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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default Why should I fully assemble a model before painting?

So I’m still really new to the whole hobby and I assumed that it was best to only do partial model assembly before painting in such a way that overlapping parts don’t prevent me from being able to paint all the nooks of the model. But all of the painting guilds that I’ve read including the GW “How to paint…” book say to assemble the whole model first and then start painting. This seams wrong to me as doing so would leave some visibly unpainted areas all because by assembling the model your preventing your own access to those areas. So why do these guilds tell me to assemble first and then paint?

Specifically, I’m working on a box of sm sniper scouts right now, and If I was to fully assemble them their legs would get in the way of getting some parts of their inside clocks, or gluing their heads in place would prevent me from painting the inside of their collars or the back side of their necks and heads. And then putting their weapons in place would also keep me from getting to some small areas around their chest.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:11 PM
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i would say that it is very bad advice to completely construct the model before painting it.

if you build the model completely before painting it, it will be harder to paint. if you construct the model partially and then paint it, before completing the model, it will be a lot easier to paint, but you might find that a lack of experience makes the task feel rather more enormous than it is.

if, however, you feel totally comfortable only partially building the model before painting it, then i think you will be fine doing that, and i wouldn't worry about it any further.

particularly skilled painters sometimes paint all parts individually before constructing the model, to allow better access to details.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:20 PM
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either building before painting or after painting makes little difference, if you really want every single part of the model painted then glue it together afterwards, if you don't mind then paint after building, anywhere where paint doesn't or can't go cannot be seen anyway, especially from 3 feet away.

I do half and half, for example a tactical marine I would leave the boltgun off and the backpack, and thats it, nothing more, otherwise your just waisting time painting parts of a model nobody can see.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:21 PM
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depends on the model, but yes some you should not construct fully if you wish to paint parts it will cover. Models like the new plastic daeon prince are an easy choice to fully assemble. Things like marines, i always leave the bolters and backpacks off when i paint them. Its really not a big deal leaving them somewhat unassembled. Just make sure you are careful with the glue. Polystrene will eat paint and superglue can leave a white film around the area if you use tooooo much.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ArchangelPaladin View Post
... including the GW “How to paint…” book say to assemble the whole model first....
Many of the painting articles on the GW website do suggest sub-assemblies for complex models.

I have tried both recently: my Chaos Knights were painted in pieces then assembled and my Marauders were assembled then painted. My experience was that you can assemble then paint but you need a thin brush and good hand control to paint into the depths.

My only problem with not assembling completely was caused by a conversion turning out to be unbalanced when I put it together, so if you are making a special model dry-fitting the pieces is probably a good idea.

Given the choice, I will probably keep with sub assemblies for most models unless I need to green stuff gaps.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 04:44 PM
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I agree. Some models are harder to paint assembled than others. As was stated above, painting a Tac Marine with his Bolt Gun and Backpack off is highly recommended to allow access to the chest. Some models may benefit from attaching an arm after all the painting is done. It is purely case by case

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. You all just confirmed my thoughts on the subject, so I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 09:32 PM
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Absolutely no need to assemble a model before painting.. I am currently in the middle of painting a Tyranid army and it was as if their limbs were designed to get in the way of painting..

Here is a small tip for you though if you are going to put limbs, backpacks and weapons on later..

Take a small piece of Sticky Tac (Blu-tac if you are in the UK) and tac the two contact points you wish to glue BEFORE YOU UNDERCOAT the model.. Then ignoring the tac paint the model as you normally would. Then upon completion of all said parts remove the tac (Comes away easily) and this will leave the exposed metal, pewter, resin, plastic which will form a better longer lasting bond than gluing coats of paint together...

This is especially good for use with plastic glues but works great with superglue too..

Hope this helps...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-10, 11:13 PM
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blu tac is your friend for making sure things fit first. look at the model and think 'where am I going to have trouble painting this model?' and glue everything that won't obstruct you, for example when I paint marines I leave off the right arm and backpack, blu-tacing them for spraying as Hesky mentioned
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-10, 07:44 AM
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I am new to the painting thing too. I only partially constructed my Space Marien Devastators before painting.

I left their arms and weapons off. This left me with the the legs, body, head and back pack to paint as one. This allowed access to their chest to paint. In the case of the heavy bolter it gave me access to his legs as well. With the weapons off I had easy access to the marine side of the weapon.

Its nothing something I looked up. I just felt it was best for me to allow myself as much access as possible.
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