Making working hinges in 1/76 scale.

You may think that this is an exercise for masochists, but actually it is not too difficult. To make suitable hinge tubes I drill out the end of a piece of sprue and then stretch it using a spirit burner to heat it until it is easily stretchable. It is necessary to experiment with different size sprue and drills as well as with the actual heating and stretching technique. I find tissue clamps from a dissection kit invaluable for holding hot sprue and saving my fingers from burns. Hinge pins can be made with a single strand of wire from a suitable piece of multiconductor insulated wire (single strands of ~0.2mm dia), or for a slightly smaller diameter pin (~0.15mm) I use nylon monofilament. Tube can be accurately glued in place without undue runs by applying liquid polystyrene cement with a Pasteur pipette, the tip of which has been heat stretched to a capillary tube. I am slightly short sighted, so can do this with the naked eye, but I have used a stand magnifier, or at times a stereo microscope for really tricky items. Threading the hinge pins into the tubes can be a frustrating exercise, but practice makes perfect (I'm still practising!). Nylon or metal hinge pins can be adequately secured with superglue which can also be applied with the stretched pipette. Beware capillary tracking inside the hinge tubes, however! Always cut tubes with the sharpest possible blade and with a hinge pin inside. This minimises the risk of crushing the tube.