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Hello everybody! After many years of watching old horror films I finally decided to pull the trigger and try my hand at a model kit. I found a Moebius Dracula Deluxe kit at a local hobby store and I am very excited to start it, except that I have no idea what I'm doing. :freak: So, I have a few questions:

1. I'm really getting hung up on what sort of paint I should use. I would like to hand paint it if possible (hobby acrylic, or enamel, or any other suggestion?) because I don't own an airbrush and cannot afford a nice one right now. Is it worth it to get a cheap one?

2. How should I go about preparing this model? From looking around the internet I have read that many people wash the pieces before they paint or assemble them.

3. Paint first then assemble? Or assemble first then paint?

4. How thorough should I get before painting or assembling? Should I sand the pieces? What should I do about any seams? Should I use a primer before painting?

I realize that this is a big topic with a lot of questions but I can't seem to find any information anywhere else or I wouldn't have posted.

Thanks!
 

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1. I'm really getting hung up on what sort of paint I should use. I would like to hand paint it if possible (hobby acrylic, or enamel, or any other suggestion?) because I don't own an airbrush and cannot afford a nice one right now. Is it worth it to get a cheap one?
If you're planning to make model building a regular/consistent hobby, it's worth the investment to get a good quality airbrush. Keep in mind, you'll also need to get an air compressor for it. Which airbrush/compressor combo to get is really a matter of personal opinion, and asking that question will get you any number of answers. However, if you're planning on only building a model every great once in a while, a cheap airbrush won't be as versatile, but will probably get the job done.

See #4 below for more information about the types of paint to use.

I've been building models for over 40 years now, and I've never owned or used an airbrush--I use spray cans (a.k.a. "rattle cans") for basecoats and bottled paint and a variety of brushes for detail painting. Granted, my completed builds won't win any awards, but I don't build models to please anyone but myself.

2. How should I go about preparing this model? From looking around the internet I have read that many people wash the pieces before they paint or assemble them.
Cleaning the parts first is something I always do. It's easy, not too time-consuming, and lessens the chances that the parts will be contaminated when you paint them. I like to use undiluted Simple Green--spray the parts, let them sit for 10-20 minutes, scrub them with an old toothbrush, rinse them with warm water, and let them dry. Some people use warm water and dish soap. Others don't pre-clean their styrene kits at all.

3. Paint first then assemble? Or assemble first then paint?
There is no single answer to this question. Some modelers prefer to paint the parts before assembly, some after. Sometimes it's easier to assemble some of the parts or sub-assemblies before you paint them (the engine for a car kit, for example). Regardless, if you're going to use a styrene cement like Testors to assemble your kit, you'll need to scrape the paint from the sections of the parts that will be cemented together because the paint will interfere with the cement.

4. How thorough should I get before painting or assembling? Should I sand the pieces? What should I do about any seams? Should I use a primer before painting?
The better you "prep" the parts before assembly and painting, the better your finished build will look. For example, sometimes when you remove a part from the sprue/tree/runner there will be a small amount of plastic remaining on the part, or there will be a small depression in the part because that part of the plastic remained on the sprue/tree/runner. Most modelers will eliminate this extra plastic by sanding it away, or filling any such depressions with modeling putty.

Whether or not to eliminate any visible seams is entirely up to the modeler. Some like to see the seams, others (myself included) don't. And sometimes a visible seam is proper--for example, on a figure model where the sleeve joins the body of the figure's shirt or coat where there would be a visible seam in real life. And sometimes filling/hiding seams is a real pain-in-the-you-know-what, especially on a kit with lots of surface detail (a werewolf with sculpted fur, for example). Moebius engineers their kits (as much as is feasible, anyway) so that the parts fit together well, and so seams fall along "natural" lines (like the shoulder seams on a shirt or coat as I mentioned above), so that modelers don't have to spend a great deal of time and effort to hide/eliminate the unwanted seams. Try to build one of the original Aurora "monster" kits, and you'll see this wasn't always the case. On the other hand, those same Aurora kits will give you lots of practice at the art of hiding/eliminating seams. :lol: These days there are any number of products available that you can use to fill/hide/eliminate seams, and every modeler seems to have their own preferences.

Primers are designed to "bite" into the surface of whatever you spray them onto (providing that surface is free of contaminants) and to give paint something to adhere to. But a lot of modelers don't like to use primer because it can sometimes obscure fine detail on the surface of the kit. In my experience, primer is a must if you're going to use acrylic paints because they don't adhere to bare styrene well; enamel paints don't seem to have that problem.

