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2nd Annual Fall Giveaway is Live!

November 5, 2012
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CONTEST ENDS NOVEMBER 12 AT 11:59PM CENTRAL TIME – SEE BELOW FOR HOW TO ENTER

Man, it’s hard to believe this blog’s been up and going for just over two years! What originally started as a small diversion has grown into a pretty substantial site with a following that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Last year, to mark the first anniversary and as a thank you to those of you who read and comment, I hosted a giveaway of two kits – a 1/32 Hasegawa P-47 Thunderbolt and Bronco’s 1/35 Bishop 25-pounder SPG.

Now, it’s time for round two! This year I’m streamlining things somewhat to avoid some of the confusion that popped up in 2011. So…no more voting on the giveaway kits. To make it up, though, I’m adding a third kit to the pot!

Without further adieu, here they are!

1/48 Tamiya Ilyushin Il-2M3 Shturmovik

I have to admit, when Tamiya drops a new kit, they tend to drop it as a total bombshell from almost out of the blue. Whereas we tend to know what’s coming down the pipe from Revell (hello Uhu!) or Trumpeter (1/32 Black Widow, anyone?), Tamiya plays their cards close until the kit’s more or less ready to go.

I don’t think anyone was expecting Tamiya to do a 1/48 Il-2, but my goodness is the kit a beauty. Quite possibly the single best 1/48 kit ever produced, and that’s saying a lot.

1/35 AFV Club Valentine Mk.II

To be honest, I had a hard time finding good armor to toss into the pot this year. Last year saw a lot of interesting and unique releases, but this year has definitely been lighter. Still, this recent Valentine from AFV Club is a doozy of a kit that looks a far cry from their frustrating Achilles Mk.IIc I built a while back. I have one in my stash and can say with confidence whoever wins this will be rather pleased with it!

1/72 Revell Handley Page Halifax B

Revell has quietly been on a tear lately with its 1/72 bomber fleet, and the Halifax has been receiving very solid reviews in spite of some minor shape issues with the engine nacelles (to which I say…it still looks like a Halifax!). And besides, have to cater to the tiny-scale fans out there!

What do you have to do?

Okay. Entering is simple.

  1. Leave a comment below sharing a “lesson learned” or bit of wisdom you’ve picked up from modeling. 
  2. Make sure your email is provided somewhere so I can get in touch if you win.

That’s it! Once the contest wraps up at the end of Monday, November 12th, I’ll pull a list of the comments, apply them against a random number generator, and pull out three winners. The first will get their choice between the Il-2, Valentine and Halifax. Then the second will get their choice between the two remaining kits. The third winner will get, well, the third kit.

Don’t live in the US? Don’t worry – you’re totally eligible for this contest as well. We may need to collaborate on sourcing the kit from somewhere that won’t kill on international shipping, but we’ll make it work.

So that’s it…comment away and best of luck! And thanks to you all for reading and commenting! I promise the blog will get back to normal speed soon, now that the stealth build period is behind me.

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65 Comments leave one →
  1. Edward M permalink
    November 5, 2012 12:59 pm

    I always put photetch sheets on a piece of masking tape before cutting, to keep the bits from pinging off into the ether.

    • Doogs permalink*
      November 6, 2012 5:19 pm

      Nice one! I’m currently working through one of those self-adhesive Eduard sets, and it’s super-frustrating because only about a third of the fret is actually adhesive, so it’s like Russian roulette every time the xacto goes down…

  2. Nick permalink
    November 5, 2012 1:33 pm

    Modeling to me has become a huge part of my everyday life and if I am not that good yet, I still want to get better, it is not that difficult these days with the forums and webpages like this one.So if there is something i have learnt over the years that would be to never give up if someone else has done it you can do it as well!

  3. Al S permalink
    November 5, 2012 2:43 pm

    If your only option for your marking choice is an old set of brittle decals here are a couple things that can help. If you try a decal and it shatters into hundreds of pieces apply a clear coat over the remaining decals. Pledge Premium Floor Wax (formerly Future) or even Testors clear coat from a rattle can can work wonders. You will want to trim the decal right on the edge since the clear will seal the whole sheet.

