Assembling the BLF-21 Blue Flame Miniature  (IWM #20-229)


tools used-
  • exacto knife
  • needle files
  • Sculpey III (or any other putty/clay) 
  • JB Weld (or JB Kwik) epoxy
  • toothpick (for mixing and applying epoxy) 
  • smooth jaw forceps (smooth jaw pliers)
  • white vinegar 
  • toothbrush
  • paint bottles (for support structures) 

Here are the contents of the blister:

(11 individual pieces)

Prepare all the parts by cutting/filing mold lines and removing them from the sprue.  Test fit them and file them down as necessary. (See next step for leg placement.)  Score the ball and socket joints on the legs to give the epoxy a better surface to hold.  Once all parts are ready for assembly, scrub them with the toothbrush and white vinegar to clean them. 

Assembly of the legs was made easier with small alignment pins in the hip sockets that match up with holes in the leg side of the joints.  This will tell you if the legs go on the left or right side.  For front to back orientation, it is literally "by the book."  They were sculpted in almost the exact pose as pictured in Technical Readout: 3067.  Feel free to snip off the posts and do it your own way but I'm going with this positioning for simplicity--just this once.
When assembling most quads, I usually don't worry about the base until later unless I need it temporarily for alignment. This mini is no exception.  The left front leg pretty much locked into the proper position thanks to the alignment pin.  Just apply the epoxy, angle the leg forward slightly, fit it into the socket, and rotate it back.  It should lock into the position shown.  (You may want to try that first without the epoxy to get the feel of it.)  Apply putty to hold it in position while the epoxy cures for 15 minutes.
The rear right leg wasn't quite as easy to lock in as the front left, but it was still easy.  Align the bottom of the foot so it is on a parallel plane with the first foot. (They'll both sit flat on the tabletop.)  Add epoxy and putty it in place.  Let cure for 30 minutes.
Attach it to the base and balance with a paint bottle and putty.  Don't be afraid to use a little too much epoxy.  You can clean it up carefully with a toothpick before it fully cures. The feet won't necessarily fit perfectly into the footprints, but they'll be close.  I bent the inside toe of each foot slightly downward using my smooth jaw forceps.  Let cure for 30 minutes.
Epoxy the remaining legs in place.  You can do one at a time allowing 15 minutes to cure, or both at the same time.  Just don't rush it.  Use putty where necessary for support.
Dry fit the laser barrels to find a position you like.  They don't have to ride tight in the channels.  You can point them up and out like antenna if you want.  Attach as many missile pods and lasers as you feel comfortable doing at one time.  This isn't a race.  Again use the putty to hold each piece in position until the epoxy cures for 15 minutes.
Now it's time to attach the assembled mini to the base.  I cut the slightest bit (about 2 mm) off the back of the base.  This goes along with my seemingly insane philosophy of keeping miniatures "balanced" on their bases.  Sure the back leg hangs over a little, but so does the front of the mini.  This is opposed to the front hanging over about twice what it is now.
Fill the remainder of the base with your material of choice.  Once again I went with "green stuff" that I textured with sandpaper to match the metal base.  When the base has cured (or dried) it will be scrubbed with white vinegar and them primed for painting.

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