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The Moondragon Flight Stands


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Revision Log
10 March 2000converted to new format
20 September 1997page first published

2,886 hits since 21 Mar 2000
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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my finished stand my finished stands

Manufacturer's prototype flight stands, slightly different than the ones I had

The instructions provided were fairly complete:

  • Push antenna into wooden stands. The funny thing is that the first time I tried to insert the antenna into the base, it wouldn't fit. Frustrated, I set the whole thing aside. The next night I came back, and all the antennae fit perfectly into all the bases. Maybe it was the humidity?
  • Snap off a string of four 3D joints. The instructions go into some detail on the right way to snap and unsnap these joints, but frankly, I found it no problem at all. I was pleasantly surprised at how tightly the joints fitted together.
  • Glue 4-joint string to fighter. The instructions recommend a strong superglue or krazy glue, but I went with two-part epoxy for even greater strength. I wasn't able to get all of the joints to sit flush in the holes on the fighter, but then I figured that it didn't matter if they were a bit crooked...
  • Attach fighters to antennae. I left the glue to dry overnight, then snapped more joints to the tops of the antennae (which come with one joint pre-glued to the tip), then connected the strings so that the fighters were connected to the stands. The instructions confused me at first about how many joints to use, but then I finally figured out that if I only had 40 joints, then I'd use 10 joints per fighter. (From what I can tell so far, you could be short a few joints and the stand would still be playable.)

That was pretty darn easy.

One of the first things I've noticed, as I've been practicing with the fighters, is that the antennae pull rather easily out of the stands. I'd like to glue them together, but that'll make them harder to store and more susceptible to being bent.

The antennae work amazingly well as height devices. I was sceptical that they would hold position with heavy miniatures attached - but they do. They do have a tiny bit of "rock" in them - the wooden bases aren't perfectly flat, and there's a little bit of play in the antenna/base connection, and the antennae themselves are flexible. However, it's well within the needs of playability, and the unextended stands are stable enough on a hard, flat surface.

The manufacturer recommends not using the stands at full extension. At the greatest extension recommended, and with the joints adjusted to place the fighter at right angles to the antenna, the Moondragon is barely stable (base is riding on its side) and the Wardog is not stable. Playing further with the Wardog, however, I found that it was stable on three sides, but that if the fighter was over one particular edge of the base, it was unstable at almost any extension. So it seems that if the miniature is tippy on its base at a particular height, try rotating the base as a quick solution.

The joints themselves take some practice getting used to. A first-timer trying to adjust the model seems doomed to snapping the joints off (I just watched it happen). On the other hand, the joints are easy to snap back together, and when you get used to them you are less likely to snap them off. The instructions say that the joints will be stiff initially, but loosen with use. (Whether they loosen to the degree that they won't hold the fighters is something only experience will tell...)

The joints appear to be an amazing system for positioning a miniature fighter in 3D space. I can't imagine an orientation which can't be achieved using these joints.