Pinning, Make models you can drop and throw!

Oct 31 2012

Written by Out of Focus

I’ve been asked several times to pin models for people or explain how to do it. As I was putting together my Legion Warmonger Warchief I snapped a few (slightly fuzzy) photos to illustrate the process. Hope this helps.



1/32 drill bits and 1/32 brass rod are perfect for pinning. Spend the extra 25 cents to get brass rod instead of something like piano wire, it’s way easier to bend, cut, and repair. Variable speed electric drill, there is no substitute. A hand drill won’t do the job. A sharp punch or big needle with a handle. Nothing else will create a guide hole to start your drill bit in so it doesn’t skip around.


 Let's Pin This


Use the locating tab or bump as a guide to show you where to put your pin. File the nub or bump perfectly flat and almost flush.


Use your punch to center a guidehole in the exact centre of the filed down locating tab or bump. Make sure you get the exact centre. If you mess this up, refile it flat and try again. What you’re trying to create is a little indentation or hole that the drill bit can seat in to start your hole in the correct spot. With no guidehole your drill bit will slip all over the place and will drill you a nice big hole in the wrong spot!



Gently but firmly place your drill in the guidehole and, as slowly as the drill will turn, start your hole. Don’t get hasty! Drill slowly and stop at least three or four times to back your drill out of the hole to get the metal shavings out. You can see them start to build up in the picture. If you don’t clean out the drilled out metal often your bit will bind and then snap off in the hole. You will never, short of cutting up the model, be able to get your broken drill bit out and will be left with the awkward task of putting a pin in at a different spot. This is the number one screw up people make while pinning.


Drilling the other or ‘female’ side of the pinning hole is easy. There will be a handy guidehole available to start your drilling. Just make sure you’ve got the right angle.

When all the drilling is done and you’ve test dryfitted it all together and are satisfied, put dots of glue into the holes, turn in your brass rod, glue the joints at the correct angle, and then walk away. Really really far away. Like, don’t even look at the model for at least two hours. Playing with it will weaken the joints and pins and the glue deep in the pinning holes takes a while to set. Zip kicker will set the glue up faster but I’m convinced it also doesn’t create as strong a bond as natural curing does.