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Paint before or after putting the model together?

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  • Member since
    September, 2017
Paint before or after putting the model together?
Posted by Pinkbooger on Thursday, September 28, 2017 12:41 PM

So I have not messed with or done much with models in quite a few years. I do absolutely love putting things together and I love art. So I think I am truly going to enjoy this hobby. I didn't know about putty, filling seams or sanding until now so I was wondering if it is beneficial to not paint the body until after you put it together? I am looking into doing a helicopter, cars and the USS Midway. Any and all help or suggestions is greatly appreciated.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, September 30, 2017 10:58 PM

You'll end up doing some of both.

The armor people often paint a mostly assembled model. The ship people tend to prepaint or paint large subassemblies. 

Aircraft usually paint the detail parts separately, but paint the airframe after assembly.

Be aware that painted parts can only be assembled with solvent glue if the paint is removed from the gluing surfaces, This isn't hard, and solvent joints are very strong.

Otherwise, painted parts can be assembled with CA (superglue) but the joints are not as strong.

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Saturday, September 30, 2017 11:48 PM

Aircraft exterior painting for me is size dependent, i.e. large multi-engine kits in sections, single engine monoplanes as a unit if possible though there are many exceptions.

Number of biplanes I'd built this year was able to spray paint assembled fuselage, upper & lower wings with brace cables as single unit ala my Octopus Ro.43 & 44 models, others I had to spray sections separately add cables later.

My first Ro.43 build try in 2006 was epic catastrophe, 11 years it took gaining just enough courage to try again, Try No.2 early this year came out five-star, so too the Ro.44, slighly less nasty to build but heart-stopping at times also. 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, October 01, 2017 11:13 AM

GMorrison

You'll end up doing some of both.

The armor people often paint a mostly assembled model. The ship people tend to prepaint or paint large subassemblies. 

Aircraft usually paint the detail parts separately, but paint the airframe after assembly.

Be aware that painted parts can only be assembled with solvent glue if the paint is removed from the gluing surfaces, This isn't hard, and solvent joints are very strong.

Otherwise, painted parts can be assembled with CA (superglue) but the joints are not as strong.

 

The joints are so weak with CA over paint, that I recommend not even doing it. Either mask the joint area before painting a part or subassembly, or scrap the paint off before gluing.  To clear the joint from less accessible areas, I sometimes dimple through the paint with a 1/16 drill bit in a pin vise. I use gel CA so the dimple is not a problem (gel CA is thick enough to handle slight irregularities in surfaces.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2017
Posted by Pinkbooger on Monday, October 02, 2017 7:46 AM

When you say joint are you referring to a place that that two pieces meet together? Like a certain spot that is designed to meet? Trying to think of the best way to describe it but the place where one side has a hole and the other side a little piece of plastic that sticks out like a pin?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, October 02, 2017 8:45 AM

Not all joints have pins and recesses.  Many joints are flat area to flat area.  In fact, on aircraft, joins of fuselage halves differ from where they are from.  US and most British kits include register pins, many kits from Europe do not.  Some wing halves have pins, other kits do not.  Sometimes there will be a boss that fits into a recess- flat on flat.  On many ship kits superstructure pieces have flat base that goes directly onto flat deck, with feint marks indicating exact location (sometimes just omission of planking lines where deckhouse goes). In all cases, paint should be removed from glue area, including scraping paint of register pins where they are used. In the case of such pins, I clean out the paint from the matching hole with a drill and pinvise.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by Silver on Tuesday, October 03, 2017 11:40 AM

Build the model the way you want and enjoy it.Skill's will come later.No one has a perfect model.No matter what detail or set's are added.Don't worry about seams now.Just enjoy putting it together and painting it.Thats the modeling goal.Modeling ethics and styles will come later .The modeling hobby needs a restart and this is the way to go.

  • Member since
    November, 2015
Posted by STOVK on Sunday, October 08, 2017 7:40 PM

GMorrison

You'll end up doing some of both.

The armor people often paint a mostly assembled model. The ship people tend to prepaint or paint large subassemblies. 

Aircraft usually paint the detail parts separately, but paint the airframe after assembly.

Be aware that painted parts can only be assembled with solvent glue if the paint is removed from the gluing surfaces, This isn't hard, and solvent joints are very strong.

Otherwise, painted parts can be assembled with CA (superglue) but the joints are not as strong.

 

This was a very helpful answer for me. Thank you.

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Sunday, October 08, 2017 8:53 PM

Currently building Choroszy Modelbud (CM) CANT Z.504 & Savoia-Marchetti S.78 resin biplane floatplanes, Z.504 tractor engine forming upper wing center section, S.78 pusher engine slung between upper & lower wings ala the Supermarine Walrus; these will be the most challenging builds for me this year hands down.

CM was quite thoughtful casting wing sections separately to allow gluing engines & top center wing sections together as unit on fuselage hulls without having to glue on outer wings as well. If weren't for support strutting suspending the engines I might had painted the engine+top wing section & fuselage hull as units but each must be painted separately, excellent examples where painting everything at once just won't work.

The S.78's slung Isotta Fraschini Asso 750R "W" 18 cylinder in-line engine has good deal of detail so the "power egg" requires its own separate painting work, likely will concentrate getting the Z.504's Piaggio P.IX R.C.40 radial mounted first.

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