Newbie learning: random thoughts

I’m learning a ton as I get back into modeling. I thought it’d be wise to capture some of my learnings. I’ve already captured a few on photoetch and resin construction.

General points

  • Buy a shop apron, the kind that velcro to the edge of the table. I can’t tell you how many times this thing has saved me from getting on the floor with a flashlight to find some part that flew off with the wrong pinch of the tweezers.
  • Even with that apron, it’s not going to save everything… try to work in an area without carpet, and with nothing around you. I’m reorganizing my home office-based workshop to pull everything from the milk crate that holds my solvents to my compressor to my computer cords up off the ground. This will better allow me to see small parts because they won’t have random areas to hide in any more.
  • Speaking of small parts … pick up one of those silicon baking mats. They are helpful to keep parts from bouncing around when they hit the workbench surface. It’s not a real solution for bouncing tiny parts, but it helps.
  • Buy the Windsor & Newton red sable brushes. They are awesome and they work better than anything else.
  • When painting straight lines by hand, make sure to pull it vertically, not horizontally. The side to side painting isn’t as normal a hand movement as up to down.
  • Check out your local comic book shop for painting supplies for the wargaming/roleplaying minatures. They have a variety of cool, helpful stuff from stippling brushes to small palettes to brush holders and more.

Keep an eye on this post – I’ll keep adding as I come up with stuff or people smarter than me tell me smart things. 

By | 2016-10-29T19:09:34-05:00 December 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Newbie learning: Resin

As I learn to work with resin parts, I thought I’d share a few of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.


  • You’ve probably read this a hundred times before, but I’ll share it again: resin dust is nasty, stinky, and dangerous to your lungs. Use water when you sand to keep the dust to a minimum. I use beauty store washable sanding boards. I have an old plastic container with a lid that sits on my workbench that I can dip the sanding boards in from time to time, or even the part itself to rinse off the dust and/or mud that I’m creating by sanding.
  • I also use a respirator.
  • The easiest way to separate the casting sprues from the part is simply to score slowly and gently in the right place. Take a few passes with medium pressure and it’ll snap right off with a little pressure. Don’t get impatient. This is a clean, simple way to do this that requires less cleanup, but if you get to antsy, you’ll break the part!
  • Use a #11 type blade as an alternative to sanding. Resin parts tend to be soft enough to sand fast, which means you can take off too much. Scrape off unwanted material with the knife, rather than sanding.
  • Take good detailed pictures of the parts before separate them from the sprue. Both sides! You’d be surprised how many times you find yourself wondering where to sand down to…what is part and what is sprue? Depending on the manufacturer, this may be more or less obvious.
  • Like I mentioned in the photoetch post, instructions suck. Make sure to lean on your research material and photos, and even other models made with these same add-on kits. Test fit like crazy. Think logically about what would have made sense in the field. Think twice, glue once!
  • Super glues CAN come off… drop some debonder in the area of the part to remove and let it soak for a few minutes. Eventually, it should just pop right off. Don’t force it though! Patience, young grasshopper.

What about you? What tips have you found?

By | 2013-12-24T15:15:59-06:00 December 24th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment