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Author Topic: Toolkit questions  (Read 2036 times)

Kjasi

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Toolkit questions
« on: August 31, 2012, 08:45:57 PM »

Hey all. Haven't been around much. (Been working & lurking.)

I'm planning on starting a tutorial series, and I'm going to aim the first few at absolute beginners. When I started Gunpla, I had a VERY hard time finding ANY tutorials about building your tool kit, which is why that will be the first topic I cover. But before I start, I want to do a survey;

What tool(s) would you recommend to someone just starting out, or what tool(s) did you wish you had when you first started building model kits? (I want to cover tool purchases that might be a good purchase for someone who isn't sure about Gunpla, and for someone who KNOWS they want to do it.)

What about for someone thinking of starting painting? Would you recommend trying the spray-cans first or finding a cheap airbrush? What would you call a good starting airbrush setup?

Have you ever discovered that you needed a certain tool that you didn't have? What was the tool, and when would you recommend others get it?

What tips would you give people about setting up their workspace? What tools/items would you call your most essential purchases that you simply couldn't work without?

These are all things I want to cover in my beginners tutorials, but I want to see what more seasoned builders would say.

Thanks in advance!
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Hemish

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 08:52:18 PM »

Nippers, hobby knife, tweezers and either a couple of hobby files or sandpaper and the glue, that should suffice to start with I would imagine for a starter

Mine missing items were the scribers, I ended up getting a couple an some other random tools that would be more at home with armour modelling but have found times I used them like rivet markers, engraving files oh and I cant live without my sanding sponges and reverse tweezers
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KaiK

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2012, 01:19:13 AM »

Hi Kjasi,

I'm going to throw some ideas at you because if find most of the tutorial material out there is either too simple or useless and I hope your work can change that stigma.

I've spent around 2 years acquiring different tools and spent/wasted money doing so too. It's never an easy task to recommend certain tools due to the vast variety of brands and designs.

It may be worth while focusing your research on tools used in other scale modelling. In most cases there is less involved with stock standard Gunpla building than say building a 1/32 F-14D Tomcat.

You may also want to brainstorm different approaches to building and run your tool tutorial in parallel. For an absolute beginners there are some tools which they might not even want to touch yet such as scribing tools, also in theory a beginner could get away with building Gunpla using a cheap snap blade depending on how they want to build. 

To me building Gunpla can be categorized down into different approaches such as:

Out of box snap build - no paint.

Out of box snap build - partial painting (paint markers, pots, spray cans etc.)

Out of box snap build - fully painted.

Out of box secured build - no paint, parts glued.

Out of box secured build - partial painting (paint markers, pots, spray cans etc.), parts glued.

Out of box secured build - fully painted, parts glued.

Creative building - pretty much using anything.

I've specifically mentioned in the different approaches if paint and/or glue is used for the reason that they can affect what type of tools you may/will require.

Example one:

Snap building and choosing not to paint may require only side cutters and a hobby knife. If you choose to paint you may need to look into getting paint brushes, airbrush systems (bit much for absolute beginners) sand paper and so on.

Example two:

Choosing to use adhesives (secured builds) and choosing not to paint may require side cutters, a hobby knife, different grit sand paper/sticks and polishing compound (I'd class it as materials rather than tools). Choosing to paint in this approach can further add more tools.

Bit of food for thought for you.

I'll post up my list of tools along with descriptions and applications in a later post because if you haven't already noticed I tend to write long and detailed posts.
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Ravhin

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 02:09:48 AM »

One VERY important thing (for me at least) that many people overlook. Proper light.

Anti glare lamps can be expensive but worth it imo as are led lamps but they need to be powerful. Our eyes are precious and should be spared the effort when dealing with small things and good light will increase your enjoyment of the hobby (it did for me :P)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 02:10:30 AM by Ravhin »
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Kjasi

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2012, 05:51:14 AM »

Thank you for the replies! This will definitely help!

KaiK, that is almost EXACTLY how I'm planning the beginner's series. I want to cover the tools, what they are, what they do, how to use them, what brands to get and where to get them. There are literally THOUSANDS of tutorials on technique, but there are barely a handful that talk about how to gather, setup and use the tools. And for the absolute beginner, that is one of the most important things that need to be covered.

Most Gunpla tutorials (I feel) are written/recorded by people who've been doing it for years, and they're doing it FOR people who've been inside the hobby for quite a while. They've forgotten what being an absolute beginner is like. I aim to fix that with my Beginner series.

My plan is to (after building the toolset) do a "follow-along" series kit build using a simple HG model, so I can show them how the tools work. I'm going to cover doing a simple no paint, no glue prebuild as part of the intro series. I might get a few of the HG kits so I can have side-by-side comparisons...

Ravhin, lighting is a GREAT thing to cover. I hadn't considered that. Thanks! That'll go into the "Building your Workspace" tutorial.

Other thoughts or suggestions?
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fury-s12

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 07:39:58 AM »

ye nippers and a knife is stage1 then add in glue nd sand paper and then on wards to more mod orientated tools like scribers.

one thing i rekon worth mentioning is skewers  and cotton buds  useful in so many ways and bought in bulk for cheap
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thegunny

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2012, 10:02:03 AM »

To me one of the most satisfying and rewarding things in moldelling is doing it yourself. Sure me or a million other net dwellers can tell you heaps of ways to do things and what to use but they are just that; MY/THEIR ways.

