Our staff here at Chinook & Hobby West have noticed many of the same questions from our beginner level model builders. We have done some research and pooled our own knowledge to share some tips and tricks to help you along your hobby adventure. 

Please leave a comment below and let us know your tips, ideas or if this article helped you.
Enjoy and Happy Hobbying!

Toys Hobby

Building a Model
  1. You need a designated space such as a large table with good lighting.
  2. Read through the instructions a couple of times before you start.
  3. Cut, don’t snap off, individual parts from the plastic sprues.
  4. Compare the parts included, to the list of parts in the instructions.
  5. Smooth the edges of parts using a sanding stick or file to remove nubs and excess plastic resulting from manufacturing, then wash them in a mild detergent and allow to dry. Make sure to use gentle pressure when sanding so you don’t take too much off.
  6. Collect your tools.
  7. Follow the parts assembly sequence exactly. Be patient and don’t jump ahead.
Extra Tips
-Use the minimum amount of glue necessary to make a solid bond.
-Enhance your assembled model by filling in gaps with putty and carefully sanding the filled surface.
Come down and see us at Chinook & Hobby West or email us if you have any questions.
Painting Your Model
  1. Do some research if you’re building a replica. Every era has incorporated its own style. A replica of a Cadillac painted pink would not be an accurate model of the original car but may be your vision of your dream car.
  2. If you can, find a modeler’s club and learn hands-on tips from more experienced modelers. There are some great online forums on the internet.
  3. Plan your paint scheme if you’re doing your own design. Write down the colours you’re thinking about so you don’t forget that vision.
  4. Work on a clean surface.
  5. Clean your model. Use rubbing alcohol or plastic prep and let the model dry thoroughly. This helps to remove all oil and any other contamination, including excess glue.
  6. Put the model or model part on a paint stand or on a drop cloth.
  7. Shake the spray can thoroughly to mix paint properly.
  8. Test the nozzle by spraying a piece of cardboard, such as the inside lid of your model box.
  9. Plan on multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat.
  10. Start spraying to one side of the model, stroke over the model, and spray past the model before you stop.  Keeping the spray about 6 to 8 inches away from the project.
Extra Tips
-Aerosol spray paints are good, but you may want to invest in an airbrush as you grow in the hobby.
-Bright, shiny finishes can be achieved by painting the desired color, letting the model dry, spraying with a clear coat, and then finishing with a buffing compound.
-Complete the detail work as necessary with fine-tipped artist brushes.
-Use thinners for your type of paint (acrylic thinner for acrylic paint) when brush painting.
-Paint in a ventilated area.
-Wear a painter’s mask if you are sensitive to smells.
-Many experienced modelers suggest using primers when painting.
We hope that these tips and tricks help you create a piece you can be proud of.  Remember to have patience, take your time and if you get frustrated, walk away (after you clean up). You can always go back to it later!

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