Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Preparing Models

Well today I cleaned and primed my Terminators. Over the next few weeks I will get them painted and ready for dip. While working on these models I noticed, like I notice on a lot of models, the casting lines were real bad. So that led me to bring up a very important modeling tip. No matter how good you can paint, if you don't prepare your models correctly they will look off. The casting lines will stand out and distract from your paint job.

So how do I prepare my models for paint. I start by using cutter to remove the pieces from the casting frame. Then before assembling the model I will clean each piece. I start by removing the excess material from the casting frame. I use different grit modeling files finishing with a very fine grit file. Then I remove the casting lines with a X-acto blade. I do this by running the blade along the casting line. This works great for flat surfaces and must be done with care. You want to make sure not to get carried away and remove too much material. For the other casting lines it depends on how textured the area is that needs to be cleaned. I might use the X-acto blade, a modeling file or a small metal file.

Once I have cleaned the casting lines I start assembling of the model. I make sure that all the pieces line up correctly and glue them together. If the pieces don't line up then I figure why they are not lining up and correct it. If you have every put together a Games Workshop model you know that some of their models have issues. During the assembly process I will be inspecting the model making sure I have removed all the casting lines and remove as needed. When I put two pieces together I run a modeling file over the seams to help hide them. If the seam is too noticeable I will file it with either additional glue, ZAP A GAP, or green stuff. It is a judgment call on how bad the seam is.

Then I will glue the model to the head of a nail. I do this to aid in the painting process. I can hold onto the nail while painting. I can also place the nail in my custom made drying stand. It is a piece of 2X4 with holes drilled in it. I place the nail in one of the holes while the paint dries. This works great for small models, not so much for large models. If you are not going to completely build the model then make sure to glue the nail in a joint that you would not be painting if the model was built. Also, don't use a lot of glue. You need to be able to remove the nail once the model is painted.

After the model is assembled I will put on some basing material and prime the models. You will notice in the picture below I did not glue the arms on the Terminators. I will be able to paint the model completely without the arms getting in the way. After priming the model I will inspect it again looking for anything that I might have missed like casting lines or seams. This is an important step, I would rather catch problems now before I start painting. I find taking the models outside in the sun light provides the best light to find problems. My desk light is too bright and I sometimes miss things.

I will post my Terminators once I get them painted.