Introduction: How to Paint and Construct a Scale Model


I am here to teach you how to paint and construct a scale plastic model.

My goal is to have you learn how to use the techniques that I apply to this project and be able to apply them to any plastic scale model that you want to make.

Often making an often expensive model can be very daunting and scary but in reality all you need is a large amount of time and a lot of patience.

While the steps I will show you are a good way to complete any plastic model, you must know that some steps can and should be taken out of order depending on the part in question. I will give more detail on why during the steps.

Step 1: Supplies

To Start lets get a list of what you are going to need.

1. The model itself In this case

I will be painting and constructing the gun turret of Trumpeter's 1/350 scale Littorio kit.

2. A pair of cutters

Something with a flat edge that you can remove all the small plastic pieces from the frame.

3. A file

I am using a cheap nail file that I bought from my local convenience store.

4. Acrylic paints

I am using Tamiya acrylic paints for this job. The paint must be acrylic otherwise my methods will not work

5. A role of painters tape Any low tack tape can work.

The goal is to prevent the tape from tearing up the paint.

6. A paint Pallet

This will be used to hold the paint that you will mix.

7. A thin stick

This will be used to stir your paints and blend your paint mixes.

8. Tape

This will be used when you are painting your pieces.

Step 2: Preparing Your Parts

Our pieces are currently in their frame and waiting to be cut out. This is one step that must be taken with your own discretion.

Often it is a good idea to paint your part before cutting if possible, however you should not paint first if the paint will be ruined while cutting the part out.

We will be cutting this part our for the sake of simplicity.

before any paint can be applied on any part you must look for mold lines and excess plastic around the edges.

You will use your file to remove this extra plastic. be careful about applying your file too much as you cannot re attach any plastic filed away.

Step 3: Preparing Your Paint

With your part cut and prepared, or just cut, you can start on the paint.

You will start by stirring the paint for at least 30 seconds. By stirring your paint you will be mixing all the layers that make up the paint. These layers have different functions including the pigment that will make up the color of the paint, the bonding agent that will cause the paint to stick, and any other solutions that help the paint keep its luster.

Step 4: Out of the Bin Into the Pallet

After mixing the paint you will take the paint and add it to the pallet. I do this using the stirring rod and adding single drops one at a time.

By using single drops of paint you can easily mix your paint consistently. Drops can be used to make ratios of paint and you can produce colors so long as you keep track of the amount of paint dropped into each mix.

The name of the game in this will be to only use the paint you need at one time. If you need a lot of drops to make a single color then it would be a good idea to prepare multiple parts to paint at once so paint does not go to waist.

Step 5: Painting Your Parts

After preparing all of your pieces and the paints your going to use it will be time to paint.

Painting is a long and arduous process. You will need to make sure to paint your pieces with light coats of paint. Allow your paint to dry before adding a second coat or third coat. Keep adding more coats until the color is as solid as you wish it to be.

If you have multiple colors on a single piece then you can use the tape to protect paint that has already been put down. Make sure the paint is completely dry to reduce the chances of damage.

Step 6: Ready to Construct

Now your ready to use the glue all your painted pieces together. I use a quick drying glue that allows for the easy installment of small pieces.

With the tip of a toothpick I apply the glue to the piece in a thin layer on only one side.

By not putting a single glob of glue on the piece you reduce the chance of excess glue coming out the side of the piece.

Step 7: Final Product

you should have your final product. You can now take these techniques and apply them to multiple different pieces to finish an entire model.