Archive for the ‘Techniques’ Category
A negative mask is one that is grumpy and has a bad outlook on life. OK, that’s not true. A negative mask is one that shows an area to be painted, while a positive mask covers an area already painted. Anyway…
On the rare occasion that I get adventurous and try to do a paint scheme that I don’t have decals for, I may try masking. Normally I go with a positive mask, as it’s a bit easier. I’ll paint an area of the aircraft the color of the marking, add a mask over that, and then paint the rest. But sometimes I forget to do that first, and rather than going back through the entire paint process, I’ll create a negative mask. Of course, the process for creating a positive mask is pretty much the same, you just use the part that is cut out. So this step-by-step has dual application, really.
One step I did not show was after these photos where taken, I gave the painted area a light rub down with a coffee filter to smooth out the bumps and ridges. You may also need to use a small brush and dab paint here and there to make some corrections. It’s also possible to carefully use the sharp tip of a new #11 blade to lightly slice away some area and lift them up before the paint fully cures. If you do try that, be very careful though.
This same technique can be used for very complicated designs, utilizing both negative and positive masks together, and applying one color and element at a time.
Scott Des Planques sent in this very interesting look at how his love of history led to restoring an older build to a more modern standard. It looks great Scott- thanks for sharing this!
This brief article touches on an often overlooked modeling procedure, rebuilding an old finished kit. A bit over 20 years ago I purchased the Glencoe Grumman J2F-2 Duck to supplement the late 1930s/Pre-WW II yellow wing aircraft in my 1/48 scale collection. This kit can still be found for around $15.00 on eBay. It has been years, but I seem to remember this kit went together quite well. Some of the parts are what can be expected in an old kit, a thick canopy and simplified landing gear that could be moved up or down. Initially I built the kit straight from the box and used stretched sprue for the guide wires, but my heart just wasn’t in it and I was never happy with the results; nonetheless this yellow winged Duck has nested on my built shelves for over two decades. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the more visible and distinctive elements that is easily visible in either a closed or open canopy configuration of the Spitfire is the compass. Unlike many aircraft that had the compass mounted in the instrument panel, directly facing the pilot, the Spitfire had a horizontally mounted compass, hanging just below the instrument panel. Though some kits already have a well detailed compass supplied, others either have a poorly cast one, or no compass at all.
Creating this compass is not very difficult when you break it down into a few simple shapes. Essentially, it is a small, horizontal rectangular base-plate (with slightly rounded corners), fitted to a rectangular back plate which attaches to the “bottom lip” of the instrument panel. There are two triangles on the sides to support the base, and a small cylinder sits in the middle. A quick Google image search pulls up several examples for reference. Read the rest of this entry »
AgapeModels.com forum member Eric Larson posted this excellent tutorial on his method for simulating wood grain. Judging by the results so far on his Wingnut Wings LVG (see picture to the left), I’d say he’s gotten it right!
Since I started posting WIP photos of my Wingnut LVG 4 months ago, I have received numerous queries here, and from other forums, as to how I did the wood grain. I’ve tried to describe it as best I could in words but have decided that a little demo, with more pictures, would be better.
Please note that this little tutorial/demo is in no way meant to be the definitive guide to wood grain painting. It is merely an attempt to share what I managed to achieve on my LVG. To those who are just curious as to how I did it, I hope this answers your questions. To those who want to attempt it themselves, I hope I provide enough information, and encouragement, to help you get started and develop your own technique. Read the rest of this entry »
Agape forum member Ken (icekj) shared this handy technique for building your own sanding sticks. It lets you get exactly the grit you want, and saves you money. Thanks for sharing this Ken!
Store bought sanding sticks are costly. They are hard to find in the 800+ grits that I prefer to work with. Some sanding sticks do not hold up well to water either, this makes it a pain to wet sand. So the other night I decided to assemble my home made sanding sticks.
- Craft sticks from Wal-Mart. I picked 1/4″ by 2 1/2″ ones because I work on 1/72. (I prefer the popsicle sized ones myself… banana flavored popsicles, preferably…. Ed.)
- 3M spray adhesive.
- 800 and 1200 grit wet/dry sand paper
- Piece of newspaper to spray on (don’t want to get spray adhesive all over the spray booth)
Here you can see all the materials ready for action.
One of the techniques many modelers use to enhance the look of their models, especially aircraft, is a “wash” to enhance panel lines and other detail. There is quite a bit of debate about how realistic this effect is- but I’ll leave that discussion to the various forums. For me personally, it’s a stylistic question. I like the way it looks- plain and simple!
