One of the least appealing qualities of the Bones PVC material is the lack of structural strength in some models. This has been most apparent in top-heavy minis, such as some of the Dragons and a few of the early monsters like the Swamp Troll king and Bone Devil.
Usually they go together well and stand up ok for a while. But over time…they tend to droop.
Enter Gauth. One of the last old-style metal dragons that has been converted into Bones. Gauth is a part of the Bones 4 kickstarter Core set. The core set minis are made in the classic bones material and not in the new and more rigid Bones Black. I believe that if Gauth had been a Bones Black mini, this might not have been an issue (or at least, it would have been a good test of the material).
This is a screencap from the Bones 4 preview video. This shows what Gauth is supposed to look like.
When I built mine, it also stood high and proud like this.
However…it began to droop, eventually the muzzle touched the ground. So I fixed the tail to the base to create a counterpull. (Adding a third point of contact to the base has worked wonders with several other of my drooping dragons. This pulled the muzzle up from the ground a couple of centimetres. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of the cowtow, as this was some time ago and did not think to take any photos at the time.
But then the wings also were wonky, and got worse as time went by.
Gah! Do Not Want! Sad now!
So how to rescue this Dragon from the Bins of Despair?
Using the hot water trick to repositon the bits will only fix it for a limited time, as gravity inevitably will pull the bits back into it’s clingy embrace. The whole problem is the lack of stiffness or strength in the material that cannot withstand gravity.
So how to add strength?
One way would be to give it a literal skeleton by drilling long holes lengthwise though the legs and wings and inserting long metal rods to stiffen them.
I have successfully drilled out legs in this manner and added rods on smaller models, which has worked fine to stiffen that part, and these have stayed straight over time.. But this method is really not feasible on this model as drill bits in 1mm or so do not come in the kind of lengths that would be needed, and the bits would probably just snap as soon as you can look at them anyway.
I have heard talk about using heated wire and shoving that in there, but have had rather limited success with that method when I earlier have tried doing that.
So any stiffening would have to be external on this model. However, I don’t think multiple splints would look very good.
Anyhow, there are at least two issues that will need addressing here:
1) is the whole cowtow business with the droop of the body and the muzzle going down.
2) is the wings fanning out and becoming umbrellas.
These will need seperate solutions.
Enter Clippy the sacrificial victim to the Gods of Strength!
Clippy must die so that others may live. His sacrifice will be remembered as the only good that came out of his annoying existence. (What were microsoft thinking when they introduced this irritant?)
After murdering that irksome Clippy, the corpse is to be dismembered and used for something more rewarding.
A simple bracing strut from the base to the right knee seems to have done the trick. You can see the tail tether in the close up.
The tip of the tail is drilled and pinned (albeit a very short pin) and I have used some plastic putty with superglue to give the join some body and strength.
Time will tell if this, together with the tail tether is enough to keep Gauth standing tall. This is just a test anyhow and the rod is not glued nor fastened in any way exept it is held quite firmly in place by the pressure of Gauth bearing down on it.
And the wings very handily straightened out when held together. Again, this is a test. I will be trying different ways to get them to hold in this position if they pass the test of time.
So that is three things done here.
- the tail is fastened to the base.
- a strut has been put between the right knee and the base.
- the wings have been held together at the top claws.
So far so good. Hopefully Gauth will hold in this position indefinately. We will see in a few days’ time if other action is needed.
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