Wednesday, 30 November 2011

1. Main No.3 Gas Cooker c. 1890

The picture is what I'm working towards, not my finished effort!

This is the crucial build for me.  Again I have never built any kind of metal figure or even painted one so it is all a first.  The worrying part is that (for me) this is a pricey piece of kit.  I first saw a picture of it built and painted and looking lovely on a site for £65 and started a search to see if I could find it for less.  Ultimately I found the unfinished kit with Phoenix Models.  I think they charge £35 for it.  I managed to pick it up at a show for £25.  So far, so good.   By the time I add in the cost of primer, acrylic paints, glue and a few basic tools there's almost another £13 to calculate in to the finished cost.  So DIY might save me £27 if it is successful or lose the same plus the cost of a cooker if not!  Fingers crossed.

I've scoured every place I can think of to get some idea of how to go about making this but the only half-way decent instructions are for painting action figures of various sorts.  From these I gathered that the process is usually: 

 - rub off the excess bits of metal from the moulding process
- wash in soapy water and dry well
- build the kit using epoxy resin (also new to me) and leave 24 hours
- prime with car primer (some say not to bother??)
- paint with acrylic or Humbrol enamels.  I chose to use acrylic as it is supposedly easier to get a good finish if you are new to painting models and also I can, worse case scenario, get all the paint off easier than trying to remove enamel.
- finish (or not) with a sealer coat

It seems,doing this stuff, each piece you read contradicts the next and, of course, people favour all sorts of methods which have worked for them but this doesn't necessarily mean they will work for you.

As soon as I started this kit the Phoenix instructions differed from the above list.  There was no mention of cleaning up the metal after removing the excess bits.  As pretty much everyone else had insisted (and common sense dictates) that if there is any grease (from handling for example) or dust from filing, the paint won't take very well.  So my bits of cooker got a good wash and brush up.

The kit also then says to paint certain pieces (and not others) before gluing and then it begins to tell you what to stick to what. At this point it then says to remove the paint in the areas you need to join!  This is a total impossibility.  The joins are only a little more than paper thin and there are occasional locating pips and holes.  The pips are little more than a pin point (literally).  I couldn't find any way to clean up such infinitesimally small areas successfully so I had to clean off more than I needed in hopes I can touch up later.  Already I think if I ever have to do anything like it again I will build it first and spray paint it afterwards and just hope I can reach all the areas I need to.  I had no idea of how much glue to use as it is new to me but I think the least glue is usually the best when building stuff, so I've spread it very thinly.  Already with the paint interfering and the teeny amount of glue used  I'm not convinced I will have any success with the bonding of the pieces but I won't know until tomorrow as epoxy takes 6 hours to firm up (24 to set solid) and I started this late this afternoon.  Big life does keep getting in the way of 1/12th.

No comments:

Post a Comment