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Ross Paton
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Things I hate about modelling

June 15, 2020 · in How-to · · 31 · 1.9K

  1. Decals-especially stencils. Long black walk/don't walk lines which break into a million pieces. Roundels which fall apart if you look at them funny.

  2. The floor where I spend 1/3 of my precious hobby time crawling about cursing because I've dropped a 1/48 scale pitot tube. Partner thinks it's hilarious.

  3. Talking of Pitot tubes, antennas and other protuberances which get broken off at the least provocation. Experience has taught to leave these parts till VERY LAST.

  4. Decal fixes etc. Finding the right one which DOESN'T lift the paint off!

Similarly varnish cotes (sp) which create white stains or which clog up your (cheap) airbrush beyond redemption.

  1. Superglue. Not Super! Sticks to everything except the model. Essential product for...

  2. Resin. Early build, a Silver Wings Stearman. All resin. Tipped out pile of shrapnel onto desk. Mistook the shock absorber cantilevers for rudder pedals. If you snip anything it flies into a million pieces. Managed to build it eventually. Not a good one for a beginner.

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31 responses

  1. Good post! Being able to "laugh" at the life of a modeler is good therapy...LOL

    If I can add:
    Filling and sanding...the part I just have to bite the bullet and get it done.
    Endless hours searching the internet for supplies and not finding them all on one site.
    Never having the "right" research photo until after the build is completed.

  2. And some say this hobby is relaxing... I had quite a laugh until line #2 - There isn’t one build where one or more small pieces fly from my tweezers into oblivion...and I don’t have a carpet monster, just wood floor...damm modelling goblins

  3. I think there is a pretty good quantity of "resilience" that goes into EVERY build - no matter how simple or OOB! If the kit manufacturer doesn't do it to us, we do it to ourselves! Relaxing, isn't it?! (definition of a "hobby," right?) When I'm modeling and the wife comes in to sit in the bedroom with me to read, her usual first question is, "are you going to cuss while I'm in here, or should I stay in the other room?"

  4. Absolutely agree! Especially the Decals and "Super" glue. Both suck a--. Lately have taken to spraying on all the markings I can no matter how much masking is needed. I hate masking too but to avoid decals, I'll do it. I also hate filling/sanding, but all this stuff is necessary to get that beautiful (we hope) finished product.
    Aren't resin kits HEAVY?

    • Haven't tackled spraying on markings yet. Getting the colours right for eg. RAF roundels seems quite tricky. Mind you decals seem to vary anyway (even for the same "correct" era)

      Yes they are really heavy. And expensive. Also did a SW Hart converted to Audax cos my dad flew them. Still not a fan of resin.

  5. You're in the loop my son ! Solving such problems is just part of the fun. I have had good luck strengthening decals with clear decal film. It's a bit of a pain, but it can be applied undiluted by spraying. Cleaning up the airbrush with alcohol and solvent is the only draw back. This method ensures that the colors of the decal remain undisturbed.

    I never had good luck with acrylic sealers and relied on Dull coat for the duration, but Tamiya gloss is a good decal bass coat. Silvering is almost eliminated in my experience.

    Not all CA glues are created alike. Loctite was my go to product, but generally the cheaper stuff is better. A test application is a good idea as well. Put a little dab on a piece of sprue and see how it works. Always apply with a dampened tooth pic. I usually put a drop on an old CD and dipped the tooth pic into it.

    Little bitty parts can be secured with a strip of low tack masking tape on one side of the frame. This will help keep them from launching.

    Good luck on all future projects and ask for advice anytime. I'm no longer building due to arthritis problems, but I haven't forgotten anything.

  6. Hahahahahahaha! All 100% true!

  7. I got a pretty good laugh at this post, especially the looking for parts on the floor. Many times my wife has walked into my room with me on all fours and a flashlight in my hand looking for parts. It's an epic battle between me and carpet monster that feeds on small plastic and photo etch parts. I know they are there, I can hear them when I vacuum the following week. (>.<)

    I also have a love hate relationship with decals. I pick my builds in large part based on the markings and colorful decals, only to sweat it out fighting the decals that either (a). rip (b). wrinkle (c.) fail to adhere (d). fail to "snuggle" (e). all of the above.

  8. Recent one for me. I have been working on a NMF plane and accidentally spilled some liquid glue. I moved the plane away only to find a nice deep thumb print on the pristine paint job thanks to some glue residue.

  9. I have severe arthritis, and the clumsiness caused by my arthritis has caused me to reduce resin parts to shrapnel, just like in your experience. I have managed on occasion to get resin parts into various models, only to discover that they can't be seen! What's the point!

