Building A Vinyl Kit
First Off You Will Need some Basic tools
A Sharp Knife, a hobby or craft knife is Ideal but a stanley Knife will work, just as well.
Some form of modelling putty/filler. There are lots of brands out there, but we prefer to use Milliput as its easy to shape and sets rock hard.
Heatgun/Hair dryer. These are used to remove any deformation some kits come with and to slot certain types of joints together.....Hot water can be used on the parts instead to achieve the same results.
For this Instructional we are using our Moviemodeller Alien Facehugger Kit
Open It Up and check all the parts are there.
Using a old nail/toothbrush wash the parts in some fairy liquid to remove any moulding release agent and thoroughly dry off.
Next we need to get rid of the excess vinyl (Known as Flash) from the joints...
There are several methods for doing this...The 2 main methods are, 1 to carefully cut away the flash as is, not using any heat or method 2 involves heating the flash area untill soft and cut away the excess. Extra care is needed when doing this, as when the part is heated cutting becomes very easy. so be carefull.
Once all the parts have been trimmed we begin by heating the 2 Main body parts to remove any deformaties and to check for a good fit of the 2 halves. when your happy with the shape and fit, go ahead and glue them together.
After the glue has set, Check the join for any gaps or imperfections. Dont worry if you find some, this is normal and thats what the modelling putty is for..
If your using a 2 part putty like we do, then mix the 2 parts in equal quantities and push into the gaps or area's that need it.
With that inplace, before the putty dries, use the tip of your knife or similar tool to shape the putty to match the model as closely as you can, remembering to carefully remove any excess putty. This will Make sanding the area quicker and much easier later on.
Again, when your happy with it, Leave it to harden.
The Next Stage Involves constructing the tail sections.
At Moviemodeller we like to form the Tail as a built in stand, the main reasons being, the Tail fully extended is quite long and not everyone has the room to display it.
So what we do is, customise the Tail into a coil, (as it would be around its victims neck). We re-inforce it internally, which makes it sturdy and usable as an integral stand.
Putting the Tail sections together fully extended is a simple process.
we tend to start at the Tip , Heat the part to straighten and ensure a good fit to the next segment. Carry on with this process untill they all fit together nicely then glue together.
Now the main body and tail are done, we can go ahead and glue these together.
Attaching the legs is next and a little different method is used. We have found its best to heat the socket part of the joint on the main body. (Heating the leg end results in the leg joint folding in on itself whilst being pushed in, and not getting a proper grip on the main body).
While the Leg socket is still warm, simply push the leg in to attach.
Repeat this with all the legs and allow to cool.
You should end up with something like this.
The Kit Should Now be in 1 Piece. Obviously If your building a different Kit it may not be, but the methods remain the same.
Another example of this type of Heated push fitted parts, are with vinyl figure models, Usually the arms or legs or both.
They can be left un-glued to produce a movable articulated part or glued and filled to produce a seamless static joint, the choice is entirely yours.
Preparing for paint
Area's that have been putty'd pay close attention to. Lightly sand the area's to blend them in with the rest of the kit, when done correctly, there should be no visable seam lines.
We would recommend wet n dry paper for sanding, although, standard sandpapers can be used, but make sure the grit level you plan to use is not so heavy, as to eradicate any surface details. Try it out on some scrap vinyl you cut away earlier, if your unsure.
Firstly give your model a good clean with soapy water and make sure its properly dry, before any painting happens....Cleaning it, should remove hand marks and such, it may have picked up when putting together.
Now its Clean, Try to handle the model as least as possible or better yet, use clean gloves when doing so.
Before Painting any colour, we always recommend using a primer first. It can help to show any minor flaws that need work on and give a good key for the colour base coat.
Once you've looked it over and are happy with the priming, go ahead and paint your base colour.
When Choosing Paint for you model, Its Usually best to stick to one type of paint.
For Example, if you plan on using Acrylic Paint, then only use Acrylic for all your colours and varnish or if you prefer enamel paints, use them for all your colours.
The Reason being, Sometimes when using two different types of paint, they can react with each other and will make your model look, as if it has a disease of some sort...lol.
So in Short, to avoid this happening, try and keep to one type of paint.
We like to use Tamiya Acrylic paints with an Airbrush.
When we have an even base coat, we then spray the next colour. In this case it will be red for the underside mouth area.
For the Mouth area we are going to use 2 shades of the red. First off we spray the main flat red colour. Once thats dry, we then mix a small amount of red with the flesh colour used on the body to produce a pinky flesh colour, thats lighter than the red we just sprayed, to highlight aspects of the opening.
After the area is dry, we touch up the outer area's of the opening with our original flesh colour, if there is any overspray of the Reds.
Next comes the Shading/ Detailing Paint.
For this part we use a Tamiya Black semi gloss Acrylic Paint.
The Trick with this effect is to concentrate on the folds/Deep ridges/Heavy Crease's and segments of the Model.
If your using an Airbrush, Set it up for a fine line, narrow mist, spray pattern.
(By Hand With A Paintbrush Will Also Achieve A similar effect)
You want to Aim for the areas on your Model that would naturally be Darkened.
At first start off with a light coat, Have a look and see if it needs more. You can always darken the area By Spraying another coat untill your happy with the shade your looking for.
As you do this process, you should notice that the dark area's break up the flat base colour and bring it to life. Essentially What is happening is, we are adding Lo-Lights, The Opposite of highlights.
Take care when doing this though, as it is easy to over do it and end up with a model thats very dark.....
You should end up with something like this.
To Finish Off, give it a coat of clear Varnish To Protect your Paintwork and to Enhance the overall look....
You Can choose From Many Clear finishes Ie, Matt, Semi and gloss.
It Ultimately depends on what final look you are going for.
For our Example here, we want a, just burst out the egg, wet look, so were going for gloss varnish.
Gloss Varnish Is Thicker than your standard airbrush paint, even thinned down it can still clog an Airbrush, so we brush it on by hand.
So There we Have it, we've taken you from a Bunch of Plastic Parts, to a fairly realistic model.
The Basic Methods Used to build this Vinyl Kit will apply to Any Viny kit, Plus weve touched on some basic tips regards Paint.
This was written with the Newcomer to Vinyl Kits In Mind, but Hopefully Also Provide's some Insight In what we do Here at