Monday, March 19, 2012

A wargamer's Aesop

I recently started working on the dozen plastic knights from the Warhammer boxed set I purchased for a song.  I plan on using these figures as part of a Bretonnian army for Hordes of the Things.  As I was fitting the two halves of the horse bodies together before applying the glue, I noticed how well-made these models are--very small tolerances and a tight fit, with no large gaps between the edges of the parts.  In assembly-line fashion, I glued together all twelve of the horse bodies at once, then placed them in the slots on their cavalry bases.
Once I had the steeds put together and lined up, I reached for the sprues holding the tails and heads for each horse.  Can you see where this is going?  That's right; those parts had tabs meant to secure them inside the assembled body--meaning I was supposed to add the head and tail to the model before gluing each side of the body together! 
It was only after I noticed my mistake that I remembered that the boxed set came with an instruction book!  Not only that, but I had read the instructions at least once after I got my purchase home from the store!  Needless to say, I was angry at myself for this blatant act of stupidity. 
And to make things worse, since I had used plastic model cement--which basically welds polystyrene together--instead of superglue that can be dissolved by rubbing alcohol or Pine-Sol, I'd have to live with my blunder.  There would be no prying apart the halves to undo my mistake.  Thankfully, there was a solution, and it only took a little effort with an Exacto to trim those tabs down to where I could insert each part inside the glued bodies.  I hadn't ruined my figures with my stupidity, just created a little additional work for myself.  The horses came out looking fine in the end.
The moral of the story: Before irrevocably merging the parts of your figures together, read the instructions!  Or at least do a test-fit with all the parts of the model, not just the subsection you're working on at the moment.

2 comments:

Maj. Diz Aster said...

I've done boneheaded things like that before with plastic kits. One tool that is handy for trimming a plastic flange/rim off, with less effort and better safety than using an X-Acto knife, is a pair of Xuron plastic flush cutters.
http://photostringer.com/images/xuron_flush_cutters.jpg

It's one tool every model builder needs to keep a pair of in their toolbox.

Gonsalvo said...

Yep, "When in Doubt... read the directions!"

Now if only I hadn't had to say that to *myself* as many times as I have, LOL!