To start with, let’s look at the “tools” I use in doing an oil wash. First, you’ll need a model. I’m going to be working on a nearly completed Accurate Miniature’s P-51C. It’s been fully prepped with two coats of Future, and allowed to dry for 24 hours. You’ll want the model’s surface to be fairly smooth. Doesn’t have to be glass smooth, but I generally lightly sand down the paint with a paper coffee filter prior to the pre-decal coat of Future. Then, after decaling, I hit it with two more Future coats, and a final polishing again with the coffee filter.
What else do I use? For the oil paint, I like using Windsor and Newton Raw Umber. It’s not as stark as black, but certainly dark enough to work with most finishes. You can get a tube at Hobby Lobby or Michaels with a coupon for just a few dollars, and a larger tube should last quite a long time.
I also use odorless turpenoid as my thinner- I picked up mine at Hobby Lobby. I like to use the small mixing palette shown in the picture… you’ll see why in a few more paragraphs. Certainly anything with separate compartments will work, from a piece of foil shaped appropriately, to several drink bottle lids. Whatever you have will work- you just need several spaces to work with.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Alert reader Erik Brandlen sent me this note: “Jon, one important note. As there are several brands of turpenoid on the market, it’s important to point out the brand you’re using. I used a different brand (Turpenoid Natural)and it ate through two coats of Future and into the paint, ruining my paint job.” Yow! Erik’s note reminded me that I’d seen a similar report on another modeling forum. I use Weber Odorless Turpenoid, which I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Sounds like the “Natural” types are not good for this type of work. As with any chemical used for modeling applications, always test it on a scrap piece if possible first! Thanks for the heads up, Erik!
Finally, some cotton swabs, paper towels and a small brush- I like a “0″ brush. Read the rest of this entry »
For foil finishes, the surface needs preparing as in the first step, but no black primer coat is required. Once you have a smooth, clean surface, you can foil straight on to it. Any painted areas will need to be painted and masked off beforehand, as it is very risky indeed to mask over your foil finish!
You will need:
* Kitchen Foil (I use normal household kitchen foil, the thinnest (Luckily also the cheapest usually!) you can find.)
* PVA glue (I use normal PVA white glue. It can be thinned with about 10% water to help with spreading, but I tend to use it straight from the pot.) (“Elmers Glue”…. Ed.)
* A high quality brush that doesn’t lose its bristles easily!
* Cocktail sticks
* Cotton buds (Q-Tips)
* A very sharp scalpel or #11 blade
* Steel wool (fine gauge) Read the rest of this entry »
AgapeModels.com forum member Pruz- otherwise known as Al- posted some great tips for achieving a natural metal finish (NMF). In this second installment, he outlines steps for a weathered, natural metal finishes.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy Christian fellowship and modeling discussion, I invite you to join our forums!
Again, start with the surface. As I would use different paint for this one, it’s not as critical to get such a glassy finish, so just use white primer (1 coat), Mr Surfacer 1000 (1 coat) and automotive black spray paint again. This time try something different! Instead of a uniform black finish, mask off several panels to leave a patchwork finish. This will result in contrasting shades of finish with the same paint. If you want to be really clever, lightly dab at some of the panels with the black paint before it dries with a cotton cloth to create a texture surface. Read the rest of this entry »
AgapeModels.com forum member Pruz- otherwise known as Al- posted some great tips for achieving a natural metal finish (NMF). Today, he outlines steps for a clean, natural metal finishes using painted methods.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy Christian fellowship and modeling discussion, I invite you to join our forums!
Getting good results for an NMF starts with the surface. Try to use minimal sanding during construction if possible. I use Squadron White Putty for filling, which can be smoothed into seams using nail polish remover. This saves a lot of unnecessary sanding later. Lost detail can now be rescribed. Use grades of sandpaper down to 1200 grit, then micromesh to 4000. Read the rest of this entry »
When I was modeling as a teen, in the late 70′s, I built mostly Monogram kits. I don’t ever recall paying much attention to the panel lines at the time, as my goal was to slap ‘em together, get it on the shelf, and move on to the next kit.
When I got back into the hobby in 2006, I very quickly encountered the raised versus recessed panel line debate. It actually shocked me how heated a debate it was. At times it seems like it’s the modeling equivalent of the Cold War.
Still, I like those old kits. The generally are lower cost, decent quality, and build up into great additions to the model shelf.
And while I have no problem with raised panel lines, per se, I do like the way a good wash looks in recessed lines. I just sort of ignore the debates, basically, and do what I like.
When I first heard about scribing panel lines, it sounded like a pretty difficult process. However, I decided to give it a shot. Now that I’ve got 4 or 5 scribing jobs under my belt, I don’t mind it at all.
My method for scribing panel lines is like most modelers methods- bits and pieces from many things I’ve read or been told. I just sort of pick out the techniques I like. So please don’t think I present this as THE method. It has worked for me, and hopefully, if you’ve not tried scribing before, this can be a starting point for you.
