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Impediments To Macross Model Building


Less than Super Ostrich
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What stops you from your building?

Here's a little picture showing 2 out of 3 of my biggest impediments to my macross model building. Without kids, I think I'd have my entire fleet done. Don't get me wrong... I love my crew. By the time they are all bathed, teeth brushed, hair combed, story-read-to, and tucked in... it's 8:30. I have to eat still, spend time with my wife and do some work at home. By then it's 10:00 and then I get about a half hour of good modeling in before I get too tired (wake up at 6:00 AM).

Picture below:

post-99-1139507313_thumb.jpg

NO DAD DON'T GO INTO THE BASEMENT!

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I suffer from AMS.

It doesn't stop my building, but it severely slows it down.

For those of you that don't know, AMS is "Advanced Modelers Syndrome",

a terrible affliction that makes you see all the flaws in a kit, and the desire,

if not the actual ability, to fix them.

So if you see someone with AMS, please, walk up to them,

smack them in the back of the head and say "Just build it!"

Thank you for your suppprt.

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Ah! I'm not alone! All the while I thought I was a horrible person who was being punished for my family history of mistreatment to models!

Now I know it's a disease!

Seriously, I haven't finished a model since 2001. That was my Gundam Ez-8 and a Deathscythe. Since then, I've purchased a Rick Dom, got most of the way finished with a Valley Gunship, about half way through my 10 year old Starfury, and gotten to the wings of a VF-1A. 'Course, I've got visions of putting together a 1/72 Shelf of Awesomeness. But it will probably NEVER-EVER happen... :(

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"Nice" to know others too have problems to make finished models.

For me, I'm just so * tired all the time... It's pretty dark in the winter here in North... In the midwinter it's something like couple of hours of daylight in a day, and this is just southern Finland. In north Finland sun doesn't rise at all for months, in case somebody didn't know. Luckily I live in south, and it's getting lighter every day. But I'll get better into modeling when I'm not this lazy@$$. At the moment just buying kits and lurking on the net. :)

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I've just got too much going on, kids, volunteer firefighter, work, that whole 1800 sq ft addition on my house I'm building.

I've got some of a 1/32 Tomcat built, some of the FMMF built, some of the VF-22s built, most of the Club-M vf-11 built. I keep getting bored or frustrated and I jump from one to the other.

Rhino I don't suffer so much from AMS but PMS (lol) Perfect Modeler Syndrome. Not so much fixing flaws but the daunting list of steps you have to go through to do a high quality build sometimes puts me off (and I refuse to build any of my kits any other way).

As great as airbrushing is it takes a lot more setup and cleanup time than a brush, then there's all the sanding and seam filling (my least favorite part but the most prevelant on a model it would seem). Then painting and all the various layers that go with it. Probably my favorite part of building is the panel shading and the decals, that's when the model comes to life.

So yeah, 250+ kits later I'm nowhere close to being done. My finished models fit on one shelf in my garage, comes out to around 15 kits built :(

Nice kitchen BTW LTSO

Edited by Grayson72
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I keep getting bored or frustrated and I jump from one to the other.

.........

Rhino I don't suffer so much from AMS but PMS (lol) Perfect Modeler Syndrome.  Not so much fixing flaws but the daunting list of steps you have to go through to do a high quality build sometimes puts me off (and I refuse to build any of my kits any other way).

..........

As great as airbrushing is it takes a lot more setup and cleanup time than a brush, then there's all the sanding and seam filling (my least favorite part but the most prevelant on a model it would seem).  Then painting and all the various layers that go with it.

368588[/snapback]

Sounds VERY familiar...

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What stops you from your building?

Here's a little picture showing 2 out of 3 of my biggest impediments to my macross model building. Without kids, I think I'd have my entire fleet done. Don't get me wrong... I love my crew. By the time they are all bathed, teeth brushed, hair combed, story-read-to, and tucked in... it's 8:30. I have to eat still, spend time with my wife and do some work at home. By then it's 10:00 and then I get about a half hour of good modeling in before I get too tired (wake up at 6:00 AM).

