Getting close to the finish line now. I carefully cut out the images for each piece along a faint outline I added to the print with a 2 millimeter margin.
The images have been glued to the pieces. I applied slightly diluted (with water) carpenters glue with a brush to each piece of wood, pressed it down onto the back of the images and waited for the glue to dry completly before trimming the edges with a sharp hobby knife. I added a layer of semi gloss varnish to the top of each piece to get some shine to the surface as well as to protect the paper surface. As a final touch I painted the edge and bottom of each piece with a light green-grey color to roughly match the edges of all the other pieces in the puzzle.
And that's about it. The new pieces are completed and fitted into the puzzle. When putting the final pieces into their places I realised two small things that I will definitly have in mind the next time around. To begin with I should have made the wood shapes just a little thinner as adding the images actually add a small but still noticable amount of thickness to them. Next, with the paint and varnish added around the edges the pieces got somewhat harder to place into their neighbours. For my next puzzle rescue mission I will take this into account when polishing the shapes and add just bit more margin. Also on a side note, what kind of strange and possibly hierto unknown grey-blue-green-brown color is that on the top wing? It proved to be very hard to reproduce it seems!
Conclusion: There's definitly room for improvement, but nontheless this little project was very rewarding as it effectively solved a recurring problem I've had since childhood. From now on I don't have to live with the fear of missing pieces and I'm confident that I can bring any future puzzle I build over that final finish line. Mission complete!Return to the beginning of this project