Beginning any new venture can be daunting, but if you’re reading this post you’ve at least taken the first step towards an enjoyable and engaging hobby.
If this is your first time, choose a reasonably simple kit in your chosen field and just build it. Straight from the box, no paint, just concentrate on getting a great fit of parts, filling any gaps, and restoring lost panel lines etc. This builds knowledge and confidence, two tools that any scale modeller should carry at all times.
Don’t limit yourself to a specific medium either (e.g. wood, plastic, resin, latex, etc.). As each medium has its own quirks and pitfalls, you’d be surprised at how similar the solution is to a problem across all mediums.
Every model builder needs a toolbox, but what exactly should you fill it with?
Below is a list of necessities:
You can add specialized tools like saws, drills, and various other things, but with these basics you can still build a good model. After you build for a while you’ll collect all kinds of things like bottle caps (for mixing paint in), toothpicks, and even twist ties from bread bags. Find what works for you, and mould your kit to suit.
Source: http://forum.model-space.co.uk/default.aspx?g=posts&t=13415 (User: LrdSatyr8)
While model building can become an expensive exercise once you become truly immersed, there are many cheap household items that can be used to save you money and time.
Objects and Tools:
In reality, model building can be done anywhere that has a flat surface and sufficient lighting, but certain places are better than others. Garages, sheds, office rooms, and even attics will work nicely, and can be easily modified to meet your modelling needs.
Once you’ve chosen the space, pick a surface that is large enough for the scale you are going for. Computer desks and garage workbenches work nicely, but if you’re handy with tools then you can purpose-build your own after a quick visit to the hardware store.
Now you can add your toolkit and modify the desk to suit. Here are a few choice additions:
As with any of life’s endeavours, practice makes perfect, and model building is one of those hobbies where you never stop learning, no matter how long you’ve been at it. Once you’ve come to grips with how little you know, you can begin to love the process of learning as you go.
Practice on scrap material, and apply what works to your models. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and tools to get the effects you want, everything will come together over time and our advice is to stop at a point that you are happy with.
Identify your weaknesses and your strengths, as it can be easy to look at the overall model and dismiss your own skills. Focus on areas for improvement – are you happy with the paint finish, does your decaling need work, could the component parts fit better?
Rest assured this is what modellers of all skill levels do, and it will bear marked results if you follow this simple process.
Source: Model Space forum users: birdaj2, Nemesis, arpurchase, jase, Gandale, Warthog
While striking out on your own is the best way to learn the basics, there’s no shame in studying the work of others. Thanks to the glorious age of the internet, there are endless resources available to the budding model builder these days. Here are a few to get you started: