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To Paint Or Not To Paint That Is The Question

Jul 19, 2008
So you have bought your model car and are getting ready for assembly. You look down in the box and see the little decals lying and ask yourself, Do I want to add these now or paint my model first? This is something that many modelers struggle with. While the decals can add a bit of detail to your model painting it can make the difference between great and wonderful. The only thing that would hold you back is your willingness to learn the techniques necessary to produce a decent paint job.

Years ago modelers were only able to hand paint their models. The tools and paints were very limited and they were pretty well at the mercy of the market if they wanted to get their hands on any high quality paints. Today market leaders have brought the prices more in line with where they should be. Along with lower paint prices have come the availability of higher quality tools. No longer belonging to body shops alone air brushes have been manufactured at a size and cost that make them an exceptionally good choice for hobbyists that want to paint their own models. If this is an option that you feel that you want to pursue then there are a number of resources out there on the different brands of air brush kits that are available as well as techniques that you can use with them.

Another aspect to consider when painting your model is the space to which you are limited. When you paint you have to allow the parts to sit for a bit so that they can have time to dry properly. If you are constrained on space then you might have to consider going with decals only since they take up very little space. Also, if you have small children constantly around then you might also consider going with decals only since the paint can make a tempting target for little hands. If you find that paint is a path you would like to follow then there are a few things to know. The first of which is about primer.

Primer is not a necessary tool of model makers. It can, however, be a very useful tool. It is very good at letting you know whether or not the paint will be able to properly adhere to the parts of the model. Also, if there are any mistakes or flaws in the construction of the car they will show up rather easily. Primer can help if you are looking to achieve a uniform coating to your parts as well. One thing you should do before you primer your car is to wash it very well. This will insure that there are no foreign materials that were left behind during the manufacturing process. Just make sure you get all the soap off because if you do not the paint, again, will not adhere as it should.

If these sound like steps that you would rather skip then painting is not for you. The decals included would be your best choice and will still give you some options as to how you would like to decorate your model car.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car hobbyists, model trains, and model trucks.
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