When I’m not in the mood for working on my own models I spend time looking at other people’s work, especially the various contributors on Youtube. One man I have a lot of admiration for is Paul Budzik. If you haven’t checked out his videos or his web-site then take a look. http://paulbudzik.com
You’ll find an analytical, informed and well communicated approach to model making. Paul focuses primarily on making models with a very high degree of scale accuracy. You won’t find him discussing the latest washes or glues, but you will find him offering views about working with plastic and paint that are different from the frequently repeated techniques in ‘How to’ shows. I guess you could say I am a fan, even I haven’t tied all his techniques yet.
One thing I’ve learnt from Paul’s approach is not to be a slave to manufacturer supplied detail if it gets in the way of building a kit. So, it was that I found myself looking at the surface of Italeri’s F-104c and my own added detail. There was a problem nagging away at me. The plastic has too much surface texture to make a good base for the natural metal finish I have planned, and all my riveting and scribing had made it worse. I felt the urge to sand and smooth it out, but I was worried about losing the rivet detail I had just added. In the end the urge for a smooth surface won and I held my breath and started sanding. I tried the underside first in case I was on a path to disaster, using first 600 grit then 3,000 grit and then a polishing sponge, and all the time nervous that I was obliterating hours of work.
Once the dust had cleared (and been wiped off) I was left with a smooth surface but I had rivet holes clogged with dust. Well, at least there were holes to clog, I thought. After some cleaning up with a stiff brush and water I had holes and a smooth surface. Phew! It worked. The shot below shows how subtle the added rivets are now. You have to look hard to see the rows of smaller rivets. It also gives some idea of the smooth surface texture. It is easier to feel than it is to see. I can feel it is smoother when I run a finger across. I hope the rivets survive primer and paint well enough to take a wash, but so far it is job done, with thanks to Paul for his inspiring videos (even if he wouldn’t approve of my out of scale panel lines). Stay tuned dear viewers for the next instalment.