In this; the second part of his tale of building and painting his Heresy Dragon, Mike Hobbs talks about building the model.
The hardest part of any project is to actually start, especially when you’re faced with a huge box of resin that you know is going to consume a large proportion of the next month. But I did start and I was determined to do the model justice.
The first thing I did on laying out the parts was to read the instructions, to give Andy his due he provided 4 pages of notes on the best way to assemble the model, together with tips on filling and the best tools to use. Then I started to clean up the parts and gave all the resin pieces a good wash in hot soapy water using a toothbrush to scrub them clean.
Then just because I’m slightly retentive I laid out the tools I’d need together with the glues
I have a selection of sculpting tools which I knew would come in useful and a small drill for pinning the parts together. Now Andy said the model wouldn’t need pinning as each section had joining tabs but I decided to pin it anyway. Next up was glue, I tend to use good quality glue for my models and for this one I used Zap-a-Gap medium and thick glues. The medium is a general use glue whilst the thick version is a slow cure superglue but is really strong and this would be used on the major assembly.
Once they’d all dried I started test fitting the parts to see if they fitted and I have to say the joins were brilliant, most of them dry fitted together really well and I had to do minimal clean up and tweaking.
The next thing I had to work out was how much of the model would I assemble, it would have been easy to fully assemble it and then paint it but with the scale and complexity of the pose I knew this would be a mistake so I decided to part assemble the model and paint each part separately before putting it together at the end.
So I decided to go for 5 separate sections, they were:-
- The base rock
- The body
- The tail
- 2 wings
The rock base was the easiest as it was a single piece casting and all I needed to add were the claws, which were metal, later on I glued the rock to a large 80mm wooded base and added some extra rocks to add a bit of weight and improve the stability.
Next up was the main body, this whole piece attaches to the rock base by the ankles and also has one arm holding onto the tree section of the base, these 3 joints would be the ones to get right but first the main body had to be assembled.
So the first job was to pin and glue the 2 main parts of the body together, the pinning probably wasn’t needed to be honest but I thought it wouldn’t hurt
This picture shows the 2 piece dry fitted together, and as you can see the gap in the join is tiny
Then I glued in the 2 legs, which again had perfect join areas
This was followed up with the arms and the right hand
I then filled the gaps (when I could find any) and test fitted the body to the base
The ankle joins were perfect but I added pins as I knew this would take the most stress when it’s finished. The right hand was a slight concern as the fingers need to wrap around the tree (Andy recommended using boiling water to soften the resin to do this) but as I painting the sections separately I decided to leave them as they were and bend them in during the final assembly.
This might have been a mistake in hindsight I should have left the right hand off the main section (I’ll come back to that in the next article though)
It was at this point that I started to realise just how big this model was going to be, but it was too late now I was on a roll.
The next section to assemble was the head, this came with a choice of horns and tongues, and as I came to expect it was a beautiful fit
Then to finish the body I attached the head and the left hand and filled any gaps
All that was left were the tail and 2 wings
The tail was made up of a handful of sections that just glued together, no filling or pinning was needed, and the wings had 2 sections each and a few more claws.
So after 2 days of assembly (I took my time) this were I ended up
Which meant I now had to think about painting it, but more on that in the next article