Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dindrenzi BB WIP - Part 2

Once I had most of the flash removed, and the parts sanded to a reasonably close fit, I started working on installing a base for the model. The battleship does not include a hole to accept the 1/8th inch acrylic post included with the base. I assume that is because of the gap in the hull, which would coincide with such a mounting point. Obviously, I needed to add a support post, but I decided to go the extra mile and try to add a removable base. Separating base from miniature should make transport easier, and it will make it trivial to re-base the miniature, should I ever desire to do so.

I started by running to my local hobby and craft store to buy a supply of brass tube and rod stock. I also swung by the hardware store for some tiny steel hex nuts - you'll see why later.

Next, I began sanding a rectangular opening to the two halves of the ship's hull. My planned mounting hardware is wider than the empty space in the middle, and dove-tailing it with the resin should make it much stronger in the long run.
I cut a section of 5/32" square brass tubing and glued it into the opening. I also added two of the small steel nuts to the top end of the tube. For even more added strength, I glued some extra styrene bracing on either side of the mounting hardware.
I replaced the stock acrylic post from the kit with more brass parts:
  1. I hammered a short length of 1/8" round brass tubing into the square base to line and narrow the hole for the support post.
  2. I cut a length of 3/16" brass rod for the post and inserted it into the now brass-lined hole in the base.
  3. I cut a section of 1/8" square brass tube to the length of the larger square tube glued to the miniature.
  4. Finally, I glued the 3/16" support post into one end of the 1/8" square tube. The two are a nearly perfect fit, producing a base which looks like this:

The 1/8" square tube is a very close fit inside the 5/32" tube attached to the ship, allowing the two to mate tightly and produce a solid base for the model. As a final touch, I glued a tiny rare earth magnet to the top of the support post so that it could grip the steel hex nuts and prevent the base from falling off during play. (See? I told you the nuts would be important eventually)

The next step is even more fine tuning, putty and sanding to get everything ready for paint.

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