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notflip

Some questions on the order of doing things.

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Hi Everyone!

 

I just started on my first model, and there's a few general (non technical, it's friday let's keep it simple) questions about painting and glueing.

 

  • I'm trying to make subassemblies as to not be working with to many parts at the same time, but when I mixed paint, I felt like it was better to immediately paint all the parts that need that specific blend of colours, how do you go about this?
  • Is it okay to paint the majority of the parts first, and then only start glueing? I'm afraid if I keep some for later, I won't be able to reach them, I won't forget to scratch of paint on the parts that will be glued of course, I'm building the Spitfire, and thinking of painting the interior before glueing, and then the exterior afterwards.

 

Any tips or a nudge in the right direction is welcome!

Thanks

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I'd say you were doing it the best way, and not in need of any nudge.  I'd add that it is best to paint the canopy frames with the piece still on the frame, any minor flaws from removing the piece from the frame, or from attaching it to the model, can be corrected afterwards.  Use a PVC-based glue to attach the canopy as any over-gluing will not damage the transparency.

 

I must admit trying to buy an appropriate paint rather than trying to mix basic colours, mainly because it can be difficult to achieve an identical mix on two different occasions.

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Just now, Graham Boak said:

I'd say you were doing it the best way, and not in need of any nudge.  I'd add that it is best to paint the canopy frames with the piece still on the frame, any minor flaws from removing the piece from the frame, or from attaching it to the model, can be corrected afterwards.  Use a PVC-based glue to attach the canopy as any over-gluing will not damage the transparency.

 

I must admit trying to buy an appropriate paint rather than trying to mix basic colours, mainly because it can be difficult to achieve an identical mix on two different occasions.

Thanks for your response, I told the shop owner it was my first model, but he kept on getting different paints from his shelve, guess he saw me as walking money..

So to get the green for the Spitfire, I have to blend grey, yellow and a darker green (he even gave me the wrong green).

 

Thanks for the canopy tip, I'm using the Tamiya Cement, do I still need to get glue for the canopy? Or will the cement do fine?

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The Tamiya cement will work, but be careful in applying it, perhaps using small amounts on a pin to avoid any spreading too far.  You can buy dedicated modelling PVC-based glues, but I'm told regular household white PVC glue will do, and I don't really doubt it.  I just have these specialist glues already...

 

You don't say which green he sold you, nor what you are using as a guide to the correct colour.  RAF Dark Green was quite an olive shade.

 

PS  There are quite a lot of Spitfire models - first assumption is that you are working with the 1/72 Airfix Mk.I, but is it right?  Not that it affects the shade of green nor any basic tips, but different kits sometimes need different tweaks to make them fit.  For example, some modellers (including me) found that the internal cockpit structure for the 1/72 Airfix Mk.I is a little too wide, and this forces the fuselage slightly apart, which in turn flattens the dihedral of the wings.  It is best to file down the mating structures at the sides, and make sure that there is no paint on the joins.  Some of the recent Airfix kits are made to very tight tolerances, and this particular advice can usefully applied to other parts of these kits.  Indeed, it is good advice to check fit first with any kit really.

Edited by Graham Boak

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11 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

The Tamiya cement will work, but be careful in applying it, perhaps using small amounts on a pin to avoid any spreading too far.  You can buy dedicated modelling PVC-based glues, but I'm told regular household white PVC glue will do, and I don't really doubt it.  I just have these specialist glues already...

 

You don't say which green he sold you, nor what you are using as a guide to the correct colour.  RAF Dark Green was quite an olive shade.

 

PS  There are quite a lot of Spitfire models - first assumption is that you are working with the 1/72 Airfix Mk.I, but is it right?  Not that it affects the shade of green nor any basic tips, but different kits sometimes need different tweaks to make them fit.  For example, some modellers (including me) found that the internal cockpit structure for the 1/72 Airfix Mk.I is a little too wide, and this forces the fuselage slightly apart, which in turn flattens the dihedral of the wings.  It is best to file down the mating structures at the sides, and make sure that there is no paint on the joins.  Some of the recent Airfix kits are made to very tight tolerances, and this particular advice can usefully applied to other parts of these kits.  Indeed, it is good advice to check fit first with any kit really.

What would happen if I wasn't 'careful' with the cement? Would it melt away a part of the canopy?

It's this model: Revell Spitfire (Level 5)

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I've been building models for some 60+ years, and the best advice I can give you is generally to build in accordance with the kit's instructions, painting (and allowing the paint to dry) as you go. If I have to mix paint, I always mix a bit extra in case I need it later for touch-ups. Remove paint from any surface or edge that is to be glued; edges can be scraped clean with your hobby knife. Parts that are the same color can be assembled first before painting.

 

You didn't say what kind of glue you are using, but I would recommend a liquid styrene cement, applied with a small brush.

 

Canopies can be attached with white glue. It is water soluble, so any mistakes can be removed with a damp cloth or cotton swab.

