Monday, December 23, 2013

More on those Sro...

"Given enough Gorilla Glue and C-clamps, I can glue up the world!"
-Archimedes (misquoted, of course!) 

Larry, Moe, and Curly after curing for twelve hours in a warm room

A set of PHD wings - lovely stuff! - slipped into the locating holes
And here's a trip down memory lane for you; the last time I built any of these was in 1977, when I built two for myself and two for Prof. Barker. His with the Tane howdah still survives; his with the wings, and my pair (one with howdah, one with detachable wings), did not over the past thirty-odd years. I had forgotten just how huge these beasts are - the mat I'm working on is marked with one-inch squares, so you can get an idea of the sheer bulk these have to them.

This trio too almost my entire inventory of C-clamps to assemble - see the top photo - and I pumped just about a half a bottle of Gorilla Glue's 'instant' glue into the gaps. This particular glue is a great gap-filler, as well as being quite strong; I left the clamps on for twelve hours, to get the best possible bond, and I also 'cheated' a bit by using my little clothing steamer to flood the work table with hot, wet air - this dramatically improves the cure rate on the glue; admittedly, it's an extreme measure, but then a lot of folks consider me to be an extreme modeler!

The next step in the process will be to fill in all the gaps and holes - not the wing holes, though! - with epoxy glue; this will smooth out the beasts, and provide some extra strength to the joints. I will be modifying the two sets of wings I have to take square brass tubing on the wings' locating pegs; this is sized to fit matching tubing that will go into the wing 'roots' on the animals, so I can slip the wings on and off as needed for games. It'll also keep the wings from bending, too.

The final step, most likely to happen tomorrow, will be to mount the beasts on bases, prime them, and paint them up. The final coat will be some of the classic Pactra / Testor's "Jade Green" enamel, which will give a nice glossy coat to the scales and is also the color I used on the original four, back in the day.

More photos, as the process moves along!


  1. Have you ever tried "pinning" your larger and/or more intricate miniatures, using one of those tiny little manual hand-drills?

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes, I have; I have several of the small pin-vice drills, as well as my ancient battery-powered low torque Moto-Tool. I have pinned a lot of figures - I do it when the joint is going to be too small for an effective glue surface.

      The big problem with these castings is that the metal warped as they cooled in the mold, and they also have a lot of shrinkage. I thought about pins, but the misalignments are a bit too much; I went with a 'best average' for the castings, slathered them with A Mighty And Powerful Glue, clamped them very securely, and let them cure for almost 24 hours.

      So far, the joints are holding; I drilled out recesses in the backs of the beasts for magnets - and glued steel plates to the howdahs - and the joints held during that rough treatment.

      More on the process tomorrow!

      Thanks again!

  2. I missed one of these guys a couple of years back. One day, one day.