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The Big Red One

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have been gathering tools and supplies for this beast. A small tabletop vice, Aves Apoxie Sculpt and Apoxie Sculpt Super White, some additional paints and brushes, that sort of thing. This weekend I knocked together a couple of painting rigs from scrap wood. Today I took another look at the model itself and dry-fit some of the parts. The idea was to try to get a feel for the weight & center of gravity, identify weak points and plan the pinning.


The box cover:








Parts spread out:




Good news - many of the parts are 'keyed', meaning they only fit one spot, in one direction. Nearly foolproof, so good for me. ::): Also, most of the parts I checked fit together pretty well, like the leg shown here:


post-2299-1240803094.jpg post-2299-1240803103.jpg


And the mold lines aren't too bad, either. Clean casting, very little flash, just some minor annoyances. One thing I can see will be a right pain, though - concentric rings of spikes around the neck. Honestly, if I thought I could sculpt a new neck, I would, just to avoid those things. I'm pretty sure this will be a recurring theme for a while on this model.




One of the neck rings:




I hope you'll stick around, because this is going to be a long, wild ride. Jump in anytime with suggestions, critiques, etc. If you feel the need to throw things at me, that's fine, too, as long as it's money. The paper type, please; coins hurt.

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And here I thought you were going to paint something associated with the 1st Infantry Division.

heh heh Sorry if I confused you, Sarge, I just couldn't resist the punny cross-reference. Someday I would like to dig into historical minis or plastic models, especially for distinguished units like the 1st, the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, etc. Someday. In the short term, I have a lot of fantasy minis to paint and (hopefully this summer) some R/C planes to build and fly. The goal there is less about stunt flying or racing, more about flying scale models of military aircraft.

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I remember lifting this sucker in the game store & was like "WOW". Alas, mom didn't have the cash for it, so I had to settle for something else.


Good luck!


(oddly when I see the title I thought it was about Clifford, the big red dog, ha ha)



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Hour 1: laying out parts, checking instructions vs. actual model, dry-fitting, planning for gap filling and pinning, removing obvious flash (very little), beginning work on mold lines.


Hours 2 and 3: removing mold lines with X-acto & diamond files. The toughest parts were -

  • One long mold line running all the way around the rocky base, essentially separating the top half from the bottom in the mold. Some of this was pretty clean & easy to remove, but one part along the front was more pronounced and took longer to smooth out. This section took about a half hour on its own.
  • Right rear leg was a strange mess. In addition to a mold line running across the spiked scales, there were many little bits on the scales themselves. I could not get a good picture of this, so the best way I can describe it is to say it looked like the mold had pulled away from the leg while the metal was still molten. Think of the little peaks of frosting on a cake, from laying the flat of a knife against it and pulling away. These little peaks, streaks and runs on the scales messed up the detail and was tedious to clear off with blade, file points and dental tools. I may have to go back with some greenstuff and fix some of those scales later. Spent at least a half hour, maybe forty-five minutes, here.

Hour 5: Assembled the head & neck with CA glue and Apoxie Sculpt Super White. I can't seem to get a handle on on that stuff for gap filling and adhesion. It's too sticky, somehow coating tools, fingers, everything it touches. Thankfully, the head assembly has a 'neck' that is keyed to run through the lower jaw and neck rings, then fit into a socket on the last piece. I shortened the neck slightly, maybe 1/16 inch, just to reduce the amount of gap filling between the plates.


Drilling and pinning did not go well on the left front leg. I started there because it is not a weight-bearing leg, so if I messed it up the join, I could cover it and not risk collapsing the model. Went back to Apoxie Sculpt Natural for the right front leg and still had trouble getting the pins to line up. Gave up on pinning and went with Apoxie and CA glue (medium), relying on the huge, keyed joints in the model to act as the pin. This seemed to work okay and it set up quickly, so I did the same for the left rear leg as well as the two large rocks glued to the base. Used up the remaining Apoxie mixed earlier, filling gaps on the base and around the neck.


Not much of the above was terribly visible, and I was figuring some of it out as I went, so I didn't take pics along the way. Here is how it looks so far:









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