Author Topic: 2 Questions: one on masking, one on test-fitting  (Read 5958 times)

November 09, 2006, 10:28:39 PM
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thegreatsze

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Thus far I have been building my model kits by PAINTING everything first with an airbrush before snapping together. This means, of course, that I CANNOT get any puttying, sanding etc. done - if I did I would spoil the paint finish.

But I *do* want to get rid of seam lines, potholes and the like. I really do. Does this mean that I have to mask every &^$#@%&^$#@ thing? I guess kits these days have fewer and fewer seams that require sanding, but some of them are still pretty obvious.

Incidentally, is it true that anything on earth can be masked, given enough patience?

SECOND QUESTION:

This pertains to test-fitting. Looking through all the WIP builds on MW and on other sites, I notice that somehow everyone test-builds/test-fits their kits before putting on the paint. So my question is this: do modellers actually do the whole cut-the-male-part-diagonally-across thing when they are test-building? Does that not take up an IMMENSE amount of time? If not, how are these super-duper modelers doing their test fitting? I would like to test-fit too, but the cut-male-part-diagonally-across thing seems to be really inefficient, time wise.

November 09, 2006, 11:02:04 PM
Reply #1

clee-cm

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I will answer the second part of the post, test fitting is very important, especially if you are building a model with a resin conversion kit.

In the case of Gundams, the internal frame's non-movable parts are going to be glued together, so cutting off part of the pins makes it easier to make sure all of the parts fit together. Test fitting also ensure the accurate fit of any custom made parts, sanding and filling goes hand and hand with test fitting.

Yes, it does take a lot of time to do all this, but with custom built models, it is very important, since it is the best way to ensure accuracy. Most professional model builders do not journal their progress, but trust me, they use many of the same techniques on this forum.
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November 10, 2006, 01:46:08 AM
Reply #2

pu_rplecow

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Haha.. these questions seem very relative to me. I hate masking and sanding. But its the only way to get rid of seams. The more recent MGs and HGs have less seams but they are still visible. As for test fitting. I think it takes me additional 3 secs to position and cut the pegs on each part.  multiply that by 600 for an PG and you have half an hour. Relative to the 8 hours you would spend assembling it, I think its quite a short time. That would be less on an MG and even less on a HG. Time (and pain)  is saved when disassembling it too as it will come part easily. So a little time invested in the build time is reaped as less painful fingers and broken parts after test fitting.

Seriously, if you're really wanting to build a model properly, spray on sprue will never work unless bandai plans their kits so well that not a single seam or nub is visible. Something which we would agree is not really possible in our lifetimes.  :P

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November 10, 2006, 05:34:02 AM
Reply #3

Marc

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Quote from: "pu_rplecow"
No shortcuts in great modelling!

Yeah, that's a time consuming hobby.
Airbrushing (well painting in general, for that matter) without "puttying" is kinda pointless, I'd say. Why spending time on it when the paintjob is gonna be ruined because of the visible seams and sprues?
So yup, you'll have to use putty and discover the joy of sanding :)

November 10, 2006, 06:05:35 AM
Reply #4

gamerabaenre

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Once you get used to everything, it becomes a pretty standard step by step process.  Certain things need to happen before other things.  

In my mind, (and I have had similar instances where a painted piece came apart and I tried to short cut it) it is just quicker and easier to just strip and begin the whole process with putty/sanding, then painting.  As opposed to masking and trying to fix the seam, then trying to match the paint tones... etc etc... more work than it's worth really.

November 10, 2006, 07:14:53 AM
Reply #5

tehmarken

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One thing I really love about gundam models, and I'm finding this ever evident on my Wing ver Ka, is how modular they are. You can test fit the whole model together, and take your time painting the different parts. You could jsut work on a leg, see how it turns out, put it back on the model, and leave it alone if you don't feel like working anymore that day.

It's much easier to take breaks with gundam building, as long as you aren't using custom mixed colours without jars. I'm not a very patient person usually, so very often I need to take breaks during the building and painting process. Actually, a lot of times I'll have the TV on and go between watching TV and working on a model.

November 10, 2006, 07:19:25 AM
Reply #6

Major Blah

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Yeah definitely cut down the male part :pinch:  :D

The pain of not being able to separate a part is not worth it.  I see from your Dom that you've got pretty good painting skills, if you remove the seams from your kits they will look 100x better!

November 10, 2006, 07:40:46 AM
Reply #7

gamerabaenre

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Along the lines of test fitting.  I never cut the male ends...  I just cut into the female ends :)

Using a hobby knife, I just insert the knife into the female connection holes and twirl the hobby knife a little effectively widening the hole.  Then when I mate the two pieces, the guides are still there but they're easily taken apart.  I find that this little twirling of the hobby knife is very quick to do while doing the initial snap fit test.

Test fitting is always recommended.  It is a good start to planning a build.  At least for me, since I'm a very visual type builder.

November 10, 2006, 08:16:39 AM
Reply #8

pu_rplecow

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Quote from: "gamerabaenre"
Along the lines of test fitting.  I never cut the male ends...  I just cut into the female ends :)



Wouldn't you have to switch tools? from a cutter to a knife each time? Unless you remove the parts using a hobby knife  :o yikes.. thats scary. High chance of getting an owie there.. haha..
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November 10, 2006, 08:22:57 AM
Reply #9

gamerabaenre

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Yes I do switch tools.  I clip from the parts tree with nippers.  Then use the hobby knife to "widen" the female connections.  Normally, I need to use the hobby knife regardless to remove excess flash from the polycaps.  Some of the older kits have some horribly designed polycaps where even the slightest amount of flash will prevent parts from aligning and snapping together properly... so it's not too big a deal to have to change tools.  I usually have a ton of different tools hanging around when I'm in the building process anyways.

