The Defiler, Pt II

I’m getting buried in work stuff which is delaying the far-more-important work on this project. I’ve decided to break up building the Defilers into a few smaller, somewhat more frequent posts rather than wait until I’ve got the material for a full-sized one... which could take weeks.

Before I did anything else, I sat down and divvied up the components. As I mentioned before, I’m building two Defilers at a time here. The cleanest parts went to the Khorne one. Anything with rough edges or “shaggy” surfaces where the template came off went into the pile for the Death Guard model. If it ends up looking rusty or tweaked... all the better.

Back to building.

The waist piece is a bit thin and flimsy, so I decided to do two things to it. First was a bit of detail. Cut a long strip about 1/8” wide. Now cut that up into 3/8” lengths and glue them around the waist at regular intervals. This gave the visible part a bit of heft, too. Second thing was to build a small box. It’s 3/8” tall by 1/2” square, so it should fit completely inside the ring of the waist.

This is Important -- This little box needs to be flush with the top of the ring. If it’s a bit low, cut out another 1/2” square of card and see if that raises it up enough. Check first, then glue it on top of the box. There’s enough variation in card models that some people may not need it. Don’t worry about looks--this is all going to be hidden inside the waist-- but this needs to be flush to give you solid contact with the torso.

So you should have the waist on the chassis at this point, with the box inside the waist. I’d hold off attaching the torso yet. It’ll be a lot easier to work with if it stays separate for now.

Before you start to assemble the legs, it’ll help to figure out what kind of pose you want your Defiler to end up in. I’ve got two, but they’re going to be a bit different. The Khorne one will be a super-dreadnaught geared up to charge into close combat and lay waste to everything it can. The Death Guard one is essentially going to be a firebase, something that just hunkers down and starts shooting big guns. As such, I want to pose their legs to reflect these roles on the battlefield. The two front legs of the Khorne Defiler (or middle legs, depending on your point of view) are going to be higher so it ends up in a more aggressive, rearing-up pose. The Death Guard one will be squatting, all equal, all low.

So, as you begin to assemble these legs, remember those all-important tabs from the A section? This is where they pay off. Slide the D section into A. If you’ve done this right, the curved end of D should butt up against that tab. This means you can glue the legs in two different directions (along the plane of the joint and the plane of the tab) so this piece will be rock solid once it dries.

I assembled four legs for each Defiler. Once they were glued I covered them with wax paper, and set a mid-sized book on them to hold the joints flat. I left these to dry for about half an hour and went on to other things.

A bit of honesty as we move on to the next step. Remember before when I said all the time-intensive stuff was done? I lied.

The Defiler’s front claws are tough. I tried cutting them out with tabs on them and it just became a mess of 1/16” cuts in thirty different directions. I’m actually tempted to say don’t do them the way I did, even though they did turn out very nice and solid in the end. You could possibly save a lot of time and headaches just cutting the claws out of the template as-is and adding scraps of card as tabs where you need them. It might be a bit less structural, but I’m not even sure of that. I tried it on the “thumb” claws and it seemed to work, but they are a much simpler shape. I may experiment with this and get back to you.

While the claws dried I went back to work on the legs. As it says on the template, you’ll need to buy some wooden beads for the ball-and-socket joint on the legs. I went to my local craft/ hobby store and picked up two bags of 5/8” (15.9mm) wooden beads for $1.19 each (that’s $1.19 per bag, not per bead). The suggestion is for 1/2” beads, but in my opinion that makes the joint harder to assemble because of how deep into the leg the beads sink. Go a tiny bit bigger and make life easier on yourself.

Put a few drops of glue in the end of each leg and then push the bead into place. You’ll need to hold it for a few minutes, and it’s best to turn it around a few times so the glue hits as many points as possible. Watch out for leaks around the corners.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to get another quick update posted this weekend.

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