Simple Details Class - LIVE at the Gundam Kitchen with Justinius Builds

Join Justinius Builds and me at the Gundam Kitchen for the Simple Details Class, as we teach you how to simple details a beginner or moderate level builder can add to their model. We show you tools, materials, and add-ons that you can use to make your model really come to life.

Add Simple Details will set your model apart from the rest and make it unique!

If you liked this class and want to donate please feel free! No pressure.
https://streamlabs.com/childofmecha

Gear Described in this video:

Materials and Tools

Evergreen Plastic: https://amzn.to/2JKXdWu
The Chopper II: https://amzn.to/2Ob8d2D
UBANTE Digital Caliper: https://amzn.to/2O3EwAF
BMC Chisels: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/search?typ1_c=101&cat=&state=&sold=0&sortid=0&searchkey=BMC+chisel
Zona 37-120 Revolving Tool Holder (Pin Vise): https://amzn.to/2O8dEiY
100 pc. Micro Drill Bit Set: https://amzn.to/2Oa427q
Drill America 60 Piece High-Speed Steel Wire Gauge Drill Bit Set: https://amzn.to/2NC0p91
DYMO 3D Plastic Embossing Tape: https://amzn.to/2uZ0FaG
OLFA AK-1/5B Standard Art Knife: https://amzn.to/2LtdFQ1
OLFA 9166 KB4-F/5 Chisel Art Blade: https://amzn.to/2JLDC8j
Blade Knife Hobby 25 Pack: https://amzn.to/2NCOsjk
OLFA 5023 Multi-Purpose Craft Knife: https://amzn.to/2O7kDII
NT Cutter Hobby Knife: https://amzn.to/2NwlIbW
NT Cutter 45-Degree blades for Art Knife: https://amzn.to/2Ny0Tgm
NT Cutter PRO Auto-Lock Stainless Steel Graphic Knife: https://amzn.to/2NC0Q39
Zona L-Square: https://amzn.to/2O81Pt3
WAVE T Ruler: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10254754
Helix Stainless Steel Ruler 6": https://amzn.to/2zWq9ec
General Tools 17 Square Head Metal Protractor: https://amzn.to/2O8HVOs
Hasagawa Trytool Modeling Saw Set: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10014994
Loctite Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control: https://amzn.to/2JM55H5
Tamiya Extra Thin Cement Glue: https://amzn.to/2LsRN7j

Option Parts

Kotobukiya Option Parts, Weapons, and Modeling Support Goods (MSG): https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/276/0/1
WAVE Option Parts: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/381/0/1
Bandai Builders Parts: https://amzn.to/2LFABs4
Hi-Q Metal Parts: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/1498/0/1

Check out Justinius Builds on the following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justiniusbuildshobby
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justiniusbuilds/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/justiniusbuilds
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustiniusBuilds
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/justiniusbuilds

And make sure to LIKE, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to all my pages too!

Website: https://www.childofmecha.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/childofmecha
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/childofmecha
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/childofmecha
Twitter: https://twitter.com/childofmecha
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/childofmecha
Child of Mecha Store: http://childofmecha.storenvy.com

Creative Tip: Edge Scribing

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In this Creative Tip I'll show you how to apply new panel lines to edges of hard to scribe parts like circular details.


I wanted to apply a new panel line around the beveled edge of this ear piece to the MG GM Sniper II, but with this type of shape you can't just put on DYMO tape and scribe it. You have to get creative.

I want the new panel line to align with the seperation so the best way to tackle this is to make a scribing jig.

Jigs in the woodworking world are very common to aid in making cuts, align parts, or dill holes, so we'll be brining that thought process over to Gunpla.


Things you'll need

Let's start off with some supplies that you'll need.

First, you'll need some scrap plastic sheet.

A good circle template to find the approximate diameter of the part.

A digital caliper to find exact mearsurements.

 

A pin vise and a set of drill bits.

A scribing tool to mark lines.

Super glue to glue all the parts together.

 

A hobby knife or utility knife to cut the plastic sheet.

A rotarty tool, like a Dremel, with a cylindrical grinding bit for shaping.

A selection of chisels. Here I'm using .15mm and .3mm.


process

STEP 1

The first thing we'll have to do is measure up from the base of the piece to where we want the panel line to be. In this case it's exactly 2mm up from the base.

STEP 2

With the circle template, we'll need to find the approximate diameter of the piece. It doesn't need to be exact; just close enough.  Having just a bit of space around the piece is perfectly fine.

STEP 3

Using the scriber tool we'll next start to scribe the circle into the plastic. You can either try to scribe all the way though or use it as a guide and grind it out with your rotary tool. You could also drill the hole, but with a piece this small, it might be difficult and/or unsafe.

 

STEP 4

Since the height of the new panel line is 2mm, we'll make the same circle into two pieces of 1mm plastic sheet. This will give us a perfect guide height.

