2011/06/16

Tools of the Trade

Since my HGUC Dendrobium review brought up many of my advanced techniques (if you can call them that), I'm going to go into detail on my workstation, tools and materials I use with almost every kit.

I: Layout
Here's everything that's required for me to complete any kit that comes my way. Well, most of the time, but I'll get into that in a bit. The top shelf (not seen) keeps my incomplete kit boxes on it. Since I didn't have any at the moment, it wasn't crucial to have in the picture.

As for my actual work space:
Here it is! Actually, it usually sits cornered with the shelf so my tools are to my side and the parts I'm working on are in front of me. I work on the ground instead of on a desk for a few reasons.
1: I'm much more comfortable.
2: When working on a Master Grade, for instance, a desktop's space can be quickly filled.
3: Should I drop a piece, it shouldn't have gone too far (Not always true).
4: I'm used to it. I suppose this one is just a reiteration of No. 1, but meh.

II: Tools

The absolute basics-of-the-basics.
-Side cutters (or "snips") to remove the parts from the runners
-Hobby knife to trim away the flash or scratch away excess paint
-Scissors for water decals or basic decal trimming
-Pliers to get some of my more stubborn paints open
-A stylus for rub-on decals
-Modeling files, used for flash clean-up, or go to town on the Dendrobium to smooth the assembly process.
Also, I have another small cutting board that came with an MG I had ordered some time ago. I use this when I need to remove flash from weird angled parts, so I'll set this on my knee so I can get in closer.

III: Clean-Up Items and Fixatives

-Rag for brush/paint clean up. (Washed regularly)
-Testors Model Cement for heavy part fixes.
-Tamiya Extra Thin Cement for if I just want to parts to never come apart again.
-Testors putty. Not used unless I'm customizing something.
-Decal set. Nuff said.
-Tips for the glue or putty.
-Those weird part separators that came with a hand full of my MG's some time ago.

Not all of these are used often. Mostly the rag and decal set. I don't recall ever needing the separators on anything. I did once to test it, and ended up damaging itself without realy separating anything.

IV: Clear Paints and Finishes

The basic assortment of Tamiya clear paints (The only Tamiyas I'll use from now on), a few Testors clear pinks, which mostly get mixed with white for beam sabers, and Testors Dullcote topcoat. I have yet to use the topcoat yet, but when I test it, I'll let you know the results.

V: Paints
Here's all of my paints. I won't take a separate photo just because these come and go all the time. They are all Testors brand acrylic paints. The silver, however, (The one with the price tag on the cap) is my sole enamel, as it gets a really good reflective finish and dries smoothly when brushed carefully.
My pallet is in dire need of replacement, but I can't seem to find this kind anymore...

VI: Brushes, Pens and Cleaners

These are the best brushes I've used thus far, as they don't reject any of the paints I use! I keep a large assortment, however you can probably tell which ones get used the most.
The tall Tamiya bottle is just water with a little soap. The other two are enamel thinners. I always buy thinners in pairs because SOMEHOW one always gets spilled! Hasn't happened in a while, however, since switching to acrylic paints.

These are my assortment of Gundam Markers. I honestly only use the gold as the rest tend to bleed too much. I have occasionally bled them and used a brush with their inks, but I keep them around as a just-in-case. The .005 micron pens are simply for line clean-up in black-filled spaces, like thruster nozzles or vents.

VII: Reference

These probably rank as my most expensive "tools", but I'm very picky about color accuracy.
-Character Encyclopedia 2006 for pilot painting
-5 Gundam Mechanics books for quick, almost flash-card reference (Only goes up to V Gundam, though)
-MS Encyclopedia 2006 (Unbinded to scan the lineart section) for MS's not covered in the Mechanics books.

I'm in dire need to replace the Character and MS Encyclopedias since the 2009 edition came out.
If I'm working on a non-Gundam model, such as an Evangelion or Rockman kit, I have to rely on the internet and printer ink for their designs.

VIII: Finished storage

When I'm done with a kit, it goes on one of my shelves in a basic stance (whatever doesn't take up a lot of room). The rest of it goes as follows:

The boxes all get stored in my closet, with exception to my MG boxes. I had to break those down and place those into my Sazabi box hidden in the back.

A good lot of my HGUC and various series based kits' boxes line these shelves. The Dendrobium's box sits on the floor as it takes up too much space up top.

Some of my figures' boxes lie up here, as well ^^

The manuals sit near the reference guides. I need to get some magazine holders to better organize them, but this stack does for now.

Now, since most of my MG's boxes are broken down, I have to keep the extra parts somewhere, right?

Maybe this'll help...

