mm drill bit. The magnets are 3 mm in diameter, and I have found that whenever drilling holes with a diameter over 1 mm a guiding hole is more or less required to avoid completely mangling the miniature or misaligning the hole.

 As I wrote previously, the center of gravity was smack bang in the middle of the bomb bay doors, so that's where the hole went. If nothing else, it made lining up the drill bit very easy.


 Step 3: Seriously! My decrepit Einhell of Bavaria fitted with a 3 mm drill bit may look more like a torture implement than a miniature tool, yet it gets the job done - quickly. The guide hole is absoultely essential to avoid the drill bit dancing all over the miniature, making horrible marks in the process (been there, done that, as it were). In later posts, you will invariably see me vainly referring to this yellow monstrosity as my "Dremel."

Step 4: A 3mm super magnet is superglued into the hole. These magnets are from Supermagneten and measure, if I recall correctly, 3 mm in diameter and 1 mm in height. They have enough power to keep at the least a Do17z attached to its flying base. After some mishaps using my standard, metal modelling tools when trying to fit these magnets, I finally started using the (wooden) handle of an old paint brush instead - which put an end to the annoyance of having tiny super magnets soaked with super glue flying out of their holes all the time.
Comments on Supermagneten will come in a later post, for now suffice to say that I am very pleased with both their products and service.

The most exciting bit (or terrifying) is ensuring that the magnets are all lined up correctly. These babies are small, and having the stack attached to an already correctly aligned magnet does wonders for my peace of mind. Still, I never quite trust that I got them right until I have tested the magnets once the glue has dried completely. One of these days, I will likely manage to glue a magnet in upside down, and I keep wondering what I will do to get it back out...

Imagine these puppies on flight stands bombing your dudes! Next step will be a quick rinse in soap water to remove mold release agents before undercoating.

A lot of grey pictures, which is precisely the reason why preparing the miniatures for painting is the part I enjoy the least about the hobby... Thankfully, I enjoy painting quite a bit, so finishing this stage is always rewarding.

3 kommentarer:

  1. Per, they look really splendid! Did you insert a full 3mm magnet into the hole you drilled ? You mention that "After some mishaps using my standard, metal modelling tools when trying to fit these magnets, I finally started using the (wooden) handle of an old paint brush instead " - did you press the magnet in using the paint brush handle?

  2. Thanks! Regarding the magnets, I checked and they are indeed specified to be 3mm by 1 mm, just like the drill bit. The dremel tends to vibrate somewhat when used, and this - particularily for such a shallow hole - makes the hole a tiny bit larger than 3mm. This means the magnets slide in quite neatly, no pressure required.

    Occasionally, I will have to be very careful when making the hole - particularily for fighter aircraft, as they can be quite thin. The Me109Es I did come to mind. In these cases I have to use the dremel far more carefully, resulting in a tighter hole. Getting the magnets into these does occasionally require some pressure on the brush handle.

    With these experiences, I always dry-fit the magnets before applying glue, widening any holes that are too tight to allow for an easy fit.