STEP 5A

One issue with this particular piece is the connecting rod, so we'll have to compensate for that.

Step 5B

Since it won't sit flush with the base of the jig, we'll have to drill a hole in the base for it to sit in.

 

STEP 6

To drill the appropriate sized hole, we'll need to find the diameter of the connecting rod. This is where the digital caliper comes in.

STEP 7A

Once we've got the diameter size, we'll need to find a drill bit with the same approximate diameter. This also doesn't have to be perfect, just big enough to fit the rod.

STEP 7B

Now that it sits flush with the base, we can go about making the rest of the jig.

 

Step 8

Next, we'll pop the piece into the hole and center it as best as you can to the base. Once it's centered, trace the outside of the piece.

Start to stack and glue the pieces with the holes onto the traced edge.

STEP 9A

Now that we have the jig assembled, we've got another issue to tackle. The corresponding ear piece has the antenna, so that won't sit flush with the current jig.

STEP 9B

To compensate for this we'll need to grind a bit of plastic out for it to fit.

 

STEP 10

We'll trace the outline of the antenna to get the area that we'll have to grind away.

STEP 11

Grind the area with your rotary tool. Just a bit bigger than the antenna, and just a little deeper so that the antenna doesn't come into contact with the jig.

STEP 11A

Now the piece sits flush.

 

STEP 11B

Perfectly set.

STEP 12

I like to trim the excess plastic and trim off the corners so I can grip the piece easier. You don't have to do this. I just prefer it.

STEP 13

With the jig done we're ready to scribe it. For this line I'll be using a .15mm. I find this is a great size for panel lines on 1/100 scale models.

 

STEP 14

The piece is set in the jig and it's ready to scribe. The best thing to do is to let the jig guide your chisel and let the chisel do the work. Work in smooth, even, short strokes. Your hand will tend to lift off the jig at the backend of your stroke so be very careful of this. That's why short strokes are best to get the line started. After that, you can go back and go a bit deeper.

STEP 15

After you've got your line scribed, go over the surface with some sandpaper to clean it up.

STEP 16A

Once sanded it should look like this. You'll eventually want to wet-sand this part to get a really smooth surface for painting.

 

STEP 16B

Here's how the left ear piece came out.

STEP 16C

And here's the right ear piece. Perfectly matched.

 

Extras

To accent the new panel line and set off the design element we'll add some notches to simulate panel latches. By combining lines and notches really makes the piece pop. Here I used a .3mm chisel for the notch.

And here we have a finished piece with our new edge scribes.

Using a jig will allow you to duplicate lines on other pieces as well. Just add this technique to your skill set and the next time you have a tricky piece to scribe you can use this.

Some companies make tools for something like this, but if you don't have those tools this is the perfect solution. Also, depending on the piece, those tools may not be accurate enough or even work in your particular situation.

Scale Model Photography Class - LIVE at the Gundam Kitchen

Join Gundamnerd (aka Brax) and me at the Gundam Kitchen for Scale Model Photography Class, as we teach you how to take the best photos of your models you possibly can. We share our expertise on different cameras, lighting, posing, composition, and post processing! Scale Model Photography is crucial to conveying your vision to people online, so learning how to take good picture is a no brainer!

Gear Described in this video:

Cameras and Lens’

Canon EOS REBEL T7i - https://amzn.to/2HIzSUQ

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - https://amzn.to/2HHlBYC

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L - https://amzn.to/2HFGFPa

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 - https://amzn.to/2KrjCts

Sony DSCHX90V/B - https://amzn.to/2KnVvf5

 

Macro Tubes

Neewer Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set - https://amzn.to/2HHmmAW

 

Tripods

Neewer Mini Tripod - https://amzn.to/2HByFmD

Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod - https://amzn.to/2Fs83hV

Manfrotto 327RC2 light duty grip ball head - https://amzn.to/2JAsSdy

 

Lights

TOLIFO LED Dimmable Video Light - https://amzn.to/2w0cVeE

ASOKO Dimmable LED Under Cabinet Lighting - https://amzn.to/2HBiyoZ

 

All in One Solution

AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio - https://amzn.to/2HBD2hd

 

Software

Snapseed - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 - https://amzn.to/2JExxuG

 

Child of Mecha Workflow

Workflow.jpg
CoM-Workflow.jpg

I receive a bunch of messages about my building workflow, so I thought I'd just put it out there for everyone. Please keep in mind this is just MY workflow. I'm not telling anyone to do it this way or that this is the only way to do things. It's not. It's just the way I do things and it works for me.

If you'd like a poster sized print of my workflow to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Creative Tip - Using Nail Polish as Paint

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In this Creative Tutorial I'll show you my findings as I experimented with using Nail Polish as paint.

Over the years I've seen many people experiment with using Nail Polish as paint and I've always wanted to try it. While I was out shopping with my wife and daughter I happened to see this funky color and thought I'd give it a try. Here are my findings.

