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Old 06-07-2018, 12:39 PM   #1
minipix
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Default Dapol plastic house kit - paint first or glue first?

I've just bought a house. Not a real one, alas. It came in kit form, unpainted grey plastic.

My first instinct is to at least partially paint it first, while all the pieces are separate and easy to handle, and then glue it together. This would avoid colours running into each other or getting on the wrong bits. I could then go back over it once it's assembled to add some further details. But I'm also conscious that painting before glueing might mean pieces don't fit together nicely any more, because of the thickness of the paint.

People who have done this before - what approach would you recommend? I've got a range of acrylic paints, but currently no spray paints or enamel paints. And I'd be glueing it together with the infamous Revell Contacta.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:48 PM   #2
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Think about the process, as you have done, to create the best finish. Details such as windows and doors should be painted seperately then added. The main walls should be assembled then painted to avoid obvious joints. Don't worry about the thickness of paint, just scrape it off again, but you can try to avoid the glued surfaces when you paint anyway.

Finally try to arrange to hold the detail bits such as window frames and doors with something such as a piece of sharpened sprue glued onto a final glued surface. Then you have something to hold while you paint. It should very easily snap off when you are ready to put it on the model.

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Old 06-07-2018, 02:11 PM   #3
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As a general rule I build the main carcass, eg the walls together before painting. Only (some of) the small items get the paint first treatment. As I nearly always add lighting to my buildings I find that the wiring can be covered over by painting later. I also paint the roof after glueing to the carcass. The main problem with painting parts before assembly is you invariably paint some of the surfaces that you are going to apply glue to so you end up having to scrape these areas clean again before assembly. Have fun with your new project.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:12 PM   #4
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Those houses often look better with the windows stuck in place from the rear not the front as the instructions state.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:09 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for those helpful tips! I've made a start already, and it's looking promising. I've glued the walls together and then painted them, and also painted some of the other fixtures (remembering TDD's point about glueing). Still needs final assembly, and then I'll probably think about whether it needs interior dividing walls and an upstairs floor, given that I'll probably want to put some lighting in it at some point. With that in mind, is it best to leave the roof unstuck so I can get inside? Or is that going to lead to more problems than it solves?
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:26 AM   #6
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If you put an upstairs floor in then add the roof how are you going to access the upper floor for lights. I suppose you could add stairs and climb them!!

Just do what you think is the best way.

If you are adding lights you may need to paint the inside a dark colour.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #7
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Adding lights is something you should plan for from the start if you want to make a decent job of it. I plan where I'm going to put the leds and how to run the wire before i glue or paint anything. All kit instructions tell you to run through a "dry" assembly before glueing so you dont rush into anything and glue something in the wrong place! Dont worry if you do, we've all done it at sometime but this is the best time to plan the lighting.

If its a large building with many windows you may want to consider only having light shining in some rather than all rooms. For instance a row of terraced houses with lights blazing out of every window in every house looks ridiculous IMHO. To get round this you dont need to create actual rooms (unless you are goi g to add interior detail that you want to be seen. Instead create virtual rooms by blanking off the windows behind the glass with some card. Another trick here is to have some "rooms" with partial light, say a bedroom with low lighting. These can be achieved by using an opaque material for blanking the windows, I use simple tissue paper for this effect.

On multi-story buildings I generally add a floor between to add the lightning below with wiring running above. I have even added a ceilling to the top floor to achieve the same effect and reduce the chance of light bleed through the roof joints. The roof always goes on last. You can paint inside the roof to reduce light bleed as WTD says though I find a couple of coats of paint on the outside is usually sufficient for plastic kits. The hardest part I find is stopping light escaping through the inevitable cracks that appear after glueing the roof on. On smaller buildings I fix this with plastic putty from the inside.

Sorry about the MG length post but this is one (probably the only one!) of my areas of expertise in the hobby . Just take your time, don't rush and you will end up with a model to be proud of.
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:10 AM   #8
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Some pics to illustrate my post #7 above. The houses and pub are Metcalfe cardboard kits but the principles of adding light are the same.

The camera makes the lights look much brighter than they are to to the eye.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN2164.jpg (172.3 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170923_182205.jpg (351.5 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2144.jpg (151.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2153.jpg (202.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:27 AM   #9
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Think the silhouette of the people in the pub looks fantastic. Nice work TWD.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:14 PM   #10
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I agree with WTD - very nice work TWD. I also agree with your sentiments about building - do a dry fit first, plan the lighting in advance. Personally I don't find a problem with putting an extra wall in a house during construction stage, and make sure you have no gaps where light from a room is shining through a gap in the roof. As TWD says - with a little care and attention you can end of with a first class building.

I would also add that if your putting lighting into a resin building (Skaledale?), it's best to spray the interior with either grey or black primer - I use Halfords aerosols - with all windows masked off. Even though in some case the walls are 2cm thick you will still get light bleed.
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