Dice Theory! A basic introduction

What is it?

Dice theory is about calculating basic probabilities which thus lets you estimate the success and fail rates of model performance, equipment and abilities. This then lets you judge their performance against other models, both your own and the enemies. From there you can use it to help you build army lists, make choices on the battlefield and evaluate results of battles you take part in.

Is it hard?

No. This is fairly basic maths that (with a bit of a reminder) most people can understand pretty easily. Yes if you really want you can take it far further with complex statistics and comparison methods, but for most users the best results are going to be just looking at the basic results. Though if you are keen by all means take it further!

Lets get started!

Note for this discussion the / line is being used to show a fraction not a division sign (although note that to put any fraction into normal numbers you simply treat it as a division, just be sure that you do any division before any multiplication when doing your sums)

The first core concept to understand is how to represent rolling in maths. The Warhammer games are easy in this regard because the random elements introduced by dice rolling are all done on the good old D6 – the six sided dice. Therefore you know that in pretty much all cases the probability of anything happening is going to be out of six.

So lets look at a model – the Daughter of Khaine Witch Aelf. This model has a To Hit value of 3+, which means any roll on a D6 which is a 3 or higher will hit.

A 3+ means that a roll of 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the dice will succeed. So that is a total of 4 possible rolls from a dice with 6 sides. We can write that as 4/6 and can also be divided to give 0.6666 to infinity (it never ends) which can be simplified to 0.67 (which is a perfectly fine level of accuracy for dice theory)

So if one recalls that a half is 1/2 = 0.5 we can see that for a “To Hit” of 3+ a model should be hitting more than half of the time when the dice rolls. It won’t be every time, but its a pretty good success rate.
However landing a hit is only part of an attack, you also have to roll to wound. A Witch Aelf has a To Wound roll of a 4+, so a roll of 4, 5 and 6 will land a wound. That is 3/6, or 0.5 (yes same as 1/2 – a half). Now because to wound depends first on the chance of the model hitting we have to combine the two results.

To Hit – multiplied by – To Wound = Number of wounds scored.

4/6 * 3/6 = 0.33
0.67*0.5 = 0.34 – Note there is a tiny difference here because we used the rounded value instead of the infinite for 4/6. In terms of dice rolling this difference is negligible.

So now you can see that for a single Witch Aelf making a single attack, it has under a half chance of landing a wound each time. In fact doing the maths with the proper values its exactly equal to 1/3.
Now we can take that understanding and improve it further. Lets say we’ve got 10 Witch Aelves in a single unit. They each have 2 attacks, 3+ hit and 4+ wound and deal 1 damage with each hit. Also there is one leader in the group who has a +1 to hit. Let us assume that you get this unit into close combat and that all 10 models are in range of the enemy.

We thus have:
9 models make 2 attacks each with a To Hit of 3+.
1 model making 2 attacks with a To Hit of 2+ (2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)

We can write that as:
The attacks made by the regular models*to hit chance + attacks made by the leader*to hit chance = total attacks
(9*2*4/6) + (1*2*5/6) = 13.67
12 + 1.67 = 13.67

So from 10 Witch Aelves we can estimate that they will make 13.67 attacks. From there we can work out how many times they will wound from those attacks. Because they all wound on the same 4+ score this is even easier and is simply

Number of attacks*to hit chance = number of wounds
13.67*3/6 = 6.83

So from 10 Witch Aelves you can expect to make 6.83 wounds (which you could round up to 7 if you wish). As 10 Witch aelves make 20 attacks total we can see that it matches our earlier maths of  being around 1/3rd of the attacks

1/3*20 = 6.67

The leaders bonus makes a little difference, but not a huge amount in this comparison, but likely pushes it closer to a full 7.

 

Now in this test these Aelves were not attacking anything, but if we give them an opponent – say a nasty Deamonette of Slaanesh – we can see how things might fare.

A Deamonette has a basic save of 5+ (works on a 5 and 6), and we are making a (rounded up) 7 attacks against them. So that would be:

Number of wounds*save chance
7*2/6 = 2.3

So we can expect them to make around 2 saves, which would mean they’d lose 5 hit points; which as each Deamonette has only 1 wound, means they would lose 5 models.

In practical terms we now know that if we take our unit of 10 Witch Aelves and attack a unit of 30 Deamonettes, we are only going to have a chance to kill around 5 of them in any one turn of combat, which is not that many from such a large unit. In contrast, if we were to charge a unit of 10 Deamonettes we could expect to take out around half the unit!

