Pinning models can be time consuming... but it's worth every second you invest. The opportunity to pin the wings on a Forge World Bloodthirster is one of those hidden benefits you get when you buy the model. Along with lots of other benefits like trying to attach a hundred little spikes. All fun things to do before you actually get to use your model in a game.
I've done this once before for a friend of mine. Another person saw what I'd done before and wanted it done for his model. Not that pinning a set of wings is any great accomplishment, but I made these so they could be removed for storing the model.
It was a matter of using multiple pins in each wing so that they can be fitted on snugly and then removed afterwards. It's one thing to pin them in place for stability, but making the wings permanent makes for some interesting transporting problems. This is a huge model to carry around. Keeping them removable makes it much easier to transport this guy to and from the game store.
The double pin at the top of the wings is the key part. It keeps the wing nice and snug when it's fitted into position so you can actually use the model in game play without worrying that a wing is going to drop off in the middle of some giant hand-to-hand combat and damage a half dozen models.
I was also asked to "adjust" his right hand so his axe did not hit his right wing. That meant rotating it slightly (not so much it looked wrong) and tilting it so it cleared the wings. This means there are no problems with adding or removing the wings each time the model is used. A simple pin with some greenstuff to fill in the gap and the wrist was as good as new.
The pinning process itself was rather simple
I used some floral wire for added rigidity and my GW drill bit. The wire is slightly larger than the hole I made (using the standard GW drill bit) so it took a pair of pliers to push the wire in. I did not glue the wire in place either. This gives the owner the option of removing them at a later point without worrying about damaging the model.
The double pin at the top of the torso is the floral wire bent in half inside a slightly larger hole.
The floral wire allows me bend it as needed so that I can create friction between the pin and the holes in the wings to hold them in place. The top pin is doubled up for some added strength. I'm sure a single pin would work, but I wanted to make sure this guy would hold up to game play without having to worry about the wings coming off.
The tiny gap between the wings and the torso
Yep, there's a small gap between the wings and the body even when they are fitted in perfectly. And this is okay. During game play, you never even notice it. Before I pinned the wings in place, I sat there and kept working on both surface areas where the wings and the torso join so they match up as close as possible. Some cutting here, some sanding there... all to get them to match up as close as possible to minimize this left over gap.
It would be the one small drawback to having the wings pinnable and removable at the same time. I guess you could say this isn't technically pinning in the sense that nothing is permanent, but I like the ability to remove the wings for transport as needed. I think it adds to the model and it's usability.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Pinning the smaller metal GW Bloodthirsters