  4. Mike Mason permalink
    November 5, 2012 4:07 pm

    I’ve learned a lot since I started modeling, but visiting museums and airshows has taught me that a “perfect” model by some people’s standards doesn’t look anything like the real thing. Camo applied in the field doesn’t look perfect, and those perfect panel lines that some worry about are often overstated or even engraved when they should be raised (many American bombers are like this). I model based off of the kit, but I take into account the real subject and remember that the real aircraft or tank wouldn’t look perfect, so the “imperfections” in a model, in the end, add a depth and realism.

    michael.mason87@gmail.com

  5. November 5, 2012 4:19 pm

    My lesson learned in the modeling hobby is two fold. First, expand beyond your comfort zone as to broaden your skills and appreciation for all the different genres this hobby offers. Second, attend as many meetings and make as many new friends in the hobby so you can share your knowledge and take in all the tips and treasures offered by your fellow modelers. Practice, practice, practice. Happy Modeling !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. tigrazor2012 permalink
    November 5, 2012 4:24 pm

    Congratulations for making Round two. Tips? Hmmm. Yep, heres one for you: Although Mr. Surfacer, Tamiya primer and so on arent too bad and worth their money, I swear on simple car primer for priming my models. Saves money, gives good results.

    See you @ SP&R.

    Lucas.

  7. sgtrudz@charter.net permalink
    November 5, 2012 5:01 pm

    In my own personal experience,the one thing I’ve learned is patience.Not only has it grown in my modelling,but it rubbed off into my basic nature.When I returned to models after a near 30 year hiatus,I hurried through the builds naturally wanting to see the finished product.It showed in the way those first dozen or so came out.Not only did I do so in the construction, but in learning new techniques such as airbrushing,working with photo-etch, resin parts ,and weathering.I wanted so badly to amass talents that just,plain & simple,take time.Now I test fit, wait for cement to dry,practice airbrush camo paint schemes & stopped acting like I had a deadline.It started paying off right away. Keith R.

  8. Roy permalink
    November 5, 2012 6:15 pm

    On the road to perfection,many things will go wrong.Persevere and have fun! When decanting spray paint for your airbrush, don’t use the airbrush cup or it will “gas out” all over the place! use a glass jar.

    • Doug Clark permalink
      November 10, 2012 9:23 pm

      Also don’t use an electric paint stirrer on it (3 hours later) as there is still enough propellant left to have it spray all over (sigh)

  9. November 5, 2012 6:40 pm

    The main thing I have learned is don’t let your wonderful, fun and relaxing hobby turn into a second job! HAHA! On many occasions I’ve had to remind myself of this and take a break from my kits. I have a small collection of Hangar Queens in rotation that gradually near completion as I find new ways to address challenges… As for useful tricks, this one is for you guys that like to build 1/48 fighters. I keep a heavy pint glass on my bench and when working on finer detail and placing decals I will drop a wing into the glass and let the plane’s fuselage sit on the rim of the glass. This holds it nice and steady without causing any sort of damage, can be turned in all directions, and leaves both my hands free.

  10. Hercmech permalink
    November 5, 2012 6:46 pm

    For me the thing that modeling has taught me is to be patient and to not give up, no matter how much I want to throw the kit and smash it to a million pieces. The friends I have made in the hobby are fantastic and the sense of community i have found is phenomenal. Watching others grow and become better builders is very rewarding and “borrowing” their techniques has made me a better modeler. It is places like here and a couple of forums that I credit with my successful return to the hobby.

    Thanks for providing a great place to learn!

  11. Craig Gilbert permalink
    November 5, 2012 7:00 pm

    One thing I have found when using acrylic paint is to use Windex glass cleaner to clean my airbrush or regular brushes. It really works, it will also remove cured acrylics from models. I follow up with a final shot of alcohol in the aibrush and am good to go, and no bad smell.
    Thanks for all your efforts, Doog.

  12. November 5, 2012 7:42 pm

    One of the most important things a new modeler should do is search out experienced modelers to learn from. They are mostly all eager to drop information to some one who is hungry for the knowledge.

