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Beginner's Model Building Construction BASICS


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Sounds like Revell just isn't worth the risk. I could hardly handle some of the old Arii Macross kits from the 80's with their warped parts and all. A kit from the 70's can only be worse.

BTW, I just saw some pics of the Bandai SW kits. Both the TIE and X-Wing look sweet! And they even come with a specialized display base. And being Bandai kits, they'll probably be a joy to built, with discreetly placed sprues and well concealed seam lines...for the most part.

That said, they ARE on the smallish side, at 1/72 scale.

Edited by GU-11
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Here's a question for you all --

Is there a good way to keep bottled paints from drying out after a period of time? I mostly use Testors Model Master Acryl and they seem to thicken and dry out about 6 months after opening. I've had similar issues with Tamiya paints as well.

I don't use that much paint when I'm working on figures or models, so I try to conserve what I have for later. Is about 6 mos normal after opening?

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@coreyD

if it thickens, maybe try thinning them again. Thinners, regardless of bottle or container, will evaporate. Keeping them in dark place might help.

I try to shake some small bottle every now and then, dunno if this is applicable to acrylic, but usually, paint and its binder separate later on making the paint behave weird when used later on.

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Here's a question for you all --

Is there a good way to keep bottled paints from drying out after a period of time? I mostly use Testors Model Master Acryl and they seem to thicken and dry out about 6 months after opening. I've had similar issues with Tamiya paints as well.

I don't use that much paint when I'm working on figures or models, so I try to conserve what I have for later. Is about 6 mos normal after opening?

Model Master Acryl is notorious for thinning out. I have bottles of Tamiya, Gunze and vallejo that are ten, even twenty years old (in some of the older Tamiya bottles) and they are almost all still usable. By comparison most of my Model master bottles are dried out within 3 years of opening them.

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None of my Tamiya paints have gone bad, and some of them are going on 6 years old now. The one problem I've had consistently with them is the lids not wanting to come off- paint buildup along the threads. But the glass is pretty thick, so I don't feel too bad about bashing the lid into something to break the seal.

If you're having trouble with your thinner evaporating, just thin the paint back out with an appropriate thinner. Shake your paints before use, you should get good results.

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I stopped shaking the bottle because of the lid thing. I just stir it and make sure to wipe off the drips when I pour. Haven't had a problem opening the bottles since. I should get one of those stirring machines.

I've noticed yellow and orange a have a tendency to go bad. so I try to get the smaller bottles.

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Gunze is the answer. Thinned properly and its fantastic either for brushing or air brushing. I've almost completely moved over to it.

I'll second that. Tamiya is great for airbrushing, but miserable on a brush. Model Master brush-paints well, but I don't like how it airbrushes. Gunze is the only (acrylic) brand I've been very happy with both ways.

Is it still tough to come by in the US? I'm a bit out of the loop.

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I'll second that. Tamiya is great for airbrushing, but miserable on a brush. Model Master brush-paints well, but I don't like how it airbrushes. Gunze is the only (acrylic) brand I've been very happy with both ways.

Is it still tough to come by in the US? I'm a bit out of the loop.

I'll third that, as far as Tamiya's paints are concerned. Thinned with a surfactant (dish detergent, window cleaner etc.), the tendency for the new paint to dissolve and peel up the underlying coat is gone when you paint with a brush, and kind of works with matte paint. But given how you have to wait whole days between coats, and the results might not always turn out nicely, it's best to just use and airbrush. Even a cheap one like Tamiya's SW basic AB makes a whole lot of difference.

Never did manage to get my hands on Gunze paints, but I've heard great things about them.

@CoreyD: Ambient temperature seems to play a large part in it. I found this thread to be quite helpful.

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I stopped shaking the bottle because of the lid thing. I just stir it and make sure to wipe off the drips when I pour. Haven't had a problem opening the bottles since. I should get one of those stirring machines.

I've noticed yellow and orange a have a tendency to go bad. so I try to get the smaller bottles.

The problems I've had are from paint drying on the bottle threads. That's not due to my 007 method of agitating paint, it's because I neglect to use a toothpick or stir rod to channel paint into mixing cups, and paint ends up on the sides of the jars all willy-nilly. I should wipe my bottles, but at this point, for all the paints I have now it's too late. It's all crusty on the sides and I just don't have enough rags to clean all of those.