 

Whilst experience on the tabletop can also teach these very same lessons, a little bit of maths theory can let you better understand these concepts in less complicated manner.
Furthermore its not beholden to wild-chance that real dice will give; for example you could attack 30 Deamonettes with your 10 Witch Aelves and kill 15 of them with some really super lucky dice rolls for you and some bad saving from your opponent. An experience like that might make you think your Witch Aelves are superpowered and thus charge them into Deamonettes (and other similar units) like that again, only to get crushed when you kill a more “normal” number of 5 and they make a far superior return attack.
It can also help a lot when you want to compare things, such as different unit types or weapon choices on the same unit. You can test out what the wounds will likely be, but also see how different special effects might or might not become more critical to the importance of a unit The next article covers this in more detail by comparing the Witch Aelves with duel blades and Witch Aelves with bucklers.

Remember Dice Theory is not replacing gameplay and actual experience. It makes assumptions about the game situation and often you might compare things at the extreme ends (eg comparing 10 witch aelves and 30 witch aelves) to see the patterns or differences in the units. Furthermore its not taking into account positioning, range, cover etc…All essential gameplay elements that contribute to an overall success. Indeed in this test we’ve assumed that you’d get all 10 models in the unit into close combat – in a real game you might lose several on the way and might also not be able to move all of them into position to attack. However if you know that about 1/3rd of your hits are going to cause wounds and most of those will kill you can at least plan with that in mind accordingly.

KR Multicase Review

The KR Accessory case. I purchased the case empty, they also do a version with their own tape measure and a selection of 30 regular dice as well.

Made by KR https://www.krmulticase.com (non affiliate link)

Price: (as of this articles writing 01-08-2018)

Empty case black or silver £10.99
Case and 30 regular dice and tape measure (choice of 3 colours of tape measure) £15.99

Both versions of the case also come with a stick on plastic wallet (not photographed) which can be used to put a name card or similar into and be stuck on one lid section

Content (my own added):
1 Tape measure – its a little chunky and I did have to remove the belt clip so that it would fit. It fights tight and pinches a little, ideally I’d get a slightly thinner one; this is a minor issue.

2) Two GW large dice packs (the Daughters of Khaine)

3) An older GW Dice Tin, which will let you put the lid on it. I like as not will use this for tokens and the tiny dice alone in time)

4) An assortment of regular dice (a few more than one of the old dice cubes)

So I chose to get the black version might regret it a “tiny” bit because I forgot how much black shows up dust, so silver might be better in that regard, but really a fast wipe with a cloth and its good as new. Note the colour only affects the outer case colour not the internal colour.
The case is well made and firm, the four clips on each side snap into place with a firm smooth action and once all four are clipped into place the lid is going nowhere. In fact you can lift up one clip and three alone holds it securely closed. The interior is lined with a black fine felt that gives a nice muted sound when you roll dice onto it.

The depth of the case is clearly based around two regular dice stacked one atop the other. It would have been nice to have have had it a little deeper and thus be able to stack two of the larger GW dice; but at the time of this items manufacture I don’t think GW were even using those larger dice (and in fairness trying to roll lots of those big dice is actually trickier than a handful of the smaller ones in equal number). There is a very slight lip around the inside of the case where the felt is stuck down, so you can’t pack it tight with with double layered dice – though honestly by that point you’re carrying hundreds of dice and thus way more than you’d need in a warhammer game.

The lid gives you a good dice rolling area, even with a big handful of the larger dice they generally all remained in the lid; and overspill is very minor and with smaller dice they all stay in side without issue. Because it takes a part in half you can either use the base to keep your dice and items organised; or take them out and offer it to your opponent so that you’ve both a separate dice rolling platform.

After closing the lid and giving it a strong shake around

The dice tin slides around a bit and the dice, predictably, roll around a lot. As its a hard case there is some noise with this, as one would expect of loose dice. You could muffle that further if you put the dice into a fabric bag prior to putting them in the container. My tape measure didn’t budge as the box was pinching it in place. At no point in this shaking around (where I also gripped it by the base/lid alone and shook that so that there was pressure on the clips) was there any sense of the structure of the container moving; or the clips weakening. All very solid locked together!

Overall – very pleased with this. There are a few niggles, but those are mostly just personal factors or related to using larger than average dice. With its build quality and price this is great value in my view; indeed I’d expect it to last for years and remain fully functional with the most likely long term wear and tear being on the felt slowly going bald with years of use.

A very solid fun product that brings with it a duel purpose of transport and game aid.

Blood Angels of Khaine – a conversion

So Daughters of Khaine are my focus right now and the range of new models released by Games Workshop are fantastic. However whilst scouting around the net I happened upon this conversion to the Khinerai

An idea I found very attractive and interesting and decided to adapt for myself, though my intent is to use the feather wings only upon the leaders (Shryke and Harridynn)to further highlight them from the rest of the unit and to show how special and mighty they are as warriors.

And along the way I figured I’d show you how I did this conversion!

