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Saturday, October 31, 2009
Love and Hate
I love my Battle Front Minis - they are usually very clean, well built, well considered models that go together without TOO much difficulty, and look really nice on the tabletop. The "Six-Pounder Portee" - a mid-war model of a British six pound anti-tank gun mounted on the back of a truck (Portee), is one that I have to say I'm a bit frustrated with.
Imagine the scene: less than a week till Fall In (the HMGS East convention in Gettysburg, PA), five different armies at two different scales scattered across the table in my chaoserrr war room, and I'm painting as fast as I possibly can.
I start the final coat, drybrushing and highlighting on my six pounder portees - and BAM! I drop one.
For starters, this model is a bit tricky to put together. Kudos to Battle Front for putting a "how to put it together" guide on their site for this model.
The problem lies with the ammunition rack on the back of the truck. There are four posts that this box is supposed to sit on, and it doesn't like going together. oh well! This is overcome with super glue and patience. Ta-da! A lovely model when complete.
Then the drop.
No, it can't drop on a nice fluffy figures case tray that is lying nearby. Neither does it fall to the slightly less fluffy stack of magazines on the other side. Noooooooo. It falls directly into the Dremel case on the floor, bashing itself to pieces on drill bits and sundry drill attachments and other cruft.
I wince in pain. Mostly cuz I think I broke my toe falling down the stairs, but also because I recall that this model is tricky to put back together. I resolutely begin picking up the pieces and reach for my super glue.
To add insult to injury, after I recover the bits and begin ever so patiently applying super glue to the little bits needed to put the pillars for the ammo box back into place - I drop the main bit. Off it goes into the black hole that is the floor of my dungeon, never to be seen again.
That's the "hate" part. I hate dropping models when they are nearly complete. Considering I slipped and fell down my stairs (caught myself, but hit a few!) this morning, I guess I should just have called it a day for anything requiring concentration.
The love part comes now, so sit back, relax and sip your whine! :-)
"Green Stuff" is your friend.
After searching for twenty minutes or longer, and basically cleaning the floor with my hands, I settled down to work with "Green Stuff", or two part modeling clay. It's also known as Kneadatite Epoxy Modeling Putty.
Take a bit of blue and a bit of the yellow portions and mash them together, like making a mud pie as a child. Keep water nearby and a sculpting tool of some sort. Although an X-Acto knife will work, there are hazards involved, especially if you're clumsy like me!
After mushing the yellow and blue bits together, as any child can tell you, you have green mush! The resultant mix is somewhat sticky - which allows you to stick it onto models where it is needed. However, that stickiness can also work against you. This is where the water comes in. Wet your fingers (the ones you are touching the green stuff with!) to keep it from sticking to them. Also, dip your sculpting tool in water to allow it to slide across the surface of the putty.
Apply the green stuff to the spot you need to fix, massage it gently with your fingers and sculpting tool. If you have a tricky thing (like the brace for an ammo box on a six pounder portee!), you may find that you need to form the green stuff as close as possible to the desired shape, and then come back later to trim off excess.
The image below was taken with my "Crackberry" phone, therefore the detail is not as clear as it should be; however, I hope you can see enough to get the point.
So remember folks, let's be careful out there!