Weekend update with pictures from the build gathering, pictures of Manny’s finished 1/4 scale Ayane kit, and of course some Saz progress. What does this have to do with the rather morbid title. Well, it has everything to do with the Saz progression. I’m sure it’s a problem not often discussed, and if it is, there are very few pictures that modelers are willing to show. Most of the time, such pictures are taken by modelers for the purpose of asking the question on how to resolve it, or asking the question on what the hell happened. For seasoned model builders, it’s often overlooked that others may learn from the experience and pictures are often ignore. But I’ll discuss this more after the jump. First, a few sample pictures taken over the weekend.

Now, rewinding back a few days prior, I had applied decals to the shoulders and arm pieces. I ran into a little problem; I had applied too much micro sol decal setting solution to the part and it had pooled and ate away at the future clear coat I used. The future had been sitting on the surface for about 3 days before I applied the decals. Again, the rule of thumb that future really should be left to sit for a full week before doing anything. However, the decal areas were fine. So the issue is that I just used too much of the micro sol and it pooled, causing the concentrated areas to eat away at the future before it had time to completely evaporate. At the end of the day, it’s a timing issue. Lesson learned. So those areas that had the pooling were lightly sanded down and is the process of being touched up. This usually happens with a few pieces on every kit. So this is a fairly normal occurrence. It’s usually not documented for various reasons, most however, revolve around pride. As a modeler, we are frustrated when such things happen and just want to fix it as quick as possible. Not take pictures showing off to the world the problems and mistakes we make. But such things happen with EVERY kit I build, so I’ve gotten used to this and the fixes are usually fairly quick and painless.

Now back to the topic at hand – the difficulty of not getting utterly discouraged while building little plastic robots. The Saz was progressing at a pretty good pace, only a few little touch up and fixes here and there, nothing too big or out of the ordinary. Then I just hit a brick wall. Not something that completely surprised me, but more towards the “I should have fucking known better” category of screw ups. Ok, enough beating around the proverbial bush; the second decal session didn’t go quite as well as the first, mind you that the first wasn’t overly smooth either.

The tanks had been painted and clear coated with Mr Super Clear. The clear had cured overnight. The decals were applied the following day and since I had used the lacquer based Mr Super Clear instead of the acrylic based future floor polish, I figured I could go with the stronger Mr Mark Softer. The change from what I normally do is that the Mr Mark softer is usually left on the surface to completely evaporate and dry overnight. This is where I completely fuck up. I had applied the decals and the decal setter, left for a few hours, and upon my return during the build gathering, I sprayed on a layer of Mr Super Clear. So since the mark softer didn’t have time to completely evaporate, it gets to sit there and eat away at the layer of clear and eventually the layer of paints. Granted, it’s kind of an interesting effect, as Angel says, almost like a granite counter top look; but it’s not what I was looking to produce. This is interesting that I will probably keep try to reproduce this effect on a future kit; only now am I able to see a bright side to this mistake. The true lesson to learn here is patience. Any deviation from the normally planned time frame of work will sometimes get things done quicker; but more often than not, we screw things up and end up spending double the time that would have passed if we didn’t rush through things.

But on to fixing the mistake. The parts are sanded down to remove the paint and decals, then primed. Unfortunately, I only have one set of decals for this kit so this is a difficult lesson to swallow.

The fix is easy, but one cannot help but feel completely discouraged. I know that for some, such issues will be ignored and the kit progression continues. For others, such issues will eat at them and they’re completely discouraged from continuing. How do we keep from being completely discouraged when the kit is progressing along so well, and a little mistake throws a wrench into the gears. The decal issue was quite upsetting, as again, I only had one set of the decals and they’re ruined. Personally, I have to force myself to step back from the kit. A day, a week, a few hours; regardless, time needs to be spent to reflect and calm down. To understand that mistakes always happen, nothing is ever perfect no matter how well we plan things. Perhaps it’s just me and other modelers never run into problems. But I believe that we all have similar issues. But it’s rarely ever shown; and if the problems are discussed, its for reason to find a solution. The lack of a solution is also a cause for discouragement. Stop, think, hell, it’s only plastic. It’s not difficult to sand and paint. The problem is that I knew better, I should have taken the time for things to properly cure. Lesson learned, patience is key.

Ok, now what’s the point of all this talk of discouragement? Well, more so for newer modelers or those that have only been building for a few years. THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO ALL MODELERS! So don’t get discouraged, the same problems that you run into, every other modeler runs into as well. Just use the same energy it took to start up the project, to give yourself a reboot after taking a little time to recover from the mistakes. It’s only plastic after all.

Enough with the depressing pep talk. On to more progress. The shoulder inserts were finished. The cast thruster bells were painted, panel lined, and glued into place. And the lower half of the Saz’s body was worked on during the build gathering. I got most of the parts sanded and about 80% of the parts are primed.

February’s build gathering was another success. Terry and Dan were drunk before we got around to dinner, we played rockband for several hours, and some of us actually got some kit work done. Terry spurned on by the speed in which Nathan builds cracks out his Gelgoog 2.0 and actually starts building some gunpla. Dan’s working on his Valk kit.

Angel is working on his mods, Vin is working on another figure kit, and we have John’s custom gouf. I can’t wait to see that little bugger painted.

Brandon brought his figure kit he recently finished and is working on a tank as well as running around taking pictures with his nice camera. Tony brought his Zeta. Very nicely done, but he says he’s not satisfied with the final product. He’s going to end up building 20 of these damn kits.

And of course we played rockband for a good amount of time. The folks swapped out and went back to building here and there. On the other side of the room, the Tony crew had showed up later than normal as they had a convention they worked, so Tony is passed out for a while. I don’t know where these guys find the energy to focus on building after a long day of work. Gunpla craziness.

Terry, in his drunken haze grabs a blanket and just climbs onto the couch to sleep. Duke takes the other couch. Dogs do take after the mannerisms of their owners.

All the pictures form the build gathering are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/?page_id=1439

And last but not least, Manny brought his second figure kit over for some pictures. A recast of the volks 1/4 Ayane. Looks damn good, and I only wished my second figure kit was done this well. Damn quick learner, I’ll have to up my skills. I pointed out some issues that I saw for him and some suggestions for future kits.

More pictures of the Ayane are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/?page_id=1437

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. J. Ma

    Awesome post, you really should try to work this (or a variation thereof) into your Modeling Presentation (DVD?) this year at AX. This would be an awesome end chapter to a Modeling 101 / Intro Presentation!

  2. Manuel

    Thanks for your complements Clem. More importantly, thank you for your “pep talk”. Maybe you couldn’t tell last Saturday, but fixing the mistakes on my Ayane kit really wore me out, so much so that I rushed the final steps, and continued to be worn out even on that Saturday.

    I have the tendency to get extremely discouraged when making big mistakes on kits, even though they’re “just plastic”. Your post really put things in perspective for me. I hope it does the same for others.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hero

    Eh, happens to everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever had a perfect build without some difficulty in between.

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