Equipment you need:

1) Box of Khinerai. Remembering that the way these kits are assembled has fixed parts going to specific bodies. So you want to turn the manual that comes with them to the latter pages where they make the last khinerai which is the leader unit for the pack. Note that an error means that the weapon arm number isn’t shown on either one (though I assume that as they are last shown GW staff assumed you’d made the rest and thus it was the only blade/javelin remaining)

2) A set of Dark Eldar/Drukhari Scourge wings of the feathered variety. These are not too hard to find if you search bits stores or ebay.

3) Standard modelling tools for assembly.
Myself I used the following tools

a) A pair of clippers to remove parts from the sprue.
b) Plastic glue
c) A GW scalpel blade
d) A file – mine is a small 900 grit half round diamond file. This is a very fine file (like the emery boards that GW makes) that is fantastic to use. Hard to find in a high grit like this, but I got mine from here (no affiliation):

Eternal Tools:
https://www.eternaltools.com/files-burnishers/small-diamond-files
Their product video is worth a watch :

Methodology:

1) Assemble the Khinerai model as normal (optional leave head off). This is an important step because the way the wings are both attached to the core of the body involves them having huge chunks of the body upon them; including the arms. So you’ve got to attach the wings as normal to give you the body to work with.
I also find its important to attach the weapon arms and tail as well so that when you add the new wings they will fit around the rest of the model.
The head I put on with a small bit of white-tac (same as blue-tac just white) as I wanted to have the head separate from the main body to make painting a bit easier.
Remember to follow the parts guide in the manual that comes with the Khinerai. Also note that you should remove all mould lines prior to affixing parts together.

2) Once the glue is fully dry, remove the wings at the shoulders. This is a bit of careful cutting with the cutting blades. Take your time and remember if you’re not sure take off less rather than more, by taking off less you can file/scrape down to a smoother surface.

This shows a rough position for where I placed my cuts onto the model

Once I’d removed the wings I then used the scalpel blade to scrape and the file to smooth over the surface areas to give a nice easy to work with surface.

3) With the old wings removed its time to attach the new ones. Remember to clean off any mould lines from the feather wings before affixing. Also if you’ve done as I have with the head (not attached) remember to use some blue-tac or similar product (a bit of greenstuff would work too in the short term) to hold the head in place on the neck when affixing the wings to ensure that the long hair doesn’t get in the way.
Note that in my experience the horned helm with the interlocked antlers requires the most space. Though if you find you can’t easily fit the wing with this head you can just another head (the wings will already be denoting this as your leader unit so the helm has less importance).

The wing that goes onto the weapon shoulder I affix as normal without any modification. The wing that goes onto the larger shoulder with the buckler I did scrap (retaining the curve) some of the smooth surface of the wing off. This is so that the wing and feathers sit closer to the shoulder surface. I found this helped as this side of the model the shoulder is pushed out far more so, so the wing doesn’t want to be standing raised.

IMPORTANT. Because there’s no socket on the model the plastic glue will take longer to get a decent bond before you can let go. So be prepared to hold the model and wing in place firmly for at least 5-10 mins for each wing. When released release slowly and carefully as even after that time the plastic glue might not be fully cured. Long as the model and wing remain still the glue will set strong.

TIP – dry fit the wing to the model and hold it in place for a bit. This lets you practice how you are going to hold the model when you apply the glue, since there are a lot of delicate parts on these models and its a lot easier to practice without the glue getting in the way.

The final result!

And there you have it, the completed conversion with new feather wings! Note that I might use a tiny bit of greenstuff later on these just to smooth and create a better join area around the wings. This is purely optional and might not really be needed either, but do keep it in mind as an option.

Relthoza Interceptor Helix Assembly

Hot on the heels of the Vaxiss its time for another air based group of Relthoza models and that means the Interceptor Helix!

So lets crack it open and see what we get inside the box!


1 Savimasc main body
2 Savimasc left wings
2 Savimasc right wings
4 Reltholza standard metal legs
3 Halamasc Class Drone Pods
2 Sky Drop Markers
2 small dice
1 metal flight peg ball
4 flight pegs and stands

Quite a series of parts, however not too many honestly needing assembly. Indeed the 3 Halamasc Class Drone Pods that come with it don’t require any assembly at all save for cleaning them up and mounting them to their flight pegs. Must say I’m really impressed with these as models, very little in mould lines and whilst there are a few bubbles here and there in them they were very easy to clean up. They are also impressive as a general model considering how many overlapping areas they have; for casting from 3D printing [far as I know many Spartan models have their master copies as 3D printed – products are resin cast of course) its impressive.

So time to break out the tools and get to work; please do consult the previous guide on the Vaxiss assembly for a little more detail on general resin assembly methods.

Tools:
Top:
Colourshapers
Pin vice
Brass rod

Left to Right:
Nose pliers (helpful for holding/pushing pinning brass into slots when glue is applied)
Files (round and flat)
General Greenstuff tool
Scalpel
Toothbrush

Phase 1:

Remember the first step is always to wash your models; metal and resin parts all need a quick wash to clean off any potential casting resin left upon them. Be careful of some of the metal parts in this set as they are very small so keep a firm hold on them.