    Doogs is a good place to start

  13. Pat Bigelow permalink
    November 5, 2012 8:56 pm

    My lesson learned is that modeling can be very a relaxing hobby for the family (to a point) and a very expensive one for me.
    I have a (slight in my opinion) tendency to yell at the TV during the News, Political Commercials, Any time there is a Hoveround on, etc. etc.
    So I loose my TV remote privileges and my Wife tells me to go “work on your models” that is the relaxing part for her.
    The expensive part (for me is) while I am supposed to be on the computer doing research for a kit I find myself buying all sorts of different tools, kits and supplies, paint booths, etc.
    The Post Office loves me, Fed Ex just smiles and shakes his head, and I know the first name of the UPS driver.
    Moderation is the key to the hobby
    UN-Fortunately I seem to be missing that part of my gene code. Oh well…

  14. Dave M permalink
    November 6, 2012 12:54 am

    One of the most important things for me is to work on a kit I am excited to build. I think it goes without saying that working on a kit I enjoy is my motivation to build models. The building tip I would share is this: when using PE for instrument panels that require you to glue those tiny instrument bezels onto the panel to add that extra depth to the gauges, I use a round toothpick to help line up the hole of the bezel with the hole in the instrument panel. I do this before adding the piece(s) with the actual instrument gauges. Because the toothpick is tapered it will work for most sizes, and does a superb job of lining up these small pieces.

    Doogs – thanks for your fantastic blog.

  15. Chris Dunning permalink
    November 6, 2012 12:58 am

    Great web site, I have learnt a lot. My tip is to use a rotating platform for when you are spraying your model, you can get cheap ones from Ikea for under $10. Makes life a lot easier when you need to move your model when it is wet to get to the other side. Also fits well into my spray booth.

  16. Echo139er permalink
    November 6, 2012 1:43 am

    A lesson learned was to not believe the hype. I purchased and dove into a kit build based on reviews from total strangers. I imagined it was going to be a great kit free of issues. Turns out it has been a nightmare from the get go. Never again. If it was not for the modeling community I am a part of, I would have tossed this build against a wall long ago. Going forward I plan on using that same community to research specific builds, not strangers, but friends.

  17. John A permalink
    November 6, 2012 2:22 am

    My “lesson learnt” is…………….
    To accept the mistakes and imperfections of my builds, and instead of hiding the less than perfect models away, I leave them with equal viewing space in my display shelf.
    That way I am constantly reminded – “Oh, I wont do that again, what’s a better way?”

  18. November 6, 2012 5:45 am

    A very simple tip: Just be humble and learn from others. Also, always have fun modelling and don’t take it too seriously.

  19. November 6, 2012 10:15 am

    Tip:-
    While modelling, never, NEVER, have a beverage AND thinners on the bench together,
    Tea and Coffee don’t make a good job of cleaning your brush / airbrush,
    and thinners won’t do your stomache any deal of good!! (Ask me HOW i know!!)
    Another:-
    Don’t stress about ‘which green’ is olive drab!
    The cleverest person i know was my Dad. He drove tanks from ’41 – ’46,
    Western desert, through Italy and into Austria and Germany.
    His comment?
    “If we were lucky, there may have been three tanks the same colour, in the REGIMENT”!

    Above all, ENJOY the hobby and the relaxation.

  20. Nick T permalink
    November 6, 2012 12:41 pm

    If there is one thing i have learnt from my experience that would be to not overdo it, whatever tha is from rescribng to weathering.It doesent mater that your paintwork is wonderful if the panel lines are too deep ot just ruins the impression the model gives.
    So take your time and do it properly.

  21. Gregg James permalink
    November 6, 2012 1:59 pm

    Tip: Save the glass turntables from old microwave ovens. They make great turntables for painting models. Also good for cutting PE parts.

    And to piggyback on what Paul Brown had to say: Don’t fret color accuracy. Military vehicles have a lot of variation. They spend the great majority of their lives outside. So the elements start affecting the paint finish immediately. In peacetime, military vehicles usually have long service lives. In wartime, it can be very short. Modifications in the field are very common in wartime, not so much in peacetime. Accuracy to me is more a reflection of the environment the subject is in. Because it will be evident on the vehicle. Mud, dust, footprints, equipment, etc.. To me these things are as important to a convincing or accurate model as is counting rivets.

