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dgraz

A beginner's guide to plastic modeling

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Thank you very much for writing this up. I had to learn these things the hard way, and thus I'm sure any pointers for beginners will be really helpful.

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For tools I also have a cutting mat, a hand held vacuum and lots of #11 blades (micromark sells 100 packs).

 

I swap blades pretty often, but I keep a few dulled blades around. When scraping plastic the sharpness of the blade, the angle you hold it and the concavity of the surface gives different results. I would recommend experimenting. :P Note that a blade that has been worn on metal models often has tiny nicks that scratches plastic, a blade worn on plastic is usually just dull.

 

After assembly I wash the models with dishwashing liquid, water and a soft toothbrush (they are so useful!).

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These are excellent tips, Dgraz and Bengt - thank you for posting them. Some of them I'd already utilized in the past, but as of less than a month ago miniature plastic model assembly was completely new to me (I'm an old hand at metal minis, but more on that another time).

 

Two items I will absolutely swear by now, for plastic mini assemblage, are Tamiya Extra Thin Cement and Mr. Hobby Mr. Dissolved Putty. The former not just for the quality of the cement itself but also for the marvelous little applicator brush that comes attached to the lid. And for the latter? All I can say is Mr. Hobby, where have you been all my life?! It's AMAZING on those exposed seam gaps, and easily sandable for multiple applications if needed.

 

Once again, let me say how much I am enjoying these forums. I've found so much help here, and much inspiration for improving (much needed!) my modeling and painting skills. Thanks Malifolks!  :)

 

- Nikko

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As someone who has a lot of room for improvement in the modeling section of things I greatly appreciate you taking the time to put this together.

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Great little guide for the new modeler.

 

I would offer into the tools section a pin vise (small hand manipulated drill) and bits.  Several times I've had to use one to widen out socket holes (Student of Conflict's braid, Howard Langston's back tenticles) in plastics.  And if you have to do a metal (not in the scope of this article, I know) there's pinning which is much more common.

 

I would also offer into the assembly section to use the assembly instructions and the 3D render on the back of the product boxes.  Wyrd kits don't have part numbers and being able to look at the finished product (back of the box) have helped me immensely through the many builds.  My first kit was Lady Justice herself and it took me a solid 30 minutes to figure out how the greatsword sheath attached to Justice...looking at the box for reference helped me finish the job. 

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After assembly I wash the models with dishwashing liquid, water and a soft toothbrush (they are so useful!).

 

 

I would also offer into the assembly section to use the assembly instructions and the 3D render on the back of the product boxes.  

I added some info about these things into the main body of the post.

 

I also added a tip about basing a plastic model on a scenic base.

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Very good info Dgraz. Heed his advice about the floor material. Yan Lo's beard poped off my clippers even though I was being careful. I don't remember how many hours it took looking through the carpet to find it.

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I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but what glue is appropriate for translucent miniatures? I know that the fumes from super glue can give a frosted appearance to some models, but will plastic glue have a similar effect?

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Testers makes two plastic glues that I know of. One is in a black container and is for opaque plastics, and I forget the color bottle but they make another for translucent and transparent plastics. Utilized for things like glueing plane cockpit canopies in place without fogging the simulated glass.

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