Phase 2: Halamasc

These models only need a clean up and sticking to their flight pegs, honestly nothing more than that!


Showing most of the major cleaning required. These remains are easy to clip away with clippers or to cut away with careful sawing with the scalpel blade.


As before with the Vaxiss, clean out the air bubbles with the scalpel blade; fill with greenstuff; smooth over with the general greenstuff tool and then the colourshaper; remembering to wet the tools when working with the greenstuff to stop it sticking to the tools.

With the Halamasc cleaned up don’t forget to clean the edges of the skydrop markers as well. Once those two steps are done its time to move onto the Savimasc (dragonfly) itself.

Phase 3: Savimasc Class Heavy Battle Suit clean up

The main body and wings clean up very easily, indeed beyond the injection points on the wing balls and the rear of the main body there was almost nothing to clean up on these, really effortless to clean up the resin for this model.

Moving onto the legs we encounter metal and for this the method changes a little. You can still scrape with the scalpel, however these legs are easily shaped that you can use a pair of files. I used two kinds, a flat edge and round file. The flat is good for the ball of the leg, whilst the round was better for cleaning around the spikes and along the curved leg length. Simply work slow and steady and file the mould lines away.

But before we get there there’s some tabs which are thicker and tougher than resin to clear off. You can use a set of clippers as they are ideal for clipping away bits of excess metal. However if you lack a set you can saw with the scalpel same as on resin; only be aware that it will be slower and tougher so you really must work the blade around the join area, saw all around rather than just trying to go through one spot.


Typical metal flash consisting of the thicker tab and flake strips (which often snap off easily or can be cut of in a second with a blade; or cut off with clippers).

Phase 4: Assembly

Beginning with the wings you’ve really a lot of choice with the ball and sock assembly as to how you want to position the wings on this model. I do advise that you put some greenstuff/bluetack onto the top of the flight peg and stick the etal ball onto it and then again put a bit more greenstuff/bluetack onto the top of that to hold the main body in a rough flight position for when the model is mounted.

This will give you some idea how the model will look and this what position you will want to put the wings into. After that its a simple case of scoring the join aresa on wings and body and adding the superglue. For this situation I also used a tiny bit of greenstuff in the socket (glue applied to the ball of course) just so that I had a fast bond with the greenstuff that would hold the wing in place whilst it dried.

If you want you can, of course, pin the wings which will make a stronger bond, however I feel they should be strong enough without a pin. The choice is, of course, yours to make.


This gives you some idea of the angle I choice for the fore and rear wings. Note I found it easier to affix the front wings before attaching the rear wings.

With the wings attached its time for the legs, these attach exactly the same as the wings; you score the join areas (careful when scoring the metal ball on the legs as metal is a little tougher than resin) and glue together; again I used a little greenstuff here just to help things along.

You can choose the angle for your legs, I chose mine facing backwards but you can have them facing inward; even grasping at the flight peg if you want!

Finally remove the greenstuff from the flight peg and metal ball and then glue the metal tab to the peg. You can then score and attach the model direct to its ball, even rotating it a little if you want a different pose (tip consider the wing positions and angles if you go for something dynamic). Now all you have to do is undercoat and paint up your interceptor Helix!

Undercoated 360 views of all models to come soon!

Note there is a way to have a magnetic flight peg assembly, however that guide is coming later (sorry still not got the bits I need for it). I will post it up when I can.

PS you can use a 3mm drill bit and pin vice to drill into the Savimasc main body if you want to use a normal flight peg and not use the supplied metal ball setup. Choice is yours to make; just remember that its not a huge model so whilst there is room to drill into it you’ve not got infinite space.

Relthoza Vaxiss Ground Attack Leviathan Assembly Guide

This is the collected version of a series of posts I did over a weekend which details a step by step guide as to how to assemble a Vaxiss Ground Attack Leviathan model by Spartan Games as part of their Planetfall range of models.
In the guide I take you through step by step showing methods common to working with resin miniatures including pinning, bone pinning, filling gaps and bubbles. I also include tips and ideas specific to the fantastic Vaxiss model itself.

Tools!
Left to right:
Brass bristled brush – invaluable for cleaning metal files after using them on resin/metal/greenstuff. Especially greenstuff will choke up files fast so a brass brush like this one will be very important if you want your metal files to keep working!

Metal file – used mostly to remove the waste on the bone-pinned joints.

Standard Greenstuff Tool – dull blade on one end and flat section on the other; a standard default basic greenstuff tool that can do a lot.

2 Colourshapers – I’ve more but these are the two I mostly used for this model, and honestly a vast amount was the cone headed tool.

Pinvice with drill attached and brass rod – for pinning work.

Toothbrush – for cleaning the model before assembly.

Scalpel. This is a Games Workshop one and I do like it over many scientific/standard ones as it does have a more chunky handle that makes it a little easier to hold at times. Blades are also a LOT easier and safer (in my view) to change in this than the “snap” fit ones typically found on most regular scalpels.

Finally along the top we’ve got a stick of greenstuff (yellow and blue stuff) and a standard tube of superglue.

Note shown – a pair of modelling clippers (on account I’ve missplaced mine!)

That’s what I’d honestly consider the basic tool-kit. You’ve got everything you need to work with to a good standard. Each tool has its place and function and tools are one thing you want to spend decent money on; good tools looked after will serve you well for years.

Phase 1:
Get the box – open the box – take out all the parts and stare in wonder at your new model!
Ok staring over time to go through; this first stage you’re looking for a few things

a) That you’ve got all the parts; it helps if the model has an assembly sheet, although most Spartan ones don’t they are generally fairly easy to work out how they go together. At this stage you’re just looking to see that you’ve got every bit present and correct.

The Gunship has the following parts:
1 Abdomen (long chunky bit)
1 Thorax (short chunky bit)
6 Wings
2 Wing arms
2 Twin gun arms
1 Head
1 Mounting slot (small bit of resin with a hole in it)
2 Droppods
4 Legs
1 Small Dice
1 Small Dice holder
1 Flight stand and peg (clear plastic)

B) Checking for excessive flash, mould lines or bubbles/damage to details. Check each bit over carefully under good light for bubbles, lost details, flash and other aberrations. At this stage you’re looking to see if you’re unlucky enough to have any parts damaged beyond use and thus in need of replacement. You do this now because also inside the box is the packer slip which you can use when filling for replaced parts.

An example of some flash on one of the leg tips
Normal

Flash

An example of a mould injection point on the ball of a leg; this is the point on the model where the injection mould has the resin pumped into it. Sometimes its clearly evident, other times its subtle and not an issue.

An example of a bubble, in a minor location.

As you can see the bubble is in the toe of the left foot, its an area with minimal detail and the overall shape of the foot is still the same as one without. Thus repairing this is perfectly simple and wouldn’t require replacing the part (note some flash on the other toe).

c) Bent parts; metals will have the most risk of a bend, followed by resin and then plastic. For a model like the gunship which is all resin a bend could be possible, especially in the wing segments. Bends are not automatically a replacement need, depending on the nature of the bend itself.
If you do have a bend heat the afflicted part in very hot water for a while; this will soften the resin and lets you make small adjustments to its shape by applying pressure. Take it slow and carefully to avoid snapping. Thinner parts work easier, whilst thick chunky segments might be impossible to fix. Again if such is the case contact Spartan for replacement parts.

d) You might see some parts have a slightly different colour (shown below). This is perfectly normal for resin, sometimes it represents slightly different formulas for different parts; most of the time it simply reflects slight differences in the composition between mixes and shouldn’t have any effect on your model.

Phase 2;
Ok so you’ve checked your model over and its all looking good now onto the next step. Most hobby models are formed in injection moulding and thus feature a mould line where the two halves of the mould are pressed together. What also happens is that there is often a resin/oil coating on the outside of the model which helped it slip out of the mould initially.
You don’t want this on your model (and many times might not even see nor feel it) because it will affect the ability of glue and paint to bond to the model.

To remove it is simple.
a) Get a small bowl and fill it with hot water and a little bit of soap (eg Fairy Liquid) – you don’t need lashings of soap, just a little drop.

B) I use a second bowl of warm (but not hot) water into which I put all the parts to sit (this keeps them out of the way and lets me work through the model start to finish easily – you can, of course, just leave the parts loose if you wish).

c) Dip each part into the soapy water and then, using a soft tooth brush, scrub the part down. Be careful when working with thinner segments and its only a light scrubbing, you’re not using vast amounts of force here.

d) Once scrubbed with soapy water I then take the part over and continue scrubbing under a flow of water from the tap. This helps you wash all the residue that you’ve loosened up off the part. It’s better than a rinsing bowl as it means that the water is always fresh and thus won’t contaminate the part.

e) Leave the parts to dry (tip if you rinse in warm water it will evaporate off quicker than cold). Some kitchen paper/roll helps otherwise just leave them on a cloth to dry.

NOTE 1 At no point in this are we using boiling water; hot from the tap not scalding from the kettle.

NOTE 2 Be mindful that models often have very small parts and thus I would advise keeping the plug in the sink or washing over a large bowl. Dropping a part down the plug hole is not grounds for free replacement parts so if you lose a bit its going to cost you to replace it.

NOTE 3 Generally speaking you should always wash resin and metal models. Plastic is generally safe without washing, but there are a lot of plastic-resin hybrids on the market now (often still sold as “plastics”). Washing won’t hurt so its generally safer to wash all the parts rather than find out you’ve got problems later on.

Phase 3:
Once dry, lay out all the parts again, double check you’ve got them all!

Phase 4

Ok lets start fixing some of the problems with the model and clean it up ready to start assembling.

a) First you want to go over and remove any mould lines and flash from the model. Resin is soft and thus easy to work with a simple scalpel blade and you will do most work with this for cleaning off bits. Take it SLOW and scrape with small motions. You’re aiming to shave off a little each time rather than hack at the model. Believe me scraping will remove stuff very quickly and by taking steady motions you remain in control of the blade, thus saving your model and your fingers.

B) Thick segments of flash. Sometimes you will get thicker chunks of flash which are not going to scrape away, but which are positioned so you can cut them. Now if you use clippers they will work but you have to be careful because its very easy to cut and put pressure on a detailed area and warp it.
Thus you can cut with a blade instead.

First identify the area to be removed

Then line the blade up and saw with it slowly and steadily with a little pressure.

Don’t try to go through it all in one go as you can find your blade will jump at a point of weakness; or that you’ll suddenly put too much pressure and snap a part off. Instead work one side then the other, flip the part over. For some you can even work around in a circle around the segment to be removed. Removing a little from around steadily is the best approach and soon enough the part will come off.

c) During this process of preparation you might well find more bubbles and sometimes scraping away an area can expose an underlaying bubble. This is no problem. First use the tip of the blade to gently clean around the edge of the bubble, all you’re doing is exposing it more fully to fill (rather like a dentist giving a filling). Of course temper this against the area you’re working in on the model, sometimes you will want to keep the edges raised to protect another area.

Once cleaned you’ll have a bubble, like this on the left.

Now you can use greenstuff or even liquid greenstuff to fill this (liquid is basically a thick green coloured superglue good for filling tiny gaps easily). For this I chose greenstuff itself (note you can use any kind of fine detail modelling putty, greenstuff is just a standard popular choice).
Greenstuff comes in a stick of yellow and blue that when mixed goes green (hence the name). Once green you’ve around an hour to work with it before it goes tacky and then  it will start to cure and harden (takes around 12-24 hours for a fully hard finish). As we are filling holes we only need a very tiny bit.

Note, you see the join between the two, that area is often hard and cured as the two parts react. So when cutting off a strip I tend to cut out a slither of the middle so that I get a smooth amount of greenstuff without a hard lump in it.

Then just knead the yellow and blue between your fingers till it goes soft and green in colour (it will also be slightly sticky too).

Once green roll it into a sausage shape, make it thin and then slice off a VERY tiny bit from the end. Rather like scraping away detail was done in small steps so too is adding greenstuff. It’s much easier to add a little more than take any away from an area you’re working on.

Remember when working with greenstuff it is a little sticky so it will stick to your tools. That is unless you wet them. Just the tip that’s working with the greenstuff; I use an old jam-jar lid filled with water. You can use vegetable oil as well which keeps on the tool longer (you have to re-wet every so often with either and more so with water); however you MUST wait for the greenstuff to fully cure and then warm soapy water wash the model again if you’re using vegetable oil otherwise it will mess with your paint and glue.

When adding the greenstuff I used a standard modelling tool which has a dull blade on one end and a flat surface at the other. Using the blade end I gently push the greenstuff into the bubble, adding more as needed in little stages till its built up.

I then used the other end to smooth over the greenstuff and shape it a little to the gap.

Finally I turn to a colourshaper (also known as clay shaper). These are silicon tipped tools that let you smooth greenstuff over much more cleanly and evenly than metal tools can. They are great to work with and come with a range of shapes; for this one as I had a flat surface I chose one with a flat head.

Just rub back and forth gently over and over to smooth over the greenstuff. At this stage if you’ve any excess you can gently tease it away with your tools. So long as you keep them wet they will work. A scalpel blade can be used to cut away any excess that won’t rub/smooth away with other tools.

Note that if you have a little raised area its not the worst, you can wait until its fully cured and then scrape with the scalpel (you can file it too but it will clog up your file fast so keep a brass wire brush nearby to clean your file; or use a disposable emery board instead of a file).

And there you have it, you’ve filled a bubble!

Phase 5: Pinning
Because of the size of the two main body segments I decided that it would be worth pining this join area in order to increase the strength of the join between the two. It’s also a very easy area to pin as both segments have a slot and pin design and within each is a pre-drilled hole from the mould. These are shallow and not deep enough for pinning, but mean that you can simply get a pin-vice drill and drill into the hole to deepen it; knowing that both will align up already. Very easy and very well planned of the designers to include this guide (wish more would do this kind of thing in models!)

a) First step is simple, get the drill and drill down into both of the holds on the join area. The resin is chunky here so easy to hold onto and easy to drill into. Apply some pressure and drill away, but don’t push too hard least you break the drill bit.
Remember once you’ve gone as deep as you want do a good few turns of the drill without any push so that you clean the hole out as much as possible; this removes debris from the drilling and makes it a lot easier to push the metal rod in.