Picture below:

post-99-1139507313_thumb.jpg

NO DAD DON'T GO INTO THE BASEMENT!

368468[/snapback]

I know exactly how you feel. My little one is 10 months old, and my elder son is 2 years older. By the time they go to bed it is already 10pm. After going through my mail/email, doing some chores and taking care of a few other things, before you know it, it is about midnight. I am just totally exhausted and don't feel like building model. I have only been building 1 model a year for the past few years. :(

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I'll vote that I suffer from both AMS and PMS. I just wish there weren't so many seams to fill. I can never, ever understand how someone can build a 1/72 kit in a few days. I can spend a few days on the seams in the main fuselage alone, then all the other parts, then gluing, painting, etc. They just seem able to fill/sand/putty 10x faster. (And get better results--I'm always doing 3 more sessions to get that last little section/crack that appeared)

I've only just barely started to airbrush, but even poor airbrushing looks much better than my best hand-brushing, so I am encouraged there.

But my #1 thing is still painting--specifically masking. I can mask the exact same parts the exact same way, and half the time it's perfect, and half the time they "leak" so bad it's like I didn't mask at all. (Though I suspect airbrushing will help---atomized 2-seconds-from drying paint doesn't creep under tape nearly so much as flowing-straight-from-a-brush paint)

If I could mask, and be confident that it'd actually STOP the paint, I'd build a lot more. But as it is, I ruin/stop a lot of models due to paint getting where it shouldn't. And my perfection demands razor-sharp lines for paint colors.

Secondary effect: getting an opaque coat usually leads to paint build-up along the tape, even when airbrushing. Suggestions? (Primarily how to prevent it, not how to fix it after the fact--but I need both)

Summary: I can sand/fill/putty fine, it just takes time. But with painting--I can spend a LOT of time and be very careful, yet still have it come out horribly with big build-up along the tape edges, and big areas where it leaked underneath. Combined with tape pulling up the paint!

There's a reason my last 4 planes have been one color...

Edited by David Hingtgen
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I find that after a day of work, I really can't get myself to sit down and put more effort into something. The TV/Nintendo can get to be pretty seductive at that point.

Another problem is that my wife and I live in a one bedroom apartment. The only modeling space I currently have is the table in the dining area just off the living room (it's actually the exact same room, but I like to say it is two "areas" <_< ). Forget airbrushing. The vent hood I built for my old place now is sitting in my in-laws' basement. :( To keep busy, I've been working on Games Workshop figures (currently a LotR Balrog) that don't require much space.

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Hi, my name is William and I suffer from AMS & PMS :p ...

My biggest impediment is the lack of continuous time. I get quite obsessive when I start - so I "have" to have it done (otherwise I think about it all the time... at work, in the shower... :p ) So I only like to work when I can get a decent chunk of time. Luckily (and unfortunately), working in the film business, I am essentially an unemployed bum in between features. I can't work in little 30-60min chunks, just setting up an airbrush or cleaning it can be that long - why bother. I like to get a good 8hrs at a time to work on it, you get into a "groove" when you have a full undistracted day!

Fortunately, we are expecting this July!! Another Macross Modeller to come! Our first, we are estatic about it :D However, I'm sure the modelling may stop or be seriously curtailed for the next few years. I always imagine that I may be up in the middle of the night with the baby in one hand, and working on a model (since I have to be up anyways) but I'm sure that's just a fantasy :unsure: - as any of the fathers here may already know. :lol: Although its good to hear there are fathers here at MW! I was feeling a bit old... :(

