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Storm Strider: Cleanup & Assembly

Storm Strider: Cleanup & Assembly

Mold Shelf

One of the most common issues miniatures have are mold lines.  These form because the mold wasn’t properly sealed when the two halves were joined, or if the mold is overfilled and the material squeezes through the small gaps. This forms “flash” which is fairly easy to scrape off with a hobby knife.

The second way mold lines are formed is when the mold is not properly aligned, what I call “mold shelves” are the result.
First Cut

Rather than just start filing or sanding, I like to smooth the step.  The first step is to cut off that sharp protrusion with my hobby knife.  Remember, this happens along a long line, so I cut the entire ridge

The general idea is to do in a few second what would take several minutes with a file.  The knife should slice right through the ridge, whereas the file has to turn all that spare material into dust.

You don’t have to be very pretty right now, this meant to be a time saver.

Smoothing the Hill
Once that initial cut is done, you should have a hill instead of a shelf.  It’s steep enough that it’s noticeable, but it doesn’t stand out nearly as much as as the shelf did.  The next step is to smooth that hill.  We need a shallower gradient to hide the fact that the part wasn’t molded correctly.

More Smoothing

The best way to do this is to come at the hill from the low side and slowly shave off that upper part of the hill.  I usually am just sliding the cutting edge of the blade over the hill repeatedly, shaving off layers until it feels smooth.

Shallow Hill

The result is essentially a gradual hill, that bridges that original height difference.

At this point, we can attack the roughly cut hill with a  file to smooth everything out.  Also, consider emry nail pads from the drug store, in the nail care aisle.  They come in several grits, and at $1 a piece, you can cut them to slender shapes to get into hard areas.

Filing Round parts

When I use a file, here’s what I do.  I typically use an oval or round shaped (profile) file. That way, it contacts the part at only a single point, and won’t accidentally flatten something out.

I then tilt the file (grey bar) up and down (green arrows) as I move it back and forth (red arrows).  This keep the file from hitting the same part too long, causing more flat spots.

You can do the same with nail file sticks.

So, now that I’ve shown how I go about cleaning up stuff, here’s some pictures of how the Storm Strider’s Lightning Ball cleaned up:

See Also

Raw part with a “Mold Shelf” due to mold mis-alignment
Edge cut off the shelf, this is at the hill stage.
The top most part has been shaved to smooth out the hill.

Mold line completely shaved and smoothed with a file.

I then glued on the gantry and pinned the top tower part.  I test fit the ball, and the nodes rubbed on the tower top.  I needed to recess the ball just a hair.  So, I used my hobby knife and cut off that flat ring on the bottom post.  I then cut off half the post, and it sits about 2-3 mm lower now, and nicely clears the top tower.

Here’s a picture of the (almost) completely assembled Storm Strider.  I haven’t glued down the ball yet, I’m going to leave it loose until I paint it.

I also painted the little raised arc markers on the base in bright blue, just so they’re visible while I use the model for the time being until I get it painted.

ZAP!!     ZORTCH!!  
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