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Kit Building Then, and Now


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#1 Tom Setzer

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

When We were Kids, We just opened the kit we might 0f washed it, if it looked dirty, and scraped the flash off. Then we painted and built the kit. Now that we are older, we soak and scrub the the to remove all of the mold release agent, then we scrap off the mold lines and flash, then we sand the areas where the mold lines and flash were to make sure aren't leaving any behind, then we sand the whole model to remove all iregularalities, then we wash the model again to remove all of the sanding dust. We then Check the model for areas that we may have to do over, and for ares thar need filing with Glazing compound (We did remember to remove those ugly manufacturer's labels didn't we? ). We then wash it again, and then do all of the filing and smoothing with Glaze. and set it aside to cure for a couple of days. We then sand all Glazing smooth, and finish our preprimer sandig with 320, 40o, and 600 Grit Automotive sand paper wet. Then we clean the body and put on a thin coat of primer and when it has dried we check all of our body work and correct any problems. Now if everything is right we finish Priming and let it cure. We then lightly sand the primer, and clean the model for it's colour coats!

#2 southpier

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:48 PM

sounds right

#3 MsDano85gt

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:39 AM

Sounds too professional lol and too stretched out, I stick to the simplicity of the hobby wash and dry, remove flash and injector marks, lite prime(on dark colord plastic) then shoot paint ( usually testors one coat laquers) they are pretty and my new best friend! Add extra small details as necessary

#4 Dragline

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:53 AM

A little more than I do but you are on point.


I guess the days of "just getting to it" are behind us.


Replaced by far more accurate builds and better paint jobs.



Bob

#5 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:11 AM

Good point, we learn to take our time and pay more attention to the process and the details. When I was a kid I just wanted to get the thing built and done with, and now I build to be on that wonderful styrene journey that sometimes, if I am lucky, takes me a few weeks or a month to finish. For me it's about the journey and what I learn and not so much about the finish product. Although, don't get me wrong, I enjoy and love the finish product. Well, perhaps not every time. LOL.

#6 Foxer

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:21 AM

This made me realize that my snail slow building method is inbred! I always had a dozen kits built half built modifications and parts in the box from other kits. The first thing I ever did to any kit was scrape those ugly mold marks off ... this was the familiarity process. This all was in my 8 to 16 year old building slot and it remains to this day. Model kits should never be rushed ... that's what they are here for .. building and rarely finishing. :lol:

#7 Tom Setzer

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:07 AM

To me it is all about the build, doing it the best I can! I always love learning something new, that is why I like this Forum so much. I also enjoy researching my builds to get them right.
Right now I am building a !929 Model A GOW JOB circa 1932, and a 50 Chevy 3100 pickup as a tow/push truck for a V8 sixty Midget(which I need parts for).

#8 jbwelda

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:39 AM

and after all that my paint jobs still usually turn out to be c r a p, at least the first couple of tries.

sigh.

#9 gtx6970

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:43 AM

I've gone thru stages.
back when I was a kid, I didn't sand or prep anything . I bought and built them as fast as I could buy them . then acted out wrecks and crashes , complete with burning crashes and flames.
then it started all over again as my allowance allowed.

Later years I went thru a stage where ever model I built had to be detailed to the ninth degree. some taking over a year of off and on work to finish.

Fast forward to modern times. I build to make it accurate for the subject at hand, and with excetion to some small aftermkt add ons for a few,,, they're now more like box stock builds . In the past year I've still only managed to finish maybe 3 or 4 builds. Family, Kids activites and running a business take most of my time .
Once life settles down I doubt I'll ever go back to the super detailed builds.

Edited by gtx6970, 09 October 2012 - 05:45 AM.


#10 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:11 AM

I remember being a kid and getting so incredibly frustrated by simply not having the eye-hand coordination to make models turn out pretty. Or the patience....trying to glue EVERYTHING together and paint it, all during the same build session. By my mid teens I was doing okay work, but I didn't build enough to really sharpen all of the requsite skills. Then I quit building models for fun for about 35 years. During the time away from the hobby I picked up many techniques and tools that adapt perfectly to model-building, but it's only been the past year or so that I'm actually more-or-less pleased with my model results, consistently. Being extremely self-critical makes it tough sometimes, and I'll often re-work and re-work until I hit 'good enough'.