B) A simple brass rod is pushed in and cut, leaving a short stump to go into the other half. I like to leave both parts of the brass unglued the first time. This lets you push the two parts together to make sure they both line up correctly and have depth depth to make a flush join on the resin.
Once you’re happy simple apply glue to one half of the rod and push it into the slot and leave to dry. Then repeat and push the two halves together.

TIP. For this set-up I left the join unfinished. There’s a reasonable amount of detail around the join area and I’m of two minds at present as to if I glue and greenstuff the join or leave it un-joined and paint before final assembly here (I suspect since its a shadowed area I will do the former so that I’ve a stronger joint).

Phase 6:

Wing assembly. I decided to next assemble the wings because I wanted to get a real world feel of how big and heavy they were before attaching the main arm to the body. The wings are odd in this model as the detailed side of the wing arm is actually the joining surface as well (I suspect a minor error in design?).

Assembly is standard for resin to resin mounts:

a) Score the smooth surface of the wing – remembering to check the joining surface by holding the parts together first so that you score the correct side.

Showing the joining area and wing; note the wing will slide further on when attaching, but I wanted to show the underlying detail on the wing-arm in this shot.

Scoring, done with a simple scalpel/blade

B) Once scored simply put a few drops of superglue onto the wing arm and then simply press and hold the wing to the wing arm for a few moments. Note don’t use too much glue or it will go everywhere and that will be a pain if you get it on your fingers and model.
Start from the back and work forward on the wing although they are spaced out enough that it shouldn’t be too hard going either way.

Finally a sense of how big these wings are when assembled (head and gun arms also displayed for a sense of the overall final model.

At this point I’ve decided that the wing arms will be joined to the body with pinning and permanently. I did think of using magnets and a rod of metal to hold them secure; but considering the weight and angle and the small area of contact for the join I feel that it would be easier to play with with the wings fixed. This does make the model rather large for transporting, but not totally impossible.

Phase 7:

Assembling the wings. This is possibly one the the more tricky areas of assembling the model and also one rather hard to photograph whilst doing it. For this though we can break it into stages like before – remember I also chose to attach the wing blades to the wing arms, you can use some blue-tack to hold a few wings in place and attach the wing arms without the wings fixed (have them with the blue-tack just to get the position right).

a) If you look at the wingarm joint and on the thorax where it joins you’ll see there’s a hole in both. The one on the wingarm will fit a 3mm magnet easily and the one on the body needs a little widening but will also take one. A 3mm magnet alone isn’t enough for wings like this, but you could go that way if you want (you will want to have a brass pin glued to one half with a slot on the other to prevent rotation around the joint).
If you’re not going to use magnets and instead will fix the wings permanently the first thing you need to do is use greenstuff to fill the holes on both. Simply fill them up and make sure the surface is flat on both.

Those astute of you will notice that I got a little ahead of my self before taking the photo; you’ll also notice that I took the time to fill the arm joints as well since I’m not using magnets on them either and thus have no need of them.

B) At this stage you “can” get impatient and break out the glue or you can wait for the greenstuff to cure and then use it. What I will say is that if you apply glue to greenstuff the greenstuff sets in seconds; it fast bonds the two surfaces together but the greenstuff itself is still soft inside and thus is a point of weakness in a join. It can ‘be a handy trick to use a little slither of greenstuff to help get a join to seal faster and hold itself together to free your fingers up (glue and greenstuff will both need normal amounts of time to fully harden).

c) If you get the glue out remember to hold the parts together for a good long while, I would also advise dry fitting the model into the flight slot so that you can see its flight angle as its rear is raised up very high (higher than you’d expect).

d) Tricky part is simple in theory; glue and press and hold and then do the other wing; making sure to line them up as best you can. Once the glue can hold itself set the model down (it will sit on the ground on its abdomen quite happy without the wings touching the ground).

e) WAIT a good half a day for greenstuff and glue to fully cure. This is important because the next step is going to involve a drill. Yep because if you’ve noticed we’ve got a rather weak join holding a heavy amount of resin and we didn’t pin it. The reason for this is that the wingarm has very little material to actually drill into to put a pin in. Therefore we are going to use a different method of pinning called “bone pinning.”

Regular pinning is internal, you never see any part of the pin and you fit it before joining. Bone Pinning is different but a very important method for joins like this or ones where the joining surface is rounded or otherwise hard to drill a straight line into on both halves.
Bone pinning won’t work every time, but where it can be used its a great method.

A series of shots to give an idea how I laid my wings out, you can choose different angles if you want; note the angle of the model and the importance of really seeing this in person; remember we are not glueing it to the base yet, that comes later.

