Model building tips

Discussions on historical model building of all eras.
maurocethebear2007xx
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Model building tips

Post by maurocethebear2007xx » 28 Aug 2007 02:33

No-ones models will suit everyone nomatter how well built they are or realistic..not all of us are world class modellers either..myself included,but we can learn from eachother and improve..by communicating ideas..techniques and by looking at the great work of fine modellers in the forum gallery...i for instance have never gone near the idea of weathering..everything i build looks like it came out of a factory..apart from dust buildup that is! I'm interested to know how many 1/72nd scale modellers are on this site..i have been tempted towards larger scales,but seeing as building the Luftwaffe in 1/72 scale takes up so much room i don't think i'll get far in larger scales..even if the detail is a lot better in many ways..i've just got a B52 Stratofortress in 1/72 scale and that is huge compared to any of the Luftwaffe planes i have built and need to build! Once upon time not so long ago us small scale modellers were limited to how many models we could get hold of..most of the ones we could get were without much realistic detail and needed work to make them look good,but now we're spoilt for choice thankfully and the output from model producers is getting more and more by the month...I heard a lot of moans about Dragon models on one site even to the point of boycotting them! Dragon have done wonders for the small scale community..Trumpeter are truelly something else(So are Ace Models and Roden for that matter)..and from what i've seen planned for future release i don't think they'll be much in the way of small scale ww2 german armour we'll be without soon..keep an eye on the Special Armour/Special Hobby kits as well. We're also very lucky such people as Extratech,Eduard and CMK make so many great after sale upgrade kits in resin and photo etch brass...i was told by a model shop owner that small scale armour and aircraft are taking off in a big way with the modelling community..is this the case? I'm thinking of sending some of my 1/72 model photos to the gallery..will that be ok?

Regards to all the modelling community...Steve in the UK

ldb730
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Post by ldb730 » 16 Sep 2007 22:05

maurocethebear2007xx wrote:No-ones models will suit everyone nomatter how well built they are or realistic..not all of us are world class modellers either..myself included,but we can learn from eachother and improve..by communicating ideas..techniques and by looking at the great work of fine modellers in the forum gallery...i for instance have never gone near the idea of weathering..everything i build looks like it came out of a factory..apart from dust buildup that is!
Regards to all the modelling community...Steve in the UK


Hi! One of the best books that has helped me to take my model-building to the next level is "Modeling Tanks & Military Vehicles" by Sheperd Paine. Its a fairly old book but there are a lot of tips that have helped me very much.
Here are some weathering tricks I use for weathering my armor..hope they help. I work with enamel paints, so some of these tips may or may not help if you use acrylics.
1. After applying camouflage, I lighten the base color and spray a light mist over the vehicle with my airbrush.
2. Over areas of the vehicle that are worn by the crew climbing over them or metal-on-metal wear (eg: drive sprocket teeth & track guide teeth), I will dry brush on some steel, lightened base coat or maybe even some rust. Be careful-its easy to over-do the weathering.
3. If I want to simulate battle damage (eg: nicks from shrapnel, small arms fire or non-penetrating AP rounds) I will take something sharp like a Phillips screwdriver and scratch out the damage onto the hull. A hobby knife is good for making nicks on road wheels to simulate cracked rubber and a hot safety pin is good for punching holes into schürzen to simulate the damage they would take. When possible I use thin plastic sheets and make my own schürzen..the stuff that comes in the kit is way too thick and you can been the plastic sheets to simulate damage from tanks inevitably "bumping into 'things'" on the battlefield. :lol:
4. I spray a coat of clear gloss enamel (I hear clear Future Floor Varnish works well too and I'll have to try that on my next project) to protect the paint during the next step-washes. Let the model set for at least 24 hours.
5. Washes-I mix in base color paint with some thinner until it has a "milky" color. I then take a soft brush and gently brush onto sections of the model-GENTLY dabbing it off with paper towel. You have to be careful because the was can eat away the paint if you're not careful. Remember, the gloss coat shell is not indestructible. Let this set for at least 24 hours. Then make up a dark wash, take a small brush and apply it to recesses to make them stand out..again, its easy to over-do it if you're not careful. Again let it set for 24 hours.
6. To make the edges of the vehicle jump out, I dry brush a lightened base color to the edges of the vehicle...again, a little goes a long way so easy does it!
7. Decals-If I wish to simulate rough, hand painted numbers, crosses or insignia on a vehicle, I will apply the decals (I use decal set & decal solvent to try to cut down on the sheen from the decal film), let them dry and then paint over them with a fine brush.
8. Dull Coat-Last, but not least, I spray clear enamel dull coat onto the vehicle-the last thing you want on the battlefield is a "shiny" new panzer :lol: .
9. Dust-I use ground pastels for dust, dirt, cordite and engine soot.
10. Tracks-I paint my tracks gun metal and then dry brush rust into the recesses and steel onto raised portions and the guide teeth.
11. Mud-I use talcum powder mixed with various brown paints to create my "mud". I mix with an old or cheap brush (this step usually destroys the brush) and apply it to the suspension, tracks and road wheels.
12. Zimmerit-for zimmerit I use Squadron Contour Putty, spread a thin layer onto the surface and then make indentations (for the "square" zimmerit pattern on Panthers and JagdPanthers, I've heard that applying some talcum powder after you spread on the putty will help keep the putty firm when you use a hobby knife to make the pattern).
Modelling is ALWAYS trial and error-you learn more with every kit you build and THAT is part of the enjoyment I get out of the hobby.
Hope these tips helped you guys out there.

