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What should I know before I start my first car model?


os40
10-12-2011, 07:58 AM
Hello all.

I'm going to build an Airfix Aston Martin DBR9.

I have the following:
Tamiya TS-13 Clear Coat
Tamiya TS-41 Coral Blue
Hobby Knife
Tamiya Tape 18mm and 10mm
Tamiya Ultra Thin Cement
Sprue Cutters
Tamiya Arcylic Paint and Thinner
Tamiya Grey Fine Primer
Microsol
Microset

Is this sufficient to start my model? I'm hoping it looks good enough. Is it really necessary sanding to achieve a nice finish? If yes, what grit sandpaper should I be looking to use?

Also, when constructing the model, would I paint first then glue, or try to glue parts and then paint?

If possible, could anyone give me a quick rundown of the steps I should undertake during the modelling? (just want to make sure I do everything properly!)

Sorry for asking such a 'newbie' question.

mike@af
10-12-2011, 10:09 AM
Best piece of advice I can offer is what I heard from a friend, "There are no failures in modeling, only lessons."

exhaust smoke
10-12-2011, 10:33 AM
Looks like you have pretty much all the materials ready to start the build.

Sand paper or a sanding stick will be useful for removing the mould separation lines.

It is quite a lengthy process to advise how to go about a model. Personally, I split it into 3 build sequences: body, interior and chassis.

I would recommend thoroughly going over the instruction booklet to get a feel for the sub-assemblies. My usual area of focus will be the exterior, as this is the main area that will be seen on a completed model. This however does not detract from a good interior finish.

I normally glue as many sub-assemblies as I can together first prior to painting, as if you paint individual parts, then the liquid cement will wreck the finish as it will melt the plastic together.

When painting the body, it is all about preparation so normal sequence I personally adopt will be:

1) sand / remove mould release lines (1200 grit).
2) lightly sand whole model to provide key for the primer.
3) wash body with a small amount of detergent (washing up liquid) to remove dust and mould release agents. Rinse and let dry.
4) mist on primer to body and leave to cure for about 1-2 weeks.
5) lightly sand down the primer so that it is left smooth. Wash body again and apply extra primer if required and repeat this stage again.
6) apply colour coat by misting on the paint. Leave about 15 minutes between coats and build up the coats gradually. Be careful not to apply heavy coats as this will run.
7) Leave paint to cure for 1-2 weeks and covered if possible.
8) Once happy with the colour coat, then apply the clear coats as the same process as step 6).
9) Once the clear coat has cured then polish out the varnish to smooth out.

The most important thing in building models is to not rush things.

I hope this brief run through helps.

Good luck, will look forward to seeing your results.

MidMazar
10-12-2011, 11:35 AM
Best piece of advice I can offer is what I heard from a friend, "There are no failures in modeling, only lessons."

:iagree:

Pick up some extra blades. And a few different grades of sand papers 400-1000 grit.

os40
10-12-2011, 11:47 AM
Looks like you have pretty much all the materials ready to start the build.

Sand paper or a sanding stick will be useful for removing the mould separation lines.

It is quite a lengthy process to advise how to go about a model. Personally, I split it into 3 build sequences: body, interior and chassis.

I would recommend thoroughly going over the instruction booklet to get a feel for the sub-assemblies. My usual area of focus will be the exterior, as this is the main area that will be seen on a completed model. This however does not detract from a good interior finish.

I normally glue as many sub-assemblies as I can together first prior to painting, as if you paint individual parts, then the liquid cement will wreck the finish as it will melt the plastic together.

When painting the body, it is all about preparation so normal sequence I personally adopt will be:

1) sand / remove mould release lines (1200 grit).
2) lightly sand whole model to provide key for the primer.
3) wash body with a small amount of detergent (washing up liquid) to remove dust and mould release agents. Rinse and let dry.
4) mist on primer to body and leave to cure for about 1-2 weeks.
5) lightly sand down the primer so that it is left smooth. Wash body again and apply extra primer if required and repeat this stage again.
6) apply colour coat by misting on the paint. Leave about 15 minutes between coats and build up the coats gradually. Be careful not to apply heavy coats as this will run.
7) Leave paint to cure for 1-2 weeks and covered if possible.
8) Once happy with the colour coat, then apply the clear coats as the same process as step 6).
9) Once the clear coat has cured then polish out the varnish to smooth out.

The most important thing in building models is to not rush things.

I hope this brief run through helps.

Good luck, will look forward to seeing your results.

