Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pinning. What is it and why you should do it.

Let's take a moment or three to talk about pinning. If you are putting together metal or resin models you should really be pinning. Here are a few reasons why it makes sense to do so.

1. It keeps that pesky hand/arm/head/backpack etc from falling off on the game table.
2. Number 1 is especially frustrating when it chips the paint.
3. Geez now that I have glued the arm back onto my already painted model I have glue everywhere ruining the paint job I just spent 10 hours on....
4. It's a great way to have something to hold onto if you are painting your models before assembly.

So how do you pin you ask? Pretty easily really. There are a few things you will need to get started.

A good jeweler's pin set. I personally use the P3 version as it's under $10 and the drill bits have been stayed the sharpest and broken the least of the ones I have used. GF9, Army Painter and GW all sell them as well. PRO TIP- STAY AWAY FROM THE GW BRANDED ONE. It cost 3 times as much for the same darn thing. Don't through your money away buy some shiny models with it.

Most of the pin vices come with a few different sized drill bits and a bit of brass rod. I find for most 28mm models that the 0.85mm drill and rods are the right size for the job. If you are going to pin something big and heavy, I use the 1.5mm stuff.

You will also need a good pair of snips. For the longest time I just used an old nail cutter and that worked well for 0.85mm and below. If you are going to pin with anything bigger I would recommend getting a good set of metal snips. Again you can buy these from all the miniature companies, but why pay $20 for something you can pick up at Home Depot, Lowes, Menard's ect for under $10?

I'd like to also talk about using pinning to your advantage during modeling/painting.

I am working an a PP model for a client called the Blighted Bather. This thing is tiny. The body is white metal and the cauldron is resin. I don't know about you but to me that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen if I had just glued it all together.

I started like every other model, cleaning off mold lines and snipping off the odd spru/extra bit of metal. Then it was time to figure out where and with what to pin.

If you look at the model you can see that the metal legs go into the resin and the torso of the model goes into it as well. The "rubber ducky" sits on the base. As I am using a scenic base the ducky will be put into one of the recesses and will have clear resin applied around it to simulate water keeping it secured. I pinned it anyway so that I have something to hold it onto the cork. I then figured out the angle to pin by placing the pieces together and using the drill as a guide. Then its just a matter of drilling into the different pieces. Once the legs and torso have their pins. I take a dab of bright paint and put it on the end of the brass rod, and use the pin as a guide placing it down on the bit that it will be pinned to. This gives me a target to drill into. Drilling then becomes easy. Just make sure to make your hole deep enough 1/8th" should do. For priming and painting I like to put filler rod into the drilled holes. This will keep them free of paint and let me find them easily. Pro Tip - don't glue in your filler rods, just place them in the holes as you will need to remove them later.

Ok here are some pics of what I am talking about.

Here is the pin vice and a leg that is about to be pinned. 

Here you can see the legs pinned and the place holder pins in the cauldron. 

This has the torso and the ducky on pins in the cork ready for priming and painting. 

Well there ya go, Pinning is not hard and it will save you so very much hassle down the road. Please add some comments and questions.