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Marcus
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Marcus » 22 Sep 2013 09:23


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Marcus
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Marcus » 22 Sep 2013 09:49

Humbrol - Introduction to Weathering Powders


Humbrol - Weathering Powder - Dried Mud, Dust & Rust


Humbrol - Weathering Powder - Heavy Mud Effects


Humbrol - Weathering Powder - Class 08 Diesel (Hornby Railroad)


Humbrol - Weathering Powder - Rolling Stock


Introduction to Enamel Washes

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c_hoff82
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Re: Model building tips

Post by c_hoff82 » 22 Sep 2013 11:36

I really like the brickwork finish in the last video.

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Hauptmann Holston
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Hauptmann Holston » 05 Oct 2013 18:03

Thanks Marcus! :milsmile:
Awesome videos, and great info on Panzer Mania. Exactly what I've been looking for. I'm going to try to start weathering my models that i've already built. Weathering, the final frontier! for us modelers. :milwink:
"Tanks"
Herr Heer Holston

chumpo
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Re: Model building tips

Post by chumpo » 02 Jan 2014 22:05

Great videos , I sent off for some decal fix and I just got to try it out .

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Marcus
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Marcus » 21 Jan 2014 18:37

AFV acrylic techniques

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Marcus
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Marcus » 23 Jan 2014 20:06

Posted a long time ago here in the forum:
Timo wrote:Australian modeller Chris Leeman wrote a very good article about making faded whitewashes:

Image

Painting
The first step is to spray the model in whatever your base colour is going to be. In the case of the Panther I used Tamiya Dark Yellow (XF-60). I always spray with acrylics but if enamels are your preference that will do just fine. Once the base coat was dry I then pre-shaded all the nooks and crannies of the model with Gunze tire black.
For those who don't know pre-shading it's a technique in which a dark colour (usually a dark brown or black) is sprayed into all the joints, crevices and undercuts etc. of a model. It doesn't have to be exact but try and keep the spray width to about 5mm. You will see a lot of aircraft modellers using this method on panel lines and access panels etc. Usually you apply the pre-shading before you do the base coat of the model, building up the colour gradually so that the dark colour will show through your base colour. This gives a nice weathered/shading look to a model.
I did it a little differently on the Panther as I was going to have another colour going over the top of the base colour. After the pre-shaded colour was dry I then applied the Tamiya white (XF-1). Now don't apply this in a solid finish but try and do it fairly patchy, letting the base colour show through in some areas. Try and concentrate on letting the base colour show through in areas of high wear, ie around hatches, on edges and the top surfaces of the vehicle.

