Whether building a model plane, train, car, tank or ship, there are
some basic skills and tools you will need to get the best out of
your model. In terms of building a model railway layout, the most
common plastic kits you will come across are for buildings. These
are usually very cheap giving you the ability to add lots of them to
the layout. It is important than that these buildings are
constructed and detailed (painted) very well.
to remove any excess material, be it from production
or from cutting the pieces out
Craft knife - same as
the file but i found it easier to use, although i do have wounds
from its use.
Modelling glue -
plastic model glue is designed to bind two pieces of plastic together, by a
process only describable as plastic welding or fusion. This glue does take
time to set, its not superglue. It is not designed to glue anything else/p>
Clamps - invaluable to hold
things together why they set. They're like a second pair of hands.
they also speed up the building process.
Flat paint brush and paint pallet - The
type of paint brush is that you see in most model shops and the type you get
in most model packs have a rounded bristle. When applying pressure to the
bristles such as you do when painting the bristles spread out, this causes
an uneven distribution of paint and makes detailing much harder. The ideal
brush has a flat bristle end which doesn't spread out when pressure is
applied. A pallet is useful to mix paints and blot the paint brush.
Step by Step
First make sure you have all the tools needed at hand before
starting. Suddenly finding you have glued something but have no
clamp to hold will result in you sitting there for 5 minute
while the glue dries.
Secondly, I know this is obvious but read the instructions before you
start. Sometimes there are slight differences between two pieces which
are not noticeable but are vital to the attachment of other pieces (for
example two sides of a house. The right side has mounting points for a
garage, but you glue this onto the left, you think lets put the garage
on the left then, but you cant as this would result in the garage door
being at the back of the house not the front).
Thirdly think ahead, are you going to install lights. If so you will
need to drill a hole for the wires or even fix the lights inside before
you glue the roof down. Also it is sometimes better to paint certain
pieces before you assemble the building as they may not be assessable
such as the interior walls. Ideally write down what step you think you
need to take and then follow them.
As already mentioned on this page, plastic model glue is designed to
bind two pieces together, by a process only describable as plastic
welding or fusion. This means that the two pieces can be very
difficult to part again without damaging the two pieces. Best to
take your time and get it right first time. Also this glue does take
time to set, its not superglue.
First cut out the two pieces that you are going to be gluing together
with either some clippers or a craft knife. Don't cut them all out at
once, as they do have codes and you may lose some of the smaller pieces.
Using the file or the craft knife remove any remaining plastic left from
the moulding process or from cutting the piece out.
Secondly apply some of the glue to one of the pieces and then join them.
For the walls of a building you will need to make sure that all the
walls are square. When gluing some pieces you may find a clamp useful,
so you can get on gluing something else. Be careful not to do too much
at once. Give large sections like the walls of a building, time to dry.
this will make it easier to apply any detailing as you wont have to
worry about the walls going out of alignment.
Thirdly remove any excess glue with the file or a craft knife and give
the surfaces a clean before painting. This will ensure a good finish.
When using enamel model paint always mix it for 1 minute before use.
Failure to do this can result in the paint looking patchy. Also
never use the paint directly out of the pot. Not sure why. This was
some advise I saw on TV. I find it wastes paint. It is however
always best to blot the brush to avoid paint blotches.
With regards to painting technique, my advise is to paint all in one
direction alone the grain if one is present. Just remember buildings
don't look freshly painted so they need some dirtying up. I
did this by putting some black or brown paint on a pieces of sponge.
blotting it until almost no paint was coming off and then dabbing or
rubbing it across the building.
Please remember light bulbs get hot. do not put filament lights
inside paper buildings or anything combustible. LED's do not get hot
and modern ones can be very bright. Use these instead.