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4 minutes ago, Space Ranger said:

I've been building models for some 60+ years, and the best advice I can give you is generally to build in accordance with the kit's instructions, painting (and allowing the paint to dry) as you go. If I have to mix paint, I always mix a bit extra in case I need it later for touch-ups. Remove paint from any surface or edge that is to be glued; edges can be scraped clean with your hobby knife. Parts that are the same color can be assembled first before painting.

 

You didn't say what kind of glue you are using, but I would recommend a liquid styrene cement, applied with a small brush.

 

Canopies can be attached with white glue. It is water soluble, so any mistakes can be removed with a damp cloth or cotton swab.

Thanks for the tips! So you would advice me not to use the tamiya cement for the canopy? Since that's the only glue I bought at this time. 

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To start with, probably something that I bet most of us skip, is have a good look through the instructions of a new model, even making notes on them, as to what parts should perhaps be painted/assembled first. Perhaps working on certain sub assemblies that need painting or gluing and allowed to dry before other stages can be completed. The instructions are a guide to building, but not a hard and fast rule as to what order to do things. For example, having the propeller spin is a nice novelty, but painting the prop and spinner ( often different colours to the fuselage ) and gluing them on solid at the end, means you don't have to worry about masking or splashing the paint from the fuselage onto the prop or vice versa.

 

Build the main part of the airframe, but don't attach the prop, wheels, aerials, pitot tubes etc, until after you've painted and decalled the model. These parts are small and fragile and are so easily knocked off during the painting or decalling stage. Once you've done the painting of the airframe and added the decals, then using tiny amounts of glue on a  brush, pin or cocktail stick, you can carefully add the last details, minimising the chance of accidental damage. 

It's better and safer to use white woodworking PVA glue for canopies. Normal modelling solvent glue, whether liquid or from a tube has a habbit of escaping the location you really want it, and creeping onto the nice clear parts, which then turn frosted ( especially via capillary action around fingers, leavin nice fingerprints in the plastic!! ). As mentioned above, PVA woodworking glue is water soluble, so a wet cotton bud can wipe off any excess. Try a decent hardware store for a little bottle of PVA as the stuff from art and craft shops is often watered down quite a bit and much more runny. Good thick PVA can be applied with a small brush or cocktail stick and will stay where it's put without running everywhere. If you want to paint the canopy frames, the Airfix acrylic paints can be rubbed off with a cocktail stick once dry, if you've got them on the parts that should remain clear. Just build up the density in thin layers, letting it dry prperly before the next layer.

Again, as mentioned above, painting small parts on the sprue is often much easier than trying to hold a small part. Once dry, the part can be cut free. The gluing area can be cleaned of paint before gluing and any other bits that were attached to the sprue, sanded smooth leaving only a small touch up. These touch up areas can sometimes still be accessed by a brush, after the part has been glued to other sub assemblies, which would then give you a larger part to hold while doing these touch ups. Otherwise, lets say you'd painted a pilot except the top of his helmet and bottom of his boots, you could plant his feet in Blu-Tac to hold him while his helmet is touched up and once that is fully dry, stick his head or back into the Blu-Tac to hold him still while his feet are painted.

 

There's a lot of waiting around for glue and paint to dry when modelling, which is why so many of us have several projects on the go at once, so there's always other things to do while bits are drying.

Hope all this helps to make a better model and a more relaxing, pleasant modelling experience.

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2 hours ago, Army_Air_Force said:

To start with, probably something that I bet most of us skip, is have a good look through the instructions of a new model, even making notes on them, as to what parts should perhaps be painted/assembled first. Perhaps working on certain sub assemblies that need painting or gluing and allowed to dry before other stages can be completed. The instructions are a guide to building, but not a hard and fast rule as to what order to do things. For example, having the propeller spin is a nice novelty, but painting the prop and spinner ( often different colours to the fuselage ) and gluing them on solid at the end, means you don't have to worry about masking or splashing the paint from the fuselage onto the prop or vice versa.

 

Build the main part of the airframe, but don't attach the prop, wheels, aerials, pitot tubes etc, until after you've painted and decalled the model. These parts are small and fragile and are so easily knocked off during the painting or decalling stage. Once you've done the painting of the airframe and added the decals, then using tiny amounts of glue on a  brush, pin or cocktail stick, you can carefully add the last details, minimising the chance of accidental damage. 

It's better and safer to use white woodworking PVA glue for canopies. Normal modelling solvent glue, whether liquid or from a tube has a habbit of escaping the location you really want it, and creeping onto the nice clear parts, which then turn frosted ( especially via capillary action around fingers, leavin nice fingerprints in the plastic!! ). As mentioned above, PVA woodworking glue is water soluble, so a wet cotton bud can wipe off any excess. Try a decent hardware store for a little bottle of PVA as the stuff from art and craft shops is often watered down quite a bit and much more runny. Good thick PVA can be applied with a small brush or cocktail stick and will stay where it's put without running everywhere. If you want to paint the canopy frames, the Airfix acrylic paints can be rubbed off with a cocktail stick once dry, if you've got them on the parts that should remain clear. Just build up the density in thin layers, letting it dry prperly before the next layer.