Image

The next step after the paint has dried is applying the wash. I use water based gouache paints to do my washes. I find they are less messy and easier to remove than oil or enamel based washes. I mostly use Windsor & Newton gouaches. They are quite expensive but I have found using cheap gouaches can make it hard to remove the excess later. The colour I used for the wash was Van Dyke Brown. Apply the wash to all the joints, weld seams, undercuts and raised detail etc. on the model. Try and keep the wash fairly neat but don't panic too much. Once the wash is dry remove the excess with a damp, lint free cloth or as I prefer to use, cotton buds (Cue tips in the States!) moistened with your mouth. As I basically build the entire model before I paint it, I find the cotton buds far easier to get into small areas. If the cloth or cotton bud is too moist you will remove too much gouache and if it's too dry you won't remove enough. You will soon get a feel for what's' right. If you use the cotton buds you will go through quite a few doing a model. I use about fifty or sixty per model as they get dirty quickly and don't so much remove the excess gouache as spread it around. After I had finished the wash I applied the markings. I used Letra-set dry transfers for the numbers.
Once you have removed the excess wash the next step is dry brushing. For those people who aren't too sure what dry-brushing is, it's basically getting a colour that is a lighter shade of the base colour, putting it onto a flat sable brush, wiping off the paint until the brush is almost dry and then dusting it over the model lightly picking up all the raised details. Some people like to use enamels, some acrylics and some oils. My preference is a combination of oils and enamels. I find that oils due to their slow drying time and the fact they blend and spread better, are far easier to use than other techniques but what ever suits you go with it. I usually get a close match to the base colour in enamels, I then lighten it with white oil paint and then do the dry brushing. I did do it a little differently on this model as I wanted the drybrushing colour to actually be a close match to the base colour. I mixed up a close match using Titanium white and Yellow ochre oil paints. I can't give a mixing ratio as it was a case of trial and error until I was happy with the match. When doing the drybrushing try and work it heavily into areas of wear and tear, around hatches and raised detail etc. By now you should be starting to get a nice weathered effect coming through.

Pastel chalks
Once the oils have dried (leave it for a couple of days at least) you can then start with the pastels. Pastel chalks are available from most art supply stores and are great for doing weathering. They come in small sticks that you grind into a powder ( I just use a piece of coarse sandpaper) and then apply them to the model with a fine tipped paintbrush. They are great for doing streaking, shadows etc. For this model I used a combination of yellow ochre, dark brown, light brown and black as the main colours. Just grind up some small piles of each colour and get into it. You can use colours by themselves or mixing them together to get the desired effect and colour. For areas of wear I used mostly yellow ochre to enhance the appearance of these areas. I worked darker colours into all the nooks and crannies. Even though you have pre-shaded and washed these areas I feel the pastels give a better-blended feel to it. You can use a mixture of all colours to do the streaking. The effect I was trying to achieve was that the white wash had been applied a while ago and that elements had taken their toll. Most German white washes were a water-based paint in real life so it wouldn't stay on for too long. This is a fairly labour intensive process, it took me about a week to apply the chalks but it's not a thing you can really rush. Once all this was done I went over all the edges and major wear areas with a lead pencil to show where paint had been worn through. Even though the drybrushing and the pastels had toned down the numbers they were still a bit stark so I applied white pastels over the numbers.

Image

Image
The next step is doing the lower hull and running gear. The wheels were painted and weathered as described above. The lower hull was sprayed in a colour I mixed using red brown, flat earth and black. The tracks were also sprayed this colour and drybrushed with Tamiya Metallic grey (XF-56). The inner surface of the idler wheel and the teeth of the drive sprocket were also painted in metallic grey. I then made up a mud mixture using Sellys spac-filler, static grass and coloured with Van Dyke brown gouache paint. This was then applied to the road wheels and lower hull with a short bristled brush. After this was dry I lightly drybrushed the lower hull and wheels with a mixture of Humbrol middle stone and Titanium white oil paint. I then put the tracks on and placed the mud mixture on the tracks as well. After painting in all the tools and fittings and giving the model a coat of Gunze flat it was finished.

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Marcus
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Marcus » 23 Jan 2014 20:18

Another old one.
rtvstamps wrote:Most of the times I try to take a look into the real photos of war to better get ideas on how to build my dioramas. I want to share with you a work I perfomed last year, step by step, on how to build it. I hope it is usefull for you.