Ok, David - use a good masking tape, don't cheap out, the Tamiya stuff is definitely worth it (at least for the edges - I use the cheap regular stuff after a few presses on my jeans first to remove some of the stickyness to fill in large areas after the Tamiya stuff does the actual paint edge). Always airbrush somewhat dry (it should dry almost immediately) and never spray towards the masked edge. You can drive paint underneath the masking tape. Always spray from behind the tape masked edge towards the bare plastic area in light even coats, always moving the airbrush. I usually tend to spray from light to dark, spraying white colours first, and masking out areas for dark colours to spray on top (minimizes the need for opaque white to cover a dark strong colour). However there are times when this is not possible, I always use Tamiya flat white, when sprayed in light dry coats, its coverage is pretty surprising. Flat paints tend to be more opaque than glossy stuff. Plus you will always use a clear coat for your final finish anyways, so it doesn't matter as much what finish you initially use. If you get seepage, there's not much you can do to fix it other than strip it down and try again (any fix I've done I've been able to tell, since the paint seep is actually 3D and will change the texture of the surface). That's why I always seal in the paint at certain stages with a laquer (ModelMaster clear-coat) so I can "undo" / strip down to the last stage that I was happy with. Good luck, can't wait to see what you are doing! :)

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David, for masking do you burnish the tape along the edges? They make special plastic burnishing tools for rubbing the edges of the tape to insure they don't seep underneath.

For buildup along the tape edges when airbrushing. If you use light enough coats this really shouldn't be a problem, however, after each coat you can remove the tape, lightly sand along that edge and then remask, don't forget to reburnish.

Edited by Grayson72
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Space, or lack of is my biggest roadblock. I used to have room, but my 6 and 3 year old have pretty much taken over now. I need to keep everything packed up in totes... my paints, blades, clips, wires, soldering iron, everything that they might see and find interesting has to be kept out of sight... out of mind. Everytime I want to do some work, it's a big ordeal to drag the totes out of my bedroom, get all setup, do what work I can before bed (gotta be up at 5am) then pack everything back up and stow it away.

Luckily that's about to change, as our new house is supposed to be set next week..... if the contractors don't throw any more delays at us. When we move, the basement is all mine, and the wife and kids can have the main floor and upstairs all to themselves. Aside from my all my 80's childhood toys, I've been collecting more Macross toys and models with a vengeance since 2001 when I opened my Evilbay account! They've all just been shoved in totes in the crawlspace of this hovel I've been renting forever as they came in. I counted 22 of the 18 gallon totes, plus 3 30 gallon ones, and a bunch of bigger kits that won't fit in them.... like 5 of the Revell 1/100 factories. I CAN'T WAIT TO UNPACK THEM!!!! It's gonna be like Christmas on steroids for me. :):rolleyes::D And then I'll probably have to sell a bunch of them to make my housepayments :unsure::(

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Guest Bromgrev

My biggest impediment (no, not that one!) is the fact that all my models are packed away in removal cartons, and they're staying there until I buy a new apartment. Which could be a while, as I have to move to Hong Kong first ...

EDIT: And before that, I have to learn to spell.

Edited by Bromgrev
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I burnish with my nail and sometimes toothpicks--are the specialized burnishers noticeably better?

I do believe better airbrushing will help with buildup---but what about small parts that are brush-painted, that still need masking? Missles and the like.

wm_cheng----not sure if this was covered in the YF-21 build or not, but how do you mask canopies? Hasegawa ones especially give me a tough time.

I am currently in a big "learning" stage---I am just starting to get into airbrushing and trying to make a really seamless model. (I mastered decaling at an early age IMHO, but I actually find applying over gloss actually messes me up---I think it's because my "gloss" coats tend to be so orange-peel they're bumpier than dull flat paint--once I can airbrush a smooth clear gloss my decaling should be IPMS-winning)

One impediment I have is "I want to build a neat model I have that I have awesome decals for, but don't want to experiment/risk messing it up---but I can't learn if I never try". I really should just buy a cheap $9 F-15 at Wal-Mart and just BUILD the thing. I try to experiment a little on each model, but I think I really just need to "waste" a half-dozen kits to try things and build up skill.

Still, I think ADHESION may be my #1 problem (all other things are far naught if something 5 layers down flakes off taking everything above with it---even thorough soaking in dish-soap and water, and using Tamiya often makes it peel off in sheets. Just can't explain---part of the reason I've been primering EVERYTHING lately---most acrylic paint seems to adhere to enamel very well, as well as enamel does to plastic---but it does add a step, and a layer of thickness over details. (Thus my search for the perfect primer---I can do ok if I have a primer underneath, but the primer often has problems too, since it pretty much must be a spray-can for cost/time reasons) And I can't primer EVERYTHING. (I think--anyone ever sprayed an entire kit still on the sprue to primer it?)