It's funny.....the more I learn about this stuff, it seems the more there still is to learn.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 09 October 2012 - 06:38 AM.


#11 Art Anderson

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:30 AM

Pretty much on point! 50 years ago, I was a newly minted HS graduate, morphed into a fresh-faced college freshman with just enough dark peach fuzz on my upper lip and forward of my ears, along with enough curly brown hair on my chin to remind me that I needed to shave every 2-3 days. Back in those days, I was building straight from the box for the most part (although over the winter of '62, I'd taken two chopped '25 T coupe bodies, and used them to create a stock height tall T coupe!).

As we didn't have any really good model putty (and I'd not yet discovered that real automotive spot putty could be used on a plastic body), my efforts at body shell cleanup were limited to filing and sanding down sprue attachment points and the inevitable mold parting lines. So, my concentration became focused such as really nice paint jobs (anyone else ever use GLEEM toothpaste as a rubbing compound?), learning to use an airbrush (bought my first airbrush--Binks Wren--along with compressor, hoses and water trap on December 26, 1961 with Christmas tips from my paper route customers!), and by going out on a limb, learning to use automotive touchup lacquers then hitting in rattle cans (a few fits and starts there, a few disasters, and some real successes there!). In midwinter that Sr year in HS, I sprang for some REALLY exotic tools--my first Xacto knife (which I still have, around here someplace), a razor saw, a set of 6 needle files (a neighbor guided me into a local wholesale tool dealer, who had those for tool & die makers!) and Heavens to Betsy, a pin vise and a set of miniature drill bits! It was with this latter that I was able to use bits of telephone cable wire (a cousin of Mom's was an Indiana Bell installer) instead of sewing thread for plug wires.

About 1967, I began what was to become an absolute passion for the next 16 years, replicating cars that faced the green flag on race day at Indianapolis. Consider that through 1980, there were only 17 model kits of Indianapolis cars ever done in 1/25 scale (of which 5 were the rather crude Best/Aurora Famous Race Cars--1920 Monroe, 1922 Murphy Special, 1931 Bowes Seal Fast Special, 1939-41 Boyle Maserati and the 1953 Fuel Injection Special--all a curious blend of 1/25 and smaller scales in the same kits--all extremely crude even by mid-1960's standards). But, hooked I was--and over the years 1967-84, I built, modified, kitbashed, and even scratchbuilt well over 100 models of Indy cars. I concentrated (along with a total of 4 other local modelers) on cars that had won Indy, significant pole-sitters, and a few also-rans that were just so unique or famous--think the Novi here, that they just begged to be done. These became a big part of a HUGE Indy car model display put on every month of May in the front window of our local downtown hobby shop. Those cars forced me to learn to research (bear in mind that 25-40 years ago the reference materials for such cars was a lot more limited--only a handful of books with usable pictures and such 8X10 glossies that could be bought at the Speedway photo shop). They also taught me most of what I know today in terms of conversions, materials and techniques for scratchbuilding, and in the bargain--how to work through a problem to get a model to where I want it to be.

So yeah, it's a hobby that almost mirrors growing up (something I still refuse to do!), and being persistent (and patient) enough to search out every possible reference to obtain that correct look. A far cry from where I was as a young kid, when like most all here, I was much more enamored with just getting the car built and finished, then raising the needed cash to buy another kit, do the same.

Art

#12 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:19 AM

Wonderful write up, Art. Thank you.

#13 johnbuzzed

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:23 AM

I remember building a kit during the course of a weekend as a kid, with little if any paint. As I got older, I recreated much of the Battle of Britain on my closet floor in 1/72 scale during the course of one summer. Later on, builds while in the Army averaged one weekend per, with paint. Things took longer as details were added, then I started to pay more attention and I no longer built models; I sat down and worked on models for several hours each evening, taking weeks, then gradually months to finish. Now, I have projects that I started years ago and boxed due to "overcomplicationitis" and I have tried to vaccinate myself against that for current and future builds. Even "box stock" builds can get intense... I build in my head and take notes while I'm at work for current and not-too-distant (hopefully) future projects. This past weekend, I fabricated a not-too-crude timing light for display with my '67 Charger and I was more happy with the way this small project turned out than with some of my bigger projects. I hope that soon I'll have the ability to detail-paint and assemble a snap kit in a weekend and be happy with it.