I wanted to see what this color would look like on a variety of colors and I happened to have these test spoons lying around so I figured I'd put them to use. From left to right: Bare Mr. Surfacer 1000, Alclad II Steel, Mr. Color Super Silver, Mr. Color GX Red Gold.

I started by mixing the nail polish with Mr. Leveling Thinner until I achieved that milky consistancy. This particular nail polish is pretty thick, so I had to thin it quite a bit, but after that it sprayed really nicely and went on very smooth.

 

As you can see the effect is hit and miss with this color, but the effect on the left two spoons is much greater. Unfortunately the pearlescent effect does not tranlate very well in photos, but it is much more prominent in real life.

The effect on the Mr. Leveling Thinner spoon and the Alclad II Steel spoon are pretty nice. it has tones of green and purple at different angles and has a nice overall spectral sheen.

I'm not sure how useful this particular color would be on Gundams, but it was good to experiment with.

As you can see in the photos there are scratches on two spoons. I wanted to test the durability of the nail polish compared to Mr. Color and other lacquer based paints. The scratches were done after about 30 minutes cure time. Mr. Color would have been rock solid at this point, but the nail polish, while dry to the touch, scratched off pretty easily at this point, so I decided to give it overnight to cure some more.

 

Here you can see the Before and After shots. The left two spoons had a nice change while the right two spoons had little to no effect. 

After letting the spoons cure for 8 hours, I can safely say they cured to the same hardness and durability as Mr. Color paints. Very happy about that, but in the future I probbaly would NOT use Mr. Leveling Thinner, but instead use standard Mr. Thinner. I never thought about nail polish already having a leveling agent already mixed into the formula, so I'm guessing that adding more leveling agent slowed down the cure time significantly. Since standard Mr. Thinner doesn't have a leveling agent, I would hypothosize that it would decrease the cure time by a decent amount and still retain the same durability.

CAUTION: Since all nail polish is formulated differently, both across colors and brand, it's absolutley crucial to test before spraying it on a model. Different brands may not mix well with certain thinners or may even harm the plastic. Even formulations of the same color and brand may be different in different countries, so PLEASE make sure to test out your colors!

Overall I was very pleased with this test. Like I said before, I'm not sure how useful this color or even using nail polish would be in the future, as it's no substitute for dedicated model paint, but it's good to know that the option is there in a pinch.

Creative Tip - Creating "Sleeves" Badges

Cover-Sleeves-Badges.jpg

In this tutorial, I'll show you how I created this "Sleeves" badge for my project.

STEP 1 - the base

For the base of the badge I start with .3 mm plastic sheet. The shape and size of the badge will be different depending on your project, but mine was 7mm x 4mm.

STEP 2 - Borders 01

I used .5 x .25 mm strip by Evergreen for the border around the badges. I started with the shortest edges first, since they would be the hardest to glue down simply because of their size and lack of glue area. I intentionally left some strip overhang so that I could trim it flush with the base of the badge.

 

STEP 3 - borders 02

I'll omit this step for the next few border pieces, but it's best to cut the piece long and trim it down to size.

STEP 4 - Borders 03

I added the long edges next. Finding the correct angles for the border pieces to meet up can be tricky. I like to use the piece itself as a guide and eyeball, or estimate, the cut and trim it down to get the final angle for the piece. The top piece was the most difficult since it had two tricky angles, but patience and delicate work will eventually get you to success.

 

STEP 5 - borders 04

The last piece was the back border. Only one angle to cut and an easy right angle.

STEP 6 - Emblem plug

To make the emblem I started with a "plug" that fit perfectly inside the borders. Stay patient and cut, check repeat until you get a perfectly sized plug.

 

STEP 7 - Emblem cut down

After I had the plug, I trimed it down on all sides just a bit. I also cut off the left tip of the emblem as well as a small cutout at the bottom to better replicate a stylized wing. For the "feathers" of the wing, I used a .2 mm chisel to get nice uniform lines.

After that I glued the piece in place and evened out the plug with the .2 mm chisel, carefully following the edge of the borders to get a constant space.

Lastly give the entire surface a light sanding to make sure it's nice and flat.

STEP 8 - Projected Final Look

At this point you're probably wondering how you're going to paint this detail. It's pretty simple really. 

*Note: I use Mr. Color paint, primer, and clear coats, which are all laquer based.

The first step I'd do is to paint the entire badge in white and leave it until all of your other paint work is done. Clear coat your model parts in preparation for panel lining with a nice gloss lacquer. Once that's done simply fill in the badge recesses with enamel black panel line wash until it's filled. For clean up you can use lighter fluid or your choice of chemicals. Just be careful not to damage the piece.

 

STEP 9 - Actual Size

Here you can see just how small these things are.

Final Example - before paint

Here you can see the effect of this detail. Once painted the badges will look amazing on any "Sleeves" mobile suit.

 

final example - finished piece

Here is what the Sleeves Badge looks like on the Ozymandias. I think they came out great and they're exactly what I wanted to achieve!

