Finally started work on my 1/350th scale 'TITANIC' model, it's been nuts so far!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, May 6, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    First off, I bought this model last year and have put off starting it for two reasons...
    1. I knew i'd spend around 50+ bucks on the paint needed alone!
    And...
    2. I have never tackled a model of this complexity before, and was/is a bit intimidated.
    But I finally started it, Friday night in fact I got to work. First I only bought the paints and other supplies that I needed RIGHT NOW, i.e. the main colors of the hull, and decks, some sand paper, masking tape, a hobby knife, paint thinner, and some brushes. Well, due to a lapse in communication with the guy at the hobby place, he sold me GLOSS nat wood paint instead of FLAT nat wood! [​IMG]
    I wish I found that out BEFORE I started painting the boat deck! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I ruined the boat deck! When I realized what had happened, I tried to remove the paint with the thinner I had bought, BIG MISTAKE!! It got rid of the color from the deck, but it left behind a sticky motor oil like goo that just would not come off, this was the base from the paint. I HATE TESTORS!!
    I would have commited harry carey right then and their, but thankfully the instruction book for the model had an address where I could obtain lost or broken parts if need be for 3 bucks, so I sent away for a replacment boat deck first thing Saturday morning, so all is well their. But I did get the right paints for the main hull parts, flat dark red, and flat black so I was able to get those painted... but not to my satisfaction. See, I usd a brush to do this, and when you look at it, you could obviously see the brush strokes, plus in some spots, the paint looked wet even though it was dry! I was THIS close to sending out an order for a replacment hull piece, which I really didn't want to do because I had already drilled out all of the port holes on this one, and to be honest IT WAS A REAL BITCH! as TITANIC had A LOT of port holes!
    But, I sanded it down, getting rid of all the paint strokes that I could, and went out and bought some flat black spray paint. PAYDIRT! I repainted the black hull with the spray paint and it's absolutly perfect! [​IMG] Now I have to do the hull below the waterline again. But I learned a valuable lesson, SPRAY PAINT IS MY FREIND! This is all i'll use whenever possible.
    So that's my oddysey so far, and it's only been three days! I am somewhat skilled at models, but this is a major one, with a full array of rigging and all! But, I think i'm up to the challenge though. I even sent away for a kit that contains over 200 passengers and crew to place on the decks when it's finised! My god, these things are so fricken small all 200 of them are attached to a tree as big as a credit card! [​IMG] I am NOT looking forward to painting them!
    Are they're any experienced modelers here that could give me some pointers? Some easy tricks that I could do to make things easier? Any unusual tools for getting the paint perfect on the small peices?
     
  2. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Hi John.

    Sounds like a fun project. My experience with painting small figures is with D&D figures. They are fairly small and require a great deal of detail. For you smaller detailed work, I would recommend using a water based paint, not the Testors stuff. With the water based stuff, it cleans up easier, doesn't clog/clump as much and can be easily mixed with other colours for a desired effect. It is also good for doing drybrushing and other shading effects.

    Try them out!
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Thanks Scott, i'll do that. That sounds great for what is needed for the four Funnels because in order to get that color, I have to mix a few different colors according to the instruction book.
    As a sidenote, a very interesting phenominon occured with that boat deck piece that I ruined. I threw it in the trash when it happened, and the next day I went to pull it out of the trash to show my mother what had happened and when I did, I found that the previously hard and rigid plastic had trned into a rubbery type substance that I could rip like paper! [​IMG] Apparently, soaking the piece in paint thinner had some freakish affect on the plastic.
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    One thing you could have done with the boat deck is let the gloss paint dry, then spray it with a clear matte finish to flatten the gloss out to a matte finish.

    nelson
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Seems a shame spending all that time on a ship that's going to hit an iceberg and sink! [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    I've been building models for 26 years. Sounds like this Titanic model is made out of styrene, right? You soaked parts in thinner, very bad idea. Thinner will melt styrene, you see. The mistake you made with the gloss paint on the deck could easily be corrected. Let the paint go ahead and dry. Go out to Wal-Mart, look in the automotive section for a product called Castrol Super Clean Degreaser. Soak the part in this concoction for about an hour, use a toothbrush to scrub the paint right off. The piece will be like new again and can be repainted. The Castrol will also strip chrome plating off styrene parts. Great stuff. BTW, have you ever tried airbrushing?
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Jeff,

    thanks for the heads up. Well when it happened, I had no idea what to do and I guess I freaked out a bit, I mean I paid 70 bucks for the model and for a second I thought I ruined the whole thing, I lost my head what can I say. But the situation is in hand, a new part is on the way so everthings cool anyway. Besides, it probably would have cost me the same for the de-greaser as it did for the new part.

    But i'll remember that for future referrance, thanks.
     
  8. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Hi John!! Man you are a Titanic fan!! And God Bless ya for that! Awesome film and Awesome real life saga!

    I have built quite a few advanced level models, and found for the really small detailed area's a toothpick filed to the point of a finely feathered tip works excellent!

    Also as you have found out, tweezers and exacto knives are mandatory!

    So John, other than the Titanic Project, How the hell have you been?
     
