So I've been asked a few times now, "what should I get to get started with a model kit?"
- so I decided to stop being a lazy lump and hauled ass via BMX to my nearest LHS, Burbank's House of Hobbies
. Being a on a budget, this list is missing a couple things, but this is some of the bare minimum stuff you'll want to build a decent-looking kit. I know this looks like a lot of stuff, but just keep in mind that all of this only came to $36.32US.
First, there are at least four pots you should always have in stock - if you run out of one of these, go get another one! Trust me, you'll use these on every single car kit you build, so make sure to have them around.
You'll use these for turn signals/indicators, brake lenses, and fine details like the "empty space" behind a grille. You'll also need
the enamel thinner, as this is how you will clean your brush. Thinner has many uses, but I'll get into them another time. For now, just know that unless you plan to buy a new brush every time you paint, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THINNER
Next, you'll need something to rough up the body shell a little bit to allow the primer to grab, as well as to remove the very likely "mold lines" (also called "flash")
left behind from the molding process. If you're just starting out, buy one of these sets. Everything you'll need for your first paint job, and it will give you an idea of what grits you'll need when you're ready to start buying sandpaper sheets individually.
Next, you'll need to decide on what color you plan to paint your kit. Select your color first, then choose a primer that suits it. The primer will go on first, and give the base coat something to adhere to - DON'T JUST SPRAY COLOR ON WITHOUT PRIMER!!!!
It will likely run, and will have this cheap, not-right and too-thin look to it at the end. It will look like crap, trust me on this please
. It's important to get the right shade of primer, as it will affect the final shade of the color going over it. If you choose a light color like I have - silver - it's a good idea to use a white or very light grey primer to help ensure the final color is nice and bright. They also have colored primers to really help your final color pop - just remember that you should choose your primer based on how light or dark you want the final color to be, and you should be fine. If you can't find colored primer to go with your color choice, just choose a white, grey, or black in the right shade that you think will go well with it.
I'm building a fairly stock-looking C33 Laurel, so I went with a bright silver paint and a white primer to help it look nice and shiny.
Now this is optional, but if you're working on a classic car - or like me, a Nissan with tons of chrome trim
- you should give this stuff a shot. Only about $6US. It's called Bare Metal Foil, or BMF. It's a super thin
sticky-backed foil that you can easily stick to your kit, trim around the windows with a hobby knife, and peel away the excess. Beats masking off and finding chrome spray paint, which tends to be a HUGE hassle to work with...
And as for glue, I would suggest a pot of Tamiya Super Thin Cement (has a brush in the cap, so easy to use) and for stuff you need to dry quick, like stuff you don't want sagging as it dries or stuff you want to support the model when it's on display, such as the suspension - I use brush-on Krazy Glue. Sold in most CVS or Walgreens for like $3US.
You'll also need various brushes (you can get detailing sets for like $6US from most hobby shops)
, a good hobby knife, like an Xacto with a few extra different blades, and nail trimmers or a special sprue cutter for taking parts off the plastic trees. You don't want to be twisting delicate plastic parts around! Oh, and of course, you'll want a model kit!
It's a good primer to get it into your head that if you're just starting out and don't already have the tools and paints and stuff, you're probably looking at spending around $100US to build your first kit. But that's including the kit. Depending on how well you do, you'll already have plenty of paint and other supplies left over, and you can start your next kit for likely just the cost of the model itself.
If you're patient, this is a really relaxing, really rewarding hobby. Painting small details into things may seem intimidating at first, but just keep in mind what it will look like in the end. Go nuts, experiment, look up tutorials online - and I really can't stress enough that you should join SPC if you're really looking to get into building kits as a hobby. I've never been a part of a friendlier, more helpful community:http://scaleplasticcars.com/phpBB3/index.php