about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Urged on by my acquaintances in MechaPinoy and the GundamOfficial User Forums, I finally decided to begin painting my Gundam model kits.

I still had a lot of questions to ask the more experienced model makers, and I felt like I was asking the same things over and over. Handbrush or spraycans? (An airbrush is out of the question because of financial reasons.) Acrylic, lacquer or enamel paint? Tamiya, Citadel, Pylox or Gunze Sangyo? One solid coat or a lot of thin ones? How much is the ratio of thinner to paint? How long does said paint take to dry or cure? Do I use primer or not? Do I sand the plastic, wash it with soap, do both or none?

Last Saturday I finally decided on handbrushing enamel paints on one of my simplest kits, a 1/144 AMF-101 DINN from Gundam SEED---so simple it doesn't even have elbow and knee joints. I went to Lils Futaba to buy 10cc Tamiya enamel bottles (gloss purple, flat white and thinner) and a #3 Tamiya brush. Damage: about PhP350 with the mixing palette.

It was disastrous.

I hated how the thinner always ended up on my fingers in an oily mess whenever I tried transferring it to the palette. I hated how painting the lavender plastic wings white was a huge chore. I tried painting a thin coat, it barely colored anything white; I tried painting a thick coat, I could see very clear brushmarks (a no-no). I hated cleaning up afterward in my frustration, almost making a purple mess out of the bathroom sink while I emptied my palette.

I basically felt like I wasted my money. Ralph of MechaPinoy told me not to take it too hard, that I should try again. I probably will if I have more money to spend. Right now my kits probably are better off as bare polystyrene and ABS. Sigh...
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Or maybe I should have saved a little harder for Pylox spraycans. Hmmmm.

Cost of the kits aside, this is an expensive hobby I got into.

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