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Northern Dan

Beginner's Build - Airfix Triumph

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Hi. Please entertain me if you will in this post documenting my first attempt at a scale model. Hopefully other beginners may read this and see what challenges await them (things the more experienced may not even think about anymore). 

 

For my first build I finally settled on the Airfix Triumph Herald Starter Kit. This is a car I really like, and the kit meant I wouldn't have to go shell out extra for paints. 

 

Having read many a post about building, and watched lots of videos, I decided to buy two more things. Tamiya Cement and some thinner for the paint. I pulled some snips, a needle file and hobby knife from my toolbox and relieved the wife of her spare nail file. And finally, I found some scotch brite in the shed that I'll use for cleaning up. I didn't want to go out buying loads of stuff, just incase this isn't for me. Finally I'm ready. 

 

When I opened the box I've had a real good read of the instructions. They seem pretty straight forward. However, only a handful of items are labelled with the paint colour. This is a bit unnerving as I'm pretty good at following instructions - not so good making it up myself. So I've spent some more time labelling the instructions with what I hope are the correct colours for the parts. Also, to be honest the amount af parts was quite daunting. 

 

Looking at the sprues, I'm surprised at the amount of extra material on the parts. I'm sure this is probably normal, but it's the first time of seen it up close, and it will deffinately take some time and care. 

 

48762666946_7e2fe5df35_z.jpg

 

I've now tidied up the parts where I think they need it, and decided to start painting. I've left as much on the sprues as I can following advice I've see online. The paint thinner is a deffinate good buy. I got the paint to the consistency of milk as I've heard mentioned quite a few times and done most of the black now. At first I thought the paint wasn't taking properly and considered wiping it off and rubbing the surface down to give it a key. But I'm happy to report that after a few minutes and them going straight away with another coat, a decent covering was achieved. I've now given the black 2 coats and it looks good. I'll give it a final 3rd tomorrow. 

 

I've also started painting the engine block too. The paint for that (humbrol 53) gives it a really good look that surprised me. With the thinners, brush strokes are all but gone. 

 

48772127757_8bc39a2ace_z.jpg 

 

I'm now at the stage where I've assembled the suspension and have quite a few parts painted and I'm feeling pretty happy about the build. A word of advice for any fellow beginners though, patience is deffinately needed for the fiddle little bits of the suspension. The only frustrating thing is I think I've gone the wrong colour for the suspension and drive shaft. I've painted it all black, and maybe should have gone with the same colour ad the engine block.

 

48771931191_f9eb992419_z.jpg

 

So far I think I'm doing OK. I've not come a cross any situation where I've not got equipment yet, apart from maybe tweezers (the wife's going to get mad) so it's also proving to be a cheap hobby. 

 

I'm looking forward to adding more colours and start putting it all together - but I'm absolutely dreading the wheels, and trying to make them look neat. 

 

Apologies for the long ramblings, and thankyou if you made it to the end. If one person finds it helpful, that's great, and if its give some of the pros somethi g to laugh at, I'm happy with that too. 

 

Any advice is well appreciated - especially with regards to brush painting. 

Edited by Northern Dan
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Welcome Dan, looks like you’ve made a good start. You’ll find that you will have a growing list of tools and gadgets as you go, but if I may make a suggestion, only get them when a) your current build requires them and b) when you’ve justified to yourself that you need them. There are many lists on the internet with suggested lists of tools and some people go off and buy them, only to find out later that they aren’t really that useful.

 

I’m a bit surprised now when I look at my collection of tools, but luckily I don’t regret buying most of them.

 

I’ve also found that the support and encouragement on this forum is brilliant. So if you need to ask, then ask, and when you try something new, don’t be afraid of making a mistake, we’ve all done it and I, for one, am learning something new all of the time.

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Good start Dan. You can do a lot with basic tools, a sprue cutter was one of the first things I bought which made life easier. As Ian said, best thing is not to buy everything at once, although it can be tempting :-)... Seems you're on the right track with the brush painting. Thinning is the word. Better 3 or 4 thin layers then one big gunky one. Also, try to paint in various directions. There's a great video from a member of this forum about it which I found really helpful, I'll see if I can look it up for you.

