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Wyrmgear -- ideas (and source for itty bitty gears)

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Wyrmgear is the large new steampunk dragon to be released as part of the Bones Kickstarter of 2012.

 

http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/previews/latest/77177

 

It's a pretty fun figure, a Victorian-style mechanical dragon. Elsewhere people have been discussing how they plan to paint and decorate it when it arrives as part of the Bones Kickstarter next spring.

 

While musing over decorating approaches I recalled a source I found of masses of teeny-tiny watch gears and parts.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Pavelka-2-Ounce-Crafting-Silver/dp/B0053GA0DI

 

They are dismantled watch innards sold by the half-ounce for jewelry crafts. These are random assortments, but they usually include a lot of gears and some oddly shaped bits (not watch hands, generally).

 

The scale of the parts is very small. In fact, some of the Amazon reviewers complained (rightly, I think) that the parts were too small for most jewelry applications.

 

Which makes them the perfect scale for minis (Well, large minis like the dragon. They are probably still too big on average for human-sized minis.). I got some and I think the smallest gear in the assortment I got was 1mm across. I think 1/2" is about the biggest size gear I saw, although there occasionally may be parts up to 3/4".

 

The watch parts are sometimes a bit tarnished or with some patina. I trust this will not put people off what really is a very useful gear and bits assortment for steampunk minis conversion.

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I would think the tarnish could well be a bonus for Wyrmgear... and if you're favoring a "factory fresh" paint job, should be easy to clean up with some polish or Kool-Aid.

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I've looked a little closer at my components. I think the smallest actual gear I have is 2mm, not 1, if you count the extent of the teeth. However, there are some even tinier screws and bolts.

 

I think I would recomment at least two packages of these, depending on how much of Kaladrax one wishes to attach gears to.

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Keep an eye out at your local antique shops, or let them know you're looking for broken watches. I've found several for very cheap or free this way, and dissassembling just takes a small screwdriver (electronics or eyeglass is a good size).

 

-Dave

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As per dispatchdave's suggestion, it's a good idea to check with local jewelers and anyone who advertises watch repair. The best deal I was able to get on broken watches was locally, at a price I couldn't beat: for free. It's a bit more trouble, hunting around, and asking politely (and getting to know people), but far cheaper than the heavily marked-up bundles on Ebay and such (and far less disappointing, as I can tell what I'm getting rather than waiting for it in the mail and discovering that all I got was a fraction of an ounce of "watch glitter").

 

While watch gears are suitable for very tiny details for individual figures (e.g., gears small enough to be "cogwheel shuriken" for a 32mm figure), CLOCK gears are probably of a more appropriate size for decorating something as big as Wyrmgear (or a junk pile for Wyrmgear to guard). I also dissect emptied deodorant containers for the twist-up spiral core in the center, as those make for a passable piece to run up against a cogwheel in a particularly large "clockpunk" construction. =D

 

For larger "gears," I've sometimes picked up "Tim Holtz" decorative gears in the jewelry and scrapbooking sections of my local "JoAnn Fabric" craft store -- when they're on sale, that is.

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Agreed on clock gears for larger objects. We have an old (smallish) grandfather clock that no longer works, and I've had fun stripping it, even if my brother-in-law ran off with all the cool bits.

 

-Dave

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