Creative Tip: Working with Epoxy Putty

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In this Creative Tip I'll show you how working with Epoxy Putty can greatly increase what you can achieve with your next project.

Safety

All that dust on the front of my table was from grinding, cutting, and sanding just two pieces. You do not want that dust in your lungs or eyes, so make sure you wear a dust mask or preferably a respirator and safety glasses or goggles. And when you're done, make sure to vacuum up what you can. Have fun and be safe out there folks!


We'll start with some of the things you'll need. I really like using Tamiya Epoxy Putties, especially the Quick Type. I find it to be more sticky when first working with it which is a huge plus since adheasion to the piece is critical. It also sands beautifully and has a density that is very close to Bandai plastic. 

If, for some reason, you can't find it, or you don't have access to it, there are many other artists' Epoxy Putties available. Milliput, Magic Sculpt, and Aves Apoxie Scuplt are just a few.

You'll also need some files. The larger file in this image is a general purpose flat file or bastard file. This is used for initial filing and getting the rough shape into the refining process.

The smaller file is a needle file. It's used for finer filing work when precision is needed.

A good hobby knife is essential in almost all modelling applications and this is no different. My knife of choice is the Olfa Art knife with their normal hobby blade and their chisel blade

The chisel blade is especially useful when evening up surfaces, which I'll show a little later in this tutorial.

 

To get a really refined surface you'll need a few sanding blocks of different grits. I usually use two for the refining process; one with 400 grit sand paper and one with 800 grit sand paper.

These particular sanding blocks are by Hobby Mate, but you could easily make your own with some thin plywood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), or if you have access to a laser cutter you can cut your own from thin acrylic sheet.

If you're trying to match an angle, you'll need a metal protractor like this. It's used to check to make sure you have the correct angle along the way during the refining process. It's also really useful if you have to cut some plastic sheet or strip at an odd angle.

The last thing you'll need is a small container of water.

 

STEP 1

Epoxy Putty comes in two parts that you mix together in equal amounts, so to begin we'll cut equal amounts of the White and Gold parts.

STEP 1A

Once you have them cut, they should be of equal size.

STEP 2

Use some water and wet your fingers before you start mixing the two parts. This will prevent the Epoxy Putty from sticking to your fingers. It also makes it much easier to mix. Knead and mix the putty for several minutes until you get a smooth even color throughout. As you mix it the water on your hands will start to dry and you'll feel the sticky feel start to return. This is important in the coming steps so that the Epoxy Putty properly adheres to the piece. 

Different brands will be different colors. Tamiya happens to be a pale yellow color when fully mixed.

 

This will be the piece that we'll be working with. We'll be packing Epoxy Putty into the corner around the perimeter of the upper part of the piece.

STEP 3

Now that the putty has that sitcky feel back, we'll apply it to the inside corners of the piece. Make sure to apply a litte more than you need and that it covers or overhangs any surface you want to match. We'll be removing the excess later and refining the shape. 

It's best to scuplt your rough shape at this point to make later steps a bit easier. You can use the water again to smooth the surface of the putty. If you have any sculpting tools or an old hobby knife, you can use them to better rough out the shape.

STEP 4

Wait.

Epoxy Putties differ in cure times, but I usually find that a good 12 hours is long enough for Tamiya to fully cure to its full hardness. I like to attach the pieces to paint holders so they are out of the way and to minimize anything coming into contact with them during the curing stage.

 

STEP 5

This is where the fun begins. Our first step into the refining process is to even out the Determination Points. They are the points that will ultimately determine your angle or shape.

Here you can see a cross section of the piece. The upper Determination Point is the corner of the top surface of the piece, while the bottom Determination Point is the corner of the base layer of plastic. For this piece the angle is 52 degrees.

STEP 5A

Since we now know the Determination Points are the top corner and bottom corner. I use a chisel blade to even out the surfaces and make them flat. Here is what it looks like after I've evened out the surfaces.

 

STEP 6

At this point we'll probably have to remove a good amount of material to get down to a workable shape with our files and sanding blocks, so to do this I'll use my Dremel with a common cylindrical grinding bit. You have to be very careful at this stage as you can easily take off too much and have to add some Epoxy Putty to fix your mistake.

STEP 7

After you've used the Dremel you can start to carve more material off with your hobby knife and clean up and over hanging Epoxy Putty.

Step 8

We'll start to file the shape down to the angles we need to achieve. The bastard file works really well for this and will remove a good amount of material.

 

STEP 8A

Make sure to stop often and check your angles. This is really easy to mess up.

STEP 9

When you have your shape pretty close to what you want, you can start to use the sanding blocks. This will really flatten out the surface and get you really close to your final shape.

STEP 9A

You can also use your needle file during this stage as well if you need to refine a small problem area.

 

Step 10

You've got your final shape and it's nicely refined, but you can still see some faint filing and sanding marks. Go over it with some fine grit sand paper to really clean up the surfaces. Be careful not to dull and sharp edges though.