This is the link to the video: 

 

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The reason that the kit has all that extra plastic on it (known as 'flash' to veterans) is because it's about 100 years old. OK, not quite that old, but it does date back to 1967, when scale modelling was still pretty primitive. Modern kits are much, much less grotty. The new(ish) Airfix Ford Focus rally car and Jag XKR GT3 are very nice indeed, and anything from the Japanese since about 1990 is well-nigh blemish free. Why Airfix have resurrected their old kits and put them into starter sets defies explanation.

 

On to your model. Black is correct for the prop shaft and suspension. Even today, that's the colour they're painted from the factory. Basic, protective paint that no-one except the mechanic will ever see, so why spend coin on making it posh.

 

The paints supplied are not well thought of by most modellers. Good for first attempts, but they can be frustrating to get looking good. Thin coats are the way to go, which you seem to have worked out already. You'll want to buy something better for the next one.

 

The wheels- dive in and have a go. If it all goes pear shaped, the paint will wash away with meths or Windex, even after it's cured  so there's no big potential for failure there. To be honest, your first few (few dozen for me!) attempts won't be anywhere near what you see in your mind's eye, but you'll improve with every one that you do. It's a hobby, and it should be about relaxation. If YOU enjoyed yourself, that's all that counts.

 

If the budget will stretch, a couple of sheets of wet and dry sand paper will make life easier. 400 and 800 grit will cover most needs, and you can cut them into smaller pieces as needed. Make sure to get wet and dry, not just ordinary Sandpaper--wet sanding helps immensely with smoothing the surface.

 

As has been said, ask questions in the forum - there's a wealth of experience and knowledge here, and most are happy to share.

 

Welcome to BM and the hobby!

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Welcome to the Forum and the hobby.

As has already been said if you have a query just ask someone here on the Forum will come along with the answer.

If you have a model club near you it's worth joining as you will get lots of hints and tips that way and visits to model shows are often a place where kits, tools and paints etc can be obtained at reasonable costs.

You've made a good start and I look forward to watching this progress

 

    Roger

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1 hour ago, Rob G said:

wet sanding helps immensely

Indeed it does. As wet sanding progresses, I find adding a drop of washing up liquid acts as a mild lubricant which has a similar effect to using a finer grit paper. So 400 will act more like 600 or 800, and 800 will act like 1200. This is useful for reducing the amount/depth of scratches that are inevitably caused by the sanding process.

 

And I think you've made a great start on the venerable Herald. My first car was a Herald in the most awful shade of brown imaginable...

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20 hours ago, Northern Dan said:

so it's also proving to be a cheap hobby. 

Oh Dan,how things will change if you get hooked! Welcome to Bm and the hobby,as Rob has pointed out this kit is ancient but perfect for a 

starter if you feel vehicles are your thing you'll probably move onto more modern  offerings, Revell are a great source of beautifully molded

kits from all era's at reasonable prices and even if you don't want the expense of an airbrush there's rattle can paints perfect for bodyshells

some modeller's even get Halford's paints for specific vehicles.

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As the others have said, it looks like you've made a good start. Your painting looks excellent, and the watering down has done a fantastic job of removing the brush marks. It may be took late with this one, but if you have space, it's worth using a rattlecan on the body just because it often gives a better finish. I'd also steer you towards Halfords primer rather than modelling primer too - you get much more paint for you money and it still does a good job,

 

Sounds as though you're taking the right approach to tools too - make use of what you've got and only go out and buy stuff especially for the modelling when you're sure you need it (For my part, I can recommend a magnifying glass headset and reverse-action tweezers if you decide the hobby is for you).

 

Finally, I like the idea of doing a detailed build thread on your first ever model. You're right that it probably will appeal to other beginners, but it will also perform the function of allowing you to look back in a few models time and seeing how you've progressed.

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Thanks for the kind words 👍

 

I've been strongly resisting the temptation to start assembling all the parts together. I'm trying to get as much painted as I can whilst the parts are still on the sprues, and have made good progress. I'm fairly certain the black is all but finished - just the dreaded tyres and I keep missing the handbrake gaiter. I've managed a few coats of the tan paint for the interior, and also applied the first coat of white on the bodywork. The white on the body is worrying me slightly - it currently seems like it will take 4-5 or maybe more coats to give a good solid colour, time will tell.