Gunze is the answer. Thinned properly and its fantastic either for brushing or air brushing. I've almost completely moved over to it.

I'll second that. Tamiya is great for airbrushing, but miserable on a brush. Model Master brush-paints well, but I don't like how it airbrushes. Gunze is the only (acrylic) brand I've been very happy with both ways.

Is it still tough to come by in the US? I'm a bit out of the loop.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get it in the US. Because you can't ship paints via parcel carrier, only companies who get their stock via their own trucks, and can order via shipped bulk, rather than airfreight, can get their hands on it. Good luck finding a hobby store who will go through the effort.

I like Model Master for airbrushing and paint brush stuff, but yeh..it is notoriously bad about drying out quick. Tamiya is better, I have zero idea who has Gunze in my part of the world. I'm limited to one good hobby shop an hour away and Hobby Lobby's. :(

I feel your pain, fellow Tarrant County resident. Nobody has Gunze in D/FW. Basically our only paint options are Tamiya and ModelMaster, though you can special-order the larger Vallejo bottles through HobbyTown USA- at least the Arlington and Dallas locations. However, beware that HTUSA is franchised, so your results between stores will vary significantly.

I do have to agree about Tamiya airbrushing well, and MM brushing more consistently than Tamiya. That's why I mostly have my solid colors as Tamiya acrylics, and most of my MM is metallic for details like piping and hydraulics. I also use MM enamel for panel lining wash. The MM Aztek acrylic thinner also works pretty well with Tamiya for airbrush work, in my experience. But I have noticed MM doesn't airbrush very well. You need lots of coats to get a good, even consistency, and while they offer a wider range of colors than Tamiya, I'd only go to them for colors I can't mix from other Tamiya paints. (like hot pink)

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Are you referring to MM enamels not airbrushing well??? I've never had a problem with them. Been painting with them since the 80's. How are you thinning them? I love them for the fact I DONT have to hit parts multiple times to get a great finish, like you do with acrylics.

Edited by derex3592
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I just read that you can use generic toothpaste as a mild polishing compound to smooth out orange peel on botched paint jobs or even remove scratches and seam lines on clear plastic canopies.

Is this true?

Considering the average price of Tamiya's polishing and rubbing compounds, toothpaste seems to be a very cost-effective and easily available alternative.

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Are you referring to MM enamels not airbrushing well??? I've never had a problem with them. Been painting with them since the 80's. How are you thinning them? I love them for the fact I DONT have to hit parts multiple times to get a great finish, like you do with acrylics.

I mean MM acrylics. I paint primarily with acrylic paints- they work better for my methods, situation, and budget. I was having a lot of trouble with MM acrylic lavender, thinned with MM Aztek thinner as per the instructions, so I mixed up an identical color with Tamiya acrylic, thinned it out similarly, and the difference in coverage was just fantastic. Tamiya acrylics really do airbrush very well. Plus they're cheap and I can mix most colors with them. It's only for things like hot pink that I have to go to MM acrylic, because you can't mix hot pink from other colors.

I haven't airbrushed with MM enamel. I've only used it for lining wash.

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I have read all kinds of good things about the "black label" MM paint line, the alkyd (oil based) kind. My problem with them is the smell, clean up, and expendable cost of buying thinners and solvents. That is the only reason I stick with acrylics like tamiya, MM Acrily and vallejo to name a few. I also use games workshop paints where I can, you can mix some pretty good colours out of their range and they even make a pink to satisfy S.MC!

BTW, was that sig line always there? ^

I would water down the toothpaste into a slurry like you would get in your mouth. I have yet to try this but the guys who build for magazines all promote the use along side purpose made plastic polish.

Edited by modelglue
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I stopped shaking the bottle because of the lid thing. I just stir it and make sure to wipe off the drips when I pour. Haven't had a problem opening the bottles since. I should get one of those stirring machines.

I bought one of the stirrers, great tool to have around.

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-Co-121-Paint/dp/B000BROV02/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413378672&sr=8-1&keywords=badger+paint+stirrer

Although I will say that when stirring Mr Color, you can hear it bog down a little bit. But it is battery powered, so it's not really a big surprise.