My USS Iowa model is currently stopped due to:

1. Paint build-up along camoflage colors. (I needed many heavy coats to make the hull opaque---don't know why, maybe the primer was the exact opposite color---pale blue-grey paint over pale warm-grey primer---the brown of the primer just REALLY seemed to show through) The main camoflage is painted nicely (just a few tiny leaks of paint) but you can easily feel the build-up along where it was masked---will sanding them down preserve the razor-crisp color division? Alternatively I am considering sanding them down heavily and switching to the feathered-sprayed version of the camoflage--but I'd need to greatly improve my airbrush skills for that. (I currently have like 3 hours experience airbrushing, if that) There's a lot of parts that need to be re-done enough that I should just strip them. (main guns, funnels, upper superstructure)

2. Flaking/chipping along waterline. Quite a bit of it chipped off along the tape edge---it seems a lot of the paint build-up along the edge of the tape really liked to stay with the paint, and took paint from the surrounding areas with it.

PS--final question---does Pactra thin masking tape (usually sold with the r/c car stuff) really suck? I liked it when I was younger, but it seems to leak more than ANYTHING nowadays. Have pretty much abandoned it, last use was USS Iowa bits. (I found new stuff at HLJ--seems 99% to be Tamiya tape pre-cut into itty bitty 0.4mm widths--well worth the money if it works)

PPS---I will finish my USS Iowa someday. Even if it takes a decade--it's one of those "you want one so bad you'd strip it down and repaint it twice just to make sure its right". Then I have to learn how to apply photoetched railings--1/350 demands it.

Edited by David Hingtgen
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Hasegawa canopies aren't too bad to mask. Use Tamiya tape to cover the edges well, making sure that there are no folds in the tape, then use a toothpick to burnish the tape where the canopy frame is. Use a SHARP X-acto blade to cut the tape and remove it from the frame, then spray with black and then frame color. Sometimes, I usually run the knife at the edge of the tape again to cut the paint, so to speak, so that when I remove the tape, I'll have a nice, sharp, raised edge that simulates a canopy frame.

Think painting black outside is hard? Try painting black inside car windows. Thank heavens Tamiya has the sense to include window trim masks for most new kits.

PS: I find that when spraying, laying down mist coats instead of wet coats makes the edges along the masking tape almost invisible. Sometimes I've heard it helps if you remove the tape before the paint has fully dried, but I've always been afraid of wet paint getting where it shouldn't be, so I haven't tried that yet.

Edited by Stamen0083
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If I could mask, and be confident that it'd actually STOP the paint, I'd build a lot more.  But as it is, I ruin/stop a lot of models due to paint getting where it shouldn't.  And my perfection demands razor-sharp lines for paint colors. 

Summary:  I can sand/fill/putty fine, it just takes time.  But with painting--I can spend a LOT of time and be very careful, yet still have it come out horribly with big build-up along the tape edges, and big areas where it leaked underneath.  Combined with tape pulling up the paint!

There's a reason my last 4 planes have been one color...

368950[/snapback]

Hey David! reading this I couldn't help being reminded of myself. I've had the best results w. liquid mask specialy on models w. deep panel lines and where the paint designs cross those panel lines <_< I havent had any models w. panel lines as deep as the Yamato toys of the VF-1. When repainting one, after masking it very carefuly the usual way, I removed the tape - it looked like it was hand painted by a blind person w. arthritis! :p liquid mask was my saving grace. I don't think even a good brand of tape would have saved me as my cheap airbrush compressor has too high air preasure and tends to "blow" paint where it shouldn't go. So theres my next piece of advise: try w. lower air preasure - less likely for paint to blow into small crevises even if you spray away from the tape into the painted area and start w. a series light coats to seal the edges. I did everything that normally works for me on that Yammy valk and it didn't work I gave up on it for a while.... Here I am handing out advise and I still haven't finished a model in ten years+ no I haven't dug out my old fujimi/hase F-14's and finished them yet!?! LOL

...Mark

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Almost forgot :p taking masking tape off before the paint is completely dry and gently burnishing the edge down will minimize the edge thickness. I believe that the only way to absolutely remove it is to clear coat over top - not a dull coat as it's too thin. Gloss coat then followed by a dull coat if needed.

