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My box of figures from DSM for their Stephanie Law kickstarter came in. They're gorgeous. 


Many of them are in multiple pieces and need assemble. These are too pretty for me to half-donkey assembly. 


I have classic super glue. I have green stuff. What are your preferred methods to attach arms and whatnot so there aren't gaps and whatnot? How do you avoid slopping the superglue around swiftly before it hardens? Toothpicks perhaps? 


Some of these joints are very fine, so I don't think I can really pin them. They aren't heavy, so that has to help, and they do have knobs/sockets in most cases. I'd really like to make sure that gaps are sealed, and things like that, so they appear smooth. If they're fragile, that's not the end of the world, since these are unlikely to be used for tabletop purposes. 


This pack is all pewter, although I have a Kraken of Bones material that will need some guidance too. I generally have stayed away from assembly type figures in the past. Time to branch out! 


Help, pretty please? 

Edited by Cyradis
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I use Loctite Gel Superglue. It has moderate gap filling capabilities, and it doesn't seem to dry as fast as standard superglue. I usually just dab a small dot on the area that needs to be glued, and if it needs spreading I'll use a pin or scrap of plastic. 


When I can't pin I will often use a 2 part epoxy to glue. It may not be necessary, but I've had good luck with it. 


My preferred method for dealing with gaps is to fill them after I have fitted and glued. I use Greenstuff, Apoxie Sculpt, or Milliput, Sometimes a combination of two or more of them. 

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I'll check out the gel glue that you recommend. Most of these DSM figures don't have huge gaps to worry about, so they likely will be okay with that. 


And I offered to paint up a dragon figure I've had in my bin for years as a gift to my roommate (he'll become Smaug) - that guy is going to need the works. Pins, glue, LOTS of greenstuff. The gaps in some areas are huge. 


What do you mean by two part epoxy and glue? Are there mixable types? Or just a one followed by the other? 

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It's a heavy duty glue that comes in two separate parts that you mix together to activate it. In recent years you can buy very small tubes of it if you don't anticipate needing lots. 


There are varying drying times, but you can get the fast drying kind that usually cures in 5 minutes or so. 

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Epoxy is a different type of glue from super glue.  Superglue is based on cyanoacrylate.  Epoxy is based on a two part combination of an epoxy resin and a hardener.  You mix the two parts together and then apply them (use round toothpicks for mixing and disposable plastic items like a figure package or old hotel card to mix it on/with).  They typically do not setup very fast and almost always should be left to cure for a full day for full strength.  Epoxy does not dry, it cures in a chemical reaction between the two parts.  It provides one of the strongest bonds possible.  Superglue has high pull strength, but it shears easily from side force.  Epoxy is strong in all planes. I no longer glue any metal minis with anything other than epoxy.  I prefer JB-Weld 5 and 20 minute varieties (that is your working time, not cure time, cure time is typically an hour to 3 hours for handling and 24 for full cure; if you move an epoxy joint too soon it can stretch and will be rubbery and not fully harden, which is why I always wait at least 4 hours).  I find that the longer 20 minute type is strongest.


For Reaper Bones, don't bother with epoxy, cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) provides the strongest bond as it slightly melts the plastic and welds the pieces together a bit.


It should be noted that 2-part putties such as green stuff are a form of epoxy and can be used as a glue, but they are not as strong as straight epoxy glue.  That said, using Aves Apoxie Sculpt to fill gaps after gluing will give you a VERY strong joint.


With epoxy, you need to clamp the piece in place until they setup (I always leave mine for at least 4-8 hours). The easiest way to do this is to apply the glue to the joint, press the pieces together, and then sink the piece into moist sand until only the wet joint is sticking out.  This immobilizes it until it cures.


I know that a lot of people don't like using epoxy because is makes assembly take a lot longer, but I always figure that if I am going to be spending 20+ hours painting a piece, I definitely want it to stay together.

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I have shifted to mostly use 2-part epoxy and pinning for all metal-figure joints. My current epoxy is JB Kwik (the 5-minute version of JB Weld), which I got at Home Depot.


FWIW, I've been able to pin 25mm sword blades to hilts with careful drilling and really thin rod. I didn't notice anything in my figures from that Kickstarter that would be impossible to pin, though for very small (short) parts, it might not be necessary.