Again, as mentioned above, painting small parts on the sprue is often much easier than trying to hold a small part. Once dry, the part can be cut free. The gluing area can be cleaned of paint before gluing and any other bits that were attached to the sprue, sanded smooth leaving only a small touch up. These touch up areas can sometimes still be accessed by a brush, after the part has been glued to other sub assemblies, which would then give you a larger part to hold while doing these touch ups. Otherwise, lets say you'd painted a pilot except the top of his helmet and bottom of his boots, you could plant his feet in Blu-Tac to hold him while his helmet is touched up and once that is fully dry, stick his head or back into the Blu-Tac to hold him still while his feet are painted.

 

There's a lot of waiting around for glue and paint to dry when modelling, which is why so many of us have several projects on the go at once, so there's always other things to do while bits are drying.

Hope all this helps to make a better model and a more relaxing, pleasant modelling experience.

Wow, thanks so much for all this information! Very good tips. Can't wait to get started painting again, and I'll make sure to reread the above before I get started. Thank you!

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Another tip is to place a small block of wood under a sprue where you are cutting with a knife, especially when the parts around it are tall and the sprue won't lay flat on the bench. The block of wood helps to support the part during cutting, stopping it from just snapping off. Small wire or sprue cutters work in some locations, but often, the shape of the part or sprue won't allow anything but a knife point in for the cut. Be extra careful cutting thin fragile parts, cutting the thinnest details of a part free before the thicker area. This will help support the part until finally free, rather than leaving a large part hanging by a very thin detail. Also, when cutting small parts free, make sure you keep hold or they have a habbit of rocketing across the workshop, never to be seen again! Always work on small pieces well away from the edge of the bench for the same reason. Once the drop off the edge and onto the carpet they only rematerial in parallel universes.

 

If you do drop something on the carpet, carefully step back and lay flat on the floor, looking along the surface of the carpet. You are more likely to see it sticking up slightly above the carpet from carpet level, rather than looking down on it from a couple of feet above.

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7 hours ago, notflip said:

Thanks for the tips! So you would advice me not to use the tamiya cement for the canopy? Since that's the only glue I bought at this time. 

Correct. I use Tamiya's Extra Fine routinely for cementing most parts, but for canopies and most other transparencies I use Elmer's white glue. I've also used clear enamel or acrylic to attach cockpit canopies. One technique is to paint the gluing edges of the canopy with the interior color before attaching it with a clear adhesive. That causes the canopy to appear thinner and more to scale.

 

There are other adhesives that will want to add to your arsenal of glue as you get more into the hobby and gain more experience. These include epoxies and CA ("superglue"). But for now, Tamiya liquid and a good white glue will be all you need.

 

One thing I forgot to mention is that sometimes it's a good idea to test assemble parts before permanently gluing them together. This will give you a better idea of how the parts are supposed to fit, especially if the kit's instructions are not clear.

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Thanks for the advice! So just a supermarkt white glue will do then for now? I never heard of the term but I'll look into some brands.

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"White glue" is a common term for polyvinyl acetate (PVA), also known as wood glue, white glue, carpenter's glue, school glue, Elmer's glue in the US, or PVA glue.

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When removing parts from the sprue, I use these snips. I don't cut straight through, but make a few snips part way through until there's just a small bit holding the part in place. Then, I cut through that. I also cut away from the part, not right up next to it. This prevents cracking/bending the part, especially if it is small. It also prevents pulling a divot out of the part. The small nib left on the part I carefully whittle at with a new, sharp Xacto blade, then sand it smooth with a fine sanding stick.

 

46877325814_43ffd507c3_b.jpg

 

I also use this to remove parts from the sprue. It's a broken CMK saw blade in a pin vise handle.

 

26937529567_af6be4688a_b.jpg

 

 

For glueing clear parts and other items, I have used both of these PVA types. The Lepage's Carpenters glue is for wood, as it will soak into the grain and it forms a strong bond when set. On a plastic kit, it may be marginally stronger than the Elmer's but not much. It also doesn't dry as clear as the Elmers, having a yellow cast to it.

 

46877325794_30d2f17672_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

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And there is also a clear version of Elmer's. Sources indicate it has a thinner viscosity and takes longer to dry than the white version. But it's also PVA.

 

81ylPtA+mKL._SX425_.jpg

Edited by Space Ranger

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Regarding white glue:

 

I personally use a modern variation of bookbinders glue. This is as I understand it the same as carpenters glue, PVA, white glue or whatever you want to call it. It is the waterproof variety, but with added adhesion for glossy surfaces. The one I use for bookbinding and modelbuilding is "Planatol BB". Can be washed out and thinned with water as long as it is not hardened. Stays pretty flexible and dries to a clear, glossy finish. You should be able to get this at bookbinders suppliers in Belgium.

 

In Germany white PVA-Glue is typically called "Leim" or "Holzleim". You should be able to find something like that in any diy-store. In Belgium you'll probably be able to get Pattex Holzleim or Ponal Holzleim, there's even a quick-drying variant: https://www.gerstaecker.at/Ponal-Express-Holzleim-Kleber.html

 

Those are the big names in germany, there are countless no-name products out there. You'll have something similar in Belgium.

Hope that helps.

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