Using enamel or acrylic paint is a matter of preference. I prefer enamels because they're more durable and, in my experience, leave a better/smoother finish on the surface of the styrene. But I've used acrylics before, and admit it's easier to clean the brushes after using acrylic paints. Just in case you don't know, the one thing you can't do is mix enamel and acrylic paints in the same bottle/container. Enamel paints are solvent-based, and acrylic paints are water based, so trying to mix the two is like trying to mix oil and water--it won't work.

Most of the members here are very willing to help each other with suggestions, ideas, and advice, so feel free to ask any questions.

Oh, and welcome to the asylum! :wave:
 

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Need help with the Moebius Dracula Deluxe kit Reload this Page

Zombie gave you some excellent suggestions. Here's a few more.

TEST FIT all parts BEFORE assembly. Many modelers tape the entire kit together first. This allows you to spot potential fit problems before you commit to glue. For instance, one part may need slight sanding to achieve a tighter fit and eliminate a gap between parts. After this step, wash parts again if necessary.

Keep your hands clean! Skin oils and grease will transfer to your model and interfere with a smooth paint job, so wash often.

I assemble parts first as I'm a no-seam guy. I recommend a liquid cement such as TENAX 7 or similar. You apply this with a small brush by touching it to the seam of the already joined parts. Capillary action will draw the glue into the seam and weld the parts together in seconds. I wait a moment before tightly squeezing the part together. The object is to get a tiny "weld" line to squeeze out between the parts. Once dry, this "weld" can be sanded down to the surface of the plastic and no seam lines!

The beauty section of any Walmart or similar with have great sanding sticks to file and polish the seams

ALWAYS prime the model before painting. This gives the model a uniform surface for painting and helps the paint bind to the model. KRYLON sandable gray is my personal choice. Mist the model first, wait a minute, then apply a heavier coat. 2-3 thin coats is much better than 1 heavy coat.

I paint my models with craft acrylics. They are cheap, readily available and come in all colors. Buy a few good brushes (flats and one or two small detail rounds) and take care of them. They will serve you better than a truck-load of cheap brushes. Also buy some acrylic paint thinner or flow enhancer. It will be somewhere with the paints and is used to thin the paint without reducing the binding power as water does. Clean acrylics from brushes with clean water with a drop of dishwashing soap or WINDEX.
THE FIRST COAT OF ACRYLIC PAINT WILL LOOK HORRIBLE! (Photo 1) Apply it with a soft, wide brush, (a flat) and keep your paint smooth and try to avoid over-brushing. A drop of the flow enhancer in the paint is a good idea to minimize brush marks. A hair dryer can speed up painting considerably. The second coat, applied after the first is dry will look considerably better. (Photo 2) A third may or may not be needed. Don't try and rush things and do it in one coat- it will not work and you will hate the results. After the basic flesh color, apply a wash of thinned light brown paint to the entire flesh areas. This will settle in the details and enhance them. (Photo 3) Do not puddle it on, and keep it only in the details. If you do it wrong, remove with a damp brush and try again. Happy with the result? Dry with hair dryer and then add details.

See if you can paint some parts before assembly, such as where an arm fits into a sleeve end. This makes painting much easier. after the basic areas are done, to can do details with the small brushes. (rounds) When finished, protect the paint with a good clear, flat lacquer, such as TESTOR'S DULLCOAT.

The GEOMETRIC Mr. Hyde kit pictured was entirely hand painted with acrylics as described above. You might find a cheap airbrush, such as a basic single action from somewhere like HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS useful for larger areas and smoother skin tones. Just practice you paint mix first on scrap to make sure it flows well, then CLEAN THE AIRBRUSH COMPLETELY when finished or the acrylic will be impossible to remove and the brush is ruined. Any questions, just ask.
 

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Agree with Zombie. As in life, you get what you pay for. The HF el cheapo airbrush MIGHT work the first time, but you'll end up throwing it away after a couple of tries. Besides, there are plenty of airbrushes designed by the major manufacturers for entry-level applications. For example, the Iwata Neo is reasonably priced ($50) and will meet your needs. You will need an air source. NEVER BUY CANNED AIR!!! Biggest waste of money and time.

