Building 1/12 F1 resin model kits: A step by step guide for novices
by Mario Covalski © 2004 Modeler Site
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For more than four years, I’ve been writing several articles about the construction of F1 resin model kits, however I feel that a newcomer may find it difficult to understand the building procedure to follow with this kind of kits. Unlike plastic kits, the resin ones, are nearly handmade, and in spite of their expensive cost, the available references necessary to achieve an accurate construction is enough, but just for experienced modelers; in fact, most resin kits are recommended to them.
Nevertheless, building a 1/12 F1 resin and metal model, is not a complex task, if you know what you have to do, how, and the tools and materials you will need…perhaps, it might seem tedious, at times, but will not lack of attraction.
How to begin
If you’ve bought a kit of this kind and had never built one, it’s possible that after your first excitement, you may ask yourself how to begin, or even when you’ve started (as it happened to me), you can make mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
A set of small jewellers files; specially important are the flat, round, and half round types.
Small needle nose pliers, to hold small pieces.
A pair of slanted tweezers (the ones used by women).
Small fine pointed pliers, like the ones used in electronics; these are very good to get a good hold on larger pieces.
A Dremel moto tool, or similar, with a good set of different types of cutters, brass and steel brushes, etc.
One or two hand vises.
The always present X-Acto knife (I advise the use of a rounded point blade)
Fast drying polyester putty, there are some of well known brands, as Tamiya, but the ones used to repair real cars could be useful. Owing to its harmful fumes, it should be used in small amounts and in well ventilated places.
Cyanoacrilate (CA), to glue, cover small holes and resin or metal shrink-holes. It may be liquid or gel. A short piece of 3/8” wood dowel, with a sewing needle in one of its ends, will be a very useful tool to apply CA and will be also proper to apply small amounts. A toothpick will be enough for greater amounts. Avoid pouring the CA (liquid or gel) straight from the jar, unless you were very experienced when handling this dangerous glue. An accelerator for CA, will save time and make things easier at the moment of working with it.
#100 to #280 sandpapers, not usually used in plastic will be needed to remove a large amounts of resin. In order to make the task easier, I recommend to add pieces of sandpaper to different sizes of wooden parts, this will allow you to be more precise when sanding flat surfaces.
Red or green putty or the grey one from Tamiya will be enough to cover the shrink-holes that the polyester putty left, and to achieve a smooth finishing.
Several drills: unlike plastic, resin is hard and fragile, so it’s necessary to use a drill of the proper diameter, such as: 0,5-0,8-1-1,5-1,75-2-2,5-3-4-7-8 mm.
Two or three coats of primer, any spray can be useful to cover the shrinkholes. I usually use Krylon or Humbrol.
If you wear glasses, well… this is the appropriate moment to leave your vanity aside and put them over the working bench, believe me, you are going to need them. Unfortunately, a few years ago I had an spontaneous lesion in my right eye, which reduced somewhat my vision in that eye, that is why I have found a little difficulty working with very small parts. Under these conditions, I would strongly advise the use of a good magnifier.
Step 2: Back to school…
Step by Step...it’s not so difficult!
These kits are usually started to be built from the body with all the parts included. The idea is to prepare the parts, to have them ready to be painted, this will mean several tasks such as fill some holes, remove mould marks…etc.
Once the body is ready, other parts as suspensions, ailerons…etc, are going to be prepared. It’s possible then, that you find you should need to make corrections over certain body parts that are ready, and that’s why the parts might be painted, only once everything is ready and you’ve tested several times that fit is perfect all around, and no more tasks will have to be achieved.
Here, you have the work sequence with the undertray and the body
Step 3: Preparing the body
These kits are provided with a motor and everything necessary to detail the interior, nevertheless, I like to build “curbside” models. That’s to say, without the interior, just to show the shapes and the exterior detail; it’s a matter of time. To detail any of these kits interior to the utmost, I would need to pour out at least twice the time needed to finish a curbside. Modeling is for fun, and I get fun and pleasure doing this way. So, considering my above statement, I’ll explain how I prepare the bodies.
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