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assembly/paint question

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  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
assembly/paint question
Posted by John3M on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 11:27 AM

how do you approach your assembly paint dilemma. So, you are starting out with the assembly and the instructions indicate paint color. I know each kit differs but say it's a car or a tank do you try to assemble it and paint? I know painting first presents some hazards like smudges and glue damage. but just wondering how others deal with this. I have seen you tubes with tanks where the tank is assembled then the guy airbrushes the primer.


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 1:10 PM

When I do armor I usually assemble almost everything, just leaving off the roadwheels,tracks, antennas,stowage,and figures,and airbrush they entire thing.If tools  need painting,I slide a post it under or next to it as a mask and carefully paint by hand.

I don't really see it as a dilemma,just a process,which varies from cars,armor,ships and planes,I just plan ahead the best process in my head.

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
Posted by John3M on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 2:10 PM

Past is experience, present is experiment, future is expectation

I'm at the second point Confused

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 11:59 PM

It's almost always a combintion of all of the above. Some items you paint as you go and mask off, others get painted after assembly, and then details are painted afterwards.

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, November 30, 2023 8:07 AM

One of those questions you need to address before starting any work.  For most of us it is build-a-little, paint a little, repeat.  Looking at the instructions carefully, you can plan the sequence.  On some of the top quality kits, they show paint numbers in those steps where you need to paint parts.  No law says you have to follow that, but if you do not have those parts painted by completion of the step, you may have problems doing them later.  Good example is cockpits.  If you do not have cockpit parts before inserting the cockpit into fuselage, it may be hard to paint parts later.


  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, November 30, 2023 9:44 AM

As I ended up finding out the hard way, each model and each subassembly will have a different strategy for how to attack assembly and painting, and you always want to consider what other parts may be going together with that subassembly in later steps.  It never hurts to jump a few steps ahead in the instructions and do a test fit before committing to a plan for what you're currently working on.  Its really a bummer to assemble and paint something in a way you thought made sense, only to find out that the manufacturer had a different idea when you try to attach that subassembly to the rest of the model.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2021
Posted by bapowellphys on Thursday, December 7, 2023 5:03 PM

If it can be attached cleanly (unlikely to result in glue mishaps and not requiring any sanding/filling) AND if it will be difficult to mask off after attaching (because it's to have a different color than the part it's attached to), paint the part in question before attaching.  Otherwise, attach first.


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