Remember, an airbrush is just another tool in your arsenal - it's not a magic bullet. Just like anything else it takes practice.

Nautilus - beautiful job on the Hyde bust. I'm always amazed at folks to can get that nice an effect brush painting. Well done!


Rob
Iwata Padawan
 

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Here is my standard Broadway Dracula build. All brush painted with acrylics. I painted the white vest before gluing, then glued the coat pieces over it. After filling and sanding the seams on the coat, I slid some copier paper strips up between the vest and the unpainted coat, then painted the coat and removed the paper mask when dry.
 

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I may need to clarify something. By cheap airbrush I mean a simple, single action gun. (the Hobby Freight is actually quite good). My personal recommendation is the PASSCHE H. It's easier to find and cheaper maintain than the IWATA. (And I own 2 IWATA HBC's- so I'm not prejudiced to the brand.) I meant to imply that airbrushing covers large areas smoothly, and more rapidly than a brush and is excellent for smooth skin tones. (See photo of one of my airbrush jobs)

What ever you choose- JUMP IN and have fun! Think ahead and plan to get good results, but few things are irreversible, and can't be fixed if you don't like the results. Most all of us have done a job over if something didn't suit us. Practice makes perfect and I'm sure you'll soon be ready to tackle a second project. (most of us wait about 3 days)
 

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I would actually recommend a simpler, more basic, kit to work on if this is your first model or first figure model. This one requires some care in assembly, fitting and adjustment to get everything together properly. A simpler single figure like Catwoman, Black Widow, Superboy, etc. will be a lot easier while you work on a lot of the same issues and questions. Or, while not a Moebius kit, the old Aurora/Monogram/Revell Universal monsters are fun and not too hard to finish for a beginner (and they can be had cheap).
 

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I agree with djnick66. While a really great kit, Dracula and his lunch are not a beginners' kit. I've been building models for almost 50 years now, and it still gave me fits when I built it. Don't get me wrong, I really love it, and it's the pride of my collection (next to the Moebius Batman, of course!)

Batman and Catwoman were great simple kits that build up easily and well. If you'd rather stick with a vampire-themed kit, the old Aurora Dracula would be recommended. I think Round2 or someone reissued it a few years ago. (?)

Larry
 

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...ALWAYS prime the model before painting...Mist the model first, wait a minute, then apply a heavier coat. 2-3 thin coats is much better than 1 heavy coat...
This advice applies to spray painting as well, regardless of whether you're using an aerosol can or an airbrush. You want to mist on several light coats and build up the solid color slowly with multiple layers. When you miss a spot, cover it with the next layer. Also, always keep the can/airbrush moving and never ever ever hold it in one spot--that's a sure way to ruin your paint job because too much paint in one spot will run/drip.
 

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If you dont want to spend the $ on an airbrush right now (after all, you dont even know if you LIKE building models yet, right?) just brush the model. I would recommend figuring what color you are going to paint the cape and buy enamel rattle cans (example: red for the inside of cape- let dry overnight, tape off the red and then paint the outside of the cape with black rattlecan -flat would be my choice if you cant get satin). This way you can get a smooth coat for the largest part of the figure. You may want to get light and dark cans (spray) of gray for the base. Hit it with dark, and mist over some areas with light, then brush on some areas with different shades to taste. If you dig the process then you can spring for an airbrush.
Just an opinion.
 

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Some great advice and tips have been given, so I would just add that the necessity of an airbrush really depends on the look and style of paint work you prefer. Most monster modelers are probably using both but the degree of use will vary. I personally rarely use my airbrush, but some times its the only way to get the right look and the right color on a part. For my style of painting a rattle can will usually work perfectly, particularly as a primer before painting ( I prefer Krylon spray can flat colors for primers ), but also as the base color for large parts such as clothing. On this kit bashed Dracula (Revell reissue of Aurora Dracula collides with the Broadway Dracula, a COPP replacement head and some other misc. parts...................

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I primed primarily with Krylon flat grey. Dracula's coat and pants were done with Krylon flat black and the black part of the cape with Krylon Satin black. Everything else was brush painted. Almost all the brush paints were acrylics (of various brands), exceptions being the eyes, teeth and mouths of Dracula and the bats along with Draculas shoes which were brush painted with gloss enamels (Testors).

Remember that both dry brushing and washes are your friends for popping out detail.

Good luck and look forward to seeing your build!

Rob
 
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