Whether building a model plane, train, car, tank or ship, there are some basic
skills and tools you will need to get the best out of your model. In terms of of
building a model railway layout, the most common plastic kits you will come
across are for buildings. These are usually very cheap giving you the ability to
add lots of them to the layout. It is important that these buildings are
constructed and detailed (painted) very well.
File - to remove any excess material, be it from
production or from cutting the pieces out
Craft knife - same as the file but I found it easier to use,
although I do have wounds from its use.
Modelling glue - plastic model glue is designed to bind two
pieces of plastic together, by a process only describable as plastic welding
or fusion. This glue does take time to set, its not superglue. It is not
designed to glue anything else
Clamps - invaluable to hold things together while they set.
They're like a second pair of hands. they also speed up the building process.
Flat paint brush and paint pallet - The type of
paint brush is that you see in most model shops and the type you get in most
model packs have a rounded bristle. When applying pressure to the bristles
such as you do when painting the bristles spread out, this causes an uneven
distribution of paint and makes detailing much harder. The ideal brush has a
flat bristle end which doesn't spread out when pressure is applied. A pallet
is useful to mix paints and blot the paint brush.
Step by Step building tips
First make sure you have all the tools needed at hand before starting.
Suddenly finding you have glued something but have no clamp to hold will
result in you sitting there for 5 minute while the glue dries.
Secondly, I know this is obvious but read the instructions before you
start. Sometimes there are slight differences between two pieces which
are not noticeable but are vital to the attachment of other pieces (for
example two sides of a house. The right side has mounting points for a
garage, but you glue this onto the left, you think lets put the garage
on the left then, but you can't as this would result in the garage door
being at the back of the house not the front).
Thirdly think ahead, are you going to install lights. If so you will
need to drill a hole for the wires or even fix the lights inside before
you glue the roof down. Also it is sometimes better to paint certain
pieces before you assemble the building as they may not be accessible,
such as the interior walls. Ideally write down what step you think you
need to take and then follow them.
As already mentioned on this page, plastic model glue is
designed to bind two pieces together, by a process only
describable as plastic welding or fusion. This means that the
two pieces can be very difficult to part again without damaging
the two pieces. Best to take your time and get it right first
time. Also this glue does take time to set, its not superglue.
First cut out the two pieces that you are going to be gluing together
with either some clippers or a craft knife. Don't cut them all out at
once, as they do have codes and you may lose some of the smaller pieces.
Using the file or the craft knife remove any remaining plastic left from
the moulding process or from cutting the piece out.
Secondly apply some of the glue to one of the pieces and then join them.
For the walls of a building you will need to make sure that all the
walls are square. When gluing some pieces you may find a clamp useful,
so you can get on gluing something else. Be careful not to do too much
at once. Give large sections like the walls of a building, time to dry.
this will make it easier to apply any detailing as you wont have to
worry about the walls going out of alignment.
Thirdly remove any excess glue with the file or a craft knife and give
the surfaces a clean before painting. This will ensure a good finish.
When using enamel model paint always mix it for 1 minute before
use. Failure to do this can result in the paint looking patchy.
Also never use the paint directly out of the pot. Not sure why.
This was some advice I saw on TV. I find it wastes paint. It is
however always best to blot the brush to avoid paint blotches.
With regards to painting technique, my advise is to paint in one direction
along the grain if one is present. Just remember buildings don't look freshly
painted so they need some dirtying up. I did this by putting some black or
brown paint on a pieces of sponge. blotting it until almost no paint was coming
off and then dabbing or rubbing it across the building.
If you require advise on
If you require paint
conversion tables to convert your paints number range to that of another
brands number range Please
Please remember light bulbs get hot. Do not put filament lights
inside paper buildings or anything combustible. LED's do not get
hot and modern ones can be very bright. Use these instead. To
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