I'd like to think you've seen some of my work on these boards (and hope you think it is acceptable) and I can pretty much say the techniques I employ would make 99% of the netsperts cringe  :D I won't preach the benefits of this or that or write 10 page long lists but what I can say is just buy the best gear you can afford, you'll know what they are because they are a bit more pricey (for a reason) and just enjoy the journey of discovering what works for YOU  8)
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Kjasi

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2012, 03:00:25 PM »

Gunny, are you the type of person to go looking for tutorials on what tools you should get to do something? Because that's the kind of person I'm writing these beginner tutorials for. People who, like me, want to read up on what we need to get, before we get it.

You say we should "just buy the best gear you can afford" but you don't go into WHAT that gear is, what are good/best brands or what brands would be acceptable substitutes for the best. You did what every tutorial I've read does; You assumed that I already know what the best gear is, and told me that I should "discovering what works for YOU". I've never liked that, because, while it is true later on when you have a year or two of building under your belt, and you've got a good grasp of what you're doing, when you're just starting out, you need help finding the place to start. THAT is what I'm making the Beginner tutorials for. To help people learn which are "the best" tools to get.

And that's why I'm asking that you give me a 10-page long list, or even some recommendations, of gear. Because I'm going to sift through all this information, and present it to beginners in a way that will (I feel) help them get started faster by getting the right tools that they need. I will point out in the tutorials, however, that "just doing it" is sometimes the best teacher, and that the beginner's tutorials are here to offer help in finding the reader's way in starting this hobby.

I apologize if I came across as cross or confrontational in this post. That was not my intent. I just wanted to address your statement with the reasons that I disagree with you. :)
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KaiK

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2012, 04:38:29 PM »

Hi Kjasa,

What Gunny has highlighted is in fact one major issue with the hobby and it is something that new modellers will really consider and look into.

I've personally spent around $100 just on the various side cutters available on the market. I got advice from other modellers (scale modellers not Gunpla) on which one to buy and still had to work it out for myself in the end.

This is the dilemma that most people would face because not many people will justify why one side cutter is better than another and so on. When you write up your tutorial it would be much more effective if you, yourself, have also tried out the different designs (not so much brands). Doing this will cost you money but will establish a foundation of knowledge to pass on rather that writing up tutorials on second hand knowledge.

The side cutter designs I'd recommend you look into are:

Round tip flat side cutter - your basic cutter
Pointed tip flat side cutter - "pro" cutters and generally more expensive
Round/Pointed tip shearing cutters - cross bite blades

If you can explain those then you won't need to focus on specific brands.  

Other tools may/will have different designs too such as hobby knives and line scribers. Explaining designs will help others make more informed decisions when choosing tools as not all tools may be available for everyone to acquire.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 04:42:51 PM by KaiK »
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Kjasi

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2012, 07:08:54 PM »

Believe me, if I could try everything, then narrow it down for them, I would. (Don't have the money to do that right now though... I just bought my airbrush system and money's going to be tight until my next paycheck, whenever that is...) That is one of the reasons I'm asking for people's suggestions and insights.

What you just posted about cutters are almost exactly what I'll be relaying to them; Describing them, and their general uses. (And you're right. I should focus on the design differences rather than the brands.) The toolkit tutorial will cover what each tool does, and possible alternatives. Hell, for my first two kits, I use wire cutters and a metal file. (Something I plan to point out for the more financially conservative builders.)

Right now, my personal experience is rather low, but I know enough to help people get started, and that's what I'm aiming for.

I actually just ordered 3 HG Power GM kits to demonstrate the different types of building (OOB, Glue & markers, and painted) for my beginner series. I'll be doing a kind of "follow along" video for each of them, each building on the skills learned in the previous build. At the end, I should have 3 of the same kits, which shows the difference between the three build types. After the tutorial series, however, I'll be cleaning and finishing the OOB and glue & marker versions for a painting experiment I want to do, comparing different paint brands.
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thegunny

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2012, 10:44:50 PM »

Right now, my personal experience is rather low, but I know enough to help people get started, and that's what I'm aiming for.

The internet is littered with the ghosts of well meaning web sites that have ended up going nowhere.

I'm at a loss to work out how you can offer beginners advise when you yourself admit you have limited experience  ??? ???  :-\

Why not just build a kit and give an insight into your techniques and tools used.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 10:46:04 PM by thegunny »
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dj898

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Kjasi

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 09:35:41 AM »

Wow! Thanks for the picts DJ! If nothing else, I'll use those as reference.

Gunny: I consider my self not to be too skilled when compared to someone like you. The stuff you guys do is amazing. That's all I meant. My biggest lack of skills are in painting/airbrushing, (my airbrush JUST got here, so once I get some free-time, I'll be diving into that) scratch-building, heavy modding, and decal applying. But those aren't topics I'm going to cover yet. By the time I finish the beginner's tutorials, I'll have gained a lot of experience in those fields, which will make the next grouping of tutorials possible.
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Sonar

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Re: Toolkit questions
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 09:48:30 AM »

"Why not just build a kit and give an insight into your techniques and tools used."

Well said.

We discussed this point on the weekend. I pointed out that many of the more prominent Gunpla websites of today started out as one guy trying to log his learning experience with Gunpla, and maybe bring together a few like minded folks along the way. GAF included ;)

Have fun with it and do what you want to do. If I may offer one piece of advice it would be to try and offer the community something they have a need or use for that is not already covered by someone else.
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