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Looking for Ma'al Drakar preparation advice

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Ordered Ma'al Drakar to play the role of Tiamat in my Rise of Tiamat campaign I'm currently running. (Icons of the realm Tiamat is just to small IMHO)

 

Having just received it in the mail I'm finally understanding the scale of the project I have Doomed myself to. Lol

 

I was wondering if people had tips on mold line removal for pieces this large, what you suggest for Gap filling between all the assembled pieces, should I prime before assembly, and if there is a best way (or horribly wrong way) to pin all the pieces together.

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With luck, @OneBoot will weigh in, since she built Big Mal.

 

From the point of view of someone who hasn't done that (I have him but have been way too intimidated so far ::D:), a few things I've learned in painting other Bones figures:

  • The best tool (IMO) for cleaning mold lines is a scalpel (handle and blade). They're dangerous*, but you can just shave the mold line right off. I don't like abrasives on soft PVC at all.
  • I wouldn't use a putty that hardens to a stone-like consistency (Magic Sculp or Apoxie Sculpt, for instance), because the flexibility of the model can pop the putty right off. You might think about something like Acrylic Gel Medium, since it stays flexible and can be sculpted.
  • For most models, I would absolutely assemble, then prime, then paint. Mal is so large that he can be really difficult to move around. A lazy susan painting base can help, but I wouldn't fully assemble this particular model before painting. That said, if you're using a zenithal priming technique to get consistent lighting, it can be worthwhile to temporarily assemble the mini before priming, then take it back apart (at least partly) for painting. When you have the parts fitted, think about how you're going to get a paintbrush into various parts of the mini during the painting process.
  • Mostly, Bones figures assembled with cyanoacrylate cement (super glue) don't need pinning. If you want to pin, the technique I use is this one. Easy, quick, and reliable.

* I've already cut deeply into the pad of the thumb on my knife hand once. Fortunately, a wound caused by a sharp knife often heals very quickly. Do be careful, and consider using cut-resistant gloves.

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When I did Ma'al, I did a partial assembly; I glued the necks down. Everything else got put on later - limbs, tail, heads, wings. Wings are actually still not glued down, for transportation purposes.

 

I spent a lot of time cradling a surprisingly heavy dragon body, between bouts of head/limb painting. The wings were the worst, in some ways; I had decided to patch all the ragged holes, and... well, that was a process. Greenstuff (blue/yellow Kneadatite) works fairly well, but requires some poking, and is, in fact, a sticky mess if you're not used to it. Cyanoacrylate glues LOVE greenstuff, though; so that can be an advantage.

 

Agree with Doug about the blade; I use a #11 exacto, but the same basic idea holds. You can get seam scrapers that work about as well, I'd recommend at least one to most people.

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Thanks for all the advice Doug, just as information dense as I was hoping for.

 

On 12/14/2019 at 12:44 PM, Sylverthorne said:

When I did Ma'al, I did a partial assembly; I glued the necks down. Everything else got put on later - limbs, tail, heads, wings. Wings are actually still not glued down, for transportation purposes.

 

I spent a lot of time cradling a surprisingly heavy dragon body, between bouts of head/limb painting. The wings were the worst, in some ways; I had decided to patch all the ragged holes, and... well, that was a process. Greenstuff (blue/yellow Kneadatite) works fairly well, but requires some poking, and is, in fact, a sticky mess if you're not used to it. Cyanoacrylate glues LOVE greenstuff, though; so that can be an advantage.

 Probably going to do the same on both the assembly and wing filling. Thank for the warning Sylverthorne.

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When I painted Ma'al, I assembled everything but the heads and the base. I fill joins with gel superglue and elmer's glue, using tissues and such to help smooth the fluids for the gaps. I don't prime my Bones, so I just went to town after that.

 

Here's the results.

Edited by Disciple of Sakura
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I have done Mal as well.  I removed mold lines using an exacto knife, primed, removed some more, started painting, removed some more... 

 

I used green stuff to fill the cracks.  I fully assembled my dragon before painting, and it was ok, but there were a few spots on the heads and necks that were very hard to reach after. 

 

I am trying to psyche myself up for another giga project like that,  I have a huge coatl waiting for me. 

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