Monday, 28 January 2013

These legs are made for stridin'

And that's just what they'll do...

Greetings shipmates, good lord its been almost a week since I posted here! Shocking, I know, the main reason for this was the snowmageddon Cardiff underwent. Having run out of even basic hobby materials such as primer and being trapped in a rather hilly cul de sac I couldn't do all that much painting. What was I doing instead?

picture from "Today I have mostly been..." ignore the Nuln Oil, I was celebrating.
Assembling an absolute ton of resin Eldar vehicles and getting the car through its MOT. Ho hum. But now there has been a thaw, I am restocked and so Titan progress! Hurrah! There are still some details and quality control (checking I haven't got paint anywhere it shouldn't be) to do but we are devilishly close to an assembled titan. Now then, those legs. Oh, dear gods they were a trial. I debated whether to tell this story in public or not but as it can serve as a cautionary tale then here goes:

Note the unusual posture of this leg. I wanted it stepping off anyway and transferring its weight to the front foot but the angle is a little forced, barely noticable as I did a ton of work fixing it but... The reason for this? As I was getting ready to delicately place the shin's ball into the foot's socket joint, nicely lined with good strong superglue, I dropped it. Normally not a problem, this time, huge problem. It had fallen into the socket and instantly glued solid. Backwards and on a wonk. Cue sudden, blinding panic. I tried as much brute force as I dared. Nothing, the surface area of the contact point (being two spheres within one another) was massive. The bond was already beyond my considerable strength. I then spent nearly four hours with acetone and an old brush trying to free the join (acetone kills superglue's bonds y'know). Utter failure. I couldn't get the acetone far enough into the join to free the bottom of the ball. Despairing (remember, this is a clients model, not mine, panic is not a strong enough emotion) and almost at the point of phoning forgeworld and begging them to let me buy the foot and shin of a warhound without the rest of it, I suddenly had a brainwave. I realised that I could saw through the ankle piston and rotate the entire shin until it was at least facing the right way. I could then make the angle work through posing the rest of the leg.

Unfortunately this caused knock-on problems for the whole leg, some caused by the design of the kit itself. You see what forgeworld don't tell you - and for a three hundred pounds kit you would think their instructions would be better right? - is that none of the joins can actually flatten, the pistons just won't connect. There is no way of knowing this until you get further ahead in the process and there is NO warning anywhere. By this point I was cursing ill fortune but was at least thinking "solve the problem". I realised that this was a serendipitous opportunity to add some character through posing. I sawed through the piston and cut some texture into the cut surface to indicate that it had snapped. Either through stumbling on rubble or through the malevolent actions of the enemy Pyladii Beta had snapped the thigh piston of its right leg on this march. To combat the problem the Princeps has locked the thigh and knee sections into a straight line to prevent collapse of the leg. Beta will have a limp but will fight on as a living embodiment of the god machine should!

So the moral of that story? Well, hold on to blummin componants better would be the trite answer, but the real one is: You can always fix the problem. Yes it will cause further complications but you can never know what stories you can tell with those complications. In this case it helped tell the mid battle story of the titan. With the broken cable on the head and this snapped piston Pyladii Beta actually looks like it is mid battle, not pristine on some factory floor. Do I feel like a plank for messing up in the first place? Hell yes. Am I relieved as all get out that I could fix it? Gods yes. But then that is where experiance is the greatest assistant, I've fixed all sorts of problems before and will do so again no doubt. However, in the spirit of forewarned is forearmed I am putting together a little guide to the things forgeworld do not tell you about their models and the ways you can fix the problems and get on with your happy hobby life. Until next time folks.


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