 

After watching the video by Stix, it looks like it will be worth investing in some flat brushes (the ones supplied in the starter kit are very fine artist style). If I can achieve a finish remotely like his I'll be happy. Although I may look at using tinned spray paint for the main bodies at some point in the future - I doubt I could ever achieve a finish nearly as good as spraying with brushes.

 

Also, it looks like ill have no option but to try my hand at scratch building. Unfortunately one of the parts has been lost. Luckily though, it is only one of the smaller chrome trimmings that go up the rear of the car, so I think with a bit of patience ill be able to fashion a decent replacement using some of the sprue frame.

 

I'll try to get photos up again soon showing my progress.

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So, deffinately learning a few things already from this. First lesson - the Tamiya cement is fantastic so long as the parts aren't painted. I'm having to do quite a bit of touch up where the paint has been removed. On reflection, for the chassis at least, I could have assemble more of it before brush painting. 

 

Secondly, spraying the body is deffinately the way forward (for me anyway). The white is on coat number 4 now, and still not a solid colour yet. I think another 2 should do it. I've been taking an interest in the Tamiya Skyline R34 and would deffinately like a white body. No way am I  brush painting that. 

 

Thirdly, decals are hard work. I thought I had the small decal on the dashboard sorted, until I found it a few hours later stuck to the table. I have been reading up on people's various methods of applying but tried to stick with the most basic. Next time I'll try a different way.... 

 

Progress is steady, but I don't mind that. I think I've got everything that's not red or chrome painted now (and the white). I plan to make an attempt on the wheels and start with painting the chrome parts over the weekend. 

 

48800714241_8fb691d22e_z.jpg 

 

48800860437_4a95be82c1_z.jpg

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I highly recommend Tamiya's spray cans for painting sans airbrush. Quality paint that dries thin and hard. Use the Tamiya primer coat, wet sand it with a fine paper or MicroMesh (welcome to your future of tool collecting!), then wash, air dry, and apply the top coats. Great stuff.

 

One of our guys here has written a primer (heh) on painting cars, I'll see if I can find it and post a link.

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19 hours ago, Rob G said:

I highly recommend Tamiya's spray cans for painting sans airbrush. Quality paint that dries thin and hard. Use the Tamiya primer coat, wet sand it with a fine paper or MicroMesh (welcome to your future of tool collecting!), then wash, air dry, and apply the top coats. Great stuff.

 

One of our guys here has written a primer (heh) on painting cars, I'll see if I can find it and post a link.

I think you might be referring to this one. Certainly I found it very useful when I started out in the world of rattlecanning, lots of good advice from Matt in here:

 

 

I can't remember if it's in the thread, but before you get started on the painting, it is worth buying some cheap plastic teaspoons to spray your paint on before the model. That way, if the layers of paint react with each other of the plastic, you've wrecked a 2p spoon rather than a £20+ model.

 

Onto the model itself, that is looking incredibly good (I don't think I need to add the rider "for a first model" here as it is looking good on its own merits). I hope it's not too late to mention now and that you don't mind me mentioning it, but it's often worth trying to sand down seams such as that on the underside of the sump. That said, paint has an amazing knack of bringing out any minor flaws which you don't notice in clear plastic. On the subject of paint, white oftten seems to be one of the least opaque colours, so I'm not surprised you're struggling to get full coverage, but what you've done so far is looking pretty sharp. On future bits where you're painting white, it may be worth laying the first layer in matt rather than gloss white - it doesn't go on with any mroe opacity but it does seem to give the gloss paint something to hold onto so you shouldn't need as many coats in total.

 

Finally, don't worry too much about the decal. The dashboard decals are usually a pig for disappearing in 1/24 scale, so I imagine they're even worse at 1/32. The bright side is that hidden away it will barely show - if you show the model to anyone I would bet they wouldn't see it missing, and would struggle to see the gap even if you pointe it out.

 

Keep up the good work

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Dan,

Welcome to the forum and to modelling. It's a steep learning curve at times, but can be very satisfying.

For your next build you might try a primer coat of this stuff which is available in white too. (Cheaper on ebay).