STEP 11

Repeat the process for the opposite piece. This is always the harder process since you're trying to duplicate your work. It's best to stop often and check your work.

Here you can see the Before and After of the refining process.

 

And here are the final pieces. All the angles matche and the edges are sharp.

With Epoxy Putty you can achieve bevels like this very easily.

But making bevels isn't the only thing you can do with Epoxy Putty. You can completely reshape parts and fill in voids (especially on SD's and HG's). 

As you can see in this montage, I've used Epoxy Putty to reshape parts of the chest and completely alter the head of the Ozymandias. 

Epoxy Putty is a wonderful resource for modelers that has nearly limitless applications. You can make just about anything from it, so go experiment with some on your next project!

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful. If so, give it a like and feel free to share it!


Finished Piece

Here is the finished piece. Details and plating have been added and finished.

Creative Tip: Mixing Mr. Color Leveling Thinner with Tamiya Acrylics

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Many people are unaware that you can mix Mr. Color Leveling Thinner (MLT) with other brands of paint besides Mr. Color. Most notably, Tamiya acrylics! When mixing MLT with Tamiya it gives you a really smooth finish with improved durability and curing times similar to Mr. Color paints. This Creative Tip will greatly expand your available color choices! For best results, make sure to prime your model with either Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya Surface Primer L. Mixing MLT with other paint brands is possible, but make sure to test before spraying your model. 


Examples

The base blue on the Blue Destiny is Tamiya Flat Blue mixed with MLT. All other colors were Mr. Color that were sprayed over top of the Tamiya Flat Blue.

Most of the colors on the Gundam ver. Logic are Tamiya mixed with MLT. If I remember correctly only some of the darker grays were Mr. Color.

The Petit Nu Beargguy was painted completely with Tamiya mixed with MLT.


Failures

Even though MLT is magical in its own right, it's still not enough to strengthen weaker paint. 

So after the overwhelming success of Tamiya mixed with MLT, I decided to try other brands. In this case I picked up some Model Color paints by Vallejo and Model Master acrylic.

Mixing the paints with MLT went as expected and had no issues. Spraying also went really well. The paint went on super smooth and leveled out beautifully over a primer coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000.

I gave the spoons several hours of cure time to harden up.

And as you can see they scratched, so I gave them a full 24 hours to cure and needless to say I was very disappointed to see no change in durability. They scratched very easily with very little pressure so putting these paints up against moving plastic parts would have been a disaster.

*NOTE: As of writing this I have not tried any other paints mixed with MLT, but will probably be trying some in the future. I'll update this with future findings.

Creative Tip: Sewing Pins for Metal Detail

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In this Creative Tip I’ll show you how to use common sewing pins as small metal details for your models.

Many modelers use small beads for these types of metal details, but in comparison to common sewing pins, they’re much more expensive. You can buy a box of 750 small sewing pins for around $5 USD (which is about 2/3 of 1 Penny (US). Cheap, and, in my opinion, a better choice because the pins are flatter than the spherical beads. They can be found in most craft and sewing stores and some large department stores like Wal-Mart.

To accomplish this task you'll need a few things:

 

STEP 1

Select the piece that you want to add detail to. Remember that this type of detail should be used sparingly and only in subtle locations on the model. It’s easy to go overboard with this type of detail.

STEP 2

Lightly sand the area with fine grit sandpaper and mark the points that you want to add the detail with a pencil.

 

STEP 3

When you buy a pack of sewing pins, not all of them will be perfectly round and symmetrical. Choose one that has good symmetry.

STEP 4

Use a Digital Caliper to measure the diameter of the pins shaft.

 

STEP 5

Drill a hole for the pin shaft using the correct drill bit. Make sure to either drill completely through or deep enough to secure the pin in place.

STEP 6

Use the Digital Caliper again to measure the diameter of the pins head.

 

STEP 7

Drill a hole for the pins head with the correct drill bit. Keep this hole shallow. You only want the pin head to look like it’s embedded in the piece.

STEP 8

Use the Spherical Grinding Bit to chamfer the edges of the hole. This will give the detail a nicely finished look.

 

STEP 9

Lightly sand any surface imperfections.

STEP 10

Using wire cutters or pliers, trim the sewing pin to final size. You'll probably want it pretty short; 2mm or so.

 

Step 11

Insert the pins. When it comes to final assembly you will want to permanently fix the sewing pins in place with CA glue (super glue). Use a toothpick to apply a small amount of CA glue to the hole and insert the pin.

Examples

 I used sewing pins in many places on the Hummingbird. This image shows the variety of looks you can achieve with different sizes of sewing pins. Used appropriately, sewing pins can really enhance the overall aesthetic of your next project.

Creative Tip: Laminated Base Blanks

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In this tutorial I'll show you how to make plastic laminated base blanks. Since these are laminated in plastic, you can easily glue detail parts and build up plastic structures to make a really amazing base for your next model!