Drew Hatch sent in this very useful tutorial for bending photoetch. Though he’s using The Small Shop’s “Bug” bending station, the basics he covers will apply to just about any bending tool.
|The Small Shop|
|You can get your own “Bug” by visiting The Small Shop’s website. Based in Kalama, Washington, USA, they have a line of photoetch bending tools, as well as other modeling accessories.They also list retailers around the world who carry their products.|
When photo etch bending stations first came into the market, their need was questioned. Their usefulness has now become redundant. Today, very few modelers can get along without one. The complex development of photo etch has created a necessity for them. Although many different types have become available, there are two manufacturers that are recognized in the industry. The largest one being Mission Models, and the first manufacturer, The Small Shop.
My local IPMS club, Lafayette Scale Modelers, holds it’s meetings each month at Hayes Hobby House in Fayetteville, NC, USA. We always hold a raffle, and I’ve been blessed to win a few kits. This last meeting I won Eduard’s 1/48 Albatross D.V Weekend Edition. I normally don’t build WWI aircraft, but I decided to give it a try.
The two reasons I’ve avoided WWI are a fear of rigging, and little to no idea about how to do wood grain effects in anything resembling a convincing manner. Since the kit was free (well, the cost of oa few raffle tickets…) I figured “What the heck?” It’s always a good thing to stretch your modeling skills.
A few months ago, a member of my club had demonstrated how he created wood grain effects, using artists oils over acrylics. His technique seemed simple enough, but I decided to modify it a bit to use artists acrylics. Read the rest of this entry »
Rusty Keeler shares a simple but effective technique for getting those top wings mounted correctly on a biplane…. good stuff for me as I’m starting my first one!
The 1:72 scale Monogram F4B-4 and the Accurate Miniatures F3F series biplanes are superbly engineered kits and this can be said for assembling the wings as well. My only other experience with biplanes has been with Classic Airframes F4B-4. Therefore this comes from very limited experience but I can’t help but think that this would work for many other types of biplanes. For a short run kit, the overall fit has been great and the parts are very clean. With that said, the assembly of the landing gear struts and the upper wing is not for the faint of heart. Read the rest of this entry »
The modeling hobby, at least for me, is a series of plateaus and peaks, times that I feel like I’m doing well, and then times when I realize I’m growing. Those times of growth are fun and exciting, because they usually begin with an encounter with something that provides one of those “Ah-ha!” moments in life that can be so fun.
And through this site, it makes it even more joyful to share in those moments. And I’m loving this one.
Brett Green and Hyperscale are one of the greatest resources a modeler can have to see great work from all over the world. And Agapemodels.com contributor Parker Ewing pointed me to a series of articles on Hyperscale that, while a few years old, provided enough “Ah-ha’s!” for the next few months.
A gentleman by the name of Gregg Cooper did a 3-part series on building Tamiya’s 1/48 Nakajima J1N1 Gekko out of the box, and to call it stunning is an understatement. His description on everything from detailing the interior to weathering the outside is so thorough yet so simple that it made me realize “I can do that!” And I hope, after reading it, you too will have had some of those “A-ha’s!” and will find new ways to grow your modeling skills.
I’ve never met you, Mr. Cooper, but I just want to say “thank you” for sharing your skill with us, and for helping me along in the joy I find in my model building journey.
Part 1: Building Tamiya’s Nakajima J1N1Gekko (Irving) “Straight Out Of The Box”
Part 2: Completing Tamiya’s Nakajima J1N1Gekko (Irving) “Straight Out Of The Box”
Part 3: Painting and Weathering Tamiya’s Nakajima J1N1Gekko (Irving) “Straight Out Of The Box”
One of the most effective ways to make small details “pop” is a technique known as drybrushing. Though a very simple technique, it can add life and realism that can take an average build to being a show winner. And it’s so simple that practically any modeler already has all the tools at hand to use this technique. Will Nichols shows us how he does drybrushing, and makes very effective use of a few simple steps to produce a great looking cockpit. And the same technique can be used elsewhere on a kit, whether it’s an aircraft, armor, car or whatever. So sit back and enjoy a few moments of “Drybrushing with Will.”
Drybrushing can add a lot of depth to your models, either in the cockpit of aircraft or the exterior of armor. This article will focus on aircraft cockpits.
1. Several shades of gray paint
2. A good stiff brush or make-up brush
3. A little time, patience, and practice Read the rest of this entry »
Epoxy putty is not as scary as you might think it is. The basics are all the same.
Epoxy putty consists of a epoxy resin & a hardener. By mixing the two parts you create a chemical reaction hardening the resin. You generally have an hour or so of work time once you have mixed the resin before it becomes too solid to work. Read the rest of this entry »