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StuartMont

New to this forum and plastic ship/aircraft modeling

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Hello everyone, my name is Stuart.  I am a 61-year retired military aircraft and ship enthusiast.  Now that I have the time I am anxious to dive into plastic modeling and have purchased three models to get started.  These are the Tamiya 1/350 Enterprise, the Tamiya 1/32 Spitfire and 1/32 Mustang.  I did not want to complicate the post with the specific aircraft models . . . yet ☺️  I have completely read all three sets' manuals and have, probably justifiably, come to the conclusion that I may have started too "big".  However, what's done is done.    I did build plastic sailing ships and planes when I was a kid but college and then fill-time work ended that entirely.  I've found You-tube videos about building these models but was looking for advice that anyone would offer to a newbie that overstepped in terms of complicated models.

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The Enterprise is quite a large and complicated subject.  As you say; it is what it is.  I sell a full line up of "how to" modeling cds for the ship enthusiast.  Check them out here: https://flagshipmodels.com/  They cover just about everything related to ship modeling.

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I will often recommend that NOOB ship modelers avoid a big battleship or aircraft carrier model as a first attempt, especially if you are applying photoetch details.   Fact of life, you will make mistakes.  While the learning process often involves making mistakes and learning from them - it can get costly.  
 

I will recommend as a first ship the Tamiya  Fletcher with Gold Medal Models or Flagship PE.   Also the Trumpeter USS England.   Toms Modelworks PE is good and finely etched, but is made of soft brass - susceptible to the errant thumb.   
 

Dragon’s Destroyer kits are nice but Dragon has a reputation for poor instructions and are over engineered.   Why do something in 5 parts when 20 will do.   

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Welcome Stuart! Glad to have you here with us and your questions are exactly what this forum is for!

You're not the first modeler, newbie or not, to bite off more than they can chew. However, "chewing" a bite at a time is exactly the right idea and process. Let me see if I can help a bit here....

1) You're looking at the overall, BIG picture of HOW MUCH you have to do in order to complete the model....step back, relax, and instead start to look at it as a series of sub-assemblies that need to be built step by step and don't even try to picture being done.

2) Pick ONE of those models and start it! Personally, I suggest one of the planes, as they'll have fewer pieces, and larger pieces that are easier to handle than those in the ship kit.

3) You've already read the instructions, but now go back and really study the one you pick to build. Use a pen or marker to make notes where you need to, such as what color goes where, especially if all they use is "number codes"  for the colors.

4) Both the Spitfire and the Mustang are great kits, but decide NOW whether you want to get any aftermarket extras for them. The same goes for decals in case you want to build a plane with different markings than came in the kit.

5) Paint small parts on the trees, before removing them if you can. This helps avoid loss and they're easier to hold. Make notes of parts you can assemble before having to paint. Getting some gluing and assembling done, even if it's only 2 or 3 steps or sub-assemblies will help you feel like you're making progress.

6) Work on it when you feel like it, and not because you feel you "have to". It's ok to take a night, or even a week off if it keeps you relaxed and having fun when you do work on it.

7) Eventually all of your work will start coming together and you'll "get 'er done". Unless you have a contest date to try for, don't set any deadline to finish....just let it happen. Don't worry if it takes months. That's quite the norm for most builders around here!

8-  When you come to a specific problem or area in question, go to the topic area that applies to your model and ask that question there (not here). You'll have a much better chance of getting an answer faster and from someone probably experienced with your kit.

 

Hope this helps! Remember the bottom line is to have FUN. That's what we're here to help you with!

 

Gil :smiley16:

 

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Hello again,

Similar to modeling I'm also new to forums and can't seem to figure out how to reply to individual responses to my post. 

After three months of surgeries and emergency room visits I finally have use of both arms and want to start on one of the models.  Thanks very much to everyone for the advice.  I will start with one of the planes, probably the Mustang, and will endeavor to go by the steps suggested by one of the responders.  The ship does look a bit overwhelming for now so that will come later after, hopefully, gaining good experience with the planes.  During my months out-of-sorts I have been trying to prepare for this and did lots of reading about aftermarket extras and unfortunately don't feel ready for that.  I'm nervous enough about the photo-etched parts that came with the plane models.  I will make good use of the expertise available on the appropriate forum.

P-51D here we come, a plane I have loved since I can remember.  

Stuart

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