The one major advantage that I find metal figures have over plastic ones is the ease of assembly, they fit together so nicely with fewer gaps to fill and as a result a little less hassle for the maker. I've certainly found that with this build, Captain Amelia Steam has slotted together quite cleanly and apart from the problem with the two pipes has given me no major hurdles to jump. After fitting the jetpack, all that really needed paining was her pistol which again was simply a mix of brass, copper and a bit of flat brown for the pistol grip, all of which was then shaded with that old standby, Army Painter Strong Tone. And barring a little tidying up and a coat of matt varnish where it was needed, that as they say, was that. Job done.
All that was now required was a stand. I had actually been working on this in tandem with the model. Last year I bought a pile of stands at Scale Model World in Telford. It was a cheap job lot and the stands were made from MDF and as a result were rather rough around the edges and I was wondering what I could do with them. However, whilst watching an old episode of DIY SOS, one of the building team offered up the tip that MDF can be sealed with thinned PVA (white glue) and when dry sanded back to a smooth finish. Double checking this with a couple of vids on YouTube I found that this was indeed true and watering down some PVA I applied it to a couple of stands. On the first time of sanding the surfaces back, first with fine sandpaper then with very fine wet and dry paper, I found that though better, they were still rather rough. So I did it again, and again, and again. It sounds like a lot of hard work, but its only a few moments of work each time and it is rather pleasing to find your efforts paying off, as by the fourth time of sanding the surfaces seemed very smooth to the touch. When the stands were totally dry (which was not long in the current heatwave) I took them outside and gave them both a good couple of coatings of gloss black spray paint (£1, from Poundland, in line with my new cheapskate philosophy). This came up a treat and though there is still a little bit of pitting on the surface, the results are infinitely better than they would have been without the extra work. Probably a couple more coatings and sandings would have given me a very smooth stand.
|Rough MDF and smooth(er) MDF|
With the stands ready, I chose one to use and after checking and marking where the stand would go, I mixed up some Araldite, scoured the surface of the stand where required and stuck the figure in place. I'm pleased with the result and learnt a little in the process of the build.