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71EFDuQcj9L._AC_UL320_SEARCH213888_ML3_.jpg

For the top coat, Halfords appliance white is cheap and gives a nice result. Use a couple or three thin coats and allow to dry well.

 

For thinning acrylic paint for brushing, and for cleaning your brushes, I just use car screen wash bought in the supermarket.

Decals can be easily moved around and will stick nicely using a bit of spit, though Humbrol decalset is good.

Read as many build threads as you can stand, we all have our way of doing things, you may find some techniques useful.

Pete

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spiny said:

I think you might be referring to this one.

 

I can't remember if it's in the thread, but before you get started on the painting, it is worth buying some cheap plastic teaspoons to spray your paint on before the model. That way, if the layers of paint react with each other of the plastic, you've wrecked a 2p spoon rather than a £20+ model.

 

 

That'd be the one, thanks. Saves me looking for it. :)

The teaspoons also serve to help you get the right technique for curved surfaces, as well as letting you see what the paint will look like at different angles - not so much an issue for plain colours, but pearls, metallics and the various special effects paints can sometimes not work quite the way you'd think that they should.

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23 hours ago, Rob G said:

The teaspoons also serve to help you get the right technique for curved surfaces, as well as letting you see what the paint will look like at different angles - not so much an issue for plain colours, but pearls, metallics and the various special effects paints can sometimes not work quite the way you'd think that they should.

Plus, if you label them with the paints and the way it was built up (primer, base paint, clear), you have a reference for later work. Something I try to do with every new paint I use on a model. And, as said above - a good way to make sure the paints behave well, since they often come from different ranges.

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Nice work Dan. Brings back memories.

When I was a kid I used to mow the lawns for a school teacher that lived down the road. She ‘drove’ a Triumph Herald, or rather she tortured it.

She used to rev the guts out of the poor thing - made it scream - and then controlled the speed with the clutch. It must have been a well-made vehicle to get her to work each day. Eventually she replaced it with a Ford escort which also somehow survived the abuse. 

I think there’s something to be said for automatic transmissions! 😀

 

 

 

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Hi

 

Thakyou for all the advice and comments. The plastic spoon is a defffinate for next time, and I've 1000s of them in the shed. So they'll finally get a use. 

 

So it's become very apparent that there is no rushing these models if you want to do them well. And I'm also finding that in spending more time planning my next build, than actually doing this one.

 

The progress I've made so far though, has been enlightening for sure.

 

Here is the progress so far. I don't think I've too much left to do. I'm pleased specifically with how the tyres have turned out, but I 100% will be spraying the body of the next build. Ive given up trying to get the white as white as I wanted - and managed to get a red fingerprint on it annoyingly. 

 

I'm also making sure the next car I build is a bigger scale. 1/32 is just a bit fiddly for my sausage fingers - especially the smaller items like the hand brake and gear stick. Also, this particular car the front window doesn't fit great.

 

One of the biggest things I've taken so far is to spend much more time on prep before building. Quite a few times I've filed/sanded paint off getting rid of flash. And to be honest, there's still an awful lot of flash I've missed removing. 

 

IMG_20191031_215722

 

IMG_20191031_215704

 

IMG_20191031_215443

 

 

I've possibly already decided on the next kit. Originally I wanted to work through the Tamiya Skylines, but I'm now working thinking of getting the Ravell Charger. I've enjoyed watching this series of videos and the car kit looks fantastic. 

 

 

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Welcome Dan, to an infectious hobby. Really enjoying your build, and you are doing a great, very patient job!!!!

 

Look forward to seeing what you produce with a more modern kit ....

 

Peter

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I have to agree with Peter, you're not doing a bad job at all, especially in this smaller scale. You seem to go about this very methodically, I like how you've laid out the pieces of the build on that pic. The paint on the body looks good (just keep the fingerprint out of the photo's 😉), I remember doing a two tone job on my first build after returning to the hobby and phew that wasn't easy. Painting stuff white can be a pain, there's Tamiya's TS 101 which I've seen used here on the forum, it gives a good white base after primer. After that you can use another white to finish. I've used Zero Paint's Brilliant White on a recent build and that stuff also covers like crazy. The Dodge does look like a nice one, keep in mind though that those Revell kits can be a challenge in terms of fit, whereas Tamiya's kits just fall together. However, picking a subject that grips you is always a good idea 🙂 ... I'm looking forward to seeing your completed Triumph . 

