Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Joys of Super Glue

Ok, so maybe for most Americans, super glue isn't anything special. However, while trying to run this hobby of mine on a budget, I've realized that super glue really is...well, super. I borrowed Glenstorm's super glue while he was away (and later got some of my own - Walmart, 4 small tubes for $0.99!), and these are the small conversions I've been meaning to make for a while now. Enjoy!

During the movies, Gimli is often seen traveling with his special two-handed, double-bit axe which he uses in the toughest fights to make a wreck of Uruk-Hai and Orcs. I borrowed the two-handed axe from the Dwarf to the right of Gimli and super-glued it to his back. Though not a great conversion, I really like seeing the axe on Gimli's back especially since that's more accurate to what Gimli looked like in the mines of Moria. The shaft was short, so I attached a small piece of metal that I got from Galadriel's Mirror (spare material, actually). I also took off one of Gimli's hand axes to be more like the one he wields in the movie, swapping axe heads with the Dwarf with shield.
As for the two-handed weapon Dwarves, I went down the line and borrowed axes from all of them, allowing for some diversity in the army. I ended up, of course, one axe short, since Gimli didn't give up one of his. So...I made a flail, based on some work I saw on the friendly blog in the sidebar. How did I make this you ask? Let me show you...(astute observers will have already noted that there is another Dwarf with a weird that everyone notices, we'll discuss him a bit later).

At a later date, I'm looking at shaping the shaft of the Dwarf's flail to be more chain-like, but I'm not quite sure how to do that right now...we'll see what comes of that. I've heard that you can point a hair dryer at the plastic miniature for about 30 seconds and that makes the plastic a bit more pliable, so I may try that on the chain to give it more of a curve, showing the ball and chain in movement...we'll see how that goes.

Blurry shot, I know. The crossbow of this Uruk came from Glenstorm (I owe him so much), who got an extra crossbow in his Ugluk and Vrasku set. Knowing that I was looking for a good crossbow conversion, he gave me the extra and I fittingly lopped off the hands of this pikeman (since his pike shaft was broken - thanks to Zorro for the pikeman) and replaced it with the crossbow instead. This gave me a stick with two Uruk-Hai hands on it. It just so happens that the hand guards that this Uruk had were spiky, so the idea immediately came to me that I could cut part of the stick off and use the spiky hand as a ball for my flail. Leaving a small segment of the shaft on and coloring it more of a chain-like color, you have the product shown in the Dwarf picture above. The other pikeman that you see had his pike break (common occurrence from what I hear from other gamers), so that was also fixed with super glue. :)
One of the other things that hobbyists of this game will be quite familiar with is that some units don't have all their appendages on in the sprue. In the cases of Aragorn, Boromir, and the Goblin King, this is very true. Household cement (what I've used previously) has allowed for things to stick and have a little wiggle room, which makes them incredibly durable - much appreciated in this hobby. However, what is also means is the pieces will...well, wiggle. Though I like this, I prefer to have these things unable to move. Introduce super glue. Now their arms not only stay right where I want them, but they also don't show the white residue of the household cement.
Legolas and the Khazad Guard are a bit different. Legolas fell on his bow one day (oops), so the top portion of his bow broke off. Now, it's super-glued in place and doesn't move - YAYE! The Khazad Guard came without his axe head and so his is actually from a two-handed Dwarf's weapon that was converted into a banner-bearer. The second bit of his axe came from the Dwarf who got a shard from Galadriel's Mirror (see above).

The final thing we're going to look at with super glue is terrain ideas. Super glue is great with cardboard because things bond instantly - be careful though, as superglue bonds instantly to skin as well. The terrain pieces are cardboard or Styrofoam (which bonds a bit slower) or pieces from the GW Mines of Moria starter set. The "tunnel fighting" terrain is my favorite to play with, as it limits fighting to corridors. The walls have been made rough by simply cutting a piece of Styrofoam in half and then sawing each without much thought to the other. The one in the middle has a place to walk inside the cleft of the rock, which provides for some sneaky maneuvering (largely in place for my Goblins). :)
You'll also notice that these terrain pieces involve actual rocks that I've found in gravel lots and things. These rocks are great not only because I love a good tunnel fighting game, but also because they provide solid barriers in any sort of combat. As an avid Wood Elf player (and a potential collector of Dwarf Rangers), anything that can provide cover for units (or count as rocky difficult ground) is a must-have. Hence, with this free material, everything works out great.
Super glue really is fun and amazing...I'm looking forward to using some of these converted warriors in battle reports soon...and if you wanted to see some of the conversions before this post, please look at the post I made on heroes and courage here or the battle report between the Uruk-Hai and Goblins here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice hobby! The cheaper the resources, the more money you can save for your next collection of toys. Super glue is enough to hold these toys together. They're light-weight, so there shouldn't be any problems in gluing them.

    Shannon Mcniel @ASI