Paint first, during, or last?

GEG64

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Sep 8, 2022
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54
This is probably a personal option. I have seen several videos where the builder paints the kit after most of it is built. I have always painted the part before assembly.

Which do you do; Before, during, or last?
 

urumomo

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Mar 18, 2013
Messages
3,842
Whichever way makes it easiest .
Some components are difficult to paint once attached . Either hard , or impossible ,to get to every side or hard to mask if they are a different color than their surroundings etc .
It's one of those " it depends " answers .
 

Peter54

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Sep 17, 2022
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87
I agree with urumomo.

Also, I prefer to glue to raw materials than to a film of paint. So I may paint something first but leave the gluing surface paint-free, then later paint over any exposed dried glue if it needs it.
 

urumomo

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^ This .
That's something I failed to point out .
I use masking tape or more frequently latex masking fluid to keep the mating surface for the glue-up free from paint .
 

blakeh1

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Oct 26, 2011
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402
For me it depends also on whether I may need to do any gap filling

Obviously for cockpits, intake engines, and interiors you have to paint first, but for most things on the outside I prefer painting after assembly

For things like planes I may leave the tail fins or more delicate parts like landing gears off etc.. off until after painting, or if the nose cone is a different color I will paint before gluing as long as there are no gaps, but I have most of the main body done

For something like an aircraft carrier I would build and paint the tower as a subassembly and paint, then paint the deck before adding the tower to it

Also depends on the paint scheme. For something like camo, or some other scheme that crosses multiple parts you will want to paint that over the sub assemblies of main body instead of painting the individual parts before assembly

On the flip side, with something like an AT-ST that is all one color, you can paint the parts first
 
Last edited:

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,511
Yeah, it depends. I generally paint things when it's easiest to reach them, and when it seems to make sense to me to paint. So for interiors, it's before and during assembly, and before closing the model up. With something like a ship, I'll paint small items and attach them later, after large areas are painted. Same thing for cars-from the inside out, as assembly proceeds, and when it makes sense to me.

As far as gluing surfaces go, I also like to have them clean, especially styrene, but I use the old technique of scraping surfaces to remove paint and reveal the bare surface, for best adhesion.

Most extreme case of cleaning surfaces was when I stripped the chrome from the chromed sprues in the Monogram Red Baron hot rod kit. I knew I would have to clean up seams and sprue gates, so I wanted bare styrene. I used SuperClean to strip the chrome, by the way, and Krylon Chrome to paint those bits as I went along.
 

GEG64

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
54
Yeah, it depends. I generally paint things when it's easiest to reach them, and when it seems to make sense to me to paint. So for interiors, it's before and during assembly, and before closing the model up. With something like a ship, I'll paint small items and attach them later, after large areas are painted. Same thing for cars-from the inside out, as assembly proceeds, and when it makes sense to me.

As far as gluing surfaces go, I also like to have them clean, especially styrene, but I use the old technique of scraping surfaces to remove paint and reveal the bare surface, for best adhesion.

Most extreme case of cleaning surfaces was when I stripped the chrome from the chromed sprues in the Monogram Red Baron hot rod kit. I knew I would have to clean up seams and sprue gates, so I wanted bare styrene. I used SuperClean to strip the chrome, by the way, and Krylon Chrome to paint those bits as I went along.
Wow! I remember that model when I was a little boy.
I had the HotWheels version of the 1970s!
Awesome blast from the past!
 

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