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.


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.

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!