Model building Tips

Busted!!  Several of my brushes had disappeared, eventually found stashed under the couch!

This section is dedicated to the basics of plastic model building. There are many websites out there devoted to models, but most are just galleries of completed work. They're great for giving you ideas about what you'd like to do, but not much help when you need to improve your own results. If you're just getting started or want to pick up a few tips, perhaps something here will help.

When reading the instructions and recommended tools listed in these pages, keep in mind the age of the potential model builder. A sharp exacto knife is standard equipment for working on these models, but for a pre-teenage child such a tool is dangerous. This is a great hobby to introduce to your children, but adult supervision and help is necessary. Consider it a chance to spend some quality time with your kid. Learning how to build a model kit teaches a child patience, planning, and hand-eye coordination. Don't expect a child just learning to enjoy the frustration of trying and failing to build a model too advanced for their experience, but on the other hand you want them to be challenged and not every model has to come out "perfect". I've never seen a model yet where I couldn't find something about it to praise, even if it's just that they managed to finish it.

One last point: While I've tried to anticipate and cover all the basic questions people have when learning how to work with plastic, glue, and paint, this should be considered a starting point only in learning the hobby. Feel free to email me with requests for additional information, and if I don't know the answer I can point you to people who will. There are other model builders on the net who will be happy to give their own answers and recommendations - you won't find a more helpful group of folks anywhere. One place I highly recommend is the Polar Lights Bulletin Board at Hobby Talk.

          Learning the Basics