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Tutorial: Building Steps

How to build a Plastic Kit:

Plastic kits are generally easier to build than resin kits. They also require less tools and supplies to build. So for beginners I would recommend they start with a plastic kit before moving on to resin figures. Of course, this is just a recommendation and not the rule.

There are several different skills levels for building plastic kits:

    1. Snap all the pieces together before painting or drawing panel lines.
    2. Snap the pieces together without painting the pieces, but draw panel lines with marker.
    3. Snap the pieces together with a hand brush and markers.
    4. Build the kit with glue/patch and sand, plus hand brush the colour and panel lines.
    5. Build the kit with glue/patch and sand, plus airbrush the kit with one tone.
    6. Build the kit with glue/patch and sand, airbrush the kit with weathering/highlight/shading, hand brush panel lines and detail.

If you have been building at level 1, then you might as well do up to level 2, since using a marker to draw panel lines is really easy, and it does make the kit look so much nicer.

Here, I will try to cover skill levels 4 - 6. I'm only listing building steps here, so you will need to check on other pages about how to do each individual skill (some of the skills, like the painting section are still under construction).

Step 1 - Read the model instructions, gather all the external resources (like getting extra information about the kit from hobby magazines). This is the part of pre-assemble stage.

Step 2 - Wash the kit clean of chemicals. If you are going to use Mr. Color, then this step can be skipped.

Step 3 - Build the kit following the plan that you prepared in the pre-assemble stage. Cut the pieces carefully. Glue the pieces that require it, and sand all the pieces. If neccessary, apply putty to patch all the imperfection area.

Step 4 - Prime all the pieces that need to be painted. Once again, if you are using Mr. Color paint, or any other lacquer base paint, you can skip by this step.

Step 5 - Painting (applying the base coat). Sometimes you will need to paint some pieces first before you can glue and sand others (i.e the pieces are to be placed inside another piece). In this case you must paint the inner pieces first, then glue and sand the outer pieces. Use masking tape to cover the area that has already been painted (you don't have to use masking if you are hand painting). And then paint the outer pieces.

Step 6 - Do the weathering/highlight/shading on each individual piece (dry brush, if you are doing hand painting).

Step 7 - Draw the panel lines. Note that, at this stage, we have not combined all the pieces together yet. If we had put everything together, then it would have made drawing panel lines and placing decals more difficult.

Step 8 - Apply decal to the kit.

Step 9 - Assemble all the pieces together. You might need to do some sanding to remove excess paint on some joining parts, otherwise the pieces may not be able to fit together properly (the paint could build up enough thickness to cause this sort of trouble).

Step 10 - (Optional) Apply extra weathering to the kit.

How to build a Resin Kit:

The steps for building resin kits is very similar to the steps for building a plastic kit, but you do need to have more tools and supplies. Of course to build a good plastic kit one would require just as many tools and supplies, but it's just when looking at the minimum requirements that we see the difference.

Step 1 - Check and make sure the kit has come with every piece. his is important because sometimes there are missing pieces, or the pieces are badly cast. If possible, you should perform this check before purchasing the kit.

Step 2 - Wash all the pieces. This step is neccessary no matter what kind of paint you use (unlike when building a plastic kit).

Step 3 - Cut out all the excess parts. There are usually extra blocks on most resin pieces. You need to check with the photo/instruction before cutting out the blocks to avoid cutting out the wrong pieces.

Step 4 - Do a test fit of all the pieces. If any of the pieces do not fit firmly together, you may need to reshape the piece or do some patching on the piece to make it fit better. You can also drill holes in each piece so that you can stick brass sticks inside to glue two pieces together later on when you finish painting them. You can also use these holes to place your brass stick in to hold the pieces for priming/painting. For resin Gundam kits, you will need to drill holes before placing PC parts.

Step 5 - Patch all the obvious imperfections and sand away all the seam lines.

Step 6 - Prime all the pieces.

Step 7 - Check all the primed pieces and make sure there are no visible mold lines or pin holes. If there are any, repeat steps 5 and 6 to fix the problem.

Step 8 - Paint each individual piece. You might want to consider spraying sealer (like Mr. Super Clear coat) once you have completed a colour that you are satisfied with.

Step 9 - Hand brush all the small details (i.e drawing eyes for anime figure).

Step 10 - Glue the pieces together. If any piece does not fit well you will need to reshape/patch, sand, and re-paint the pieces. At the end do your final touch up work to fix as many mistakes/inperfections as you can.

Step 11 - Do the base or ground works, and then attach the resin kit onto the base.

Updated on 2002 Jan 4 by Richard Waszczuk
Created on 2002 Jan 3 by Richard Waszczuk