Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fly's Studio: Part 2 - Prep Work

In case you are just joining us, this series of articles chronicles my real-time adventures preparing and painting Old Glory's Fly's Studio from their OK Corral series of 25mm Western buildings. Because the entire process is an experiment, you'll get to see my successes and mistakes along the way. To see the entire series of articles, click on the Fly's Studio link.

In Part 1 of this series, I mention how I had just started cleaning up the building. Today, I show some of the work I did to clean up one of the door openings.

The first photo in this series shows the right side wall of the studio. It has a large window and a door. Prior to taking these photos, I had already cleaned up the window. It had looked just like the door, with thick resin covering the opening and large glops of resin clogging in the corners. I took photos of the inside and the outside to show the extent of the resin, not only around the door but also around the corner posts.

First, I punched out the resin sheet covering the opening, puncturing it with my file and then breaking off as much as possible. After that, I began cutting and chipping down the remaining resin, using one of my disposable knives. I was not going to waste expensive Exacto blades doing this. In the one photo below, you can see me cutting down the excess resin.

Safety Alert!!! When cutting the resin like this, little bits will fly everywhere. Though I always wear an optivisor over my glasses when working on models, I thought would be safe. I was wrong! A chip flew up under the hood and into my left eye. Luckily, I was able to remove the chip with a q-tip, an unpleasant experience. After that, I grabbed my safety glasses. My optivisor fits over the glasses easily. Filing the resin also creates fine dust, so be sure to keep everything away from your workspace, especially digital cameras. Yes, I learned the hard way about that as well. Safe from flying debris, I continued scraping.

After I scraped and chipped the resin away, I then filed the opening and wall boards as smooth as possible. Using my triangular hobby file, I filed out the slats between the boards so the slats ran all the way to the roof. Using a hobby pick, I also cleaned out any globs from inside the slats. Finally, I chipped away any excess resin from the door trim. The photo below shows the finished doorway.

Once I trimmed and filed the excess resin off the entire building, a process which took me about 90 minutes, I scrubbed the roof and building parts in hot soapy water. This step is important because you must remove all the mold release agent, resin dust, and other dirt. When I finished washing the parts, the water was dark gray. If that isn't proof enough, I don't know what is.

Final Thoughts: The building took more work than I would have liked, with the cutting and scraping bothering my hands. I have bone defects in my hands, so too much twisting and pinching causes pain. Sometimes the pain can linger for days. (This is why I must buy miniatures free of excessive flash and mold lines.) I will finish the other Old Glory buildings and scenery bits I purchased, but I will not be buying any more. I like them, but not that much.

As I type this, the building is air-drying. Next step is priming. I'm looking forward to painting this building, but I'm not sure what I will make it. I just now got an idea for "modular" signs. Change the sign, change the building. One day a bank, the next day a dry goods store. Hmmmm.... Something to think about. I'll keep you posted.

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