Friday, 22 May 2015

More tips on working with metal miniatures - Assembling Loki from Knight Models

Working with metal miniatures can throw you challenges that seem insurmountable at first. But most of the time, any problems that arise can be easily solved using basic hobby tools such as (a) green putty (otherwise known as the sculptors epoxy putty), (b) a mini hand drill and (c) a pure baking soda-super glue combination that increases bonding strength.  

Knight Models Loki, assembled and ready for priming

Loki comes in both resin (throne) and metal parts (Loki himself). For an unboxing video of the Knight Models Loki and his step brother Thor, please click here.

Individual parts of Loki prior to assembly

In some cases, it's better to create more surface area for the separate parts to bond together with. This can be accomplished by using a mini hobby hand drill. For example, the drill can deepen a hole for the accompanying part to fit better as in Loki's horns to his helmet as well as the three pronged blade to the staff. The drill can also help in creating an indentation (which increases surface area) onto which a small part can be glued on e.g. Loki's ponytail to the back of his head. And for very small parts with equally small surface areas such as the pony tail, a special gluing combination will also help. 

Using a mini hand drill to deepen the hole in which the horns will slot into
Mini hand drill at work again, this time on the tip of Loki's staff
Making an indentation with the drill can also help small parts stick better e.g. Loki's ponytail to his head

On occasion - as it is for Loki - there are a lot of small parts which would be difficult to glue together using just super glue. In such situations, the use of a pure baking soda-super glue combination can result in a stronger bond between the parts. Before reading further, please click here first for more information on how to use this combination safely. The photos below show some examples of the combination in use to create much stronger bonds.

Using a Pure Baking Soda - Super Glue combination for stronger bonds
Using the Pure Baking Soda-Super Glue combo on areas with minimal surface contact for stronger bonds
Super glue and pure baking soda combo creates a strong bond between Loki's pony tail and his helmet
Gluing a piece of plastic sprue to the base to increase stability

With metal miniatures, sometimes you encounter parts leaving small gaps after being glued/joined together. This can be easily corrected using Green Stuff which is an epoxy putty that usually come in two separate stripes of blue and yellow (but not necessarily as a different brand might come in different colours). Use a hobby knife to cut out the required amount, and mix the two separate stripes together and knead until it turns a uniform green. You will then have roughly an hour or more to sculpt the resulting mixture before it hardens.   

Green stuff, or sculptors epoxy putty

As mentioned, Green Stuff is useful for plugging small gaps. It also can be used to sculpt stuff e.g. in Loki's case - an extension of the rocky throne for Loki's foot to rest on (see photo below). Much more detailed information on how to use Green Stuff can be easily accessed online by just Googling for 'Introduction to Green Stuff'.

Sculpting green stuff to resemble a foot rest carved out of rock on the throne
Small gaps in between the arm joints were filled with sculpted green stuff
A different angle of the green stuff used to plug the gaps in between the arm joints

Well, that's it for this brief tutorial on working with metal miniatures. For more on Loki and other 1/28th scale Marvel figures from Knight Models, please click on the ad banner below.

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