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Clearman

Plastic Model Kits

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Does anyone here do any work with plastic model kits?  Specifically Gundam or similarly articulated models?

 

I've done a few standard kits back in the day, airplanes and tanks, but the movable parts tear up the paint if they are re positioned after the paint goes down.  Is there any way to prevent this short of gluing the pieces in place and killing the articulation?

Edited by Clearman

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10 minutes ago, Club said:

paint carefully around the joints and/or before assembly

 

 

 

Thank you.  I will give this a try.

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After working in subsea oil and gas equipment manufacturing for several years, parts that move usually don't get painted because the paint will get rubbed off from the friction.  We usually use a coating process (think similar to a non-stick coating on a frying pan) to protect the underlying metal and lubricate it so it moves smoothly against the other parts.  Even then, it has a certain life expectancy depending on the coating type and manufacturer (around 3-5 years) where it would have to be re-applied during a scheduled maintenance cycle.  Which is one reason the oil companies usually order two sets of everything.

 

At the Gundam Reddit site:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Gunpla/comments/14eyho/paint_rubbing_and_moving_parts_on_painted_kits/

 

I found this answer (which seems to be the most common from the rest of the threads on the same topic):

 

If it's in a place that will never see the light of day, it doesn't matter, in the other places a bit of sanding takes care of it, how much you need to sand depends on how thick and how many layers of paint you will use .

There are of course some spots where this won't work and the only remedy there is to avoid handling the model.

Also always allow the paint to cure completely. If the paint is dry but not cured it will be much weaker and more prone to getting damaged by handling.

 

Other tips were to sand, prime, paint then gloss coat, then satin or matte coat, just like you would a table top miniature that gets handled a lot.  ALL of them recommended minimal handling and moving of the parts after the model is complete to avoid the paint rubbing off.

Edited by Bloodhowl
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Maybe a light coating of oil/grease/lubricant in the area where paint would contact paint?  I think that would allow movement for nearly indefinitely, but may stop the joint from sticking when you want it to--ie, when you want to position an arm up.

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I would not use any oil or grease on plastic. It will cause carbon embrittlement and shorten the life of the part. Silicon lubricants should be fine.

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So, from what my friend told me, he never painted any joints or movable parts. He mostly painted around them and "hid" them by weathering all the other parts and focussing the attention of the viewer away from those parts.

 

Nonetheless he said that if you want to paint the joints, the best way to go is to paint all the parts by airbrush before assembly and seal them using some coat.

 

He further suggests to check youtube tutorials for assembly and painting of gundams. I haven't had the time to check yet, but if you want me to, I can have a look if I find something regarding the painting of the joints.

 

His experience with those Gundam markers was bad until now, but he said the fineliners are pretty good.

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18 minutes ago, SisterMaryNapalm said:

He further suggests to check youtube tutorials for assembly and painting of gundams.

 

I've only watched a couple videos to date, none of which have really covered the painting of joints issue.  I will dig deeper.

Edited by Clearman
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It depends on the model, but with Gundam they tend to design them in such a way that the spots paint would scrape off the joints aren't going to be particularly visible. For example on a knee the actual joint might be completely concealed in armor pieces. The armor panels might lightly scrape as they move, but if everything is well sealed not enough to scrape the paint off. Another trick is when joints are visible the contact area of the joint remains concealed through most or all of it's movement so even though its unpainted it will never be seen.

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