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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the name of this thread says I'm out after ways to pin metal models to make them more durable. How do you make holes in metal? What do you use to pin them, what kind of glue works best with metal? Thanks in advance!
 

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@ntaw has the basics there.

I would also add that depending on the model and the join you may need to use larger or thicker gauge wire than a paperclip. You may also need to reinforce the join with modeling putty or greenstuff.

A few things to keep in mind. You'll want to have some sort of a vice handy and you'll also need a protective wrapper. In some cases it will be very difficult to hold the piece in your hand when drilling, if it is awkwardly shaped or if it is very small. Then it can be helpful to wrap it in a protective layer before clamping it in a vice. I typically use the card stock from the back of a blister pack to prevent the jaws of the vice from deforming the pewter.

It's always a balance between how much force you use to hold it still and avoiding damaging the model.

I don't have a table vice so I usually use vice-grip pliers, which also have a knurled gripping surface which makes a protective layer even more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A pin vice with appropriately sized bit, piece of paper clip, and superglue.


@ntaw has the basics there.

I would also add that depending on the model and the join you may need to use larger or thicker gauge wire than a paperclip. You may also need to reinforce the join with modeling putty or greenstuff.

A few things to keep in mind. You'll want to have some sort of a vice handy and you'll also need a protective wrapper. In some cases it will be very difficult to hold the piece in your hand when drilling, if it is awkwardly shaped or if it is very small. Then it can be helpful to wrap it in a protective layer before clamping it in a vice. I typically use the card stock from the back of a blister pack to prevent the jaws of the vice from deforming the pewter.

It's always a balance between how much force you use to hold it still and avoiding damaging the model.

I don't have a table vice so I usually use vice-grip pliers, which also have a knurled gripping surface which makes a protective layer even more important.


What kind of drill do you use?
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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The drill is actually called a "pin vise." That links to an amazon page with an example.

Here's another example I like better because it has a swivel head which allows you to use a lot more force without hurting your hands.
 

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Here's another example I like better because it has a swivel head which allows you to use a lot more force without hurting your hands.
The swivel head is a much better drill to use. It is best to drill into one piece glue in a small piece of metal paper clip and glue it in. Now you can put a little black paint on the end of it to mark the other side so you know where to drill the second hole. Once that is done add some glue to the other hole and a small amount of green stuff will make the joint even stronger once it dries.
 
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Another great tip is to paint one entire side of the join and press them together. If you need to find a door for the hole OR if you need to check how smoothly the halves come together.

Using paint this way instantly colors the raised areas which need to be sanded down.
 

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Little while ago I got into a Battletech kick so purchased a bunch of models. All metal. Decided that this time (unlike when I was 10) that I was going to pin them. Unlike a plastic model where I made the pin "straight", meaning that I drilled straight into the arm and straight into the body, I decided to try a new method for the metal. For the arm I did an angle up (looked like this: \) and on the body I did an angle down (looked like this:\). That way, because gravity is pulling the arm down, it's pulling it constantly down onto the pin and constantly pushing the pin down in the body cavity. Has worked well for me. Did some playing with them, painting, and even a packing and move, and no broken pieces. Just my two cents and an alternate way of doing it.
 

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Little while ago I got into a Battletech kick so purchased a bunch of models. All metal. Decided that this time (unlike when I was 10) that I was going to pin them. Unlike a plastic model where I made the pin "straight", meaning that I drilled straight into the arm and straight into the body, I decided to try a new method for the metal. For the arm I did an angle up (looked like this: \) and on the body I did an angle down (looked like this:\). That way, because gravity is pulling the arm down, it's pulling it constantly down onto the pin and constantly pushing the pin down in the body cavity. Has worked well for me. Did some playing with them, painting, and even a packing and move, and no broken pieces. Just my two cents and an alternate way of doing it.
Great point. I've done similar things. Definitely consider how the model will be handled and how gravity will affect it.

With some larger models it's sometimes necessary to use more than 1 pin as well.

I had to do that in the original chaos dragon model, Baudros. If you look in the lower left of the image there is a join between the lower body and upper body with very little support.



Here's the full model.



As you can see there's a LOT of pewter above that join.
 

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I had to do that in the original chaos dragon model, Baudros. If you look in the lower left of the image there is a join between the lower body and upper body with very little support.



Here's the full model.



As you can see there's a LOT of pewter above that join.
Yeah this was the second metal model I put together and it was my introduction into pinning. I spent a lot time pinning that model.
 

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@morfangdakka wow, that's a pretty serious model for a "pewter beginner." I was young when I made mine, but I had already made a bunch of smaller metal models.
 

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@Kreuger Yeah I had pinned the head and arm on a space marine captain so of course I was ready to tackle this monster model. Ah youth and over confidence. I think it took me like 2 weeks to pin and get this put together but almost 20 years later and 4 moves it is still together even after my daughter knocked it off a shelf.
 
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