Pinning

Installing pins between pieces can improve the strength of the joint. It also makes the final assembly much easier. I recommend pinning all major surfaces. I pin after washing the kit because water can get into the holes if you do the opposite, and can be very hard to remove. I have about 12 pins in me! Ouch!




First you have to decide where the pins should go. Most kits have alignment pins between surfaces and you can start from there. Sometimes the marks left by the original armature (little circular depressions on the surface) can be useful aid. If not, some books teaches you to draw markings on the surface to measure the location, but I usually just eyeball the location "center" and start drilling :)

On our Misato kit, we can see marks that align on her leg and body. We can start drilling from those places.

Most of my pins are of 1/16" size. I like using solid aluminum wires or hollow brass pipes for pinning. For major stress areas, I make 2 or more holes for pins.

Here I use the 1/16" drill bit on a pin vise to do the drilling. Drilling is very consuming on your fingers, so I actually always use a Dremel.
If you are not very confident about whether the holes align, you can widen the opening of the hole with an xacto knife (or Dremel). Try make a 45 degree crater from the opening. This allows the pin to have more degrees of movement.
The crater.The idea is this:

The blue piece is the pin, and yellow and green are both sides of the joint.
Stick the pin in the hole and cut the wire off with the pliers. It is however better to saw off the pin instead of cutting it off becuase the latter deforms the end of the pin.
Test fit to see if the pin is any good. You may need to wriggle the pieces around so that the pin can bend a little bit. If the fit with the pin is worse than the fit without, then you need to widen the crater more so that the pin can twist and bend more.

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