So I recently purchased the Shaolin Warrior Monks box as I found I had spare points at the end of my lists recently and didn’t have any other models cheap enough in points to fill the gap. It was a difficult toss up between the Monks and the Kuang Shi but in the end I decided to go for the Monks for the fun smoke and close combat shenanigans, I also wanted to try and experiment with using them with Bào Troops. With the White Banner Sectorial hopefully coming later this year I also wanted them for that as I suspect they will be part of that Sectorial.
But before any of that, the first step was assembly! The tools I use are very simple and cheap but do the job effectively. I use the Humbrol tool set which includes a hobby knife, file, tweezers and a pair of clippers. This set only costs around £10 online and the tools are pretty good, especially the file.
I use the tools in the following ways:
- Clippers – For clipping off large chunks of mold/flash, not suitable for fine clipping
- Hobby knife – Used for pretty much all cutting and scraping off flash
- File – Used to get rid of all the mold lines and for smoothing mold lumps after cutting
- Tweezers – Not used often but sometimes really useful on fiddly bits
Other things that I used are a nice thick plastic chopping board with rubber feet that I spotted at Aldi (<£5) for cutting on and some green stuff from ebay (£2-3 for A LOT). For glue I use Loctite precision super glue and generic PVA glue from Tesco for the bases. I use modelling sand bought off ebay for a couple of quid as well. Altogether all of this probably costs around £25 max but it has lasted me for all my Infinity modelling so far.
Step 1 – Unboxing
This is what I was greeted with after opening the box, lots and lots of parts. The first thing I did was lay them all out before me to make sure I had no missing parts. If you ever have missing or incorrect parts make sure you contact Corvus Belli using the complaint codes! First I started with the bodies by cutting away flash and mold, then I filed down all the mold lines that I could see by holding them in the light. When filing mold lines be gentle and patient, if you are too rough you can file away detail. File gently in back and forth motions, you may have to try different angles too. Not every mold line can be done but I have found Corvus Belli’s newer models to have very few mold lines, sometimes even none!
I continued to do this process for all the parts, clipping away large metal chunks with the clippers, cutting down the flash with the hobby knife and then filing the lumps and mold lines to make them smooth. Some parts such as the Monks heads didn’t even require a tool to get off the mold – I simply twisted the head and it came off the mold, then I just filed it down.
For the bases I turned them upside down and used the hobby knife to cut out the hole. Before making the cut I lined up the monks on the base where I would want them to be and then made the cut after. I didn’t cut all the way through the base but scored it multiple times to make it weak, then I used the end of the file to just poke through and push out the weakened plastic.
Step 2 – Bath time and organising the parts
The next step was prepping for assembly. All models come with a small amount of residue on them from when they have been molded in CB’s factory, this residue can affect how effective the super glue sticks and also the priming layer so it is important for it to be washed off.
Before washing however the first thing I did was to organise the parts for each model. The Monks were tricky as I thought the parts would be interchangeable, but actually each head, arm and body was unique. This took a while of figuring it out and the way I did was just dry fitting each part to a body till it fitted, I also looked at the box repeatedly for reference. Sometimes I went back and swapped heads after realising I got them the wrong way around. Eventually though I figured out who each part was for and divided them accordingly.
After this it was time to wash them. I use a simple method of warm soapy water in a lunch box with a toothbrush. Nothing fancy, just washing up liquid! My method was to take one model and all it’s parts and brush it vigourously in the soapy water in a lunch box, then put each washed part on the lunch box lid to the side till they are all done. I was very very gentle with the monks combat staffs though as they are very fragile. Once I had washed all the parts for a model I rinsed them in warm water under the tap.
WARNING: MAKE SURE YOU DON’T WASH PARTS OVER THE SINK! AND ALSO MAKE SURE WHEN RINSING OFF THE SOAP THAT THE SINK PLUG IS IN! DO NOT LET PARTS FALL DOWN THE PLUGHOLE!
Once each model and all it’s parts were washed I laid them down on kitchen towel like below and pat dried them and left them to dry for 10-15 mins. (Go make a cup of tea)
Step 3 – Dry fitting and gluing
The next part was actually assembling the Monks, surprisingly I found that they were actually very easy and I was able to do it without any tweezers or tools. The most important thing to do first though is dry fitting! All dry fitting means is putting the parts on the model without any glue to make sure they fit and line up correctly. It’s important to do this stage to make sure all the parts are correct for each model and also to file away anything that might be causing a fitting problem. For example I found I had to file down some mold under a head to make it fit properly.
Take your time with this step as you want to get it right first time, nothing is worse than having hands and models covered in super glue! I went through each model and dry fitted each part until I was familiar and happy with what I needed to do.
The next step was super gluing, I use Loctite precision super glue which seems to do the job just fine. Some models may require pinning too but I found this wasn’t the case with the Monks. Before gluing each part do another dry fit check to make sure you know what you need to do once the glue is on. When super gluing don’t apply too much and flood the model, if there too much it can ooze out and stick to your fingers. Make sure the contact areas have glue and spread it with the super glue tip if necessary, just don’t flood it. Be patient when super gluing, I recommend holding it for a minimum of 30 seconds to 1 minute to make sure it sticks before letting go.
The first thing I did was super glue the loin robes, you want to super glue the fiddly parts first like these. Trying to glue them on AFTER you have glued to the base is super hard! (learnt that with the Bào) So first I did the robes, then the bodies on the bases, then the arms, and finally the heads last. I did the heads last to make sure the head facing looks correct with the body pose.
The only other thing I did was use a very tiny amount of green stuff to fill gaps on a couple of the arms. This was just done by rolling a tiny amount of green stuff into a small sausage shape and pushing and smoothing it into the gaps. My paint brushes have a pointy end so I used them but you could use a dedicated sculpting tool/scalpel.
Step 4 – Basing
I don’t claim to be an expert baser, I like to use a quick and simple method for my Yu Jing. In the future I want to try base toppers and go for a more sci-fi look but for these guys I was happy to go with a basic dirty urban look.
The method for this is very simple, I use a PVA glue mix of 70 PVA / 30 water and brush this carefully onto the base with an old narrow brush. Once it is on I dunk the base into a pot of modelling sand and leave it in for 1 minute. Then I pull the model out and give it a shake to get rid of excess sand and then also blow it gently to get rid of any other sand. Remember to do this over the sink or bin to not get sand everywhere! Once each base is done leave them to dry thoroughly.
Once they are totally dry (I leave them 24hrs) do the same PVA/water mix again and paint on another layer to seal in the sand. This is important as sometimes sand can flake and crumble off even after priming your models which doesn’t look good, it’s very annoying especially if you are drybrushing your base! Again leave to dry for 24hrs.
Once all this was done I had a nice set of Monks ready for priming and painting!
How do you assemble your models? What tools/materials do you use? Any pro tips? Leave a comment below so that we can all learn!