Date: Mon Aug 3, 1998
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** What are the basics of building resin models?
The following people contibuted to this article. [Sorry, I couldn't
tell who said what].
[A] Bruce Burden firstname.lastname@example.org
[A] Larry J Brackney email@example.com
[A] Khanh Hoang firstname.lastname@example.org
[A] Charles E. Ridout email@example.com
[A] Tim Yiu firstname.lastname@example.org
[Q] Which glues work best for resin parts?
Fresh super glues with an accelerator. Use the super glue and
accelerator to "tack" parts together, the use more super glue and
allow to cure for 30 minutes or so.
Epoxy. I use the slow set type, but that is my choice.
Try 5 Minute epoxy.
Superglue of various types.
[Q] Which fillers work best for resin parts?
Auto body fillers for gross filling. I have heard that Gunze
Sangyo "Mr. Surfacer" 1000 is excellent for filling pinholes in
the surface. It is probably a good idea to gouge the area to be
filled to insure the filler gets a good "grip" on the surface, and
doesn't come loose later.
Squadron White works for me!
I like auto body filler and Humbrols red filler. Plastic
filler as Revells Plasto don't stick.
[Q] Which paints should be used for primer?
I prefer Floquil grey primer myself. Easily applied, coats well,
shows up last minute flaws as well.
I'm happy w/ the spray primer made by The Armory. I've airbrushed on
thinned white acrylics too. (I build horror and SF figures, so I do
most of my work in acrylics.)
I wash the parts in water and detergent and spray a thin
coat of Humbrol matt white. I believe any primer work as well.
[Q] How should Silver/Aluminum finishes be applied?
"Carefully". It depends on what paint you are using. Lacquers
seem much more resistant to masking problems than many acrylics.
A net pen-pal built a 1:1 scale Terminator
skull, and finished it w/ Testor's Metalizer. He mentioned in
passing that a smooth finish was essential, as the metalizer tended
to "show" all the surface blemishes. He didn't mention if
any special priming prep. was needed.
[Q] What makes a good/bad resin model kit?
Look for pronounced or offset mold lines in a bad kit.
Air bubbles are also a sign of poor production quality.
Some small pinholes are to be expected, but BAD kits can have 1/8"
(or larger) bubbles in them. When buying ANY garage/resin kit,
I'd recommend inspecting the pieces, or at
least reading a review from a reputable source.
I hate pinholes and air bubbles, bad sculpturing, and warped parts.
[Q] Are there any recommended books or periodicals with methods?
There doesn't seem to be too much readily available on resins.
If you are looking for basic techniques, there are several
publications from Kalmbach on AFVs and planes. Likely model
car mags carry books for automotive modellers.
Well, my sources deal specifically w/ figure modeling, so if you're
into cars or planes steer clear of these: Model and Toy Collector and
Kitbuilders magazines, and any of Terry Webb's "Garage Kit That Ate My
[Q] Any more basic techniques I should know about?
- Take off flash with sharp hobby knifes. Putty/fill the seam lines,
then sand away until smooth. Use progressively finer sand paper. Final
sanding should be ~400-600 grit. Contrary to popular advice, files can
be used, but gently. They do leave teethmarks in the soft resin. If
you're careful, you can sand these off after you're done with the bulk
of the filing.
Files need to be used gently, don't press down hard when you use them.
They can be a great help. You should also sand very carefully,
as the resin is very easily sanded down (I've actually sanded parts
down to a flat surface that used to be curved :) opps!)
- Wash thoroughly in detergent. Use a toothbrush to scrub at the
crevices. this is to remove the gunk the manufacturer uses to ensure
the model is released from the mold (or what is commonly known as mold
You can also use rubbing alcohol which evaporates faster than water.
- You can glue the different parts using two part epoxy if the parts
don't fit well (and most garage kits don't) or superglue.
Dry-fit the parts together, and then..depending on how heavy the peices are,
you might have to drill holes in them and use metal rod to help support the
pieces when they're glued together. For most parts, Superglue is sufficient,
but for parts that would be exposed to a lot of stress, I would recommend an
epoxy (which usually stinks).
- Let the glue harden, then scrape away the glue that's oozed out. Now
fill the gaps using a variety of fillers.
Just from my own experience, the best putty I've used has been Tamiya's.
It doesn't shrink, and it is easily sanded. As for epoxy putty, Tamiya
makes a good one of those as well...and there's always milliput.
Gaps can also be filled with superglue, depending on your own preference.
- Wash again to remove your greasy hand prints. This is not an insult,
but a fact of life. After this wash, handle very carefully so as not to
grease up the kit again.
- You can either prime or not prime depending on your mood, style,
effect you want to achieve. Acrylic paints can go directly on resin
I would recomend the Gunze Sangyo Mr. Surfacer primer, it's available
in both spray can and bottle (it's very expensive and hard to find,
but it's worth it). Since this is a resin kit, you can use either
acrylic or enamel paints (generally vinyl kits should be painted
with only acrylics, as enamels might melt them).
- Airbrush is highly recommended, but not required.
An airbrush is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
rec.models.scale FAQ, part 13
FAQ Table of Contents