Returning to the hobby

Model related discussions about wingy things.
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:07 am

Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:06 pm

Hi there,

I hope this is the right forum to post in, if it isn't my apologies in advance!

After, oh about 20 years away from scale models I've wondered for a couple of years about getting back into the hobby and have lurked here and around the web from time to time checking things out.

One of the things that pushed me away from the hobby was frustration and isolation. I knew I was making lots of mistakes and just did not know where to go for help. In hindsight I should have just asked in Marks Models, which would have been the only place I knew about!!

Thankfully the internet has made that a thing of the past - there are forums like this, websites and videos now, and I can see lots of solutions to the problems I remember having - use masking tape or blu-tack; use an airbrush; plan ahead; have patience; and many more.

So now I've decided to investigate what sort of investment I'd need to start again...and despite learning loads off the web I thought it best to ask!

I am a warbird nut and would be only modelling those, mostly WW2 but later stuff also and would hope to then progress to some earlier stuff as well.

I've nothing left in terms of gear from my time as a teenager modelling so I would be buying everything from scratch. So I am looking for advice in a few areas.

I've decided I'm going just learn how to airbrush as I really ended up hating using paintbrushes. What was even more frustrating is that the paintschemes of aircraft really interest me. I hated knowing I was doing a bad job of it, or an alright job at best. I wanted to do a perfect job and I never could and I didn't know how. Can you hear the anguished control freak teenaged boy here?! ;-)

I think a dual action airbrush with the paint cup at the top would suit me best the thought of having to stop to change paint flow doesn't sound appealing. As well as that I like the idea that I could use air on its own if needs be. I think as well I'd just go for a compressor for the air supply.

So - can anyone straight out recommend a decent compressor and airbrush? Can you get a decent airbrush for €40? Total budget for these would be €120 - doable or should I expect to be paying more for a reliable setup?
What do you folks actually use?

Paints - I used Humbrol enamels way back when - I believe they are not what they used to be.
Can anyone advise on a decent manufacturer easily available in Ireland? Also, do kits these days tell you the paints needed for different manufacturers?
Also - can I avoid using enamel paint and just use acrylics? I have zero experience of them.

What works for cement / glue nowadays? Any recommendations?
Same goes for putty - what would folks recommend?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for any sort of a steer I can get.

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Posts: 4227
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Cork

Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:04 am

Hey Tom Welcome back you will love teh advances made in modeling in terms of quality and the techniques that are at hand now days,

starting You may need to up that budget, you can get a compressor for about €80 while an Air brush can set you can 100+

You can get cheap ones on ebay from china for about €25 and they are good enough to get you started, I use a badger Krome i think they are like €180 but can be found for as little as €120.

I use 99.5% of acrylic paints Mostly Vallejo you can get airbrush ready ones so no need or very little thinning needed. and they come in handy little dropper bottles. you can buy a set of paints in a box but its not cheap. that will set you back about the price of an ab set up. best thing to do is buy them as you need them.

the draw back is you you cant get them from Marks in Cork. you can get them from prince august in west cork and i think they will post. that or buy them online,

You can get Tamiya from Marks and they can be thinned with Cellulose thinners or there own brand of thinners,

Glue u use Tamiya extra thin ,Not sure if marks cary it, but a good alternative would be Humbrol liquid Polly

Masking tapes i recommend Tamiya its low tac so it wont pull the paint off,

Fill i use the revel one as its nice and light to sand.

Not all models will tell you if yuo can use Vallejo/humbrol/Tamiya paints but some do. I think Eduard kits will do this

I hope some of this Info will help you, Im sure one or two of teh lads will have some more ideas. [smilie=thumb.gif]
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Posts: 704
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:07 am
Location: Cork

Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:11 am

Welcome Tom, Another born again modeller. The only advice I can give you is to keep asking questions,you know enough to know you don`t know enough,if you get my drift. Aircraft are not my thing but you are in the right place as there are some masterclass modellers in that area here.
Have a look in the" Work in Progress" section,it will give an insight into the processes and materials used.I came back to the hobby after 25 years and it was almost a case of information overload for a while.The hobby has definitely changed and for the better,but the range of extras and add -ons etc. tend to make it appear almost daunting.In fact when you get down to it there is no change in the basics,it`s still plastic,glue and paint.
The bottom line here is really all about enjoying the hobby.Giving support ,encouragement and advice is why we involve ourselves in the forum so don`t despair we`ve all been there.

