Assembling Your Infinite Crypt Elements
Assembling each Infinite Crypt element is a little puzzle – we hope that you have fun working out how to put them together! You should find that even the most complex elements are straightforward to assemble, as long as you start with the right approach. We’ll be happy to give you extra advice if you need it – just ask!
You Will Need
- A good work surface (that’s reasonably well lit).
- A smooth, pointy tool (for pushing small parts out of the sprues; a round nail will do).
- A craft knife or scalpel (just for tidying up corners).
- White glue (ordinary PVA wood glue is ideal).
- A small glue container (we used a film can).
- Water (to dilute your glue and wash your brush).
- A brush (we like Chinese calligraphy brushes, but modelling brushes are just as good).
- Paint (we used a very quick, two colour painting schema which we describe overleaf).
Assemble First, Paint Second
Don’t be tempted to paint your element first – even a thin layer of paint will make the element hard to assemble.
Check the Picture
Each element’s sprue is marked with its reference number. The assembled element is depicted on the Elements Table, so you know what you’re aiming to create.
Push Out From The Light Side
You’ll notice that one side of each element’s sprue is distinctly lighter. That side faced away from the laser beam when it was cut. We’ve got better results by pushing small parts out from this side.
Parts are held in the sprues by tiny (0.1mm) bridges, usually at the corners. Most of these will be concealed during assembly, but you may want to trim off prominent ones with your craft knife.
Dilute Your Glue
It needs to be about the consistency of paint, so you can apply it thinly. This is what you need a small container for. We’ve found that one part water to two parts glue has worked well for us.
Take Your Time
Work out how the whole element goes together before you start assembly. If you glue parts in the wrong place, then you can take them apart again, but they can be tricky to reassemble!
Keep It Dry
Dampness will slightly soften and swell the material, making small tabs hard to engage. If you do accidentally get an unassembled element damp, dry it out well before attempting to put it together.
Take Care with Moving Parts
Be careful where you glue, and you’ll find that it’s completely feasible to assemble elements so that wheels turn, and portcullises and doors open and close.
Order Your Assembly
Take things in the wrong order and it’s possible to partly assemble some elements in such a way as to make it impossible to finish them. Watch out for corner element in this regard!
Make Use of Your Work Surface
If you’re assembling delicate sections, support larger parts on your work surface and bear against it. The work surface can also be useful for aligning stairs to assemble elements with straight stairways.
Use the Hints
Look carefully and you’ll see that there are often clues to element assembly on the sprue. As examples: the order of the stairs in the spiral staircase is mirrored by their positions on the sprue; just two hook-shaped tabs in the corner element have diagonal corners – they connect.
There’s More Than One Way
You’ll need to decide whether each door element pushes open to the left or the right, and whether each spiral staircase goes up clockwise or anticlockwise. The crystal formation can be assembled in millions of ways, to simulate the variability of natural forms.
Recover From Disaster!
If you accidentally snap a small piece, don’t panic! Undiluted PVA will repair it quite satisfactorily. Leave it to dry, and then use your craft knife to pair down any raised areas. Similarly, your craft knife is a great tool to carefully prise apart pieces that you accidentally glued in the wrong place.
After you’ve assembled each element, go over it with a brush dampened with water, with a tiny bit of PVA in it. This will tidy up joints where glue has squeezed out visibly, and it’ll soak in and seal the surface, preparing it so your paint will look slightly brighter and more intense.
Use Your Spares
You may want to retain the discarded parts of each element sprue. They’re great for scratch-building tumbled-down masonry, adding extra features or creating dungeon debris.
The elements depicted in our Kickstarter were all painted with a very simple, quick schema using two colours of aerosol paint. You may want to get cleverer than we did, but if you’d like to use our method, here’s how we did it.
We tested Plastikote and Rustoleum paint. For the base coat we used black primer of either brand. For the top coat we tried “Plastikote Grey/Beige” and “Rustoleum Fossil” with equal success. It’s most efficient to paint elements in batches of 10-20.
- Spray assembled elements lightly with the black base coat. Turn the elements to make sure you cover all sides, but don’t apply the paint too thickly.
- Examine elements carefully to ensure that the black covers all the visible areas. You may want to change the position of doors or moving parts. Use short puffs of spray to fill in bits you’ve missed, then leave them to dry for a few minutes.
- Swap to the beige paint. Spray the elements lightly from far away (24″/60cm) to dust them with beige. There’s no need to cover the elements completely – just let the lighter paint settle on the most exposed surfaces. If you make them too light, you can dust them with a bit of black, but always finish with a dusting of beige again.
That Obligatory Safety Notice…
Infinite Crypt is designed for adults and is not a toy. It contains small parts which should not get into the hands (and, more importantly, mouths) of youngsters. You don’t need to be an expert modeller to assemble Infinite Crypt, but you do need to be reasonably competent with sharp and pointy tools and whatever paint you select. If you don’t feel safe using these things, then seek advice, training or assistance. Use appropriate protective equipment when using aerosols.