Thanks a lot. I'll try this out.

edit: For the additional sanding steps at 2 and 5, what grade sandpaper should I use?

leafs004
10-12-2011, 01:21 PM
If you haven't already done so, check out the AF Car Modeling Tutorial and How-To Depository. You will find lots of useful lessons in there.

exhaust smoke
10-12-2011, 02:48 PM
Thanks a lot. I'll try this out.

edit: For the additional sanding steps at 2 and 5, what grade sandpaper should I use?

No probs.

As you are based in London, I suggest going down to Halfords and picking up a project pack of assorted abrasive paper (sand paper). It is the wet and dry stuff that you want. The grades I normally use are 400, 600 & 1200. Remember the higher the number, the smoother the grain = finer finish.

A project pack last ages, as you only need to cut off small bits at a time. If you want less dust, then add a tiny amount of water and you will notice a difference.

Experiment a little.

jano11
10-12-2011, 02:51 PM
First of all be patient.
Secondly, test and double check every step before you commit.
Third, have fun!

corvettekid_7684
10-12-2011, 08:52 PM
Patience! Just take yr time, don't rush...I think you will figure most of it out as you go. Some parts need paint first, some need glue. It all depends. I use lots and lots of toothpicks for glueing and I also cut their tips down for detail painting. If you are looking for a perfect finish, you may want a polishing kit & practice using it....they work up to 12,000 grit
Mostly, just plan ahead and take yr time. I've never been impressed by a "built this model in 2 hours!" job...
Good luck & have fun! It's all about the building more than the final product ;)

SchuberT
10-15-2011, 01:50 AM
My best advice is to look at the instruction manual as a set of suggestions rather than the law. Sometimes deviating from the instructions could make assembly easier or even improve the end result. Read through the instructions thoroughly, then employ some thought about how *you* want to go about building/painting the car.

countach79
10-15-2011, 04:10 AM
i say just jump in with what you have, love it, and learn on the way

have fun!!

willimo
10-16-2011, 12:46 PM
I think for your first model, you will have more fun if you don't get too bogged down in all the little things. Yes, you can get a better paint finish if you sand and polish the paint, but I would suggest in this case just focusing on applying the paint well. And don't worry too much about what to paint or glue first, and just get building.

After one or two you will have a much better idea of the flow of the build and how you want to do it. A lot of the questions you are asking will have a different answer from everyone you ask. A good rule of thumb is the bigger, and the more stressed the assembly (like suspension components) use the plastic cement, but the smaller and less stressed parts (steering wheel, shifter) just use cyanoacrylate adhesive (superglue). And you're going to more often than not paint first, glue second. If you need to glue the part with plastic cement you can carefully scrape the paint off the part before applying the glue - and here is the one tool I didn't see in your list: a little paint brush used to apply the plastic cement.

Here is a great paint tutorial from Tamiya: http://www.tamiya.com/english/scale/beginner2/2.htm You should watch the little video, it was eye opening when I first saw it, the pros hold the spray can a lot closer to the model and move it across the model a lot more quickly than I had expected! The rest of their information is really good, too: http://www.tamiya.com/english/scale/beginner2/index.htm

Anyway, most of all, just have fun!

os40
10-16-2011, 01:55 PM
Thanks for all the posts. Given me a clearer idea of what I should be doing.

os40
10-18-2011, 10:55 AM
Help.

So I lightly wet sanded the model with 800 grit paper and then 1000 grit paper prior to priming the body.

The body looks scratched to hell! Feels smooth though. Is this normal? What is the correct way to applying primer? I have Tamiya Fine Light Grey Primer.

corvettekid_7684
10-18-2011, 01:09 PM
Nothing to worry about. You want that dull finish for the primer/paint to "bite" into. Don't worry too much about shine until the final polish

os40
10-18-2011, 01:50 PM
So this is how it looks like after applying primer:

http://i.imgur.com/Xv1Ro.jpg

It feels smooth. Should I apply the colour coat or should I wet sand it with 1000 grit or higher?

corvettekid_7684
10-26-2011, 03:46 PM
Looks good so far. I personally wouldn't sand the primer too smooth. I use less than 800 myself. Shoot the first couple coats light, final coats "wet" I'm sure you'll pick up fast ;)

jano11
10-27-2011, 04:01 PM
Help.

So I lightly wet sanded the model with 800 grit paper and then 1000 grit paper prior to priming the body.

The body looks scratched to hell! Feels smooth though. Is this normal? What is the correct way to applying primer? I have Tamiya Fine Light Grey Primer.

Best information available to achieve great paint and finish:
http://www.italianhorses.net/Tutorials/Primer/primer.htm
http://www.italianhorses.net/Tutorials/PerfectPaint/paint.htm

Be patient and read it carefully, small details can make a huge difference.

Enjoy!

corvettekid_7684
10-27-2011, 09:46 PM
Good tutorials there :)

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