    And don't get me started about decals! I build a lot of kits from eastern Europe, which contain the most brittle decals ever invented. Were it not for my decal stash many of them would have no marking whatsoever.

  10. That little fuel dump mast at the tail end of every Phantom{ 1/72] kit, that you just know if you look at it wrong , it's going to break off. Part s on the floor, well just kiss it goodbye, what with my four eyes and creaky back. Pic number four says it all.

  11. I thought about throwing the bench out and just working on the floor because I spent more time crawling around looking for parts than sitting at the bench.

  12. could I suggest under desk lighting to keep the carpet monster at bay. I did see a Jeweller's apron at which is like a giant baby bib which fixes to the front of your desk and of course goes around your neck...I notice no-one is laughing at this thought.

    Keep up the good work...remember modelling is relaxing and a stress reliever...

  13. Yes, decals! To me, the hardest part of the whole hobby. Just tried to put the black NO STEP lines on the wings of the Spitfire I'm currently working on and they broke into multiple pieces and wouldn't stick down. Abandoned the whole process as a bad idea.

  14. Decals that go over curves, spiralschnauze, photo-etched belts that are not pre-painted, masking canopies that have poor demarcation between glass and frames are some that come to mind!

  15. Scratchbuilding a suitable gear door because the kit part fell onto a bare wood floor and went... somewhere? Despite sweeping the entire floor and going through the dustpan bit by bit, it doesn't show up. (did that today)

  16. Loved all above comments about the magic of our hobby and laughed a lot.
    May I add the release of a new good mainstream kit to supersede the older bad kit you happened to build, a week before finishing it?

    • Maybe not building, but buying a kit thinking.. well I've got no other choice for this subject matter, only to find that a new mold is about to drop... Absolutely.

  17. Indeed, funny and recognizable points.
    Searching for those tiny parts and pieces which tend to stick better to the tweezers instead of to the model.
    But when the model is finished the way you like it, it gives a lot of satisfaction.

  18. Ah the trials of having fun :-). Yes, I agree to the lot, and my personal favourite is badly moulded parts that won't fit and don't look like... anything. You know who you are manufacturers. On the upside, there's a lot of advice around on the best way of tackling some of these issues and finally putting the finished piece on display is super satisfying. Here's a suggestion regarding those 'no step' lines. Cut them into a few smaller sections and use masking tape to mark where they should go. Then apply them bit by bit. It's a little fiddly but can avoid the worst of the trauma. Failing that, mask and paint - again its not a quick fix but it seems to get a good result (never tried it but I've seen a few videos that look convincing). Stay strong folks, the carpet monster won't win!

  19. Love the list! Spent 30 minutes this weekend looking for a piece of cockpit PE that fell on the floor for a 1/72 scale plane only to find it the next day sitting in the middle of my cutting mat. And of course, you can't see it in the assembled plane anyway!

  20. Great discussion! Therapeutic too. I find that the more perfect the kit, the more obvious my short comings are - or bad my luck. I just dropped a Ventura nose down as it neared completion; a wing fell off, but it was the rattling sound from the fully sealed cockpit that really threw me. And then there's the chunk of dust stuck to the inside of a sealed canopy that you only discover when the masking tape is removed during the final stages.

    • That is a big problem too. Sheer fragility! I show people my models and have to say "no the prop doesn't spin! No the door doesn't close!". It's tough, but they will fall to pieces.

  21. Like you guys, I suffer from all of the above. The lost parts problem is among the most annoying since it can stop a project dead for awhile. I also have a problem with clear parts when they are cracked or have one of those faint mold flaw lines running straight through them that can't be polished out. I bought a Kinetic A-6 Intruder with one of those flaws in the windscreen and ordered a replacement. Turned out that the replacement had the same flaw in exactly the same place! Lastly, I get fed up with dust motes and cat hairs that float onto airbrushed surfaces while painting.

    Anyway, I have an approach to modeling mishaps that works pretty well. I try to make the riskier steps of each building or painting stage as reversible as possible. For example, with canopies that can get lint on the inside after painting, I try to attach them with white glue of Testors Clear Parts Cement. That way they can always be pulled off. I also use acrylics in all my painting, which can easily be lightly sanded removed with Windex when dust and junk gets in the paint somehow. I probably curse as much as the next guy at all the little setbacks but it feels that much more meaningful to get a project done when you have overcome these and kept your cool (or at least not thrown a model against the wall). I never had that patience as a kid doing models and therefore had too many abandoned projects and bad feelings about the hobby. I now mostly feel pretty good for problem-solving as I go and that is partly what is relaxing about the hobby. I almost feel dissatisfied when a Tamigawa build has been too easy!

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