As I prepare to build my first kit in probably 40+ years, I have made some startling discoveries.
First – I learned that I used to build them wrong. Watching a time elapse build on YouTube, I just learnt that you need to wash the plastic parts with soap and water and let them dry before you begin.
And, you should do some of the painting while the parts are still on the sprue.
Second – for best results, sprayed paint can’t be beat. And any serious modelers are using airbrushes. I did play with a cheap, really crappy external mix airbrush all those years ago, but I never really got the hang of it, and then I got into motorcycles, and drifted away.
I am looking at airbrushes and compressors to begin this journey right.
Third – It has gotten expensive. Sure, my first kit was $17. But I need 8 different colors of paint to do this one right, and I seem to recall that the small bottles of Tester’s enamels I used to use were << $1 each (I seem to recall 59 cents). Now, cheap paints are $3, better paints are $4.60, and the best paints are $5 or more. For like 17ml, or 2/3 of an ounce.
Yikes. I ordered the paint for my kit, and officially spent more money on paint than the kit cost. A positive is that airbrushes are very frugal on paint, so my spend on paints will stretch a LOT further.
Fourth – tools are much more sophisticated. I have been watching a lot of videos, and seeing techniques that are intriguing, and that I want to try. But, that takes time and effort to learn, to experiment.
I will clearly be building a lot of these inexpensive kits before I plop down cash for the nicer kits (there are a lot in the sub $20 range, but really cool kits start at $50ish, where you get a lot more detail inside and out to work with, and then there is a top tier at about $150, that have a lot of extra bits and bobs, to help out with your overall build.
For now, I have a lot to learn, and a lot of fun. But $$$ is being spent, and the rabbit hole gets deeper…