Where do I start?
One of the most common problems with modelling is overcoming the anxiety associated with taking that first step and starting your new kit! Many models end up living in their box and never see the light of day…
To help you overcome this and hopefully to save the lives of many model kits we’ve created this beginners guide on how to actually get started with your kit.
One of the very first things that needs to be considered before committing to building your model is your place of work. The perfect environment would be quiet and peaceful, so maybe not the kitchen table at dinner time!
Your surface of choice should be covered with paper or any clean surface covering – things often get messy. If using a table covering its always best to secure your cover to the working surface as a small breeze or draught or Cat can whip it up and wreck havoc with small parts and paints, we’ve learnt the hard way! We also recommend not using newspaper, as over time, the ink can rub off onto your hands, or even worse, the model.
Whilst its a known fact that reading instruction manuals is not a done thing – we thoroughly recommend spending 10mins flicking through the instructions. This will help you familiarise yourself with the build steps and also helps you loosely check that no major parts of the kit are damaged or missing!
Preparation and patience is the name of the game with Model making.
Before starting work on any of the plastic parts its always best to give them a wash in some warm soapy water. Why you ask? During the manufacturing process various oils and fluids are used to lubricate the moulds – thus this accumulation of “dirt” can prevent adhesives, paints and decals from working properly. We recommend washing the sprues whole, you won’t lose all the little bits this way…
Dry Run & Sprue Removal
Completing a ‘dry run’ of major components allows you to check the fit of your pieces and potentially address any issues before you get yourself into a “sticky” situation.
A dry run can be as simple as holding together the fuselage (to check how snug it fits) or you could go as far as taping (use masking tape) half the build together. If you listened to our previous step of familiarisation and performed a dry run on major components you run the best chance of creating the best possible finish and may even devise methods to help down the line during the build.
We also recommend leaving pieces on the sprue’s for as long as possible. This is the best way to keep them safe and prevent losing any of the smaller pieces, only remove a piece when you need it!
Finally, take care and do not rush when removing parts from the Sprue’s, use a pair of Sprue cutters to create a clean cut – then use a small file or sanding block (Nail file also works) to smooth the join – its the small details like this that make the difference.
Sticking / Glueing
The glue, adhesive, plastic cement or whatever you want to call it, should always be opened over your work surface and away from the model as there is invariably a small amount that will spill out!
Also choose your adhesive wisely, what do you like using? There are various types, jars, bottles, squeezy tubes etc – all of which have their own pro’s and con’s.
Our best seller is the Revell Contacta Professional 25g, presumably because of the fine need applicator which allows accurate application to almost any part of a model. However be careful as you do have 25g of relatively runny fluid ready to pour all over your model – a good alternative and for even more accuracy is to apply the glue to a cocktail stick first and use the stick to apply the glue directly to your model.