Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Painting a model before building or after?
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Indiana, United States
Member Since: February 03, 2005
entire network: 2 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 11:49 PM UTC
Which way is better?

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Victoria, Australia
Member Since: July 28, 2004
entire network: 10,889 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 12:01 AM UTC
firstly welcome to Armorama - the BEST modelling site on the net (and no, I'm not paid to say that :-) )

Re. your query, it's personal preference really. I think most ppl use a combination. Certain pieces are easier to paint before assembly, while for example when building a tank or plane it will be easier to get the body together first and then spray the entire model.

I realise this probably doesn't answer your question, but I hope it helps anyway...
C[ ]
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United States
Member Since: July 11, 2012
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Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:47 PM UTC
I agree. Some parts (larger parts) will be easier to assemble first and smaller parts like tools and bags could be painted on the sprue.
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: June 06, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 02:59 PM UTC
Different models require different procedures,also personal preference comes into play.Lately I have been assembling my armor all the way except road wheels and tracks.
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: September 03, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 03:21 PM UTC
It depends on the model. Some will require their interiors to be painted before assembly; aircraft and cars are especially notable for that. Some may need to be painted in subassemblies and some can be painted after everything's built, especially ships and tanks when they're all buttoned up.
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Auckland, New Zealand
Member Since: October 15, 2004
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 03:30 PM UTC
A bit of both, based on my judgement of which will produce the best results.

Often after assembly there is a certain amount of filling or cleaning up of seams, so there's little point in painting first.

On the other hand, some areas can't be readily painted after assembly, so these will get painted first.
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United States
Member Since: April 15, 2012
entire network: 336 Posts
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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 08:19 AM UTC
It also depends on the assembly process; solvent glues will either do nasty things to paint or not do anything, and the paint layer itself doesn't have a really good adhesion to the surface of the model, so you could bump a finished model and knock off a component along with the paint it was glued to. However, particularly with external gear on vehicles, it can be really hard to do the vehicle's paint job around the edges of the external gear. I remember an article in one of the modeling magazines where the author built a 1/72 Autoblinda 41 armored car, spraying the turret with a red/white/green tricolor ring around the turret -- with a jerry can mounted on the side of the turret before painting.

For some external components -- particularly when you're doing a paint scheme that requires intricate hard-edge masking -- it seems to me that it would be easier to put down small dots of tape over mounting points, paint the vehicle, remove all the masking, then attach the prepainted equipment, let the glue dry, and touch up the paint around the mounting points. But your mileage may vary, and everyone comes up with a method that works for them.