Having a hobby you can focus on is important since we all live in times when most of our attention goes to our phones or computers. A hobby you love and can get lost in can have the same effects as meditation on your mind. Maybe you have considered diving into the world of model cars where you can use your hands, imagination and creativity to build a unique scale car?
Choosing your first scale model car is an exciting experience. Sure, it’s not like buying a real car you’ll drive, but you should still purchase it after careful consideration. A badly chosen model kit can make people think that this hobby isn’t for them and they will never re-purchase another model. But, those who invest an effort into making the right pick are more likely to get hooked from the very beginning and the first car will only sets the way for them. And then, there are some people who even make entire careers out of selling model cars.
If you check the model cars online range, you’ll see that the possibilities are endless. And as a beginner, you might feel overwhelmed. Where do you start, which model is right for you, how much should you spend, how should you paint your model, and most importantly what tools are essential – these are all important factors to consider. So, let’s get down to it.
Type and Subject
Finding a model kit that you will be thrilled to build should be the only thing to guide you. You should be passionate and enthusiastic about this hobby, especially when you get to the challenging part of bringing all the different parts together. Pick a model car you’ll love, a model that steals your interests and inspires to continue with the process.
It could be anything from your favourite fandom such as Star Wars, or perhaps you are more into Formula One model cars. Those who are into off-road adventures will certainly love creating a mini 4WD RC vehicle. Let your passion guide you.
When choosing from the various model cars online and local stores sell, make sure to stick to one scale at the beginning of your scale modelling career. This will make learning a whole lot easier for you. If you plan to go for different sizes, it’s important to understand the differences between building small and big scale models and how to measure right. A challenge is always great, but be sure to start with baby steps.
Level of Difficulty
If you buy a model with a hundred tiny parts, you’ll quickly learn that it’s at a high difficulty level. So, if you’re new to this hobby or simply want to build a model that won’t make the process too challenging, pick a simpler one. A model with a few parts and not too many complex work stages will let you enjoy the process, learn how things should be glued, how to put parts together and which tools are best to use.
Whatever model you pick, just stick to the instructions. I’m aware that most people aren’t fond of reading instructions, and believe that they could easily manage by themselves, but it will be of great help. After all, if you glue the wrong parts together, there’s no turning back without risking damaging the parts. The instruction will help you learn which parts go together, but in the end, you can still customise your vehicle with the help of paint or other accessories to fit your imagination.
Building your model car won’t be easy if you don’t have the right set of tools. For starters, you’ll need a scalpel, side cutters, jeweller’s screwdriver, razor saw, tweezers, hand drill, glues, paintbrushes, files, and toothbrush. Sounds too much? These will all be very handy when you try to bring together all those tiny parts.
It’s also neat and safe to use a set of small side-cutters when removing the parts from the tree. You can also use a knife to cut them out or trying to twist them free, but it may damage the parts, especially the small pieces. When cutting, check twice that you aren’t cutting off a piece of the actual part.
The final part is often the most fun part of model car building for many people. Once you passed the challenge of creating your scale model with all the tricky small parts, now it’s time to do the painting. You shouldn’t worry if you aren’t a talented artist. There is a palette of model RC paints that can help you do the job if this is your first time. Airbrushing and masking are fantastic techniques to make astonishing finishes, but if you’re a beginner, I’d recommend to avoid them since you can easily ruin your hard work.
Before you start painting, make sure that you carefully wash everything, since the parts will have a coating of release agent on them. Besides that, you were touching these parts, so chances are, there are greasy fingerprints on them. Just mix some water and soap, and scrub the parts with a toothbrush. It’s essential that every part is completely dry before painting, and if you can, make sure you don’t touch these parts (you can use rubber gloves).
You can use thinned down black paint to add more realism and details to your model. This is called black washing. Simply slowly touch the part with the brush since this is a watery paint that could drip into all low spots. This technique is excellent for any part where you want to accentuate the details.