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I stick to acrylics due to cost, familiarity, and the fact that I do my painting in my room, and even with this makeshift paintbooth (it is literally a rubbermaid bin with a range hood fan pushing air into a dryer exhaust tube) I'd need a respirator to paint with more pungent pigments. This setup will probably suffice for enamel painting, but the materials cost is higher and I'm not as familiar with airbrushing enamels. I'd like to add lacquer painting to my repertoire because Alclad makes some really fantastic-looking metallics, but other than that I'm fine with acrylics.

And I only needed the hot pink for a gunpla project I was doing for a friend who's into My Little Ponies. It is a good example, however, of where you sometimes have to diversify your paint stock. Tamiya is good for a lot of things, but they don't make it easy to mix some colors. I think the best you could probably manage with Tamiya paint mixing is fuchsia. Not bright enough for my purposes.

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I would water down the toothpaste into a slurry like you would get in your mouth. I have yet to try this but the guys who build for magazines all promote the use along side purpose made plastic polish.

Thanks, I'll give that a try!

BTW, does anyone know how to lubricate an airbrush's trigger mechanism, specifically an Iwata HP-CS and Tamiya HG III? I keep hearing about triggers sticking due to drying rubber gaskets, and wonder if lubricating the trigger and/or gasket might prevent this from happening.

Edited by GU-11
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Everyone has different things to say, and every brush is different. The trigger mechanism on my brush isn't sealed any special way. A brass knob drops into a brass port, with the chrome trigger attached to it with a pin. No seals, no nothing. So for my case, I used some leftover brass instrument valve oil that I had lying around. I'm not convinced it's fine to use on rubber o-rings or gaskets, but it's made to stay on trumpet, french horn, and euphonium valves, and trombone slides, and provide consistent lubrication in an environment full of moist, blowy air, so for my trigger I felt it was fine to use.

Some people suggest WD40, but I don't like using penetrating oil as a lubricant.

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The most popular suggestions seem to be Vaseline (very thin coat) and sewing machine oil, but there are an equal amount of people who warn against using those. Something about reaction to brass and gumming up. On the other hand, Tamiya sells something called high-viscosity grease for trigger mechanisms, which comes as a set with their cleaning kit. Is that any good?

On a related note, is it pointless to lube the packing needle seal (aka the Teflon seal that keeps paint inside the paint chamber)? A few swear by it, and suggest using either Needle Juice (whatever that is) or Superlube for the job, but Don Wheeler of Don's Airbrush Tips claims it's pointless to lubricate Teflon.

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My plunging trigger sticks every time I reassemble my airbrush out of my ultrasonic tank. It sticks open for an indeterminate amount of time or until the air pressure in the hose builds up just enough to force it closed.

I usually squirt a tiny amount of windex or alcohol into the slot, and work it back and forth (the needle rocker) until it lubes the plunger. Nothing special, and I can't be bothered with lubes specialized for an airbrush because it is so old I expect it to fail any day now.

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Thanks for the pointers, guys!

I'll look around for dielectric grease at the local hardware stores.

BTW, I just discovered that Tamiya's airbrush cleaner actually lubricates the needle and Teflon seal. Since I clean my needle with it anyway, I guess I'll only need to lubricate the trigger mechanism, since the Teflon seal is already being lubed by the airbrush cleaner.

Edited by GU-11
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Unless the teflon coating has worn off.

On car parts, I like to use Dielectric Grease to lubricate rubber parts, o-rings, etc. My understanding is that is is safe for rubber, unlike a lot of other types of grease.

Dielectric grease is just a specific silicone grease. You can lubricate any rubber parts with silicone grease, and any silicone parts with oil. Also, some rubbers can be lubricated with petroleum lubricants, such as oil, power steering, or transmission fluid. Use discretion. DE grease is a bit expensive and it doesn't provide as good lubrication, being primarily a dielectric filler and hydrophobic agent.

Probably not a very big deal in an airbrush, and in America you can buy a tiny packet that'll service a brush for a considerable time for about $1 at auto parts stores, but I don't know about wherever GU-11 is from. It's my understanding syndicated parts chains aren't very big outside of North America.

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I thought I already said I was from Malaysia. Gosh, even after all the hoohah with the missing planes, people still don't remember us... <_<

Too soon? :p

Seriously though, we do have Ace Hardware and Home Depot outlets here. Ace in particular sells a good variety of car products, so there's a good change I might find something similar there.

So, it's usable as long as it's silicone grease, right?

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