I've seen a few articles recently with people's feedback on assembling the new Wyrd plastics. I'm not denying that some of these kits are fiddly and the lack of assembly instructions doesn't help, but I've been surprised by some of the criticisms I've seen.
I wanted to create a more impartial guide to those kits and so I'm dedicating a page to a Wyrd Plastics Guide, a mechanism that gives you a simple score on the complexity of assembly and things to look out for with each figure. You should see it appear on my blog in the next couple of days.
I'll be giving each mini a score and then the box set overall, so you get an idea what you might be letting yourself in.
Now because we are all at different skill and comfort levels, scoring works on the premise that you're a hobbyist who has undertaken a few conversions, maybe done a little green stuffing, you certainly know how to drill and pin. A typical example is maybe you've converted a marine to a new pose, drilled out the gun barrels and green stuffed a symbol or two on his armour.
So how will scoring work? Well its a simple 1-5 scale as follows:
One out of Five - A kit or mini so complex and delicate it will take a team of artisans many weeks to assemble the nerve to simply open the box. People have been known to loose their sanity simply by gazing at the contents. Not for the feint hearted and is likely to test your assembly mettle significantly. Be prepared and follow advice and recommendations very carefully.
Two out of Five - A kit or mini with many assembly challenges. It might contain really fiddly bits that leave you feeling you need a third hand, just to hold that bit just as you want it. It will challenge you and requires a fair bit of thought and preparation.
Three out of Five - A kit or mini with one or two assembly challenges. It might challenge you a little but with a bit of thought, it should go ok.
Four out of Five - It's a pretty easy mini or kit to assemble, there's nothing out of the ordinary here for someone of your skills. There might be one or two little things to look out for.
Five out of Five - Seriously you'd have to have a blood alcohol level approaching 100% to cock this one up. No instructions needed and a blindfold is provided for those wanting a challenge.
Lastly, to round out this article, I'm sharing my tips for assembling these minis, some are obvious, some not so. They are my personal take on how to ensure every mini you assemble not only looks great, but causes you the minimum of fuss during assembly.
So my 10 general assembly tips for Wyrd Plastics are as follows:
Keep the back of the box, the 3D renders of the minis can help you find out where those elusive bits should be fitted.
If you are going to wash, to remove mould release agents, do it whilst everything is on the sprue and check carefully for missing components afterwards.
Don't blindly cut things off of the sprue, this isn't a GW kit where you make a little pile of bits, then decide how they go together. Each piece probably has only one place and each mini has specific parts. You can only mix and match if you are prepared to convert, which will not be easy, and arm/leg swaps are non existent in the kits I've seen.
Only snip off the sprue the bits you need for the next assembly step.
Snip things off the sprue over a table, preferably covered in something with a high contrast colour to the grey of the kit and isn't cluttered with other things. Make sure your entire sprue is right over the table/matt and watch carefully for where pieces drop, if they are small.
Make sure you have tools up for the job, you want a needle sharp and pointed set of clippers, some needle files, a needle delivered plastic glue solution and a sharp hobby knife. You may also want a pair of tweezers and a magnifier for some of the kits.
Cleanup small and delicate pieces very carefully. I know this sounds obvious, but I've seen a few pieces broken because people didn't think through the cleanup strategy.
Build from the legs up on a mini unless otherwise suggested in my guides. Decide if legs need pinning to your bases before getting into full assembly.
Consider as you build if adding the next component will hinder your ability to paint. Some prefer to part assemble and paint, others don't mind the challenges that full assembly might bring.
Dry fit every component at least twice before gluing. In the first instance make sure you have the fit right. In the second instance look to your remaining parts to see if what you're doing might hinder the rest of the build.
Lastly and not really an assembly point, but one last piece of advice. Consider how you are going to transport the minis, custom foam is best.