dinsdag 12 april 2011


Aerials. They are a finishing toutch to your model. I've been adding them for a few years now, started out with clipped guitar wire (hurts), then went over to trimming a brush for the hairs (flexible), even chased after the cat for a few whiskers (you see the problem here, right?), then ended up using 0.5mm brass wire.

After the last big battle the lower tray in my army transport had shifted and crushed all of the aerials in that one, which was a bit of a drag, but motivated me to fix another problem: with aerials added the vehicles take up a lot of room in a transport and they waste a lot of space.

The solution turned out to be very, very simple. Don't glue them in. Sounds obvious, I know, but it took me a while. As I've been asked quite a few times now to supply people with my aerials I feel it would be easier to tell you how to make them yourselves.

What do you need?
-0.5mm brass wire, I buy 1 metre lengths at the local model shop. I use it for other things as well as pinning and replacement barrels.
-0.4mm soldering wire. A spool of this stuff with shipping tends to set you back anywhere from 5 tot 10 pounds depending on your location. I also use it for wires and cables. 1 spool will last you forever, trust me.
- superglue, a clothesline pin, a file, a ruler and a pair of clippers.

Step 1:
Lay out a section of brass wire and solder wire.

Step 2:
Twist the solder wire around the brass wire. I do this 6 times, then fold over the front bit that I was holding so you get 7 twists.

Step 3:
Cut off the remaining wire and push the twists together. Don't worry about the tips standing up a bit, this will be fixed later.

Step 4:
Add a small drop of superglue about 5mm from the end of the brass wire and slide the soldering wire over it. Try to keep 3-5 mm distance from the end of the wire., this more then enough for most projects. As the superglue sets you can use a knifetip or a toothpick to curl in the tips. Then add a small dab of superglue on both ends of the wire spool. Capillary forces will draw the superglue in to the spool and this will be set in no time.

Step 5:
Align the wire with a ruler or grid and cut it off at 30mm including the wire spool. Use a sanding stick or a file to trim the sharp edges a bit. You can vary the sizes of the aerial if you like but through trial and error I found 30mm to work best.

Step 6:
Clip the end into a clothes peg and add a drop of superglue to the end of the aerial.

Step 7:
Suspend this upside down so the drop keeps it shape and covers the sharp bit. I usually repeat this last process twice for a nice solid tip.

And that is it. You can churn these out pretty fast if you get the hang of it, and I always make a few extra for later. Paint them black, varnish them and they are ready to go whenever you need them. Adding pennants is a breeze now as well, no more damage during transport.

They have turned out to be pretty durable, no casualties yet. Best of all, you can get em all out, put them in small storage box and put them on again in no time.

Hope you can use this tutorial and put it to good use, and good luck on the battlefield with your new addition.

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