All of my excess parts are put into small bags, labeled and placed into this container. Larger parts (Which are obvious as to what they go to) free-float, cushioned between the bags.
This also needs organization to accommodate my quickly-expanding collection of HG's. For now, those are also in labeled bags within one of Dendrobium's boxes.

So there's my process for modeling. Any questions? Advice (I'm always open)?
Let me know!

10 comments:

gunpla47 said...

not bad man..very organised! For me, every single tool will be squeezed in one cabinet drawer, and the paints in another. Extra parts just put beside the models and manuals under the table ^^

OZKai said...

@gunpla47
This is EASILY the most organized I've been with my tools in my 12 years of Gundam modeling. I'm hoping to keep this trend up once we get ourselves moved again.

Siroh32 said...

Hmm... Like with probably most of the Gunpla builders (no pun intended) out there, it seems I don't see much tools of my own in your collection. I might make a post myself of it sooner or later, but with the exception of Gundam (or other brand) paint markers, my tools are mainly second or first-hand resources as a result of improvising.

- It wouldn't be out of the ordinary for me to use a barber's type of scissors for extracting parts from runners, then using nail clippers for large nub removal, and a rectangular utility knife with a thin retractable blade to shave the nub to something of a minimum.
- Albeit rarely, if I need to get a hold of a small piece without my own hands, I try a pair of tweezers.
- At first, I used a pen, but I now rely more on a pencil for panel-lining. The pen is also used for filling black areas smaller than what standard markers can use.
- And the markers I mainly use are the permanent markers from Sharpie. Yes, you read right. I don't trust myself with paint that much after a few screw-ups.
- One of the few screw-ups involved sharpie's own series of paint markers. I haven't broke out my collection of paint markers yet (a mixture of Sharpie and Gundam paint markers), but when I try and follow the instructions a bit too well and with too much strength, the paint markers do bleed out. I sometimes feel bold enough to try applying some directly onto the model.
- Superglue is a newer tool for broken Gunpla parts and loose figure joints. Scotch tape is used for Gunpla joints.

That's pretty much my primary list of tools used. Rarely any of them are actually specific tools for modeling, and I don't see myself changing that anytime soon in my two-year-old-yet-still-green Gunpla hobby.

By the way, thanks for the compliments in the FLAT review. I wish the arrows in a couple of photos and any planning of the review are intensive enough to take so long, but it's just a combination of my usual pace of things and an occasional case of laziness that takes over. Otherwise, I already would have a FLAT review out in May, not June.

OZKai said...

@Siroh32
Your tools sound very similar to what I had maybe only 3 years ago. Once I realized what was needed to improve my hobby, I would inch my way through the ranks. I'm on my 3rd pair of snips in 7 months since my first. My brushes were only from a year ago. All of my paints, save for my clear Tamiyas, are within that year, as well.
I think Z put it bast, though. It's good to start small and work your way up, tool by tool. Rushing in will force too many habit changes, and something will suffer as a result.

By the way, no problem at all! I know what it's like starting out something like this. I just started my blog in April (earlier posts were brought over from my more life-general now-defunct blog), and there were a couple of times I wanted to fold it up due to lack of outside interest. (Thus the desperate plea to you via DA.)
But, I just tell myself "it's for my own satisfaction." That way I can keep pushing, and people following that are gained are the rewards for my perseverance.
I do kinda wish G.G. followed my new blog like he did my old one...
Ah, well. I can give it time.

Luffy d Munkey said...

i need to get me one of those encyclopedias. thoush i did find myself the 2010 gunpla model catalogue. btw added ya to my blogroll :D

canopy said...

Wow, that's what I call "organized". And... is that NDS' stylus? :D

As for the workspace, you work in your room? Maan, the paint and topcoat could be poisonous you know. :D

OZKai said...

@canopy
I've never used the topcoat yet. I know I can't use sprays indoors. I hand brush all of my kits.

Siroh32 said...

I forgot to list something...

- When I do screw up with markers, I use one of those Axe body spray cans on the part and start all over again. This mainly works for sharpies, but it can affect paint markers too. I don't know just how different they are, so I have more of an urgency with paint markers.

I've been using them ever since I saw a YouTube video of someone removing permanent ink from a video game cover.

OZKai said...

@Siroh32
!? That's interesting.
I may have to test this sometime...

Siroh32 said...

Although I'm sure you could figure this out yourself, Oz, for anyone out there reading this, just a little additional note regarding using that spray: for more precise "erasing" to try over again, try spraying it onto a Q-tip or napkin/paper towel first and then use that to wipe off the messed-up area.

Post a Comment