  22. November 6, 2012 2:18 pm

    I keep 4 knife handles at the bench:
    1) sharp new #11 blade for the usual cutting
    2) sharp rounded or chisel blade
    3) semi-sharp for scraping (blade comes from #1 above when I change it out)
    4) super dull, old blade for applying super glue. works awesome, just drop the right amount on the tip of blade, and touch the edge or tip to joint. perfect control! keep it clean by scraping off old glue.

    and PrismaColor art pencils work GREAT for all sorts of aplications, as do fine point sharpe pens.
    Andy

  23. Chris Marmion permalink
    November 6, 2012 2:41 pm

    First I’d like to say great website! Next, a lesson learned for me, like most lessons, came the hard way. I decided I could save a lot of time and energy on pre shading by using a sharpie marker instead of my airbrush. Needless to say, it didn’t work! The black marker dried purple and bled through layers and layers and layers of paint creating a lot more work for me! Morale of the story, don’t try and cut corners unless you do some research first.

  24. Mitch permalink
    November 6, 2012 3:06 pm

    My advice, if you want to raise your game is to get on a model building board and do a Work-in-Progress (WIP)… other enthusiasts enjoy watching a build, give constructive comments, ideas for improvement, historical context, and most importantly support because as most of us experience modeling it is often moving from one disaster to the next… there are lots of board out there that are general or specialize in particular genre’s. The two boards I post to are very welcoming and congenial places where respect and dignity are valued…

    For me, knowing that others are looking over my shoulder during the build encourages my progress and causes to be function at a higher level… my two bits… (I’ll take the Sturmovich)

  25. November 6, 2012 4:09 pm

    Doogs…

    First of all thanks for having the fall giveaway! I was lucky enough to win the Tamiya P-47 last year and I appreciate your generosity.

    Word of Wisdom: First, build for fun and try new things on every model. I really got bogged down with building for contests and lost the passion to complete models. That is one reason I started following your blog was because of your “starting fresh” and “just build” approach to modeling.

    Word of Wisdom #2: Don’t let the internet and too much information get you bogged down……..

    Word of Wisdom #3: Always support your local hobby shop. Ask if they can get it for you first then buy online. I’m always willing to pay a little more for the ability to have quick supplies on hand and for the “binge buying” moment.

    Regards,

    Rodney Anderton
    anderton455@gmail.com

  26. connor permalink
    November 6, 2012 4:47 pm

    Well, in general I suggest that you don’t accidently spill a full jar of testors liquid cement all over your $75 1/72 model boat… But If you do, anything that’s an acetone… I think I used nail polish remover, will help it a little bit. And thanks, the contest looks sweet.

    Thanks,

    Connor
    connoiscool@yahoo.ca

    Don’t judge my email.

    • Doug Clark permalink
      November 10, 2012 9:29 pm

      Or splash lacquer thinner (on the wing of a 1/48 Hawker Hurricane) while trying not to have it splash from a plastic bottle you poured it into (and it melted) with out thinking.

  27. Dion V. permalink
    November 6, 2012 4:57 pm

    If you are having trouble with your model
    (like paint that is on the wrong place or a part that has broken off and you need to put them back on the right place) but you fail constantly,
    then put your model aside for a day and try to work on something else or look up some more information about your project.
    When you look at it the next day you will have a fresh head to look at your problem.
    You’ll also have time to think about other solutions that you wouldn’t have thaught at the first moment.

    Don’t rush anything, never be scared to try something new and try to take everything one step at a time.
    Never get bogged down by other people’s ‘amazing’ models and don’t hold back to ask for guidance because; like you, they were once beginners too!

    Best regards,
    Dion.

  28. d_em permalink
    November 6, 2012 5:15 pm

    My tip – don’t try to compete with Doog’s! I got back into this recently then stalled at the painting stage because I kept looking at the amazing work on various sites and mags then trying to compete with it. Ended up doing nothing because I didn’t know where to start and, being a typical bloke, wanted to compete at that level. Have since given myself a reality check and put some paint on.

    That and working out that you don’t washes on matt finishes. Doh!

  29. Jeff permalink
    November 6, 2012 6:29 pm

    Non air-dry modelling clay (the real stuff, not play-do).

    It holds small parts that are attached to toothpicks while I glue them or while they dry. I have a hunk of it that holds several of my x-acto type modelling knives (blade into the clay) and the clay has never affected the blades or the knives. It is heavy enough to hold down light parts that need weighting while they dry.

