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I feel I'm up to the level that I would like to try pin some multipart minis (metal as well as bones)

 

What do I need ? I am doing my first summer in just under 10 years so i have nothing other then paint and brushes. Any brand over another? Any suggestions or techniques would also be great

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You need a mini micro hand drill. Sometimes called a push drill. Most hobby shops that carry tools will have one for around $10. You need micro drill bits to go with that, something about the thickness of a mechanical pencil lead.

 

Wire. Almost any kind will work, brass, copper, floral, some folks even use pins or paper clips but I find that harder to cut. You want your wire to be about the same size as the drill bits so it fits in the holes you make.

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A pin vice (it looks like a small screwdriver without a tip). That's basically your 'drill'; you put tiny drill bits in the end and then hand twist into the metal/plastic/resin/etc. to make the hole. Check out Gale Force 9 and search for GFT032 this will give you some metal rods and size-matched drill bits. There's also GFT030 which is a starter kit that includes a pin vice. I mention it second because I don't love the pin vice that's included; I would buy that separately if it were me. Those will give you a good start and once your comfortable with pinning you'll realize that you can get lots of different bits and use almost anything for the rods.

 

Edit: Niinja'd while cleaning up my formatting. :ph34r:

Edited by Dan Goodchild
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Check out this article in The Craft for recommendations on supplies used with multipart minis.

http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/37

 

Pinning techniques are not covered there, but it is pretty simple. Drill one part, wet that part, put some poster putty on the second part (it should be dry and stick to the putty), and press the two parts together with the putty in between. When you take them apart, the putty will have a nub where it went inside the hole in the first part. Drill the second part through the putty using that nub as your guide.

 

Then you just need to clip a piece of wire, brass rod, etc. to the right length, superglue it in place, and use some green stuff, liquid green stuff, etc. to fill any gaps in the join. For heavier pieces, stronger glue like two-part epoxy is better than superglue. Small paper clip is large enough for most joins. Go with a larger wire for larger, heavier stuff like dragon wings, and you may want more than one pin in some cases.

 

Watch out for hard steel paper clips and wire which will tend to notch weaker cutting tools like many sprue cutters. Diagonal cutters or side cutters ought to work fine on steel.

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Drill has been covered fairly well. I'll say that I wouldn't recommend using a power drill; they tend to be a real problem on the small surfaces used for pinning.

 

I'd recommend using a light machine oil like 3-in-1 to lubricate the drill bit.

 

For the pins, I use either brass rod or paper clips. (Brass rod for small joints, paper clips for larger.) I wouldn't recommend either music wire or dressmakers' pins, as they're hard enough to damage your cutters, and when you do cut them, the pieces tend to fly at high velocity.

 

To cut the pins, a diagonal cutter works fine for brass or mild steel like paper clips. I'd recommend not using sprue cutters for anything other than plastic. For hardened steel, you need special cutters that are more expensive.

 

To attach the pins and pinned parts, I prefer a fast-set epoxy to super glue, because the super glue is weak to torque and shocks.

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I picked up a good Pin vice and bits from Hobby Lobby. Bits are probably the most important part of that combination, since cheap bits won't cut as well, and will make the whole process a lot more tedious.

 

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/mini-pin-vise-with-12-assorted-drills-453357/

 

With a weekly coupon the price isn't that bad. For pinning I use brass rod or straight pins.

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I've found out that find a pin vice/drill that will fit your hand comfortably. I've one quite a few PVs in my time, but ended up going with GF9's ball pin vice as it fit my hand. It makes the drilling so much more comfortable.

 

If you have a hard time drilling, lube your bits up with a bit of oil.

 

I also have this as well:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Tamiya-74041-Electric-Handy-Drill/dp/B000J46WZ4

 

Works pretty well. Of course it doesn't spin as fast as a Dremel but it does make for some quick drilling.

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I recommend floral wire, for one reason. It's cheap. Pins do not have to be very strong in most cases, as they do not support much weight, they just serve to keep two parts tied together. That said, there are some joints where you will want much heavier material. For this I like finishing nails/ air nailer brads, but that is because I have the tools at hand to cut them easily

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What great information , thank you .

 

I'm in Canada what kinda of moola $$ we talking? Can u just not pin? Sounds like the hand held pin vice is the best way to go with good quality drill pieces any wire but floral is tops add green stuff and super glue. Is the epoxy far superior to super glue?

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I don't think epoxy is much, if any better than super glue. as for prices, it all depends on where you are and what's available near at hand. Should be less then $20 even with GST and PST and all those other ST's our government seems so generous with. As for not pinning, yeah, you can, and for a lot of things I don't bother with a pin. It's only important on joints that you can't get a good glue bond, or where there might be extra pressure in transport. A lot of minis have a ball and socket joint that, a quick scratch up with a xacto blade and a dot of glue will hold together fine.

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I think epoxy is far superior to super glue.

 

If the joint won't be under any stress, super glue is fast and easy. But if the piece will be moved, or particularly if it will be a game piece, super glue is too brittle. Super glue works great when the joint is under tension, but it's really not good for shock loading or in torsion. OTOH, epoxy is more annoying to use, so there's a tradeoff.

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You can get a very cheap pin vise from Harbor Freight, I think I paid like $1.50. It's not great, but serviceable. It's what I started out with, and I still use it for holding armatures when I'm sculpting weapons/bottles. I cannot stress enough how rubbish their bits are though. They will work, but not well, and just frustrate. I'm not sure if they ship to Canada. You could go this route, but if you do, I strongly recommend getting some good bits to go with the vise and keeping the ones that come with it for drilling plastic, or just chuck them.

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I picked up the GW "hobby drill" from my FLGS - basically all they sell for miniatures is GW stuff, and they're the only place that I could find a pin vice / drill locally. It's OK for plastic and Bones, but not great for metal at all - I will probably end up replacing it, but I've got a bunch of Bones to work with first (and even more Bones once the KS bones become available for sale to non-KS-backers)

 

For pinning I use some 22 gauge beading wire - my fiancee is all into that stuff, and I just "borrowed" some of her wire. I like it, it's pretty strong, but nice and flexible at the same time, so if I'm pinning a mini to a flat base (which is all I've done so far) I can fold it over underneath to give a bit of a stronger hold (I like to think so anyways, but I'm no expert...)

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