Steps to building a show model

13 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

What is the "proper" steps or sequences to building a show model from start to finish ? I mean from prepping washing the parts in warm soapy water to decaling and clear coating ? Start to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You could write novels on that subject. Attention to detail, clean execution and assembly. And don't be afraid to ask if you need help. And most important have fun building and don't take the contests over seriously. Build for yourself and no one else. And if you need help any one of the talented builders on this forum can provide excellent help and information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'll second that! There isn't enough room here to cover it from start to finish, but some general bits.

First of all if you are building for a show, know the rules and the categories. Once you have looked at those and decided what category you are going to build in, build to those specifications.

Do every step to the best of your ability and if it isn't done to your satisfaction, do it again until you are happy.

Last, after the contest, go to the judge with your model and ask for a personal critique to see what the judge saw that you didn't. Don't argue the points or take it personally as the judge is helping you. Thank the judge and learn from it. Do this even if you got first place. I guarantee that there are things that could be better. There is no such thing as a perfect model.

Then do it all over again with a new model but most of all, enjoy what you are doing. Contests are for bragging rights only and should be treated as a place to meet new people and start new friendships not to get trophies. Each time you build, try to do something a little more difficult than what you did last time and improve with each model. That is the fun in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'm not entering a contest I'm far from ready for that lol. That's what I'm asking. What are the proper steps to building a model in sequence as the steps should happen. Example, Wash in warm soapy water, Cut parts off sprues cleaning the parts, put in bins, primer, paint, start with body etc etc ? I'm trying to get a rule of thumb as to the steps you should properly take to build a model to make a list and try to get in a habit of building every model step by step in sequence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I agree with the last posting especially the last paragraph. I go to the contests to show my latest work, meet friends and make new ones. And get ideas for more projects. I have been competeing for over 20 years and i have seen people take it way too serious. All they see is the trophy and nothing else. I started out competeing and if it wasnt for friends and talkimg to judges i wouldnt have improved my skills. So have fun with it and enjoy the competetive spirit bit don't let it consume you. Also many ipms contests have judging sheets they use to evaluate entries. After the contest ask to see yours. The best contest i attended lately was in october, they had three judges at two stations. You stood there while they judged your car and if they had any questions or you did they were right there for answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Ok here are my steps. 1. Decide what to build, factory stock, custom, streetrod, etc. then research that build so you have reference materials. 2. Get the kit and locate all necessary items needed and decide your color and theme. I build everything in sub assemblies then bring everything together in the end. I then make sure i have enough time to finish my project. I wash all my parts as i build each section then allow them to dry. I test fit the body to everything from bare plastic to primer to final paint. Theres nothing worse than having a pristine body in paint and nothing fits.

I do the body first, then engine and chassis next. I do the interior. Then assemble everything taking my time. I have found investing in a tamiya rotating paint stand is good because it allows you work on the body and rotate it without touching it. Also invest in good polishing cloths, good polishes and a good polishing kit. The sanding pads work best. Also get a good pair of cotton gloves so you don't mar the finish.

Start out building what your comfortable with and as you get more experience try new things like photoetch custom paints and engine detailing items. Use good quality foil for your trim. And don't be afraid to try new ideas. I always have a copy of the flyer for the show with the categories so i know what to build for what category.

Last thing is i bought a set of plastic storage drawers from fred meyers so i can put each project in its own drawer so that parts and assemblies don't get damaged or lost while you are doing your project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I have these points to offer:

1. Remember Harry's pet peeves, make sure you put rear view mirrors on the vehicle if you're building something that would have them in real life, no "magic alternators" that hang out in space without a bracket (we'll get into inner fenders later). :D

2. If you're trying to build something that exists in real life then try to make the parts of your model look like the real thing, IE: there are no mold seams on car drive shafts, no injection points on car chassis/floorboards.

3. Test fit everything before gluing, if you're going to be painting parts after making sure they fit together remember to make allowances for how the paint(or thickness of the paint) will affect how the parts fit together after painting.

4. Research and be creative in the materials used to make your masterpiece, craft stores and hobby shop areas not usually associated with model cars have a ton of materials that can enhance or create the perfect effect on a model.

5. If the model is not cooperating with you, set it aside and work on something else or a different part of the model.

6. Preparing the parts properly can not be stressed enough (there are books and lots of free internet tips on this).

7. Browse through model galleries and/or car sites to find something that interests you enough to build it, then get as much info/photos on your new project as you can so you'll have reference to see how it should look.

8. If you don't like any of these points, that's okay...free advice is worth at least as much as you paid for it.

Edited by blunc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Most of all? Stay tuned to the various model car forums, you will learn a lot specially when you decide to do what you just did, ask!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for all the info guys. Cruz what Im basically trying to ask here is this. What are the steps you take when building. I dont need all the fine details of building the kit I just want to know like wash in soapy water, clean parts, prime, paint, clear, clear, polish, decal, clear clear, novus, wax, meguires etc etc. The steps.

I normally just follow the instructions as new as I am step by step but as Im getting comfortable and building as many nascar kits as I do I see steps I can do out of number sequence according to the instructions to make things easier for me. I just wanted to get a feel of how everyone does there kits. Am I clearing out of sequence, am I polishing too early or late etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Also do not be scared to take chances and try new things, even if they been done or try'ed before some people find a better way of doing it and takes it to the next level. Always ask people on how to do stuff better to help you grow and learn. Make sure you pick the right car to build so you enjoy it then get in the middle of building it and learn to hate it. Always walk away from a part that is bothering you so you do not mess it up or mess some thing else up and never rush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I think that will come with time and it's something you will experience as you go. We all have our different ways of approaching things, with time you will also do the same. I do however insist on asking for help as you go, it's better to approach your doubts with a little help rather than just go re-inventing the wheel sometimes.

Edited by cruz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Cruz, that's what I'm trying to do here. I get brain freeze a lot and come to a mind blank. When this happens I just do what I think is needed next. With a step by step of how others do it I can kind of take some notes to put in my rolodex I'm currently making so when this happens I can stop, take a deep breath look at my rolodex of tutorials and how to's etc and continue from there. Being months into starting to build scale models I have very little knowledge and have learned what I've learned so far from this great website as well as another. Everyone has been super helpful. This is how I have done things to this point and would like to know if I'm doing something out of sequence or if there are steps I could do differently in the sequence to help enhance my ability of producing a better model.

1. Wash parts in warm soapy water (Blue Dawn)

2. Cut all parts off sprues cleaning them as I go

3. Put all parts of like color together in zip lock bags or plastic bins

4. Sand body, and hood prepping for Primer

5. Shoot Primer

6. Lightly wet sand

7. Shoot base coat color (three coats minimum)

8. Polish with Micro Mesh cloths 3600 - 12000 under cold running water

9. Wash in warm soapy water

10. Brush paint two toned details

11. Assemble Sub assemblies

12. Novus

13. Decal

14. Clear coat (Five Coats)

15. Polish with Micro Mesh cloths 4000 - 12000 under cold running water

16. Wax

17. Detail Mist Spray

I'm sure there are additional steps I could do to enhance my models but am unaware of like wash's weathering etc but don't know when to do these steps in the sequence or even know of additional things I could do to enhance the appearance of the model(s). Thanks for all your help everyone. I truly appreciate all the help, advice and suggestions you give me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

i think you need to temper the (good) advices above by the particular model.

NASCARs may respond to one way, customs, or traditional racers, another.

don't focus too tightly on the immediate and lose track of the overall result.

like anything, practice leads to experience, and mistakes are great teachers.

and most of the mistakes will only be noticed by you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now