    And I can pull off a hunk of it and throw it at my cat if he starts looking like he wants to spread hair in my new paint jobs.

  30. November 6, 2012 6:31 pm

    I’ve learned to ALWAYS read the entire instruction manual before you start the build, that way you can get a feel for how things are going to progress, as well as know when it’s time to break out the PE Bender and start adding the little things that really set a kit off.

  31. David Wrinkle permalink
    November 6, 2012 6:43 pm

    Doog, I stumbled across your blog here several months ago while Google’ing something model related and you have become daily stop for me ever since. I took your gear section to heart and I can honestly say I too use Tamiya cutters now pretty much exclusively.Excellent tip!!! I’m also looking forward to trying your painting tip for adding depth on my P-40 as soon as it is ready for paint. Keep up the good work. David (wrinkledm – at – gmail.com)

  32. Chris permalink
    November 6, 2012 7:57 pm

    I’d still say the most important lesson I’ve learned is to just take your time, the longer you take the better the finished piece will turn out. Patience is more than a virtue when it comes to modelling.

  33. Jon Hicken permalink
    November 6, 2012 8:26 pm

    The biggest thing I have learnt, over and over again, in different forms and different places – PATIENCE. This is a hobby of PATIENCE.

    Let that glue set. Leave the primer/paint/gloss coat to dry before you touch it!! Fiddly bits like landing gear just assembled? Let the glue dry and don’t touch it for a day! Let that huge decal fully dry before you put the other on the other side! Don’t touch! There’s no rush!

    The amount of builds I’ve ruined by trying to build big parts in one go, or painting new sections, all because I just can’t wait to carry on the build… and I still don’t learn!

    I just can’t stop myself sometimes…

  34. clint martin permalink
    November 6, 2012 9:36 pm

    let paint dry! i cant count how many times ive left a fingerprint or pulled up paint in my zeal to get back to work on my kit! now that im wiser i let everything cure nice and hard.

  35. Ian King permalink
    November 6, 2012 10:52 pm

    Filter any paint before spray! From time to time I got some small clumps in paint no matter how well I stir the paint before pouring into airbrush. Old nylon stocking or pantyhose is good for filter. But I found some teabag made with nylon mesh material that not only resist to heat but also to lacquer thinner :-D It doesn’t stretch, so it’s good for filtering and other modeling applications.

  36. Diana plavins permalink
    November 6, 2012 11:00 pm

    I learned that my son can never have too many paints and that there are many shades of tan

  37. November 7, 2012 12:46 am

    Too much glue and paint is just as bad as too little. Great modelling comes from finding the right balance of glue and paint in the right spots.

    My email is: liquinitrogen@yahoo.com

  38. cannibulcake permalink
    November 7, 2012 12:47 am

    Too much glue and paint on a model is just as bad as having too little. Great modelling comes from finding the right balance of glue and paint in the right spots.

    My email is: liquinitrogen@yahoo.com

  39. November 7, 2012 3:32 am

    A few tips from me:

    Macro issues:
    1. Get inspiration by reading military history. I can’t read about an air or ground battle and not have an impulse to reproduce the equipment involved.
    2. No model is perfect. Accept the flaws, get the model built, aim a bit higher next time.
    3. Use the info on the internet, it’s a great resource. But use the info to form your OWN opinions. The nacelle issue on the Revell Halifax is too much for me, I won’t be buying one. But many models are rubbished for very easily corrected kit errors, or sheer opinion about ‘shapes’. Listen, consider, but make up your own mind.
    4. Walk away when it’s not fun. Have a break.

    Practicalities:
    1. There are many products that are little more than a very expensive way to sell you something you can obtain cheaply. In my opinion ‘pigments’ are an absolute scam.
    2. Always keep a sacrificial model nearby, and use it to experiment.
    3. Magnifying lamps, plain, straight razor blades, quality decals, medical rubber gloves, and Iwata airbrushes are some of my favourite things.

    Sorry for the big post!

  40. November 7, 2012 6:27 am

    old decals will rip easily and are poor at sticking. when applying to acrylic paint i dab a little of tamiya acrylic thinner with a cotton bud (i think americans call them q-tips) onto the area to stick the decal onto. then i dab the top of the decal with the bud again.
    and if you need to move a decal once on the model, always wet the decal again first.

