Friday, May 6, 2011

Warmachine: Plastic (a game all its own)

And then it happened. Two steps forward. One step back.

I have been working with the Warmachine starter kit for some weeks now – perhaps grappling is a better word… wrestling at the very least. 

[As an aside on a related topic, until I took these photos, I was willing (even eager, you may note that the flock is still wet in a number of the images) to consider the models “finished.” Not so. It never fails that a sunny day and a camera will show me exactly what needs improvement on a model or four. Still, for a first run, I am very nearly content for now. I have acquired another warcaster, a choir, and some other Protectorate goodies… and I expect to take a bit more time with that round, as I come to grips with what works on these models and as I believe is appropriate].

With regard to these would-be-finished models, I never knew that plastic could be such an utter pain in the ace. Seriously, what is with this stuff? When we discussed this previously, Joe described it as resiny-plastic. Certainly, that rings true. It seems to fall disconcertingly somewhere between either substance.

But my experience seems to revolve around the worst possibilities of either. Plastic glue did not bond well –staying soft and gooey way beyond proper time, and failing genuinely to bond as it will with GW plastics. One Jack lept from my hand while I was working on him (I am not certain if I have a condition exactly, but models will do this to me at a fairly consistent rate), and he absolutely disintegrated on the floor. The same brutal level of destruction would require some serious effort on a regular plastic …in my aforementioned semi-regular experience.

Likewise, super glue, which has worked a treat for me with resins in the past, seemed reluctant to repeat a performance here. I pinned the jeebus out of these models and bolstered that effort with green stuff and other sundry materials… In fact, I have tried just about every adhesive trick in my arsenal at this point, and I am still not utterly peachy with the results. Damnation. 

I will say this. Warmachine models are beautiful (I purchased the new caster, Amon Ad-Raza, simply because I need to paint him) but, to be fair, the models are also rather precariously sculpted and situated. There seems to be quite a significant number of small pieces responsible for holding/balancing much, much, much larger pieces. Dynamic. Yes. Unwieldy. Unfortunately. On one Light Jack, I actually replaced one of the pistons in the arm with a pin rod by drilling straight through the actual support and the length of the connecting arm. It was the only way that I could get the model to stay put. Strange. I know.

On the one hand, I suppose I get it. One only needs build and paint around 10 models (at most) to have a suitable and ambitious starter army. Why not, so the logic seems to go, spend a bit of extra time with those models? In theory, that is fine. One mustn’t grumble. But it is neither the time nor the effort that vexes me currently. I am still not entirely pleased with the result despite the two.

Again, Internet. I beseech you. What is going wrong here?

In the mean time, I am grumbling. This stuff is annoying me without mercy or hope for consolation. If I were conspiratorily minded, I might suggest that PP gave away a thousand of these boxes at AdeptiCon for exactly the reasons I have outlined above.

I am, however, neither cynical nor delusional, and am grateful for free stuff. Always. The starter box and the starter games have me on the hook. I just never suspected that plastic models would slow my movement into this otherwise extremely interesting game. 

After this, I will be happy to get involved with the metal models in the PP range –something I never, ever thought was modestly possible.



CounterFett said...

I'm glad to hear you say it, because my experience with Warmachine is much the same. I've only done the metals, but they make bird-legged BattleTech omnimechs look EASY

Unknown said...

I have had the same experience, both with the mini-flail and with PP models not bonding. I blame coffee for the flails. The bonding problem (mostly) disappeared when I started using P3 superglue. The stuff bonds better than reg GW superglue, is much more watery, likes to run, and it is only 1/2 the cost (here at least). I still pin the curse words out of the metal PP figs..

Anonymous said...

The "plastics" used by PP are closer to resin models made to form bases or Forgeworld minatures. Give them a good wash in some dish soap and lukewarm water and you'll be fine using super glue to put them together; plastic glue will not work. As for the metal sculpts, it sounds like you're working with some of the older sculpts, rest assured there are only a few models that are so frustrating.

The Inner Geek said...

For the PP "Plastics" I use two part epoxy. Specifically J-B Kwik. I also rough up the areas to be attached by running an exacto across them in a cross hatch pattern. Along with pinning this has worked for me... so far.

Rkik said...

Personally I had no problems putting together the plastic Menoth starter kit using Instant Krazy Glue. They seem to be working well.

As for the metal models, stay away from the metal Warjacks. I have a few (Khador starter and a Menoth Castigator) and they are even worse. They are stupid heavy and supported by tiny joints. They also don't seem to be molded as well, so a lot of the parts don't fit together all that well. Maybe that has changed recently, but the old ones were a pain. Finally, the poses of the metal warjacks are very static and boring. There are no posing options at all with them.

HuronBH said...

I have been doing the PP games for years and the only models I have ever had problems staying together are the Khador Berserkers Heavy Warjacks, plastic or metal. I use Super Glue (usually Bob Smith International Medium Gap filling Glue (the generic kind you get in hobby shops with the purple cap) or the GF9 stuff, pins, and accelerant.

Von said...

I tend to use a lot of Humbrol's model filler on PP models - that and superglue dry solid and the only problem is filing its often somewhat chaotic texture back to what would be considered acceptable. You'd probably have more of a knack for it than I.

Von said...

Also - and I *may* be teaching you to suck eggs here, for which I can only apologise - a lot of the PP kits can be bent and reposed in such a way that their components provide mutual support and join together in more than one place. Epic Asphyxious, for instance, can have his swirly soul things brought inward to contact his floaty skirty bit, and his arms positioned so they contact his shoulderpads in two places.

Tenzing said...

Hey Brian,

these are such fun aren't they? I haven't yet bought Warmachine or Hordes (I'm still running Historicals, but Warmahorde is on the horizon with Malifaux), but did get the pleasure of trying to build one of these a few weeks ago after a friend of mine bought some to try out.

If it helps, here's what we found works:

1) a large, impressive mental back-catalogue of inventive vernacular.

2) roughing the two areas to be glued with a file helps to speed the bonding process.

Thoroughly washing the sprue in Fairy Liquid, much as you would with Forgeworld pieces

4) Araldite. The glue used most commonly for minor repairs on cars! (2-part epoxy glue- if you use it, make sure you get the strong stuff)

I was honestly surprised that the plastic was so difficult to build with. The models are lovely (on a par with, if not better than, GW) but they are certainly not user-friendly

So you're not alone :) By the way- like the turquoise contrast on the mechs and caster- it's good to see Protectorate that aren't painted white/contrast. Nice work :)

HOTpanda said...

this game is really picking up at my local hobby store. enjoying the insight into the game. Do you have any other major dislikes?

Brian said...

@ CounterFett. Solidarity.

@ Ricalope. More Solidarity. I have had better luck with new glue, but I still put something like six or seven pins in a plastic model last night. For me, that has to be a record for plastic.

@ Anon. Cheers. Good reminder with the soap tip.

@ Rkik. It's getting better. As for the nod on the metal jacks, thank you. I will give them a very wide space. If I'm having this trouble on the easy stuff, I hate to see what challenging would do to me.

@ HuronBH. I will keep an eye for that glue. I've never used accelerator -as I hear it weakens the final bond. Truth or myth?

@ Von. I have always wondered about egg sucking. I jest. I jest. Your comments are really helpful, and I intend to keep an eye out for the Humbrol gap goodness. I am also keeping an eye for multiple contact points. Cheers.

@ Tenzing. Vernacular. Check. File. Check. Fairy Liquid. Check, though we call it dish soap. Araldite... woah. Car repairs? I can't wait to get my knuckles stuck together with that stuff. It's a great tip, and I like the no-nonsense approach of getting the strong stuff straight away. Why be dull, right. Also, thanks for the kind words about the colors. More soon.

@ Hotpanda. This may be my only gripe thus far, and even that is improving considerably -all the more so for the top tips included in these comments. All in all, I would give the experience several thumbs up... but I only have two.

Unknown said...

Im not a fan of PP "plastics" either. On my Khador jacks there are an obscene amount of mold lines (in retarded places too) and a sharp exacto blade doesnt work as well as files. grrr. Ive never had any issues with glue though. I use superglue brand gel that I get 3 in a pack at the dollarstore. This stuff is awesome, the strength of superglue but in a gel form which allows for much better grip while its drying. Cant recommend it enough.

Dark Mechanicum said...

I think I must suffer from the same condition mate. Im always having models flip out of my hands while painting, only to roll under a shelf unit or my desk somewhere!