Regards, Jim.
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Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: Monkey Hanger Town, UK

Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:21 am

welcome tom

i was 'born again' about 9 years ago......built kits as a kid til teenage years, then work/beer/girls/motorbikes/cars got in the way :D after a divorce i found a long forgotton kit, lashed it up as something to do for a few nights and i was hooked again!

my advice.........

airbrush....get the best you can afford......mind you, i have had iawata and badgers and they have been crap, had cheapo chinese ones and they let you down in the end, currently got an aztek and love it

paint.......when i discovered acrylics i just stopped using enamels (cept for washes or fine detail work).....and i love vallejo air cos its so easy to use

one place i dont buy cheapo is hairy paint brushes, just not worth it.....but i look after my brushes, ive got some 8 years old that i use a lot and are still as good as new

model making is a bit like fishing and golf..........theres a zillion products out there to make you 'better'.....but very often theres a way of doing it for yourself that costs bugger all thats just as good......washes is a prime example
Posts: 1265
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:30 am

Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:37 pm

Lol, another born again here :)

My advice would be not to rush into things just yet. Just admit to yourself that it will cost money over a long period of time and prioritize your needs. I would say that a good airbrush is essential. For me it is the single most important piece of equipment. After that huge big lights to help with my eyes. They really help me to see what I am doing and I wish I had bought them when I first started out.

I would prioritize what you want first and then ask for advice on specific stuff you need. It will all depend on your set up too.

Welcome aboard :X
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:07 am

Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:47 am

Thanks for all the advice lads.
I will have to do more thinking about an airbrush - I don't want to over-invest in case I decide after a few models that deeper involvement is not for me. I think I'll try to get a cheaper airbrush and then upgrade.

PS Spud - I'll won't be trying Marks or elsewhere in Cork as I'm not in the real capital - I'm a Dub! ;-)
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Posts: 2043
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:31 am

Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:08 pm

I can vouch for Badger, Have used 2 for over 20 years, a 150 and 155 versions with no problems.

If you were to opt for an Airbrush get one with a Metal body as the plastic ones are way to light I think.

good luck with your re birth!!

Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:07 am

Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:30 pm

Thanks for the recommendation George. And it will definitely have to be metal, I think plastic would be a disaster given the chemicals involved in paint!
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Posts: 2043
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:31 am

Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:22 pm

You should take a trip into Marks in Greenouge if you can, talk To Graham bout airbrushes as he uses them himself and can walk you through and you might be able to hold a get the feel for them yourself.

The plastic ones are up for the Job but I found them too light.

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Posts: 4076
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:31 pm
Location: Cork

Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:30 pm


Welcome back to the hobby Tom and welcome to ISM! Great to have you with us.

There's a lot of products on the market these days and everyone has different favourites but I find it's a lot of trial an derror and finding out what works best for you. Also what's readily available in Ireland.

For putty I mainly use Revell's Plasto. Most people hate it but I love it for general use. I'd also use Squadron green and white putties if I need to do a filler job that requires a rub down of acetone. That stuff isn't easy to find in Ireland though. A lot of guys swear by Perfect Plastic which you can get locally. I never had much luck with it and found it too flaky so I gave up on it.

Humbrol paint did change a few years ago but they changed the formula again and moved the manuafacturing process out of China following all the bad reports. You can also get Revell enamels around Dublin. I prefer enamels myself as they're not as fragile as acrylics... but you can finish a model quicker with acrylics due to the far faster drying time.

I'm with George regarding the Badger airbrushes. I've got the same set up. Excellent solid airbrushes and very easy to clean and maintain.

It definitely sounds like you're a perfectionist but this hobby is all about having fun and experimenting. I've tried to make a perfect model... it's never happened yet!! :lol:

Vinny [smilie=thumb.gif]
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