Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

What do model builders overlook that could improve their models?


Recommended Posts

Here's an easy one. I see a lot of models with parts shot with Testors Metalizers, and the builders have failed to buff the stuff.

Metalizers CAN be shot dry to get an as-cast texture on things like manifolds and mag-wheel centers, but what I'm talking about is just shooting the stuff and apparently not realizing it looks like polished metal if you buff it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any new ideas? Otherwise, this valuable thread will fade into oblivion, like the excellent tip ideas that were removed from a pinned section in Tips, Tricks and Tutorials by a former moderator.

Amazing that a useless thread like "What did you get today?" continues after hundreds of posts, and is the most popular thread on this forum. I can't think of a single reason to care about who got what today, other than to see what they do with it.

Edited by sjordan2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see too many customs and modified bodies where the window detail is just sanded off and it looks awful. Used bars of soap have more surface detail! :lol:

Interiors and chassis shot with flat black throughout. Ugly and unrealistic.

Poor fitting windows. It does not take much to get kit windows to look better.

Roll cages that don't fit. A scale 6 inch gap between roof and cage looks awful.

Attention to detail and clean building. I have seen out of the box models that looked far better than heavily kit-bashed and semi-scratch built models because the builder paid attention!

Personal opinion here but I have to roll my eyes every time I hear the excuse that someone just builds for fun or for themselves. Give me a break! Why do some even say that? It is so stupid. Just build to the level that you are capable of and desire to build to and let it be. As several have pointed out on this thread, those of us who build extremely detailed models are having fun too. We build for ourselves, too! Get a jackhammer and dislodge that chip off of the shoulder! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a general suggestion.

Developing an understanding of how cars work, and how the parts fit together and look will go a long way towards helping you make your models more realistic and believable. We're not so much making EXACT tiny replicas of cars, as we're creating the IMPRESSION of realism. Some relatively easy-to-overlook things spoil the illusion.

I've seen model engines that were well-painted, wired nicely with the right firing order, detailed with PE alternator brackets and fine mesh in the air filters, nicely done carbs and linkage...and then there's a huge gap between the intake manifold and the cylinder heads.

All that extra-mile effort, only to be wasted because of the poor fit of large parts, immediately visible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not getting the bottom edge of the body so it is splattered with color and looks really bad.

Not sanding down the wheels.

Leaving injection marks and flash on.

Leaving excess from the sprue, or digging too deep into the part, leaving divots.

Stuff in the paint.

Not putting clear on their models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personal opinion here but I have to roll my eyes every time I hear the excuse that someone just builds for fun or for themselves. Give me a break! Why do some even say that? It is so stupid. Just build to the level that you are capable of and desire to build to and let it be. As several have pointed out on this thread, those of us who build extremely detailed models are having fun too. We build for ourselves, too! Get a jackhammer and dislodge that chip off of the shoulder! :lol:

I don't mean to offend anyone (really!)... but I think it's pretty obvious that many people (not all) who build simplistic models and then criticize those who build fully detailed models are actually dealing with a bit of either intimidation or jealousy or both.

I can see that there are those people who could do more, but really don't enjoy anything more than a straight out-of-the-box buildup. But I think that there are plenty of those "basic builders" who feel like they can't do any better, but instead of working on their skills, they rationalize it by saying they just build "for fun" or just "for themselves" rather than push themselves to get better.

Just my opinion, of course... but I'm pretty sure of it. ^_^

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see too many customs and modified bodies where the window detail is just sanded off and it looks awful. Used bars of soap have more surface detail! :lol:

Roll cages that don't fit. A scale 6 inch gap between roof and cage looks awful.

I admit to doing both of these on a chopped-top car I did, mostly because 1) I was really short on time and 2) I didn't and still don't do BMF well. Point taken. Time to learn a new skill, and measure/fit even more carefully next time. :)

I rationalized the missing-window trim by saying it was part of the "shaved" build-style of the car, but I was extremely disappointed when my photos showed the roll-cage fit not-at-all-as-well-as-I-thought.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mean to offend anyone (really!)... but I think it's pretty obvious that many people (not all) who build simplistic models and then criticize those who build fully detailed models are actually dealing with a bit of either intimidation or jealousy or both.

I can see that there are those people who could do more, but really don't enjoy anything more than a straight out-of-the-box buildup. But I think that there are plenty of those "basic builders" who feel like they can't do any better, but instead of working on their skills, they rationalize it by saying they just build "for fun" or just "for themselves" rather than push themselves to get better.