Keep in mind that this isn't the ONLY way to make a base, but this is the method that I like to use best.

SAFETY: Before we begin, be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with any tools you may be using. Knowing how to use your tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And please make sure to wear safety glasses!

So you want to make a base and you're not exactly sure how to go about it. The best way to start is to figure out the overall shape and dimensions of the base you need. In this tutorial I'll be using 3/4in MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). This material is inexpensive, stable and easily available at most hardware stores. Here in the US you can buy a 4x8 ft. sheet for around $35USD. It's available in smaller sized sheets as well. You can also use good quality plywood, or real wood. I would stay away from from other materials as they may not be stable enough for what we'll be doing.

Now that you have a piece of MDF cut out we'll need to start cutting plastic. I'm using 1.5mm styrene sheet. I would not use anything thinner than 1mm as it might become bumpy and may not hold up to the sanding that you will have to do later. 

I bought this plastic from a US based website called McMaster-Carr, an online hardware retailer. These sheets are available in many different sized thicknesses and sizes at a very good price. 

Here I've measured out the top of the base. I've added a few millimeters to each side so it will completely cover the top of the base. Don't worry, we'll trim the excess later.

 

After that I taped up the sheet around my tracing marks. You could cut these out as well.

We'll be using spray on contact adhesive, so we want to make sure we save as much plastic as possible for the sides and bevels.

Next tape up all the sides of the base. We'll be spraying these later, but we need these sides to stay clean until then. Simple masking tape does the trick here.

For contact adhesive, I'll be using 3M High strength 90. This is used to laminate countertops for kitchens, so it will hold permanently. You can use brush on contact adhesive as well, but make sure it's high strength. The last thing you want is your plastic coming off the base.

 

So now you're ready to spray the base and the plastic top. You'll need to cover your base and plastic completely with spray adhesive, especially along the edges. The spray adhesive I used doesn't have a bad smell or harmful vapors, so I was able to spray it inside, but you may want to spray outside. Just make sure to read the directions of the adhesive you buy to make sure the conditions you're spraying in are appropriate for the adhesive.

With this spray adhesive you want to spray it on both the base and the plastic and let them cure for around 2-3 minutes. A good way to test to see if the adhesive is ready is to press your knuckle onto the adhesive, if it doesn't stick to your knuckle, it's ready for application.

Next, carefully line up your pieces and press them into place. Once they're down, they will not come apart.

 

After the bases are pressed onto the plastic I cut them free from the larger sheet. You can see each side as a little extra. We'll trim that off later.

Now that the bases are free I apply weight to completely press the plastic down so that the bond is strong. I'll let these sit for a few hours, just to be sure.

So the next thing we need to do is to trim the excess off the top. For this I'll be using a stationary router with a flush trim bit. If you don't have access to a stationary router, you can use a hobby knife, utility knife, chisels, or even a small trim saw.

This is what I had and it makes quick work of trimming the excess.

 

Using the flush trim bit makes really quick work of the excess and it trims the plastic perfectly to the base. 

The bit has a roller bearing at the top that the piece rides against as the cutting surfaces trim the excess to the exact match.

So now we have the top laminated and trimmed to the base. Now we're ready to make the sides.

With the remaining plastic from the original sheet carefully cut out the four sides with a little excess on all four sides for each piece.

 

We'll start by only laminating two sides so we can trim the excess easier. We'll need to protect the other two sides and the top with masking tape.

Once the base is all taped up we'll spray the two exposed sides and the plastic strips that will be laminated.

So now that the two side strips are laminated in place we'll let these cure for a few hours and trim them up.

 

For trimming these pieces I just use nippers, a hobby knife and chisel to square them up. They will be under the other two side strips, so they don't have to be super clean, but get them as flush and neat as possible. 

You can leave the excess on the top as we'll trim that later on the router.

After that we'll re-tape the piece and protect the top and two newly laminated pieces. We'll repeat the spray process with the remaining sides.

With all four side glued up, we'll need to trim the excess off the top and last two sides. For this we'll need to tip the base vertically. To keep it at a perfect 90 degree angle I'll be using a vertical routing jig that I made. You can buy them, but they're easy to build.

 

Using the vertical router jig, I clamp the base to it and remove the router fence. I'll trim all for sides flush. They don't need to be perfect since we'll be cutting a bevel around the top in the next step.

I changed out the flush trim bit with a 45 degree chamfer/beveling bit. 

This bit also has a roller bearing, but I like to use the router fence to keep it as straight and true as possible.

With all four sides beveled, this is what it looks like. A nice clean surface to laminate the bevel strips to.

 

Using the remaining plastic from the original sheet, I cut strips to laminate the bevels. Just like the side strips, I'll start with two sides first.

Since the bevels need to have both great strength and clean lines I use super glue to laminate the pieces to the base.The super glue will also help fill any gaps that you may have after glue up.