You can see here there is greenstuff around the wings where they meet the wing arm. I chose to do this because some of the joins there were not as flush as the others (you can see this in an earlier photo if you compare the wing arms against each other). Thus a little greenstuff worked into the gap and smoothed over completes the effect as I desired.

Bone Pinning:
a) Once your greenstuff and glue are fully dry (seriously WAIT or you’ll have to redo it all over again) select your brass rod and appropriate drill bit.

B) Drill into the shoulder point of the wing arm and keep drilling. What you are doing is going straight through the arm and into the body of the model. This lets you get the maximum amount of resin on the wing-arm supporting the pin and lets you put the pin right through the weaker greenstuff plug that we’ve got in both join areas.

c) Once you’re in a good distance to the thorax itself (drill in – hold your finger over the exposed bit of drill bit and then pull it out to get an idea how deep you have gone); clean out the hole as normal and then thread the brass rod into the model. Check it fits and then slide it out, coat it in some superglue and push it all the way in.

d) You might get some glue around the entrance which you will have to carefully wipe away. You will also have the rest of the brass rod sticking out, simply cut and then file the stub down to a flush finish with the wing arm.

e) Take your time with this one, drill slowly and check the fit. Once done you should have a nice strong join; don’t worry about the brass tip you can see, painting should cover that without any problems.

The Unplanned – it fell off – Phase

So you remember those fragile wings with the small joining area that we packed with greenstuff to help the bonding. Well as I was drilling the hole to put the pin in (using the bone pinning method above) I found that some of the greenstuff within the join was still uncured – despite me leaving it a good full day.

As a result it was a little sticky but no problem, one wing pinned perfectly and you can see below the result after I clipped the end off and filed down the exposed brass tip to a flat surface.

However one wing fell off. The glue itself held, but the join area was mostly greenstuff on greenstuff (which as we said isn’t always that strong and is why we are pinning to start with). No problem, these things happen with models from time to time and better that it happens now when we can easily fix it.

So I continued to drill out the hole into the model (removing the wing to set it aside as it had come off already). I then cleaned both surfaces of any glue so that we’d freshly be gluing resin not the old last glue (again a weaker bond). With the surfaces clean I threaded a little bit of greenstuff onto the brass rod, pushed the rod and threaded the wing on after. Then I put a little glue in the slot on the model and pushed the brass in, followed by the greenstuff and then the wing (pushing the greenstuff in just by pushing the wing on). Then held in place for a few moments and now its sitting there waiting to dry fully. I’ve not cut the brass off and will wait till the join is solid before doing so.

The two surfaces, note the plug fully pulled out of the socket. Both surfaces cleaned down flat and the holes drilled ready

Here you can see it just before I pushed it home with the glue. The greenstuff on the rod being pushed into the slot for a tight fit by the wing behind it. The rod already with glue on the end and pushed all the way in it would go.

This highlights the importance of the brass pin for this model and this wing area. Now I’ve got a pin in each wing that should give it a lot more strength.

Phase 8 the final!

So having attached most of the difficult parts we are left with the head, arms and legs to attach!

Note that before I performed this step I did an alteration to the model. I took small amounts of greenstuff and packed them into the small gap around the wing joints where they meet the body. I then smoothed this over with the colour-shaper tool (cone head). This was done to hide the “gap” between the peg and slot and because I wanted to smooth it over somewhat. This was purely a creative choice on my part so you can do likewise or not (see pictures just below to show what I did).

Head – this is a very easy part to attach, if not the most easy on the whole model. You might put a little greenstuff into the base (a small ball) just to fill it out a little to get a flush mounting to the visible parts. Otherwise a simple case of score the join areas and glue. Oddly much of the inner mounting area is detailed without need, but its no problem.

Arms – remember we filled the empty gaps with greenstuff before, now these are a little more tricky, rather like the wings the peg and slot don’t line up perfectly. However they are holding a lot less weight than the wings so pinning isn’t necessary, but if you want to you most certainly can. Just remember if you filled the hole with greenstuff you’ll need a long slot drilled to reach into the resin of the main body.
Otherwise score and glue.

Legs – here you have a bit of choice as the legs can be given to different angles. If you really wanted to you could even model the unit on the ground with the legs supporting it without problems. So the angle really is yours to choose. You might want to use a little greenstuff or blue-tack to hold the legs in place whilst you make your choice; then just score the socket and ball and glue.

Note for these I did put a small ball of greenstuff into each socket; I then applied the glue to the ball of the legs and pressed the two together firmly. I did this because the balls have detailing which makes them not perfectly round and if you adjust the angle a little you don’t get an even touch; so like the head a little greenstuff helps give a good even contact.

And there you have it! 1 Mighty flying beasty! Note the last phase of a magnetic flight stand will have to wait until another day (ergo when I’ve got the bits I need for that). However nothing can stop you from priming and painting the model right now.