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Assembling the Warrior Bug's Lower Body

Starship Troopers
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CrazyHarborc Inactive Member writes:

Darn good article(s). It was thanks to my finding this on a link in/on Mongoose, that my bugs are really going together with ease.

I came back tonight to print out a decent copy to keep. One for a buddy who is getting into SST too.

Well time to check out some of your forum's words of wisdom.
More later

Revision Log
21 April 2005page first published

9,295 hits since 21 Apr 2005
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

I think it's easiest to start with the lower body - which is also the most problematic part of the model.

The lower body consists of a top half and a bottom half

The lower body comes in two halves - top and bottom. If you're worried about concealing seams, then test fit the two halves together, and use a hobby knife and some needle files to improve the fit between the two pieces. (One piece has a tiny "lip" where it meets the other, and some of the contours on one piece don't quite match the other.) When you're done, carefully pry the pieces apart (you may need to insert a knife blade between them).

Now, take the top piece (the one with the big depression in the middle) and set it upside-down. You'll see four spherical depressions. Take four of the bug legs, and place the ball joints in the depressions. Don't glue anything, yet.

The legs are placed in the upper body

A Note About Bug Legs: As far as I can tell, the legs are all interchangeable. Some are extended (longer), some are retracted (shorter). The pointy end of the lower body (where the anus opening is) is the back end - on your first few bugs, put at least one of the longer legs in a back position, since the finished model will be back-heavy and this helps keep the bug from tipping over.

Warrior Bugs easily tip over without proper leg position in the back!

Matching a "long" leg opposite a "short" leg can give the impression that the bug is moving. It doesn't matter how the legs are oriented at this point, as you can adjust them later.

And a Note About Glue: I would normally use plastic cement on a plastic model, but the cement I had on hand (Testors Plastic Cement) didn't work on this type of plastic. (I tested on scrap pieces.) So I ended up using two types of superglue - gel (the thicker kind, which takes longer to set up) and runny (which will run into the gaps between pieces). Someone said that Mongoose advises against superglue, but I had no troubles...

So now, apply glue to the attachment pegs in the bottom body-half, and gently put it into place so that it traps the leg ball-joints inside the body. When you're sure you have the legs in place, pick up the lower body and gently squeeze to bring the halves together. (You want to have no gaps between the pieces.) You may hear one or more "clicks" as you push the halves together.

Resist the temptation to play with the legs, and let the glue set. If you've kept the glue on the pegs, and nowhere else, then the legs will still be free to move around. Sometimes the legs will be held firmly in place, and sometimes they will just flop around...

Now, pose the legs the way you want them to go. Make sure the "foot" end of the leg is pointing down. I thought it looked best to keep the joints in the vertical plane, rather than to "twist" the legs sideways. The right-side legs have more freedom, while the left-side legs can't rotate much to either side. At first, keep the body horizontal and four legs on the ground - but you can have more fun with later models, when you have the hang of it.

Then, drip some glue into the ball sockets to secure the legs in place. (I used runny superglue for this.) If the legs won't stay in position, you may need to glue two legs, let them set, then glue the other two legs. Wipe away any excess glue with a cloth or paper towel.

The legs have been glued

(If you have some gap problems between the body halves, this is a good time to run some superglue there, too - capillary action should draw the glue into the gaps.)

Sometimes, you get gaps in the lower body despite your best efforts...