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That's looking really good for a brush-painted body, even more so for a first model. As you've found, preparation is the key and it does look as though this is one which will come together quickly at the end. I can see why you're proud of the wheels though - that is very nicely done getting such a neat line betwee the tyres and the rims.

 

I don't blame you for looking at 1/24 next - the extra size should make it easier to see what you're doing although be prepared for more parts. A pair of fine tweezers will prove a godsend for the small parts though, can be picked up quite cheaply if you need to top up an Amazon order or similar. From the few kits I've done, the newer Revell kits go together pretty well (similar quality to Tamiya from what I've done), but the older kits such as the '53 Corvette can be a bit hit and miss - if I'm right about the 1970 Charger (and I might not be) it's quite a recent kit so hopefulyl will go together quite nicely.

 

Keep up the good work on the Triumph, and I'll look forward to the Charger.

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So. The build is almost complete now. Final assembly is almost done, the three transfers I didn't loose are on, and now it's into all the little touch ups here and there until I'm as happy as I can be about it. 

 

I am fairly happy, but there is a load of room for improvement, and I've certainly learned alot. I'm already looking forward to taking these lessons into the new build. 

 

Once I've finished, I'll put the final images in the completed build section. 

 

Here's some of the bigger lessons I've learned:

 

Work area. All my tools and parts for the car were kept in the box in the photo. Although it did a great job in keeping kids sticky fingers off it, it wasnt ideal for the project. Having to bag the parts up and put them back in the box when I wasn't building has no doubt been detrimental to the process. I need to square away a proper area for the next time. 

 

Tools - I got through this build with the most basic of tools. But there's deffinately one or two more I'll be licking up, namely a decent pair of reverse tweezers and a good set of brushes. 

 

Paint - I'm not sure what the quality of the paints supplied with the starter kit are, but I wasn't particularly happy with them. For the next kit, I'll be trying Tamiya acrylics, and more importantly I'll be doing better paint prep. In some areas when I had to remove paint for whatever reason, it would peel over more area than I wanted. I put this down to the paint not having a good key to the surface. Also, for the larger surface areas, I'll deffinately be trying primer and spray cans. 

 

Part prep - for the next build I'll be taking time to ensure each part of the car is free from flash and burs. I tried this time to paint the parts on the sprues, especially the smaller ones. Then, when removing them parts, they all needed touching up, which obviously made them worse. Also, alot more forward planning on the painting too. (although I've already looked at the instructions for my next car and the build instructions  are alot more precise and each part has a designated colour)

 

Scale - I get that this is a starter kit, but I can't help thing the 1/32 scale is too small for a complete novice. I'm deffinately looking forward to a larger 1/24 scale. 

 

Other than that, I'm good to go on the next one

 

IMG_20191103_214300 IMG_20191103_213950

 

IMG_20191103_213934

 

IMG_20191103_213918

 

 

 

Edited by Northern Dan

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A very good result for a first build, and looking forward to your next build.

For the chrome trims etc you might concider a Molotow chrome pen which come in various sizes and can be refilled 

 

 

       Roger

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Tamiya acrylics isn't the easiest paint to brush. You did a good job finish the model. Old Airfix kits isn't something that I would recommend as a first kit but you managed it fine.

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That looks excellent... great job! Those 1/32 Airfix kits are a mixed bag: some are nicely done and well detailed, like the TR4 or Jaguar 420 (if you ever find one), but the regular reissues of the E Type and DB5 are really tired, and weren’t that good in the first place.

 

If you would like some suggestions on good 1/24 or 1/25 kits for your next build, then just shout... with some guidance about era and subject matter if you have preferences. Based on this build, I’d take a look at the Revell Mini Cooper, Tamiya Jag Mk2 or Aoshima MGB, but if you’re looking for American Muscle Cars, JDM or sports racers, just ask...

 

Welcome to the sparsely populated but friendly world of car modelling!

 

best,

M.

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