If scale model building has piqued your interest, there are a few things you should get familiar with to make the process easier and the hobby more appealing. Getting overwhelmed is a common thing for first-time modellers, as there are many details to pay attention to. Australian car models are available in a wide range of scales (sizes) and skill levels, so when you buy your first model, make sure you choose an entry-level one, as there’s a learning curve. Most kits, however, will come with clear instructions and with the help of the internet, learning how to assemble a kit is now easier than ever.
But as briefly aforementioned, there’s more to the scale building hobby than just buying a kit. The tools that will help you assemble the kit also play an important role in how easy the assembly process will be. This is especially true for newcomers who aren’t familiar with the building techniques used and how the process goes. Starting off with the right kit and tools will add to the overall experience. But which scale model is the right one?
Choosing the Right Scale Model Kit
First things first, you have to choose a kit that you’re interested in. The more complex the model is, the more fun it can be to build. However, there’s a fine line between interesting and frustrating. If the model car kit is too complex, you might start, get stuck at some part and never finish it. This is why most first-timers choose a beginner-level model kit. On the flip side, picking a model that’s too easy to build can fail to challenge and stimulate you. That being said, do your due diligence and find a kit that’s appropriate for what you feel your skill level is. Even if you’re a first-timer, you may be handy with tools, and an intermediate-level kit may be the right start for your hobby.
Choosing Tools for Your First Kit
There are dozens of tools you can use throughout the building process, not including paints and paintbrushes. It’s best to start with a few, though, as the costs can add up, and you probably won’t make use of many tools at first. For starters, you’ll need a hobby knife, needle-file set, masking tape, inner, paint set, paintbrush, toothpicks, scissors, and white glue. As you can see, you probably have some of these tools at home, so you won’t have to spend money on them. These tools should enable you to build most beginner and intermediate level kits.
However, if you’re building an advanced-level model, you might need some specialised tools. On top of that, you might have to learn a few scale model building techniques. For instance, detailing and finishing techniques become increasingly more important as you move up the learning curve. Detailing includes adding wiring to the model’s engine. Finishing, on the other hand, is all about aesthetics. Building Australian car models that resemble the real thing will require the perfect paint job and filling seams.
Detailing and Building Techniques
Detailing or building is modifying parts to make sure they fit right and assemble easily. You’ll need quite a few tools to hone your building skills, including a spruce cutter, detail files, razor saw, drill set, soldering iron, rechargeable motor tool, pliers, scalpel, dial callipers, sheet-metal bender, magnifier lamp, punch-and-die set.
Getting familiar with some of these tools requires some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be capable of creating amazing scale model cars. Before you start practising, you should learn more about the tools. For instance, soldering irons and sheet metal benders can help you shape the body panels of the car, making for a professional look. Dial callipers are used to measure the thickness of plastic and metal, allowing you to create perfect wiring for your engine. A magnifier lamp will come in handy when dealing with smaller scale models, making it easier to work on them. Punch-and-die sets allow you to make perfectly-sized holes in the plastic and metal sheets. Scalpels are tools used to make precise and delicate cuts, a step up from knives. Detail files will help you reach those hard-to-reach spots.
Finishing, just like detailing and building requires a set of tools, including a single-action or double-action airbrush, chrome foil, airbrush thinner, polishing kit, model wax, filler putty, custom-mixed lacquer, water paints, acrylic paints, decal setting solution, eyedropper, liquid masking film, miniature lathe, weathering set, colour-balanced work light, and soldering iron.
Again, you should get familiar with the tools before you start using them. Airbrushes are used for painting, obviously, and they’re considered the better painting solution compared to spray cans. Model waxes can provide a shine to your model, making for a perfect finish. Self-adhesive chrome foils follow any curvature, and they’re used to highlight details or stimulate the model’s surface. Weathering sets are great for replica-stock buildings, and they help add smaller details. Custom mixed lacquers are used for completing complex, shiny and thin paint jobs.