One of my biggest impediments in modeling is getting the dull coat to be absolutely dull - not "eggshell" or satin finish but as dull as flat black from paint jar! The same mix of thinner to paint on different days seems to flatten better than others. I know temperature humidity, surface paint type - if it's fully cured all play a role. What I can't get is how to control the result? I have success less than fifty percent of the time :blink:<_<

Mark

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I burnish with my nail and sometimes toothpicks--are the specialized burnishers noticeably better?

369262[/snapback]

I use an ancient Letraset burnisher that I got given by my dad, who used to be a graphic artist back in 1980 or so before computers came in, and I have to say yes. It's not that they push down better, but just that they have a completely rounded end so it's 'safe' - you're not going to catch the edge of your nail or the point of the toothpick on anything while you're doing it.

Also it helps fulfil my modeller's fancy for having a large collection of really specialised tools that I can use for one task and one task only. "What's that one, then?" "Oh, that's for engraving shallow panel lines into convex surfaces" "It just looks like a small saw... how about that one?" "Burnishing the edges of low-tack masking tape down." ;-)

part of the reason I've been primering EVERYTHING lately---most acrylic paint seems to adhere to enamel very well, as well as enamel does to plastic---but it does add a step, and a layer of thickness over details.

369262[/snapback]

Another thing possibly worth mention, although one of the other guys touches on it a bit - if paint is getting under the edge of your masking tape and resulting in a line that isn't pefectly clean, it's because the edge isn't right the way down to the surface of the paint... but that can be as much a problem with the surface of the paint as the tape itself. No amount of burnishing, to cite an extreme example, is going to allow you to mask a clean line on 50-grit sandpaper; the smoother (glossier) your paint is the better you're going to be able to mask over it. Not to mention that a gloss coat is usually pretty strong and will help stop the paint lifting off as well. ;-)

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Impediments to Macross model building...all those frackin' cool Gundam models, the Fine Molds Millenium Falcon, this 109 kitbash, work, and that annoying need to socialize.

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Tanks.... Thats my impediment. Either pulling crew duty on real ones for TV or driving the little RC ones around. Anytime i work on or with a tank im not working on a macross model. BTW for those of you in the UK ill be on a show on SKY soon. There was a show being filmed out at the museum for the Colonel who gave a rousing speech during DS1. We had to crew a desert colored CVRT Scorpion for the show. Youll see me in the turret with a red kerchief around my neck ill also be the person climbing on and off the tank Behind the colonel during his presentations.

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On topic: I don't have a spray booth... :(
Though it's under thinking. The booth itself isn't that big problem, of course, most likely an oven exhaust hood + sides built thing will do, but I need to figure out the whole system that suits in my circumstances. Where-and-how-to-exhaust part mainly. Hopefully I can soon get into some serious modeling with good paints. Been thinking Mr.Color. Though I wonder would Tamiya be better choice for my situaton because of the smaller toxicity. And if someone like Master Wm_Cheng uses them... I don't know... Lots of people recommend Mr.Color too. Either way, I must order from R10.
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Alright, I'll let you in on a little secret, get closer to the monitor, PlayDoh. I take my 1.5 and 4 year old children and seat them next to me on a seperate table with it and their PlayDoh tools. We all get to have fun and make something. I occasionally make sure they are not eating it (yuck!) and check to make sure everyone is playing nicely. On the weekends, its nap time that gives me about an hour or two and when they go down to bed. With all the potential "weapons" on my work bench I have had to take lots of precautions including locks on all my drawers and tablesaw. Remember - PlayDoh. It'll help you get your models done and give you time with your children!