Once the first two bevels are glued I'll let them cure for about an hour and trim the excess off in the same fashion as the first two side pieces. Use nippers to take off the bulk of the excess.

 

After you take off the bulk of the excess I use a chisel blade from OLFA to finely trim what's left.

To finish the trimming I'll use a flat file to square it up and make it completely flush with the corresponding bevel.

Repeat the glue up process for the last two bevels and trim accordingly. Trim the excess from the top and sides on the router with the flush trim bit and we're almost done. You can fill any gaps with super glue. I would rather use super glue in this case as opposed to putty, since it will cure harder and it sands and files easily and cleanly.

 

Once all the plastic is trimmed we can perform the final sanding. With a scrap of MDF, I used that as a sanding block. I start with with something course, around 280 grit, to clean up any rough areas and stray super glue. 

Make sure to keep the sanding block flush with the surface you're sanding. It's easy for the sanding block get away from you and start to round the corners and edges. Go slow and steady.

After you've got the entire base rough sanded, start to increase the grit. I'll move to 400, then to 600. This will leave the plastic pretty smooth and ready for detailing.

So there you have it. You have a square base blank ready for detailing and painting. As you can see, you can have a very subtle bevel or a large bevel. It's all what you want to do with it.

 

Square bases are pretty easy to make, but it may not always be the shape you want. You may want something round or even a custom shape. The next steps will show you how I created an elongated octagonal base.

So with continuing from the square base, I use a speed square to make 45 degree cut marks on the base.

To cut the corners off I used a miter saw, but you can use a hand saw, a circular saw, or jigsaw.

Note: I prematurely beveled one side. You wouldn't want to do that just yet.square to make 45 degree cut marks on the base.

 

Now that the corners are cut off, I cut smaller strips for the new sides and glue them up using super glue. I also trimmed and sanded the edges flat.

Using the 45 degree bit, I removed the router fence and just used the roller bearing as a guide to bevel the top on all sides.

Again using the original sheet, I cut the bevel pieces and glued them in place with super glue. Trim, file and sand the excess and we're ready for the corner pieces.

 

Smaller pieces were cut and again glued to the corners using super glue. The same process for cleaning up the excess was used.

I went a little too deep with the 45 degree bit and it left a small lip at the top, so I used super glue to fill in the gaps.

Trim, file, and sand in the same way as the square bases and you're just about finished with this base!

 

And there we go. Three base blanks ready for detailing and models. 

I hope this tutorial is helpful to you, and I hope you use this to make some amazing bases for your next project!

This is the same process that I used to make the Hummingbird's base. After you have the blank, you can detail it any way you want!

Creative Tip: The Definitive Stripping Guide to the Hyaku Shiki 2.0

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Since I'm planning on building a Hyaku Shiki 2.0 after my current project, I thought I'd look into what can strip the plating. I've seen many different suggestions and tips, but most have been second hand information that people have "heard" would work. With that in mind, I wanted to find out definitively what works and what doesn't. Here are my findings.


Preparation

I gathered some of the more common chemicals that I've seen used online and some that I thought might have a chance at stripping the plating off the Skiki 2.0. So I gathered Simple Green, 91% Isopropyl Alchohol, Windex, Bleach, and Zep Fast 505 Industrial Degreaser (similar to Purple Power).


Simple Green

 I had seen claims that this was a great paint stripper and that some people were using to strip the Shiki 2.0. I've never had any sort of luck with this, so I was not hopeful for it's chances.

91% Isopropyl Alcohol

This was the wild card of the bunch. It's my go to chemical for stripping Mr. Color and anything laqceur based, but how would it fare against the plating of the Shiki 2.0?

Windex

Another wildcard, but with the mix of different chemicals in Windex, like alcohol and amonia, I wanted to see how it would fare.

 

bleach

I've also seen a good number of claims of this stripping the plating of the Shiki 2.0, but I was not conviced, so why not put it to the test?

Zep Fast 505

This is an industrial cleaner and degreaser, similar to Purple Power. I had not tried it in the past and had seen many claims that Purple Power did great at stripping the Shiki 2.0, so I was looking forward to see what the results were.

 

Testing - 90 minutes results


simple green

Little to no effect on the part. No signs of missing plating or degradation in color.

91% Isopropyl Alcohol

Surprisingly the gold color had been stripped away to reveal a very nice silver plating. The actual plating had not been penetrated which was interesting.

windex

Slight chipping and color degradation.

 

bleach

Little to no effect on the part. No signs of missing plating or degradation in color.

zep fast 505

This is the most aggressive by far. A good amount of chipping has already started.

 

Testing - 7 Hour Results


simple gree

This just did not have any effect on the plating at all. The gold color was still vibrant and no chipping had occurred.