Building a Diorama, by: Rodolfo Torres V. - Mexico

Image
Fig. 1.- Plastic Evergreen strips to make the stairs
Fig. 2.- To make the stairs scheme with wood
Fig. 3.- With Tamiya glue stick the stairs between the wood previously cut and the wall on the back (also made of wood)
Fig. 4.- Join the upper side of the stairs with glue for wood

Image
Fig. 5, 6 & 7- Cover all surfaces of the walls and stairs with Politec (acrylic poliester)
Fig. 8.- Be sure that your job has been duly set over the Diorama base

Image
Fig. 9, 10, & 11.- Put over the kit which contains sidewalk and paviment, in this case I selected the "Vac-Formed" of Remi which is perfectly detailed with railroad and drain
Fig. 12.- Be sure that every part fixes perfectly

Image
Fig. 13.- To make banisters for the upper side of the stairs I used wood and plastic Evergreen strips
Fig. 14.- Cut small pieces of metalic thin-bars
Fig. 15.- The small pieces of metalic thin-bars should be joined below each wood banister
Fig. 16.- Use Humbrol Model Filler and acetone for the following step

Image
Fig. 17.- With Model Filler cover all wood surfaces (except stairs); through this, lines over the wood are perfectly erased and it remains a real wall aspect
Fig. 18 & 19.- Before it dries, use a pencil and ruler to draw the brick lines
Fig. 20.- Use an acrylic brown color to paint the banister wood and then use an scriber to draw lines which will define the wood, and finally over the same wood apply a creme color with a dry brush which will give a more real aspect

Image
Fig. 21, 22, 23 & 24.- Apply red acrylic color for walls, grey for the stairs entrance, light-grey for sidewalk and paviment, after they dry, dust with pastel colors all previosly painted surfaces on the same colors used in acrylic and the aspect will be more real. Note: Paviment - After painting with acrylic, apply Humbrol cream color with a dry brush, then dust it with a mixure of pastel colors (ligh-grey - 70% and black - 30%), it will give a "dirty aspect on the street", apply some of this last mixure on each corner and border of the stairs, and finally with a dry brush apply some Humbrol silver color over the railroad and drain.

Finally I posted my Tiger I with machine gun team.
Image

Regards,
Rodolfo

durb
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Re: Model building tips

Post by durb » 13 Mar 2015 19:33

I wonder if someone could represent his/her "failed models"? - with an idea to point out what mistakes were done and how they could have been avoided.

I have a squadron of aircraft kits more or less "failed" - up to now not a single kit in which I could be 100 % content with the end result. Still I did built everyone of them ready to a degree in which I could, although end result is still like my "first kit". The mistakes are visible there but with each model some modest improvement has also happened.

My visible mistakes:
1) not making enough fitting before going to glue parts together - this is obvious problem with short-run kits but do not trust injection-moulded kits either even if they have been manufactured by well-known and respectable companies. I have otherwise rather nice rare kit with rare decals in my collection but with closer look one can see that the fitting of cowling is less than 100 % symmetric
2) trying to make a model more demanding than your skills are up to - short-run or "hi-tech" with resin and photoech when you still have to work with very basic technics
3) applying decals - these should be always first well trimmed and tried to see if they really fit well in the area in which they are intended - I once ordered special decals worth of 10 euros to my kit but they were so special that I did run into some nasty surprises which I would have avoided with more careful beforehand examination and trimming - I did trust too much on decal manufacturers assurance that decals were particularly well suited ("recommended") for my kit
4) rigging techniques - before trying any biplanes with lots of rigging go first with some monoplanes with less rigging - there are different materials with preference of taste, but my favourite is rather clean EZ-line with superglue for its simplicity. I like biplanes but I would like to see some good basic advice for those who are new with biplane kit building. For example biplane classic Gloster Gladiator is something which I would like to build but I´m not yet able to do it well...
5) try to find most appropriate technique for you - after trying unsuccessfully with both masktape and parafilm to make nice painting in small 1:72 cockpits I have gone back to painting without mask and taking with toothpick away the worst excesses - surprisingly the result has been at equal or even somewhat better than with my tries of masktype and parafilm (putting in test after seeing some Youtube videos) - but still I would be grateful for the most simple and most elementary guiding to masking and painting of a small cockpit - for some reason this important step is missed in some basic manuals for modellers.
6) and the most important mistake and how to avoid it: do not rush with your project, some patience is worth of gold and makes your model likely to succeed better than trying to do too much in too little time!

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Christoffer
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Re: Model building tips

Post by Christoffer » 27 Jul 2016 06:31

very helpful tips. Thanks.

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