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Monday, July 14, 2014

1.05 Front Face Assembly

Great -- we have painted parts now, and you are dying to assemble this thing because SDCC starts in 10 minutes or maybe you are late for the midnight premiere of the next Marvel movie.

Well, I hate it for you because this next step takes about 90 minutes if you have a helper and are extremely competent with hot glue.  Also: you will be very well served if, after all of the previous steps, you set the whole project aside for 24 hours to let the paint not just dry, but to actually cure so that the silver paint doesn't do spectacularly bad things when you touch it.

Anyway, the idea at this point is to assemble the pieces in this way:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

And that seems so obvious, right?  Just stack them up, and away we go.  In the original video instructions, all the pieces are trimmed to fit exactly inside each other, so what are we waiting for?

Well, we are waiting for a couple of details which are not obvious at first glance.  The first one is that the dimensions on this pieces are wider than in the video because this version uses wider bond lines to create a stronger final model.  because we are using these bond lines, we also have the problem I have previously alluded to: when we glue up, we wind up generating a wrinkle as we work around the bond line if we have actually cinched and glued the circles prior to painting.

So this post is going to have two parts: Part One will be what to do if you did what I did and cinched & glued the circles prior to painting.  Part Two will be if you were clever enough to read my extended commentary in Step 2 and you didn't cinch and glue, but only trimmed the circles to prep for cinching, then primed and painted them.

However, by way of intro, there's something about the original movie prop which bears a second look:


Notice that the shield is actually ridged where the color changes ultimately go. This is a very elegant feature of the shield, and any decent replica is going to follow that design somehow.  For us, it's easy because we actually designed the assembly to rely on the ridging to give us a place to glue the parts together.

Method 1: The Original Method

First, don't get anxious about gluing the star down.  It's the last piece to go onto this monstrosity, and you'll be glad you did it that way.  Start with a clean work space -- because you're going to be working with everything face down in this method, and you'll be very happy to avoid all the heartache of random debris on your shop floor scratching up your hard work and nice paint.

For this method of assembly, My recommendation is not to use hot glue. Using hot glue will only cause you one of two heartaches: (1) an inconsistent bond line at the joints which is uneven and not very strong, or (2) if you apply pressure while gluing, you'll get a wrinkle that forms toward the end of your circle which you cannot work out, and you'll have to cut and repair the disk to cut out the extra material.

  1. In the spirit of measure twice, glue once, take the Blue center circle and measure its outer diameter (OD), which ought to be 10-1/2".
  2. Measure the inner diameter (ID) of the smaller Red circle.  If your cuts were accurate and your cinching was serviceable, it should be someplace around 10" even.  However, whatever your ID measures to be, the ID should be smaller than the OD of the Blue disk.  On-Half the difference of the ID and the OD will be your glue flange space.
  3. Measure it to make sure that you have the flange you think you have before you put down any glue.  Measure it in two directions across the center like of the circle.  Mark off guide marks on the inside of the disk in at least 8 places to indicate where the bond line needs to be.
  4. Tape the Blue disk in place with 3 or 4 small pieces of painter's tape or masking tape, using the guide marks to center the blue disk.
  5. Find some old newspaper and cut it into 2" strips which are 6"-8" long.
  6. Take one of these strips and paint on some undiluted glue in a thin layer which covers the whole strip.
    CLICK TO ENLARGE
  7. Apply the strip on the bond line so that the edge of the center disk has paper extending on both sides, and smooth it out so there are no wrinkles.  Repeat until you have covered the whole inner ring, and set aside to dry.  It should dry in about 2 hours.


While you are waiting for that assembly to dry, do the same thing with the outer red ring and the white/silver ring -- verify the I.D. of the larger ring and the O.D. of the smaller ring, mark the bond line on the large ring with guide marks, set the smaller ring in the larger ring according to the guide marks, and tape it up to keep it centered.  You may find that you will need to drop the whole assembly into a laundry basket or large trash can so the smaller ring can hang out of the larger ring as you glue it up.  Repeat the process of applying glue strips to the bond line here are you did on the smaller assembly.  Let the whole thing dry.

Last, repeat this process by putting the smaller assembly inside the larger assembly.  Mark the I.D. with guide marks, tape up the smaller assembly to make sure it's centered, and apply the glue strips.

When the glue strips dry, you will have the essential Shield 1.0 Model  nearly complete.

Method 2: The Better Method

When I attempted Method 1, I made two significant mistakes: (1) I used diluted glue, which was too wet for the application, and it cause a LOT of water damage to the model, and (2) I gave up on the glue strips method, and took up my hot glue gun.  As I have said several times in this series, using hot glue on the cinched circles cause a wrinkle I couldn't work out except by cutting out the wrinkle at the closed end of the circles.

When I finished, I realized that the better method would have been to leave the circles unglued after making my cinch marks.  I could prime and paint the circles, close the cinched up area with a large paper clip, and do my bond line gluing with hot glue.
  1. In the spirit of measure twice, glue once, take the Blue center circle and measure its outer diameter (OD), which ought to be 10-1/2".
  2. Measure the inner diameter (ID) of the smaller Red circle.  If your cuts were accurate and your cinching was serviceable, it should be someplace around 10" even.  However, whatever your ID measures to be, the ID should be smaller than the OD of the Blue disk.  On-Half the difference of the ID and the OD will be your glue flange space.
  3. Measure it to make sure that you have the flange you think you have before you put down any glue.  Measure it in two directions across the center like of the circle.  Mark off guide marks on the inside of the disk in at least 8 places to indicate where the bond line needs to be.
  4. Begin gluing small sections of the bond line from the square end of the Red ring.  Wherever you start this ring, that seam will be where you start all the rings. With hot glue, squeeze out 3"-4" of glue in the bond line, compress the bond line for a tight and even seal for about 30 seconds, and then move to the next few inches.
  5. Keep a close eye on your guide marks so that you aren't migrating in or out, and your red disk is maintaining its correct shape.  By the time you have glued half-way around the disk, you may find you will need to work the wrinkle out of the unglued side by adjusting the paper clip -- and that's fine.  Just make sure you are, again, minding your guide lines.
  6. When you reach the end and you have overhang, trim the overhang with your utility knife to match the starting edge, finish the interior bond line, and then patch the ends from behind with a piece of scrap mat board.
In the previous method, you assembled the inner assembly, then the outer assembly, then dropped the smaller into the larger.  That won't work using this method.  Because each ring needs to be adjustable as you glue it down, you can't have the outer ring constraining the silver/white ring.  After you finish the inner red, repeat the process on the white/silver ring, starting the seam in the same place as the first ring.  When you complete that ring, repeat with the outer red ring.
 

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