Compared to the plastic kits, resin model kits are produced in small quantities, and they are a subdivision of static models. Resin model kits are harder to build but have better details. Resins are fragile material and are not easy to cut since they are substantial casting blocks. Most of the model kits made from resin are conversions for plastic kits or accessories.
There are several ships, aircraft, full kits, and armor made from resin. Resin kits do present the modelers with challenges, but if you have built other model kits before, then essential building techniques will help you here as well. Do not let the challenges and different building materials stop you from trying other model kits and having a rewarding modeling experience.
Familiarize Yourself with the Resin Kit
No matter what kit you are working with, the first step to success is understanding how you will get to the final product. Study the new model kit carefully and read the instructions thoroughly. Make sure that you have all the essential and appropriate parts.
Remember that the developers of some of these kits are also modelers. So, it is not rare for resin kits to lack some of the regular parts like couplers and trucks. Instructions of different kits are not equally created; some craftsman kits will even provide a complete history of painting diagrams, prototypes, and very comprehensive and detailed modeling instructions.
However, the other kits come with typewriter typed instructions with hand-drawn sketches to guide you about the assembly procedure. Most of them will assume that you have the basic knowledge of railroad terminology, modeling, and kit building. So, do not expect the same instructions and all the necessary tools from all the model kits.
Resin Model Tips for Beginners
Before making resin models, you must know that they are not toys, and their assembly requires the use of paints, glues, and sharp hobby knives, and they can be harmful if not used with care.
Following are some things you will need:
- An old toothbrush
- Cyanoacrylate (Krazy Glue, Super Glue)
- Hobby knife (X-Acto or Excel brand with a #11 blade)
- Sandable Spray Primer (PlastiCote, Krylon, or Specially Figure Primer)
- “Wet” Sandpaper in different grits (600 and 1000)
- Putty (Tamiya, Squadron, or 2-part epoxy putty)
Things you will probably want are:
- Jewelers saw
- 1/16” to 1/18” brass rod
- Steel wool or synthetic steel wool
- Jeweler’s files
- Hobby cutting pliers
Following these tips will make your work effortless and less troubling.
Scrub it out
You first need to remove mold-release residues and dirt from all the resin kit parts, and for this purpose, you can use dish detergent. It will help the putty, glues, and paint to stick to the resin better. Make sure that you scrub the parts with an old toothbrush and plenty of soap.
To know whether you have done it right or not, rub your fingers vigorously across the wet resin; it should not slide easily on your fingers, but instead, squeak.
Only trim off the top
Trim away sprues (extra flaps of resin) from every part. You can cut the thinner ones with the help of a hobby knife, while for thicker ones, you may need cutting pliers or a hobby saw. You have to be careful so that you don’t end up cutting the actual part.
Get in shape
If a thin resin part gets bent or warped, then heat the piece with a hairdryer or in hot water. It will make it flexible, and you can effortlessly re-shape it while it cools but be gentle, and after cooling, it will keep the new shape. If a flat part is warped like a wing, sword, or a thin base, lay it on a tile or a flat board and gently press it using a pot-holder.
Be careful while doing so to avoid burning the part or even yourself, and do not let the hairdryer come in contact with water.
Inspect each part of the resin kit for air-bubbles, and if you found any, then open them up with your hobby knife’s tip and fill it with putty (try Squadron Green, Magic-Sculpt, Pro-Create Gray, or Green Stuff). Do the same step for other imperfections you find or for any deep seams.
If you find a bubble right at the tip of the point part, then take the point of the hobby knife and twist it into the resin part’s tip a bit to give a little more interlock for filling. To replace the lost tip, use either a tiny drop of thick-super glue or a bit of epoxy putty. Do not worry if your new putty point pops off; it happens. In this case, all you have to do is glue it back on, and you are all good to go.
Scrape the seams
Seams are typical evidence of the casting process, and you can locate them along the part. You can scrape away some of the seams with your fingernail or the edge of the hobby knife.
Use a primer
Use a white or gray primer, and it will reveal any final blemishes. You can also use a special figure model primer (you can also use a sandable auto primer) available at most games and hobby stores.
Use Super Glue to cure it instantly
Before gluing, carefully test the fitted parts to ensure the correct assembly. Moreover, use super glue or cyanoacrylate, and you may use a super-glue when the part is glued in place to cure it instantly. To fill any gaps between the pieces, use the putty.
Call for reinforcements
Some parts which are weight supporting or larger may need to be reinforced with a plastic or a metal rod. Use a pin-vise or drill before gluing; it is to make matching holes in the two parts. Then fit the pieces together by inserting the rod into one hole. The pin should line up between the two holes and tie them up securely.
Resin, the Challenging Model Kit
Resin model kits are just like the other model kits but present you with more challenges. You can build the resin models with the essential techniques you have learned while making the other model kits and essential items. Just make sure to be keen and follow all the instructions that come with the kit, and you will be good to go.