Flight Bases : Details

click for Flight Bases page

Flight Bases page

Detachable, Ball & Socket flight base kits

(by Mongoose Publishing)

click for Flight Bases page

Flight Bases page

Dimensions of the kit parts

Assembling the Flight Stand

Attaching the model

Problems and Solutions

Examples

 

 

Here is the kit as you will receive it - it will have either the 30mm base or the 50mm one, not both. If you have any queries about these kits then please e-mail me and I'll try and send you a helpful answer.

Further down this page are instructions on separating the parts and assembling them. I'd advise you to read them right through first, before having a go at making one.

The diagram below shows the dimensions of the various parts and the two possible heights of the fully assembled flight bases.

 

ASSEMBLING THE BASE

The first step is to remove the parts from the sprue frame ....

 

You will find that the ball probably has some small bits of sprue attached to it - DO NOT REMOVE THESE YET. The ball is so small it is difficult to hold it still so you can clean it properly.

With a fine file or emery board, carefully remove the sprue residue from the two ends of the post you intend to use. Test fit the thicker end to the base and feel with your finger to make sure that it is level, if not, carefully remove it and file it a bit more.

Now test fit the ball to the top of the post, again filing a little more if it doesn't fit.

GLUE

My recommendation for assembling the flight stand is to use a liquid plastic cement such as Plastic Weld but any glue for hard plastics will do - but use it VERY sparingly.

If you use the tube plastic cement that is used with model aircraft (and such) then I'd suggest squeezing a small amount onto a bit of card and lightly dipping the end of the post into the glue - that way you can control the amount of glue that goes on better.

Superglue doesn't have a great reputation for gluing styrene but the two joints are both friction fits and it may work OK.

Put a small amount (and I mean SMALL) of glue on the top of the post and carefully insert it into the ball. Make sure that you do not get any glue on the surface of the ball.

Leave this to harden for 10-15minutes.

Now that you have something to get hold of you can clean any bits of sprue off the sides of the ball. You may be able to do this with a finger-nail but if you use a file, take care not to scratch the ball too much.

 

Now glue the post and ball assembly into the base in the same way - glue on the post, insert into the base and press firmly home.

A finished 50mm base

 

 
 

FITTING THE SOCKET TO THE MODEL

Before fitting the socket make sure that the small gap at the base of the socket is open.

Do this by passing a knife blade through the gap. If you miss this step the ball may be gripped too tightly and make breakage more likely.

 The styrene surfaces of the ball and socket can make rotating and removing the ball difficult, they have a good deal of friction between them and the fit is quite tight. To make sure that the ball rotates and tips freely in the socket put a VERY tiny smear of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the ball. If you don't intend removing the stand from the model then you can leave out this step but you may find that the ball gets stuck in some positions. Gently but firmly press the socket onto the ball and carefully rotate it and rock it about a little.

To remove the socket from the ball tip it at an angle and gently pull the ball out - it may take a bit of gentle 'wiggling' but it will come out. If it proves difficult (as it may do first time) to remove use a wooden toothpick to lever the ball out of the socket.

Do not use brute force or you will just snap the ball off the post.

 

The post on top of the socket is just under 2mm in diameter (so that it fits into a 2mm hole in the model) and about 2mm high. This will not suit all the different attachment possibilities - manufacturers haven't any standard sizes for the hole in the bottom of models in my experience.

I use a large pin vice to hold a 2mm drill to enlarge any existing hole but most of the smaller types of pin vice will not take a 2mm drill so you may need to improvise.

Ideally the hole should be a bit deeper than the peg on top of the socket but if this is not possible then filing the peg down a bit is OK. If the hole is smaller than the peg, and you can't enlarge it, then a small file can be used to make the peg thinner - but don't take too much off

If the model has no hole or is too small to drill a hole then I suggest that you file of the peg completely, leaving a flat surface on the top of the socket. You may need to file a flat on the bottom of the model to match if there is none where you want the socket attached.

Always try and put the socket at the point at which the model  balances - try this without glue to find the best spot.

I usually clean and prime a model before attaching the stand, that saves having to mask the stand so it doesn't get primed. If you plan to paint the model before attaching the stand do at least make sure that the socket hole is prepared beforehand, trying to drill out a hole in a finished model can lead to all sorts of problems.

My preference is to use a '5 minute' Epoxy to attach the socket to the model. This gives a strong joint, sets fairly quickly and, unlike solvent glues, is less likely to ruin an existing paint job. Superglue is not recommended for this part of the assembly.

Always test fit the socket to the model first - that saves realising that it doesn't quite fit when you have the glue all over them.

Put a little glue in the hole and a little on the shoulders of the socket and put together. Leave to set with the model upside-down, supported on a few blobs of Blu-tak if needed.

 

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

A selection of models of various types and from a variety of manufacturers

 

[A] Irregular WW1 Gotha bomber

[B] 10mm giant eagle

[C] Kallistra spaceship

[D][F] & [G] GZG spaceships

[E] WW2 fighter from Navwar

[H] Brigade Models spaceship

 

[A] has no hole but a good flat area just behind the bomb racks, where the model balances. Solution : I'll file off the peg and glue the socket lengthwise here.

[B] hole is too big and not at the point of balance. Solution : put a good blob of epoxy into the hole and place the socket crosswise.

[C] hole is too big and too shallow and the model is too thin to allow it to be drilled deeper. Solution : file down the peg to the right height and glue it on lengthwise.

[D] hole just needs a bit of 'easing' and making a touch deeper. Solution : glue on lengthwise.

[E] a very small model with no hole. Solution : remove the peg and glue on lengthwise - not a perfect solution as these bases are really not made for small models.

[F] hole needs easing a bit but the socket just fits crosswise into the gap.

[G] a small, narrow model with no hole and raised detail on the bottom. Solution : file the bottom flat, remove the peg and fit crosswise.

[H] no hole and weight unevenly distributed. Solution : remove the peg and check the balance point before gluing on the socket lengthwise. You could drill a new hole but it isn't really worth the extra effort.

 

This probably doesn't cover all the possible problems that you might encounter but it gives you a start and some examples of how I went about it as a guide. Feel free to e-mail me if you come across a problem that you'd like advice on - I can't promise I will be able to solve it, but I'll certainly give it a try.

 

 

EXAMPLES

Brigade Models Starship Carrier

on a 50mm base

1/300th scale Blenhiem bomber

by Navwar

on a 30mm base

 

 

Below are two more shots of the Blenhiem that give a clearer view of the socket joint from two angles.

10mm Giant Eagle

on a 30mm base