Just my opinion, of course... but I'm pretty sure of it. ^_^

I enjoy just building a out-of-box every once and a while. But everyone else isn't like me, or I'm not like everyone else. Other people like to make extreme customs and what not and some people like to build OOB... Like I say, whatever tickles your pickle lol :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rationalized the missing-window trim by saying it was part of the "shaved" build-style of the car

I understand the rationalization there and it is a common one. I will mow off all of the trim and redo it with fine strips of Evergreen styrene. It is easier than trying to retain the original moldings. I do it with the window trim, drip rails and even side trim. Give it a shot some time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about having radiator and heater hoses with at least the indication of hose clamps. Use either a thin line of silver paint, BMF, a piece of wire, or PE clamps or PE sprue wrapped/glued around the hoses.

We have a guy here in the Twin Cities who is an amazing builder and one day he shows up with some unbelievable 1/12 Tamiya GP bikes. The hoses had the nicest looking clamps on them. It was just silver paint with a tiny bit of styrene rod glued on for the screw mechanism. We were dumbfounded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost everyone forgets to add the muffler bearings and the Johnson rod...

53115384_zps17d352f0.jpg

actually, I think you can actually get a "muffler bearing" for older Toyota cars. It's a hard rubber donut shaped item that holds up the tail pipe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

remember to change out your piston return springs if you think your compression is getting low and if your Posi-traction isn't working like you think it should to have the "free floating pinion retainer" checked for proper free play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of good observations, many that I can relate to.

Lets forget about the engine, chassis & interior detail for a moment & concentrate on the exterior.

Stance is everything. Whether it's a gasser or a lowrider & all points in between, how it sits on the table is crucial. Many people mentioned wheels being lined up, centered in the wheel wells, & all of that plays into it. But, how about sanding the bottoms of the tires flat? Practically every model that I see (including 99% of those that I've built) has tires inflated to gravity defying proportions. Although sanding the bottoms of the tires will not produce a realistic sidewall bulge, I think it's still better than perfectly round tires barely contacting the ground surface. This is one of the things that I learned like Ace-Garageguy did, using a camera.

Valve stems can be a be a very nice addition, but why bother if the thick rim of the wheel sticks out of the tire a scale inch or so? I'd spend time getting the wheel to sit realistically in the tire instead of adding valve stems.

Panel lines really don't need to be darkened much as long as they are scribed deeper.

What's the point of having opening panels if it looks like a wreck with the panels closed? Rounded edges on doors, hoods & trunks that don't close properly & have a 1 or 2 scale inch gap. I prefer seeing a well done properly scribed curbside.

The thing I see most often is body colored vent window frames. I can't remember ever seeing a 1:1 with that feature, but I may be mistaken. Well, some trucks have black vent window frames, maybe white, too? Regardless, I know that applying BMF to these can be a pain, but unfortunately, I think it's necessary. I've also seen models with body colored vent window frames, yet they have chrome drip rails??

The same applies to body colored trim pieces (side spears, hood spears, etc.) scripts, badges & side marker lights. Sorta' like having a nice classic car repainted & the painter forgets to mask off a few things. :blink:

Edited by sbk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing I see most often is body colored vent window frames. I can't remember ever seeing a 1:1 with that feature, but I may be mistaken. Well, some trucks have black vent window frames, maybe white, too? Regardless, I know that applying BMF to these can be a pain, but unfortunately, I think it's necessary. I've also seen models with body colored vent window frames, yet they have chrome drip rails??

You are right. Some folks avoid it because its a pain in the tail, and you always have some little bit of body color peeking out of your BMF in some corner crevice. Here's a tip... I paint my vent window trim silver, sometimes even with a silver Sharpie before adding the BMF. Then your eye doesn't notice that tiny little misses of BMF.

The same applies to body colored trim pieces (side spears, hood spears, etc.) scripts, badges & side marker lights. Sorta' like having a nice classic car repainted & the painter forgets to mask off a few things. :blink:

Earl Sheib did! Always thought of that place as a car wash with paint. A buddy-0-mine blindly took a '69 Chevy there for a white repaint. He was horrified that they painted over the emblems! This had to be in 1976 or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very cool thread.

Having been away from the hobby for 25+ years, I am proud of myself for using rattle can primer on the parts on my last few builds, LOL.

I think that Harry is right. Most of us newbs and amateurs are so new that we didn't even realize what we could do, let alone, how to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...