Sunday, January 24, 2010

Templar Kit Project - Part 1

Ah... Sunday Afternoon! Time to sit down at the painting desk, put on a WM podcast episode, and start a new project. This last week I bought my first PP plastic kit: the Protectorate Heavy Warjack kit. There's a lot of controversy about PP going with plastics, and I figured I'd provide my own perspective by actually walking through my assembly and painting of this kit. My goal here is to review the benefits and drawbacks of plastics. I should note that long ago I played Warhammer 40k (15+ years ago), and so I'm familiar with old plastic kit bashing, so I'm not a neophyte in this arena. However I also have a certain preference for metal models.

Please note that I'll be writing these posts as I'm actually doing the steps I'm writing about, so it may be a little disjointed.

The Product:
My first impression of the kit is pretty favorable. It includes all the parts to build a Vanquisher, Crusader, or Templar. It also includes the cards for all three. The plastic parts are all in a series of connected plastic bags. Everything is packaged so that it's easy to review that all the parts are there. As you can see from the picture, it's mostly the same parts for all 3 jacks with the exception of the arms/hands and heads. It didn't take me more than about a minute to decide to magnetize the arms. It should be pretty easy to do it and it's a project I've wanted to try for quite a while now.

Detail-wise, I was a bit concerned about the pieces. I grabbed my Crusader and Vanquisher from the display case to compare parts. Overall, I can't say the detail level is noticeably lower. There's pieces that seem less detailed, and others that seem more detailed. The plastic pieces definitely have the option of sharper edges, whereas metals don't seem to support that. My impression on this kit is that any reduced detail level is more a reflection of the sculpting and not the material or casting method. I'll be curious to see other kits.

Trimming the plastic parts is pretty easy. As opposed to metals where I almost entirely use micro-files, for these I entirely used a hobby knife. In general these seem to be relatively few mold lines, but that's typical for a new kit. I definitely found that it was harder for my eye to pick out the mold lines on these plastic pieces, primarily due to it being a material I'm not used to. However the hobby knife definitely makes quick work of mold lines and trimming went pretty fast. I will say that the mess factor of plastics is different. With metals, there are lots of little flakes and filing which have their own challenge to clean up. Plastics tend to create little strips and being light, their static electricity makes them stick to things.

I also used this opportunity to try the hair-dryer trick. Sho'nuff, it works like a charm. I took the Vanquisher flail hand attachment and held the chain under a hair dryer. After a few seconds I could see it bend by gravity alone. At that point I turned off the hair dryer and held it in the position I wanted it to stay in. I blew lightly on it to cool it back down and viola! Very easy I must say.

Well, that's enough for today. Next time I'll cover the assembly, since that will turn into a pretty large step. I'm include the magnetizing as well most likely.

1 comment:

Deacis said...

Nice! Hoping my kit will arrive at my doorstep soon. Going to use the hairdryer too, thanx for the tip. Magnetizing sounds like a good plan too!