Edited by johnbuzzed, 09 October 2012 - 07:24 AM.


#14 Shardik

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:58 AM

This thread is so true and so telling. I recall receiving a Patton tank for Christmas in '69 or '70. I commandeered the kitchen table immediately after breakfast and was "finished" by the bed time. This included a canvas mantlet cover and bed rolls made from paper napkins. Fast forward to March of 2011 and my return to the hobby. Since that time I have managed to complete SIX whole models. Meanwhile, occupying various corners of my work area are several manifestations of "overcomplicationitis"(Good one, John) including a recon' tank that had to be set aside until I could work out the proper wiring for the radios :lol: ! Also amongst my "round toit" collection is the vehicle that brought me to this forum back in February; A 1930 Bentley, which still isn't finished.
So, yeah, things change....pass me a paper napkin, will ya'?

Edited by Shardik, 09 October 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#15 sjordan2

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:12 AM

I started in the hobby in the early 50s. Then, we didn't even have aerosol spray paint for modeling, and airbrushes could only be afforded by professional painters and art schools - more expensive then than today.

#16 Harry P.

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:17 AM

When I was a kid, we built models so that we could crash (and burn) them. So needless to say, "body prep" wasn't high on our priority list! :lol:

Nowadays I've given up the "crash and burn" area of the hobby, so I do have to pay a little more attention to prep! Plus, the kits I buy these days are a little more expensive than the ones we crashed and burned! :D

#17 Ramfins59

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:41 AM

Yep... All of the above. I remember working on what I thought at the time (around 1963) was the very best model I ever made... I took a full size '61 Buick and cut enough out of the body to shorten it to fit on a Corvette chassis. I built up the interior from the chassis. I usedblackfelt for the carpet and used dress snaps, heated with a wood burning tool, to make the bucket seats swivel seats. Body work was done with some AMT putty and I painted it Candy Apple Red over a Silver base and then put a bubble top on it. I wired the engine with my mom's black sewing thread... This was before I had a pin vise & CA glue and I recall getting really frustrated when the thread didn't stick very well to the engine... I was using that good old Testors tube glue... I also remember building a Chevy model (don't remember what year the car was) and I painted it Green with a small brush... I do remember that the paint job didn't come out half bad. Myself and a couple of friends who also built models back then all had the same problems with getting the tube glue on the clear glass... Ahhh the memories...

#18 Danno

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

All so very true ...


^_^

#19 Monty

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:42 AM

Here are a few memories from the distant past:

I can't be the only one who was caught using the "good" steak knives to cut parts off the sprues. Fortunately, Christmas wasn't far off, and I received the 3-knife X-Acto set, among other things.

Was anyone else disappointed when Pactra paints started to disappear from the hobby stores? At the time, I preferred their enamels & rattle cans to Testors.

I think I'd be scared to tally up what I've spent on this hobby since I started, especially when I consider how little I have to show for it. Old favorites like MPC & Johan may not be around to issue new stuff, but with Moebius & Revell making high quality, reasonably priced kits, and AMT promising new stuff, I'm still hyped about the future of the hobby.

#20 sjordan2

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:46 AM

Here are a few memories from the distant past:

I can't be the only one who was caught using the "good" steak knives to cut parts off the sprues. Fortunately, Christmas wasn't far off, and I received the 3-knife X-Acto set, among other things.

Was anyone else disappointed when Pactra paints started to disappear from the hobby stores? At the time, I preferred their enamels & rattle cans to Testors.

I think I'd be scared to tally up what I've spent on this hobby since I started, especially when I consider how little I have to show for it. Old favorites like MPC & Johan may not be around to issue new stuff, but with Moebius & Revell making high quality, reasonably priced kits, and AMT promising new stuff, I'm still hyped about the future of the hobby.


Pactra had paints that Testors didn't have, but I found them to be more watery and harder to apply in the bottle version. I don't miss them.