  9. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Hey John, what a coincidence. I just purchased a 1/350 model of an iceberg. Actually I am looking for some gloss paint for my model. Give me a call, we can run some simulations.

    Seriously, good luck. Sounds like a fun project.
     
  10. Cam S

    Cam S Screenwriter

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    hahaha, too funny Ashley [​IMG]
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Sean what's up! Long time no hear! [​IMG] Things have been good, can't complain. I went to a TITANIC film tribute up in Jersey at the old Lowes Jersey Theater a couple of weeks ago, they showed 'A Night to Remember' and James Camerons film, I also met and spoke with TITANIC historians Charles Haas and Jack Eaton, they autographed my dvd and a copy of their book. I also met our very own Tino and his fiancee, great people. Had a great time.
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm...haven't built models in a while, but here goes:
    1. wash the parts in warm soapy water first. paint seems to adhere better when it doesn't have that oily residue.
    2. use an airbrush whenever possible. you can usually get pretty decent ones for about 75 bucks. it'll make your life a lot easier, but it takes some time to master the technique.
    3. don't use testors paint. that stuff isn't very good. i used to use speciality paint...i think from Tamiya, but i'm not sure now.
    4. for the smaller parts, it's usually easier to paint them while they're still on the tree. after you place the final part, use a toothpick or a pin to apply the final touchup
    5. for your tweezers, wrap a rubber band around them, so that they act more like a "clamping" type tweezer. that way, you can concentrate on placement instead of worrying about dropping the piece becaus you let go of your death grip
    6. try to never "break" off a piece from the tree. if possible, use your exacto knife to cut away the piece. if you break it off, you risk taking part of the piece with you. better to cut and file away the remnants
    hmmm...that's all i can think of right now. now i feel like building a model...darn you! [​IMG]
    [edited to reflect better url for tamiya link]
     
  13. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    I want to build one now too! Darn!
    Models are just one of those things that are a hoot to buy and plan for and great to have when done, but just are not that much fun to build sometimes...especially when things go wrong!
    But still...thoughts of buying a German Panzer...mmmmm... [​IMG]
     
  14. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey scott -
    if you want to build a tank (and who doesn't these days...) definitely check out the tamiya usa site, which i updated in my above post too. they've got some great military models:
    http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/plastic/index.html
    they're stuff is some of the best in the business. [​IMG]
     
  15. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Don't let my troubles stop you from building your Panzer tank. WHOA! Now THAT'S a sentence I thought i'd never say to another human being! [​IMG]
    Really though, I am having fun with it even though I made it sound like i'm not, I just had a couple of hurdles to get over first, but the worst is behind me I think, at least, I HOPE![​IMG]
    Thanks for the great tips, some of that I knew already, but some I didn't. I'm going to print this thread out when it's finished and keep your comments as a point of referrance.
     
  16. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    John, in spite of your troubles, you've made me want to take up building models again. I built some when I was a kid, but I usually ended up destroying them when I played with them afterwards. [​IMG]
    I think I'm gonna buy myself some airplane models, starting with my favorite fighter plane, the F-16.
    /Mike
     
  17. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    MickeS,
    no sweat, always glad to know that I inspired someone, good luck with your planes. [​IMG]
    The model came with monofiliment for the rigging array, I think i've always heard that proffesional modelers use something else but can't think of what it is though. Anybody?
     
  18. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Oh man, after seeing that Tamiya site wants me to go out and buy one of them!!! Too bad they cost so much (compared to like Revell/Monogram sets) at around $60 canadian, even the past years' models [​IMG] Do they usually cost this much? Probably so, coz alot of times the revell/monogram ones' peices didnt fit too well, better quality from Tamiya i guess?
    And then to make them look good i'd need an airbrush, which i cant afford, and the time, whcih i dont have.
    I used to be into building car models from Revell/Monogram, but they always turned out crappy coz i didnt have the right paints, and tools (hey, i was 12 or so at the time).
    maybe during the summer, when i have the time, and the cash...
    Boy, a Ferarri 360 Modena would look pretty snazzy.. [​IMG]
    Have fun with your model!
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i totally agree with you nick -
    the revell/monogram models were fun when i was starting out, but i got frustrated at the quality of the builds.
    the tamiya models (plus there's another brand i really liked, but i can't remember their name now) are so well constructed.
    i remember building a ferrari formula racing model where the steering wheel actually turned the wheels, shocks were built with springs, fabric 5-point harness, individual nylon tubing spark plug ignition wires going to a distributor, etc. it just floored me the amount of detail in these things.
    but you're also right on another point...those darn things are not cheap. [​IMG]
     
  20. Stacey

    Stacey Stunt Coordinator

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    For your passangers I would echo the suggestion to use water based paint and to speed up the painting process use a spraycan type basecoat and leave the whole "tree" together.
    Then spray the whole tree front, let it dry and then do the back. From there I would cut each figure off and using the sticky poster mounting "clay", mount them on the top of corks or spray can tops or whatever to paint.
    For detail I've used the filed down toothpick trick and I've also used a small camel hair brush that I cut off all the bristles but 5 or so for really small, small detail.
    Sounds like your having alot of frustrations and fun...I hope the fun factor increases as you go! [​IMG]
     

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