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Really getting into the groove of model building!

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  • Member since
    June 2014
Really getting into the groove of model building!
Posted by bluenote on Monday, November 16, 2020 8:59 AM

I've been building models off and on for the past 15 years or so.  I have to be honest, the first while it was kinda difficult.  My models were not turning out very good, and I have been experimenting with rattle cans, different paints, a couple of different airbrushes, etc in order to make the process more fun and consistant.  I generally find myself mostly fixing my mistakes and going backwards on a model.  Sometimes I didn't want to work on a model because I knew it would be spent trying to fix stuff that I messed up, rather than just making good headway.

However, the past few models I've made have been pretty fun and I'm finally finding my groove and getting better results and having a lot more fun!  A few things that I've found in all my trials and errors:

- Paint.  I now only use Tamiya, and also Scalefinishes for car bodies.  That's it.  With a drop of retarder, Tamiya brush paints perfectly and I know what to expect every time.  Which brings me to....

- Airbrushing.  I now use an Iwata Revolution CR and it's perfect for my needs.  It's easy to clean and I am now confortable with how it works.  I only use tamiya acrylics with it, and I use exactly a 2:1 ratio (paint:thinner).  With this, I get the same results every single time.  No clogging, no runs, etc.  Same results all the time.  Before, I was using Model master enamels, with a Badger, and then rattle cans, etc.  Now, I really enjoy airbrushing! 

- Tamiya glue.  I used to use Testors tube glue, and once I learned about Tamiya extra thin and Tamiya regular liquid cement, there is no going back.  My builds are now very clean and it's a joy to work with this cement vs testors tube glue

- Tamiya weathering sets/panel line paint, etc.  Weathering is dead easy now, with Tamiya's weathering masters (dry brush) and panel line paint.  It's just so much easier and quicker.  I used to try using my airbrush for shadowing, but couldn't get the hang of it.  The weathering paint by tamiya is just so easy.

Anyone else (maybe the newer members?) going through the same thing as me?  Did it take a while to really start to enjoy building models?  

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Monday, November 16, 2020 11:24 AM

Be patient!  When you get used to assembly then move on to painting and then airbrushing the world well open up!  If you can, join  IPMS club, ask, ask,ask questions.   Face to face.  When the virus becomes manageable, go to contests.  If not, BE PATIENT with every model.  Don't do anything beside building out of the box.  Airbrushing is not hard at all. I advise getting a good compressor as well.  Modeling is very personable, everyone learns at their own speed. Did I mention to be patient?  Oh yeah, also Practice.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: South Africa
Posted by ohms on Monday, November 23, 2020 1:57 AM

For me, the only way I have managed to keep my interest in model building (and even make it grow) is to pinpoint what's annoying me about it and find a solution.

For example, I didn't have an airbrush for the first few models because I believed I had to master brush painting first (as I've described in another post). But, after trying over and over again to get a good finish with the brush and failing, I decided to get literally the cheapest airbrush/compressor combo I could find, and I haven't looked back since. Now I enjoy looking at my model finishes. It encourages me to press on with the next model, so there's one problem solved.

Another problem I came across later was that I hated taking out the airbrush for only a few pieces, making tiny progress, and then having to take out the airbrush again. Plus in the early days one airbrush session was one and a half hours minimum (had to set it up outside the house and was still learning the most efficient procedure).

Nowadays I can have just 45 minutes to spare and think, "Let me get some airbrushing done." Plus I do a large portion of the pieces at once, maybe even the entire subassembly. (I've seen guys online paint EVERYTHING first). And I don't spend so much time getting ready because a) I know exactly what I need to carry outside, and b) it's always prepped the night before.

So yeah, there are tricks to make it enjoyable and consistent. I remember reading once that people play video games only until they've mastered them. Once there's no more room for progress, it's not enjoyable anymore.

That's the beauty of scale modeling. You can go so far with it. I don't even care that much about my finished pieces. I'm learning to enjoy the journey regardless. The experience and improvements will come anyway. Find some time alone, put on your earphones, and transport yourself to a peaceful place. Smile

Into model building since September 2019. Also into books (mostly science-fiction), comic books, and gaming.

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Monday, November 23, 2020 8:13 PM

I've been building since 1946 (6 years old). I build whatever strikes my fancy at the time and my wallet says OK Wink. I'm still learning something new all the time. It never ends (hopefully).

Jim Captain

Stay Safe

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: South Africa
Posted by ohms on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 9:10 AM

The one thing I forgot to add is I don't backtrack anymore. No more stripping the paint off the plastic and redoing. If it's tolerable, I push on and gain the maxiumum amount of experience I can from the model, and if my booboo is too big to ignore, into the bin it goes.

Life's too short and models are cheap enough that I don't require much value out of them. I focus more on quantity than on quality, because quantity will beget quality anyway. Yes, it means I do stay away from the expensive ship models and will only attempt them when I believe I'm ready, but for the time being, there's PLENTY to keep me occupied. 

Edit: I keep reminding myself that at the end of the day, it's a hobby with cheap pieces of plastic. That's why I didn't freak out when my 4-year old dropped and broke my Bandai C3PO. Breathe and relax. Best not to get too worked up about them. 

Into model building since September 2019. Also into books (mostly science-fiction), comic books, and gaming.


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