91% Isopropyl Alcohol

The gold color has been dissolved and slight chipping had occurred at the seven hour mark. Not the most efficient stripper, but if you wanted to have a silver or candy color shiki, this might be an easy way of achieving it.

windex

Medium amounts of stripping had occurred by the seven hour mark. I would suspect that if it was left in longer that it would strip the plating completely.

 

bleach

Minor chipping at the seven hour mark, but not as efficient a stripper as some of the other chemicals.

zep fast 505

This is the clear winner by a large margin. At the seven hour mark all signs of plating have been eliminated with no ill effect to the plastic. It's not brittle, or soft. This will easily and quickly take off the Hyaku Shiki 2.0 plating and leave you with a nice bare plastic to paint over. I would suspect that any industrial strength degreaser (Purple Power) would have the same characteristics as the brand that I tried.

 

conclusion

Keep in mind that formulations and chemical strengths will vary from country to country and even state to state, so you may experience different results where you live, but as far as I can tell the industrial strength degreaser is the clear winner in this contest. I highly recommend it if you're looking to strip the plating off your Hyaku Shiki 2.0!


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Creative Tip: Use Sticky Tack to Burnish Masking Tape!

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Problem

A lot of us have had that moment where we need to mask off a recessed area, but it's too small to press down (burnish) the masking tape with our fingers. This is a great chance to use Sticky Tack to do the work for you.

STEP 1

Get some Sticky Tack. It comes in different colors, mine just happens to be yellow, but I've seen it in blue and pink as well. You can usually buy this at a hardware or craft store where they have picture hanging supplies. It comes in a variety of names as well. It's main purpose is to hang posters.

 

STEP 2

Press the Sticky Tack into the area where you want to burnish the tape. Make sure to apply firm and even pressure.

STEP 3

Since the Sticky Tack has a tendency to stick to itself it will come up clean from your surface. Even from the small details.

 

Finish

You're all done. Repeat as necessary and make sure your masking tape is properly burnished to avoid paint from leaking underneath it!

 

Creative Tip: Engraved Circular Detail

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Tthis is a pretty simple detail that you can use to add some variety to your models.

STEP 1

Start with a small brass tube. You can use any size you'd like for different looks. I used a brass tube with an outside diameter of 1.6mm.

STEP 2

Once you've cut a small length of tube, secure it into a pin vise to better handle it.

 

STEP 3

Depending on your brass tube's diameter, use a triangular diamond file to file "teeth" into the tube. I cut three "teeth" into my tube.

STEP 4

Once you're done filing the "teeth" into your brass tube, you've essentially got a small circular saw.

 

STEP 5

Take the the part you want to add the detail to and mark the spot of your detail to see how it might look.

STEP 6

Once you're happy with the detail's location, slowly start to drill in the detail. Make sure to go slowly as the drill can slip from the location very easily. Once you've got it set in, you can start to go a little faster to deepen the detail.

 

STEP 7

This is what it should look like after you've finished drilling. It will probably be a bit rough.

STEP 8

Lightly sand the surface to smooth it out a bit.

 

STEP 9

Here's the finished engraved circular detail.

OPTIONAL

If you have small chisels, you can add other engraved details for different looks!

Creative Tip: Strapping Details

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STEP 1

I want to add a strap detail to the large round mold in the center of this piece.

STEP 2

The first thing I do is to flatten out the area that I want to add the strap. Since the piece is round, the plastic strip wont' adhere as well. 

Note: This would have been easier to flatten out the piece before glueing it on, but I didn't think about it until after the fact.

 

STEP 3

Here are some tools you can use to flatten out the round mold. The first tool on the left is as chisel blade in a hobby knife handle. The tool on the right is a 3mm chisel by WAVE. Either tool will get the job done, but you have to take your time and make sure it's evenly flat.

STEP 4

So once you have a flat surface to work with, start adding the plastic strip. You can add strip in any size you'd like for different looks. In this example I'm using 3mm x .5mm strip.

 

STEP 5

Once the glue has cured cut or file the plastic strip at the same angle as the bevel of the round mold.

STEP 6

Start to add the plastic strip for the bevel on the round mold. It doesn't have to be cut precisely at this point since we'll be trimming it down in the next step.

 

STEP 7

Trim the excess plastic on both sides of the plastic strip to match the angles of the bevel.

STEP 8

Finally add the actual strap. I like to cut chamfers in the strap to give it a better shape, but it can be any style you'd like. You can even leave it squared off, if that's what you're going for.

 

STEP 9

Trim the last bit of excess plastic strip, and cut or sand the angle flush with the bevel. At this point it should look like one solid piece. You may have to do some additional sanding or add putty to fill any small gaps.

STEP 10

For this piece I finished it off with a chiseled detail in the center and I scribed a line around to piece to give the illusion that it was protruding out of the round mold, rather than sitting on top of it. Once the piece is painted, this illusion will become more apparent.

 

FINISH

Here are the two finished pieces. 

Strapping details can add a lot of technical feel to your piece and it's a simple detail technique that shouldn't be overlooked.