  41. November 7, 2012 8:37 pm

    Airbrush cleaning and paint thinning can be tricky sometimes, but having solvents/thinners within easy reach can really streamline the process.

    I use old contact solution bottles to hold everything from rubbing alcohol to lacquer thinner. I even have one full of water for mixing and wet sanding.

    Use a screwdriver to pop the top off and fill with desired thinner/solvent. Make sure you rinse it out really well before you put the thinner in there. Then you’ll have a quick drop or squeeze of thinner within reach. They have such a small opening that solvents will not evaporate if you leave the top off. Lastly, they are very spill proof!

    You can buy a whole handful of the smaller travel size containers. Just don’t use them with your contacts ever again! A warning label with a sharpy might be necessary.

    Thanks,
    Aaron

  42. Rich Marcks permalink
    November 7, 2012 9:09 pm

    The best antenna wire is a long hair from a German woman. Always sand the tires with extra fine grit paper. A truly superior job involves hand-cut adhesive stencils rather than decals. Invest in a superior head-mounted magnifier. Research, research, rasearch.

  43. November 8, 2012 2:26 am

    Be nice to contest judges. :P
    Partly a joke, but also, if you are nice, they might share some important pointers on what you can improve on your kit. Usually it is quite basic stuff, that might be hard to notice for non judges.
    Also, see things for what they are at contests. Even if the judges try their best to be 100% objective, that isn’t going to happen. We all have our own filters that we look trough when looking at models. Judges are almost human, and have them as well…;)

  44. November 8, 2012 8:46 am

    1: Don’t compare your work with others, the chance is that they’ve been at it for 30+ years longer than you.
    2: Never be afraid of showin’ of your work, as often as possible. That will give you a lot of valid feed back from others.
    3: Priming isn’t an option.
    4: Liquid glue (such as Tamiya Extra Thin Cement or an equvalent from another maker) as it makes it all soo much easyer.
    5: Good tools n’ you’re half way there.
    6: When in doubt, ask!
    7: Keep a flashlight handy so you’ll be quick in retrievin’ that minimal part from the floor before the glue sets.
    8: Have fun
    9: When you come across something, don’t think “can I use this?”, no think “how can I use this?”
    10: Never ever force a build, when it doesn’t work, take a break!

  45. David (Griffin) Bruner permalink
    November 8, 2012 10:11 am

    I’ve just been back in the hobby for about a year and I only have a 1:72 Spitfire under my belt but I’e learned a few things:

    1. The internet can be a great resource for finding a community to answer your questions.
    2. Even a little bit of work every 1-2 weeks can add up and get a model done. It isn’t a race.
    3. Beware the Carpet Monster!!!

  46. Roger Faria permalink
    November 9, 2012 4:27 am

    I could never get the extra thin super glue to come out of the bottle in a small amount that I needed. The hole in the bottle would clog up all the time or I’d have super glue spill every where on small aircraft parts. So as an experiment I got some “Blunt dispensing syringe needles” $5.99 25 gauge 0.25mm a whole bunch of them from ebay!. It screws on the nozzle of the super glue bottle and dispenses just a small drop at a time (Perfect just like I need) The technique is as soon as you dispense the super glue, press the bottle on the sides to have the glue in the nozzle vacuum back in to the bottle, after all the glue is back in the bottle, press on the normal flat side to make sure you have air coming out of the needle otherwise it will instantly dry in the syringe needle. After perfecting this a couple of times, I can keep the Super glue bottle standing without a cover with it ready to be applied without doing anything. So far the count is 2 weeks The needle opening is so small the glue inside the bottle does not dry up.. Try it!

  47. Tim Wilding permalink
    November 9, 2012 4:17 pm

    Spend a little bit of money for good quality tools, paint, weathering products and most importantly newer kits. I frustrated myself for years being cheap, but for just a couple hundred spent over the years, I enjoy the hobby so much more now.
    Xuron makes great tools and AK Interactive’s products are just awesome.Newer Dragon and Bronco kits are engineered so well and the parts fit is usually superb.

    • November 9, 2012 4:44 pm

      Excellent advice. I did the same for years, but today I buy what I need, and it hasn’t broken my budget yet. Thinners, glue, paint, brushes and airbrushes are things that might seem expensive at first, but getting something that is known to work will probably be cheaper in the end. And more important than anything else, it saves time.

