Assembling D&D Chainmail Miniatures
By Mike McVey

So you've just bought your first D&D Chainmail miniatures and are wondering what you're going to do with all the strange pieces of metal in the box. First, don't panic! Assembly is a simple process that you have to go through with your D&D Chainmail miniatures. At the very least you need to do a little "cleaning" work and attach the model to its base, and in some cases you have to assemble several pieces. So why do your miniatures require this work? Well, the simple answer is that by making them in a few pieces you end up with more dynamic and exciting miniatures to use in your games. Putting them together really isn't difficult either. Part Two of Paint Like a Pro, takes you through the assembly process in some detail, and in this feature I'm going to look at some specific problems that you may come across while putting together your D&D Chainmail miniatures.

Single Piece Miniatures

Single piece miniatures are pretty easy to deal with. Just clean off the mold lines and glue them to their base, as I mentioned in Part Two. If the base is a little loose, just put a slight kink in the miniature's tab so it fits a little tighter into the base. This will give you a better surface for gluing.

Multipiece Miniatures

With multipiece
miniatures, it's best
to glue the body to
the base first.
(Click to Enlarge)

Multipiece miniatures can be a bit tricky at times. When the miniature is made, the sculptor goes to great lengths to ensure that the different parts fit together correctly. Unfortunately, the casting process can take its toll on these joins, and that sometimes means that they end up less than perfect. Here are some general points to bear in mind when assembling multipiece miniatures.

1. Make sure that you clean up the parts as well as possible. If the fit isn't perfect, carefully trim away a little metal to make it better.

2. Rub both halves of the join with abrasive paper, this removes any oxidation on the metal and will give a stronger bond.

3. Glue the main part of the body to the base first. That way you can stand the miniature upright and have one less part to hold.

4. Make sure the glue is thoroughly dry on one piece before trying to attach the next.

5. Don't flood the parts with glue. The more glue you put on there, the longer it will take to dry. Just add a spot of glue to one half of the join and try gently breathing on the join. The moisture in your breath will cause the super-glue to cure faster.

Once the body has
been glued to the
base, the separate
components are
added one at a time.
(Click to Enlarge)

6. Don't forget safety! Keep your fingers well away from the areas you are gluing and make sure you cover the surface you are working on with newspaper to protect it.

Most multipiece miniatures are straightforward to assemble, but a few provide a bit more of a challenge. If you are having trouble putting something together, refer to the stat card. The card has a photograph of the assembled miniature, and you can see where the pieces are supposed to go. It really is worth checking that you are trying to glue the right part in the right place. Sometimes it's easy to get confused.

Let's have a look at the problem miniatures in a little more detail.

Of all the miniatures for the D&D Chainmail game, I consider only four to be awkward to assemble. These are Human Glaiver, Battered Skeletal Troll, Zombie Troglodyte, and Skeletal Orc. As you can see, three of the four are undead miniatures. There's a good reason for this. Undead tend to have skeletal and generally spindly limbs, so there is not a great deal of surface for the glue to adhere to.

Human Glaiver: The problem here is that the glaive and arms piece has flattened out in the mold. You simply need to twist the shaft of the glaive through about ninety degrees so that the arms line up with the body. I also trimmed off the small pegs on the body half of the arms so that I didn't have to line up the pieces exactly.

Pinning the pieces
can create a far
more secure join
(Click to Enlarge)

Battered Skeletal Troll: The smallness of the joining area causes problems here. You can solve this easily by pinning the pieces together (see Paint Like a Pro, Part Two). You will also create a stronger join that will stand up to the rigors of game play better. If you don't have access to pinning tools and materials, you need to trim the pieces with a craft knife to make the join as flat and smooth as you can.

Skeletal Orc: The best way to approach the skeletal orc is to glue the axe onto the body first (using the stat card photograph for position reference), and then add the fiddly little arm piece when it's thoroughly dry -- trimming if necessary.

Zombie Troglodyte: This is the toughest of the bunch. Before you start, look at the pieces that you've got. The keys here are the two arms that are attached together with a tab. They are also labeled left and right. You need to clip the arms carefully off the tab and remove the labels, but make sure you remember which arm goes on which side. The best thing to do next is to glue one of the arms onto the body. My choice would be the left arm -- you can rest the forearm on top of the head so it will be easier to glue. When this is dry, you can add the club going backward at exactly ninety degrees to the forearm. When this is in place and dry, you can add in the right arm, which should fit in place.

One thing that I have found that makes the whole process easier is superglue accelerator. You can buy this from a hobby store. When sprayed onto wet glue, the glue cures instantly. It's not particularly pleasant stuff though, so read the warnings on the label carefully, and use it in a well-ventilated area.

Go back to the D&D Chainmail main news page for news you might have missed or
discuss what you think of these miniatures on the
D&D Chainmail bulletin board.


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