After I posted, I saw your post SDF-1. All you need is a good brusless blower (blower because they compress the air a little as opposed to a fan) and a box. I made one once out of thick 1cm cardboard box and some fans in a row. I'm making one again soon. Until then, I use a respirator and spray outside then quickly bring my work in and stick it in a larger sized closet. You can use a dryer hose and run it a couple of meters to a window with a board stuck in it with a hole for the boot. It's basic, but inexpensive! Money on a booth or money on the models, hmmmmm? ;)

Edited by MechTech
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Thanks for all the tips and suggestions, I have a lot of things to try when the weather warms up. Which leads to the next big impediment:

No basement or room to do modeling. It's almost all done in my bedroom, except spray-painting/airbrushing which is done outside. I can only paint for a few months of the year. It'll likely be years before I have a place with a dedicated spray booth or something, but I can't just "not model" until then. (Fall/Winter is mainly researching/purchasing, and gluing together assemblies and puttying them when possible, so they're ready for painting when the weather allows)

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After I posted, I saw your post SDF-1.  All you need is a good brusless blower (blower because they compress the air a little as opposed to a fan) and a box.  I made one once out of thick 1cm cardboard box and some fans in a row.  I'm making one again soon.  Until then, I use a respirator and spray outside then quickly bring my work in and stick it in a larger sized closet.  You can use a dryer hose and run it a couple of meters to a window with a board stuck in it with a hole for the boot.  It's basic, but inexpensive!  Money on a booth or money on the models, hmmmmm? ;)

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D'oh! I'm not sure did I understand this so well... Couldn't find any translation to brusless either. Umm, but I have a bit difficult circumstances regarding the spray booth. It's a bit hard to explain. <_< This is an appartment house, first floor, and there often goes people under my window, people live upstairs, staircase door is a couple of meters from my window and somebody might complain about the whole thing, even if there's noise from the fan, or if somebody just doesn't think it's ok to do that. Yep, and there are cars parked too a couple of meters from my window...

Well, there may be another solution, there is a possibility to do the booth in a basement room. It's just that where to exhaust it. There might also be a solution to that, but it still needs some thinking etc... Even trying, will the smell go to public staircase.

Another possibility is... There's another HUGE basement hall, where is connected a small suitable room to build models (no natural light though...). But there's no way to get that spray booth tube go out. No windows. Is it possible to spray in a big space without exhausting the fumes out, if I use respirator all the time? Or just leading the exhaust to the bigger hall. It's just full of junk that nobody cares. Doing anything outside isn't possible either btw... I wish I could just make the spray booth in my appartment and just concentrate on building models. Sorry if this whole story didn't make no sense at all. :p

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SDF-1, have you tried snap-together models? Just joking! :lol: A brushless blower (when spelled correctly) fan has a motor without carbon brushes to spark. Thus igniting your sprayed exhaust (unless you want to blow up your apartment <_< ). The spray booth should not emit any liquids if you have a filter on it, so putting your exit vent where the cars are would probably offend people the least. Get a cheap air conditioner or heater filter from the hardware store. You can replace it when it gets dirty and it helps keep your blower clean.

PlayDoh is a brand of children's modelling clay. It keeps the children busy while I build too!

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Impediments to model building, hmmm . . . let's see . . . I know! How about packing everything you own into boxes and stowing them with various family members spread over an 800km area. Everything that is except for two suitcases + 1 carry-on bag worth of stuff which you take with you half way around the world to a completely empty appartment (I mean Empty ie. no fridge, no stove kind of empty) and then not getting paid for the first month you are there, so you can't afford to buy the stuff you need to set up a workbench so you can build the models you packed in your luggage instead of useless things like boots and shoes and extra clothes.

Hows that fer impediments.

Well all that said. Moving to Seoul wasn't all that bad. I'm actually having a Blast here!

Thanks to Valk009 I've found a fairly decent mode-shop that has a good supply of Macross kits ( Thanks Valk!) although I'm looking to see if I can find any other shops that might be cheeper. And I finally started to set up my model bench this week! ( I've got a whole room to myself - Complete with window even! :D ) So hopefully this means that you all will be seeing some finished kits from me soon :ph34r:;)

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