Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

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phantomfish
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Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:48 am

I purchased my first Metal Earth kit (Bumblebee) just before Christmas and it arrived a few weeks ago. I've posted a few things on my twitter feed but I thought I would share some tips and tricks from my first week (and a bit) of building that may help others.

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1. Equipment
Get yourself some good quality equipment. I thought you would just be able to push the metal bits out of the frame and push them together. I was so far off the mark it was untrue. A good set of wire cutters and a set of either thin needle nose pliers or tweezers.

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This was my first set. I did get a different set of tweezers later as the ones I purchased really weren't up to the task. Make sure you get some with a wide flat head as they will be useful for twisting tabs.

2. Cutting

Only cut out the bits you need, when you need them. I've taken it really slowly and cut out the bits I need when I need them. It saves you struggling to identify which bits are which later.

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3. Take your time

I'm a bugger for trying to do everything now. When I build a Lego set, I'm always looking ahead and trying to second guess things. I've taken it very slowly with this and it is coming out better for it. Its taken me a week of occasional building just to make the torso. I've only just completed the first side of the instructions this morning.

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4. Bend around a pen

When you need to round things off, wheels in the case of Bumblebee, do it around a pen. Get the section and slowly bend it around a pen to form a circle. It's worked every time for me and I can then manipulate anything I'm not happy with tweezers.

5. Don't excessively bend things

Don't bend the metal back and forth too much. It will obviously weaken the more you manipulate it, so if you bend it back and forth it will snap off. I haven't had this happen but I read tons of horror stories beforehand, so I've taken my time and carefully manipulated bits. The large flat headed tweezers are also good for bending small flaps to save them breaking.

6. Find some English instructions

My set came with Chinese instructions. The metal earth website has instructions for all sets in English. I've downloaded them and, whilst the printed version of my Chinese ones are clearer, I can refer to my English ones whenever I need them.

That's all for now. I'll try and update with any progress as I carry on. I'm already looking for another set (lord help me!). If you have any tips and tricks feel free to share them.

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by domsalvia » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:23 pm

I tried one of these once and did so terribly with it. I wish I had this guidance before! Thank you :D

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:40 pm

Right, after about 3 weeks of on and off work on it I've finally finished Bumblebee.
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It was much more fun than anticipated. It just requires patience and a steady hand. I didn't manage to break any pieces. I also managed to only get 2 parts the wrong way round during building (I blame one of those on the instructions!). Already looking for my second set and hopefully it will be as much fun as this was.

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by tainkirrahe » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:20 pm

WOW, good job! Bumblebee's lookin' fab!

I know my dad came close to throwing Megatron out of his window several times whilst making him, haha.

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by thegatethekey » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:01 am

I wanna make one of theeese ;-; This is so cool
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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:52 pm

tainkirrahe wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:20 pm
WOW, good job! Bumblebee's lookin' fab!

I know my dad came close to throwing Megatron out of his window several times whilst making him, haha.
It seemed really daunting at first and I was terrified by some of the tiny pieces and how you have to manipulate them. Tweezers were my best friend doing this. I can sympathize though as it can be very fiddly. Just glad I read a lot of guides first.
thegatethekey wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:01 am
I wanna make one of theeese ;-; This is so cool
I would recommend you give it a go. The sets aren't that expensive, usually under £10. The tools weren't too expensive either about £7 for all my tools. I'm already planning on getting another one (hopefully Optimus) to have a go at.

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by thegatethekey » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:09 pm

Oh cool, where did you buy them specifically? Like, is there a nice and trustworthy store that delivers to Poland? ;P
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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:59 pm

thegatethekey wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:09 pm
Oh cool, where did you buy them specifically? Like, is there a nice and trustworthy store that delivers to Poland? ;P
I've bought mine from eBay so far. But they are widely available online from both eBay and Amazon.

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:00 pm

My second kit has arrived:
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The tweezers and wire cutters are ready......let's do this! :D

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by dustbunny105 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:55 pm

Bumblebee looks great! Looking forward to seeing your Optimus : D

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:04 pm

I've been hard at work on Optimus over the past week.
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The quality of the metal is much better than my Bumblebee set. This means my Bumblebee set could be a KO (it didn't come in Metal Earth packaging and the instructions weren't in English). The metal is also much shinier than the other set. This could be down to it being Optimus though. So far, the parts have been much bigger than in the previous set, which has made it easier to build. If you were looking for a set to start with, I'd recommend Optimus.
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The legs went together quite easily. The only problem was getting them into the base.
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I then progressed onto the chest today. A few twists were quite difficult, which is why I bought the new modelling needle nose pliers.

I'm now approaching what looks like the most difficult part.......the smokestacks! They are super tiny and one part has to be rolled all the way round. Not sure how I'm going to do that yet!

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by domsalvia » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:38 pm

That looks amazing! For the smoke stacks could you get a wire coat hanger and roll it around that? or would that be too big?

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Re: Metal Earth - Musings from a beginner

Post by phantomfish » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:25 pm

domsalvia wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:38 pm
That looks amazing! For the smoke stacks could you get a wire coat hanger and roll it around that? or would that be too big?
I ended up unraveling a coated paper clip and using that to mold around. I had to pinch the outside with tweezers to close them. I'm not too happy with the results but its not that bad.

Optimus is on hold at the moment as I encountered my first problem.
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Whilst attaching the barrel to the gun, it bent the box hinge excessively and it came off in 2 places. I've emailed their customer support department today and am awaiting a response. Thoroughly cheesed off after all this work to get so close....

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