  48. Scott Atchison permalink
    November 9, 2012 8:03 pm

    First lesson, oil and water don’t mix. Yes that oil and water…
    Second lesson, if a part is so small that when it goes flying from your tweezers that you can’t find it anywhere, it’s too small to see on the finished model. In other words don’t sweat the small stuff.
    Lastly, I really am ADD. About 3/4 of the way through a kit I start losing interest and start planning my next project. It takes real discipline to soldier through to the end with out rushing and regretting the outcome.

  49. Steve Anderson permalink
    November 9, 2012 11:31 pm

    I’ve learned to build for fun and relaxation. I try to be as accurate as possible, but at the end of the build you’re happy with it, that’s all that matters. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques (always test on a scrap model first). It’s a hobby, so have fun!

    sanderson_91@hotmail.com

  50. November 10, 2012 12:28 am

    I’m a part time plastic modeller. I work on a kit when I get an occasional free evening or weekend. So to make things easy for me, I collect my model with all my tools, glues, fillers, paint, brushes, etc. in a clear snap-top plastic container. This way I just have to grab the container with the model I’m currently building and everything I need is there. I originally did this in order to take a model on a beach vacation and found that I liked having everything packed in one place, ready to go. A side benefit to this arrangement is that I can set up shop anywhere I need to.

  51. ted upcott permalink
    November 10, 2012 12:36 pm

    Meet people. When I first started to build. I built in isolation. After years I finally joined the local model club. New ideas. New tips. You can see the difference of the before and after. Then the internet. More ideas , more tips. The quality of my models keeps improving. The comrandery is great.

  52. Doug Clark permalink
    November 10, 2012 9:09 pm

    When I apply decals I first apply Future floor polish. Then I apply the decals as normal, then I apply another coat on top. Then I apply dulcoat lightly until it gets to the desired level of matt (if necessary) afterwards your decals will look painted on and never silver or peel.

  53. Chris Holmes permalink
    November 12, 2012 1:13 pm

    Modeling, although a solitary hobby, is not a hobby enjoyed by only you. Once I joined an online forum, and met other modelers, and then with some other guys and gals in the real world,, I discovered I wasn’t the only one. I also discovered I wasn’t as bad a modeler as I thought, and that are always new things to learn,..

  54. Derek Kent permalink
    November 12, 2012 2:09 pm

    In general, take your time.
    More specifically, I have a tremor that I started developing around the age of 12. Whether I’m painting, decaling, assembling wiring for lights or more often, glueing, I double or triple check fit and placement before “committing” the action.
    It may take a bit longer, but the results are always more gratifying and precise!

  55. Milan permalink
    November 12, 2012 2:11 pm

    On my return to modeling after a 30 year hiatus, one of the first tips I have learned was to use superglue no only as a glue but also as a filler as well. The second tip would be to read Doog’s models blog, you can lear a lot here ;-).

  56. Jeff H permalink
    November 12, 2012 4:33 pm

    I’ve learned patience in a lot of ways as a first time father. With a wife, a 6 month old, crazy work schedule, college football season and a dog that needs an hour of exercise a day or I’ll find the house destroyed it’s difficult to find good bench time. But I’ve learned if you can’t dedicate the time to do a large or involved project don’t jump in and try to rush the job just because you have a spare half hour. Work on small projects or steps until you get that magical quiet night when you’re able to take your time and do it to the best of your abilities.

    Thanks for all your work on the site. We returned to the hobby about the same time, I only wish the quality of my work had improved to the same degree that yours had.

    Cheers

    Jeff

  57. Guy Smith permalink
    November 12, 2012 4:49 pm

    Make it fun,and don’t let people like Doog make you cry! I just watch and learn,and aim higher.

  58. Tim Keily permalink
    November 12, 2012 7:08 pm

    One trick I use is when trying to match a paint color to a decal, put the decal in a zip lock baggie and paint right on the bag.

  59. November 12, 2012 8:37 pm

    While handeling small parts I wear an apron with the bottom end velcroed to the underside of the bench. This serves to catch most parts that would have dropped to the floor. Its really cut down on the amount of time I’ve spent on my knees searching the floor for parts.

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