November 10, 2006, 09:27:22 AM
Reply #10

thegreatsze

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thanks for the replies guys. those were actually "good" replies (as opposed to the usual "haha! mask r0x0rz" nonsense), and i appreciate it.

well, i guess nothing to do now but hunker down and get to sanding/masking/cutting male parts. my electric toothbrush sander is up and working, but i foresee that the sandpaper will have to be changed pretty often. anyone thought of putting on an aluminium oxide slab instead of plain old sandpaper?

finally, on removing seams on guns/rifles/cannons: is the technique REALLY to just apply a thin line of tamiya cement on the seam running through the gun, and then slowly sand sand sand? it doesn't seem to work for me. i could just be incompetent though.

gamerabaenre: your desert kampfer, it's going to be copied. :P

November 10, 2006, 09:42:56 AM
Reply #11

gamerabaenre

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Quote
finally, on removing seams on guns/rifles/cannons: is the technique REALLY to just apply a thin line of tamiya cement on the seam running through the gun, and then slowly sand sand sand? it doesn't seem to work for me. i could just be incompetent though.

I usually have the gun not completely snapped together when I add the glue.  Having a small gap, I actually apply a good amount of tamiya extra thin cement to the sides of the gap, then press the part together (make sure you face away from the part.. I had an unfortunate accident once while doing this and glue got into one of my eyes... not a fun experience)  Then use one of those paper clip thingys, clamp the down on the part and watch as plastic oozes out from the seam.  Feel free to apply a little more cement along the seam to help this along.  Let this assembly sit for at least three hours, longer is better to ensure that everything cures.  Then lightly sand away the seam.  Sometimes there are small pockets of air that cause mini seams, just paint in some Mr Surfacer 500 along this area, let it cure, and then lightly sand this smooth and the seam is gone.

Quote
gamerabaenre: your desert kampfer, it's going to be copied. :P

Cool, hope you do a better job than I did :)  *sigh*.. just reminds me that I need to finish the damn thing...

November 10, 2006, 09:44:40 AM
Reply #12

Major Blah

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Quote from: "thegreatsze"
tmy electric toothbrush sander is up and working, but i foresee that the sandpaper will have to be changed pretty often. anyone thought of putting on an aluminium oxide slab instead of plain old sandpaper?


I've use the electric sander not too much but my impression is that the wear on the sandpaper is not too big of an issue if you do wet sanding.  FYI, wet sanding is basically sanding when the part is wet, and wash it once awhile to remove the crap accumulated between part and sandpaper.

Quote from: "thegreatsze"
finally, on removing seams on guns/rifles/cannons: is the technique REALLY to just apply a thin line of tamiya cement on the seam running through the gun, and then slowly sand sand sand? it doesn't seem to work for me. i could just be incompetent though.


For sanding, please review this document

November 10, 2006, 10:04:20 AM
Reply #13

clee-cm

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After all of the sanding, fitting and filling there is one important step before painting, that is priming the Gundam parts with primer, you can used regular automtive primer for most of the parts, especially MG or 1/60 HG Gundam Seed models.

This allows you to see any errors or unfilled seams that need to be fixed.

Since there are so many different types of plactic being used, primer is very important, this way the paint does not flake off when posing the Gundam.
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November 22, 2006, 07:53:05 AM
Reply #14

thegreatsze

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hi guys, thanks for all the help.

yeah i will definitely prime stuff from now. since i'm not using the original colours anyway.

ONE MORE QUESTION:

masking circlular parts/rounded parts.

i am going to begin work on the HGUC Palace Athene soon. it's got a number of circles that have to be painted yellow, with the surrounding green. how should i go about masking these parts? is the solution really to bend masking tape infinite times to form a perfect circle?

thanks in advance!

November 22, 2006, 09:41:55 AM
Reply #15

gamerabaenre

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Depends on if the circles are indented, or extruded....

For an extruded piece you can mask like this:
Mask and cut method - the mask
Mask and cut method - cut with brand new exacto knife blade

Or mask in small pieces around the circle:
Masking around an eye example

Or, if the parts are inverted, you can paint them first, then insert some sticky tack to mask that area off, then paint the other parts like this:
Sticky tack to mask off painted thruster interior

November 22, 2006, 05:42:03 PM
Reply #16

thegreatsze

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thanks gamera. from the looks of it, mine will have to be masked the same way you masked around the eye of the model. i.e. i will be employing the most time consuming method of all the alternatives.

the mask and cut method can only apply to curves, not complete circles, i think.

haha yeah picked up the thruster-sticky-tack trick as well from FF. but the hard part about this is making sure the sticky tack doesn't block the extreme rims of the thrusters from being painted (i.e. the sticky tack has to taper to a nipply point, cannot just remain a blob).

November 23, 2006, 09:59:42 AM
Reply #17

gamerabaenre

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Withe regards to the trouble some masking round/circular areas... At the very least, the Pallas doesn't have as many circles as the tear drops on this dress:
Saber's inner dress with gold tear drops
The masking process alone took about 6 hours or so.

But in the end, I find that masking circular/oval extruded areas, this method is the best.  To ensure coverage and all that good nonsense.