Sprue Cutters Union #13 – Preparation

This week we have a subject that i kinda like: What do you do to prepare for a build?

A build starts with inspiration first and foremost ofcourse. You decided you wanted to model a given subject after watching a good movie, while browsing the internet or reading a magazine….. Maybe even wanting to copy cat a piece of work you saw a collegue do…you name it. Anything could trigger a modeller right?

So you decided you wanted to model topic X…. Let me, as an example use the P39 i am working on behind the screens

Once i decide i want to model it i will generally look for reference material. Period photographs, wikipedia, war stories… anything that has my topic highlighted is useful at this stage. Not only does it provide me with knowledge but at this stage i am still amping myself up; getting excited.

I am not sure i am the only one doing this but apart from cockpit photo’s, which would usually be black and white ones ofcourse, i use stills taken from my favorite flight simulator too: il-2 sturmovik. Generally the developers did their homework quite well and having these color screens really helps me. Screenshots i took for my P-39 look like this:




Along with half a dozen more i took of the side wall detail and radio setup behind the seat it helps me determine color and location of all the features of any given cockpit. And i can also use them to decide on scratched detail. In case the game is inaccurate i am still using the real deal B&W pics to cross reference….

More things i do that may be or may not be peculiar to me personally: At the start of each build i clean my bench thoroughly. More of a psychosomatic thing i have than anything else…. A pavlovian reaction on my behalf of clean bench equals inspiration/ excitement.

Apart from that i start a build with a brand new sharp #11 blade in my hobbyknife. Cant start without….

Lastly i check my supply of paints. Nothing annoys more than opening a bottle you need and finding out it is not enough or has dried out or whatever. Like me breaking a string on one of my guitars it always happend to me on the one day the LHS is not open (sundays and mondays)

At this stage and with all rituals met i will then feel “NOW i can start my build!”


4 thoughts on “Sprue Cutters Union #13 – Preparation

  1. I certainly do the same with each build gets a new knife blade…hahaha. Nice idea of the screen shots to assist with your detail in cockpits, even with modern day race cars these are always so hard to obtain, so i usually go for the “poetic licence”.
    Enjoyed the read.

  2. Thanks Shayne and welcome to the union by the way! I do have to say, with all the screenshots, webpages and photographs i use i still dont consider them gospel. If a kit’s cockpit doesnt have a certain knob or switch exactly right or there is detail that wont really be seen very well anyways i go by the TLAR rule (that looks about right)

  3. Great tip on using screenshots and exploring a subject in an accurate simulator.

  4. Pingback: Sprue Cutters Union #13 | David Knights' Weblog

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