[Episode 4] Proper Planning Part 4 – Attachment Anxiety

At this stage of prep, The Big Spreadsheet (see Episode 1) is a database of every part used in the kit. One of the particularly cool things I can now do is to identify how some parts get attached to parts from earlier steps in the instructions. Let me explain…

One important thing to note about the Model Factory Hiro kits is that, unlike most (plastic) model kits, the connections between the parts have to be worked quite a bit by the modelmaker. Metal parts may have to be straightened, most parts have to have mold flash cleaned off, but the big ticket item is that the holes that parts fit into have to be drilled out by the modeller. This means it’s really important to prepare and test fit every part that attaches to the part you are working on – and all that before painting and fitting the part to the model.

The real worry for me is that I might fit part X today, and then find out later (maybe months later) that part Y is supposed to fit into X, but I have no access to X to drill holes, file surfaces, whatever. There could literally be not enough room to get a drill bit into a hole. That would be BAD.

The solution is that I identify, in The Big Spreadsheet, where various parts will attach to. I ignore parts that are attached in the same step; I just worry about parts that attach to parts from some earlier step. So let’s say that later on, part Y will be attached to my part X. Even later, part Z will also be attached to part X. I create a ‘cheat sheet’ which tells me to prep part X now to fit with parts Y and Z. Here is a sample of the Attachment Cheat Sheet:

The Attachment Cheat Sheet also includes the section the attaching part is from (so I can look it up in the instructions) and its location (so I can find it in the box).

So, finally: As I build, I can ensure that I have prepped every hypothetical part X to fit with the parts in the section I am working on (that’s pretty obvious from the instructions) PLUS any parts that attach to it later on (NOT obvious, and so is taken from the Attachment Cheat Sheet).

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