Hello MW Forums!
As the thread title suggests, I have never built a model before and I am here to humbly request for some help. Because frankly, I have no idea where else to ask. To add to the challenge, my first model will be a Variable-Fighter. Bandai 1:72 VF-27 Lucifer to be exact. So yeah. An inexperienced person trying to build a complex kit: something is bound to go wrong. That is why I am seeking the wise model builders of this forum to aid me through my first journey.
But that doesn't mean that I didn't do some research of my own. I've read MechTech’s Beginner’s Model Building, a good overall tutorial to understand the basics. I've also read/saw Jarrod’s fantastic review of his VF-25. I plan to transform my VF-27 frequently and treat it more like a toy than a model. So although I aspire to have the skills to create such detailed work like Jarrod’s, right now I just want to add enough details on my first model so it doesn't look like a cheap plastic toy.
To begin with, I have 3 main questions:
1) Like the other VF-25 kits, the VF-27 model kit comes with both decals and stickers. Would stickers suffice or should I just take the time and effort of adding the decals? From what I gathered, the stickers are meant to be used for inexperienced modelers like myself. If I were to use stickers, I fear that they will eventually peel off after many transformations. I could try adding a top coat to seal the stickers, but then I worry about accidentally sealing the model in place with the sealant. One more thing, is it obvious that stickers are, well, stickers compared to decals from a distance? Although the picture is blurry, a stickered VF-27 doesn't look that bad:
On the other hand, I fear if I chose to use the decals I will mess-up a few of them due to my inexperience. But there has to be a first time for everything. Do decals wear off easily over time? In the end, which one should I use as a first-time modeler?
2) Another question, how do you create crisp black lines for detailing seen in Jarrod’s VF-25 model? I did a little research and found some Gundam ink pens that are used to fill in the indents of their models, and any excess are wiped away. Which begs the question, how well does the ink stay if it can be simply wiped away? Is there another method for adding the lines?
3) Lastly, although the VF-27 model doesn't need paint (except the pilots), are there places or pieces of the model that you would recommend, or essential, to paint? A review from HobbyLink painted some ‘innards’ of the VF-27 with gunmetal. Simple, but effective at emphasizing the piece:
In general, what should I be aware of when building the model? What must I do and what newbie mistakes should I avoid doing? Gah, I have so many questions! I know most of my questions should really be based on my preference, but I really don’t want to screw-up my first model. Call me a wimp, but I am not diverting from the instruction manual without any help. My kit won’t be arriving for another week, so I appreciate and any tips and tricks, even insults, that you would like to share before I begin my endeavor.