I will note a curious thing I noticed about JB Kwik this last time, though. I was gluing magnets into the holes in fender washers with JB Kwik. JB Kwik and JB Weld both have iron/steel filings to increase their durability. It turns out that they will mound up all by themselves when gluing magnets. ::o: (Which I should have known in advance, but there you go.)

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4 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

I have shifted to mostly use 2-part epoxy and pinning for all metal-figure joints. My current epoxy is JB Kwik (the 5-minute version of JB Weld), which I got at Home Depot.


Yeah, I think JB-Kwik is the typical one I buy too, saving the JB-Weld for high risk big pieces like the wings on a metal dragon.

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@TaleSpinner thank you for the chemistry details (I really like chemistry stuff, its fun!). I was familiar with the flaws of super glue regarding shearing, but didn't know epoxy got so strong against shear. That's certainly helpful, as most of these pieces are vulnerable to shear forces by their positioning (arms held outward etc). The sand method seems pretty great too - I'll give that a whirl. 


11 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

I have shifted to mostly use 2-part epoxy and pinning for all metal-figure joints. My current epoxy is JB Kwik (the 5-minute version of JB Weld), which I got at Home Depot.


FWIW, I've been able to pin 25mm sword blades to hilts with careful drilling and really thin rod. I didn't notice anything in my figures from that Kickstarter that would be impossible to pin, though for very small (short) parts, it might not be necessary.


I will note a curious thing I noticed about JB Kwik this last time, though. I was gluing magnets into the holes in fender washers with JB Kwik. JB Kwik and JB Weld both have iron/steel filings to increase their durability. It turns out that they will mound up all by themselves when gluing magnets. ::o: (Which I should have known in advance, but there you go.)


@Doug Sundseth Do you hand drill or are you very careful with a dremel? I'm not sure the flexshaft tool from my jewelry making days works anymore. And, what size/type of bit, what size of pin do you use? 


Effectively, what is my shopping list for things to bring to Saturday's paint day? Will snag some epoxies for sure. Bits would be good. I'll pick your brain a ton. 

Edited by Cyradis
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I seldom use a drill for pieces where the pin will be less than 1/6" (2mm) in diameter.  For everything else, I use a pin-vice.  I have a full set of micro drill bits.  You can get them from Micromark or Amazon. You can typically get a set for under $10.




By the way, if you do want to use power, an electric drill is a much better choice than a dremel.  Dremels are too fast and don't give you the speed control that a drill does.  You can get a micro chuck that fits into any standard drill:



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Hand drill all the way, using a pin vise. I have a set of bits that runs from #61 - #80 that I picked up from a hobby shop some years ago for not too much money. And any place that carries that sort of bit will also probably carry pin vises.


ETA: Talespinner uses a drill bit set much like mine.


For pins, I mostly use paperclips. When I need really thin pins, .020 brass rod works pretty well.


I would not generally recommend using music wire for pinning, even though it is very strong. If you don't have the right cutter, you'll notch your wire cutter with the first piece you cut. That said, I do have the right cutter (now, after destroying too many pairs of dikes), so music wire is an option for me for the worst sort of joints.


For pinning, there's a great trick using poster tack to you can use to get the precise location for the second hole. It used to be shown in a craft article at CMON, but I couldn't find it with a (very curory) search. I can show you on Saturday if you haven't found it before then.


Further edit: When drilling pin holes, make sure you lubricate the bit and it can help a great deal to drill an even smaller pilot hole first.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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Oh, and to answer the what size pin question, I typically shoot to have a pin that is about 1/2 to 2/3 the diameter of the smallest piece I am pinning.  I use mostly brass rods that I get at a hobby store.  For small figures you can also use silver coated copper wire found in beading stores in almost any size imaginable.  Don't use that for pin sizes larger than 1-2 mm as it is too soft to hold up a lot of weight like a dragon wing, but works great for small things like swords.


For big pins I tend to cut up old, metal coat hangers.  You need to use a hardened cutter for them, but they are cheap (free from my dry-cleaner) and hold a lot of weight.  I also sometimes use finishing nails.

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