To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

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MSgtUSAFRet
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To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:31 pm

Okay, all you Da Vincies of 3D Art, here is another question for the here assembled Masters!

How do you like to build a model - paint then build or build then paint? What would be the pro and cons of each?

To my way of thinking, I would rather build the ship (or model - I'm not genreist! :lol: ) and then paint it. I tend to make sure the part is seated properly and securely and then use anything from putty, to bondo, to acrylic, or to CA and baby powder to close seams, fill gaps, and holes. Then after a round of sanding and shaping with various grits of sandpaper, files and micro-files, I then mask off the model and paint it - hiding all the repairs and sanding I have done under a layer or two of paint. Since I have done my finishing before hand, I don't have to re-mask and re-paint for seam filling, etc. Based on my VAST experience of 3 models, that's how I have done it.

Is there a better way? I am only curious and not placing one method, or any method, over the other.

I look forward to your answers and your discussion.

LLAP!

Steve
Last edited by MSgtUSAFRet on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by SKO » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:05 pm

I think it depends on the model, but in general I am a build than paint guy unless you're talking clear parts and things that need to be painted and masked bc they cannot actually be painted correctly if you wait till the whole thing is assembled. I tried it the Round 2 Instruction way and tried to complete all sub assemblies before final assembly and I found even with clear coat and stuff on I mostly scuffed and scratched my paint and decals while trying to snap everything together and had to go back and fix a lot of stuff. So I'll probably just ignore that and assemble as much as possible before painting in the future.

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by trekriffic » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:27 pm

What SKO said. I almost always build first then paint. Unless you have major subassemblies that will go together easily without too much fuss then I could see painting before assembling them. Still, you will probably have to do some touchup painting especially along any seams that won't quite close tight. You may also need to paint before assembly if a particular area on the model will be inaccessible to painting after assembly.
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MSgtUSAFRet
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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:32 pm

SKO wrote: I think it depends on the model...unless you're talking clear parts and things that need to be painted and masked bc they cannot actually be painted correctly if you wait till the whole thing is assembled.
Yeah, when I built my TOS Enterprises, I painted the nacelles to completion, minus the clear coat sealant, then assembled them to the model. Then I wrapped them in clear, gallon freezer bags to keep them safe until the rest of the model was assembled and painted. I didn't want the nacelle support to snap off while trying mask and paint the bits on the inside.

I haven't messed with factory clear parts yet. I've made a few for my NSEA Protector build, but I think I will have to assemble then paint them after I assemble the rest of the ship and then scrape off the paint to allow the light to shine through.

Thanks for your comments!

Steve

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:37 pm

trekriffic wrote:What SKO said. I almost always build first then paint. Unless you have major subassemblies that will go together easily without too much fuss then I could see painting before assembling them. Still, you will probably have to do some touchup painting especially along any seams that won't quite close tight. You may also need to paint before assembly if a particular area on the model will be inaccessible to painting after assembly.
That's kinda what I thought, too, Steve. For instance, the Shuttlebay on the 1/350 builds kinda demand to be completely finished before assembly into the main model.

Unfortunately, I have had to sand and refinish a spot after I had put on the base coat of paint. Hassle, it is, but, when finished, worth it is will be! (Sorry! I was channeling my inner Yoda! Sacrilege on Star Trek site!)

Thanks for your comments!

LLAP!

Steve

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by Tesral » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:32 pm

Mostly build then paint, unless finishing an area would be impossible with the model built. I'm not a clean builder. So errors and goofs are par for the course. Unless hard pressed, it is build then paint.
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MSgtUSAFRet
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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Tesral wrote:Mostly build then paint, unless finishing an area would be impossible with the model built. I'm not a clean builder. So errors and goofs are par for the course. Unless hard pressed, it is build then paint.
This seems to be the consensus, Tesral. I have seen other builders paint completely, as in parts are still on the sprue, and then assemble. I'm afraid I am not quite to that level of expertise.

Maybe one day...

When I decide to tackle the 1/350 Enterprise Refit build! :lol:

Thanks for your comments!

Steve

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by NCC1966 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:38 pm

I think there is not an unique way of doing it. Along my whole life as a modeler I had kits that I did it both ways, depending on the configuration.

With Star Trek starships I have found myself painting it before and after the assembling specially because the split saucers. Currently I am building a 1/1000 TOS Ent that falls exactly in this situation. It has tiny clear parts (the navigation lights) that I decided to let unpainted. Since they are too small to be masked I painted the saucers BEFORE and then assembled the two halves (with the clear lights fitted in) that left me with a seam between the halves. So now I have to putty and sand and then paint again this time roughly protecting (not masking) the lights. As you can see, paint BEFORE and AFTER the assembly.

:P
Thanks,

Yan.

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MSgtUSAFRet
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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:17 pm

Yep, Yan, I agree! Whatever it takes to get 'er done!

Thanks for commenting!

Steve

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Re: To Paint Then Build or Build Then Paint?

Post by NCC1966 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:06 pm

MSgtUSAFRet wrote:Yep, Yan, I agree! Whatever it takes to get 'er done!

Thanks for commenting!

Steve
LoL, it's funny that I have given my opinion about painting only a couple days before to decide to step out of the hobby mainly because all the painting mess itself. Go figure the mind of a human being!

:lol:
Thanks,

Yan.

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