Saturday, January 19, 2013

Iron Man

Iron Man, by Moebius.  Not quite a figure, and not quite a tank, and not quite a car, but something in between all of them.  In some ways, this is an excellent kit, not too fiddly to assemble, and with good engraved detail in the parts.  In other ways, though, it's a pain.  Most of the major parts (arms, legs, head, torso, etc) have highly visible seams, and it takes a lot of work to get rid of them.  Not much filler putty, but lots of heavy filing to level the parts, and then progressive sanding to get rid of the tool marks.  Some of the seams cross raised detail or occur in places that are hard to reach.

The upshot is that my natural urge would be to paint the model in process and assemble the pre-painted parts at the end.  But the nature of the seams means that you can't do that, not unless you want ugly seams visible.  If I were to build this kit again (and I might) I'd probably assemble, file, and sand the arms and legs separately, but I can't find any way to assemble and sand the chest and torso independently.  Most of my time was spend sanding and polishing the fully-assembled model before painting, and I think that's just a fact of life with this kit.  (I reduced the amount of time I spent on it by not getting too obsessive about the seams on the backs of his legs.  I did some work, but not as much as I did on the fronts.)

The instructions don't offer much insight on painting.  The instructions list good painting tips and techniques, but they aren't so helpful in deciding which part is gold or silver or red.  Fortunately, there are a lot of references, and since it's a comic book thing, I figure a certain artistic license on the part of the modeler is acceptable (such as the silver I applied to the flexible joints in his wrists and elbows - not prototypical, I don't think, but it makes sense to me, and it's MY model, so neener). 

I spray-painted the whole model with Tamiya metallic red lacquer that was left over from a Corvette model.  In retrospect, I wish I had used a somewhat deeper red, but it's still okay.  The silver and gold were brush-painted with old-school Testors enamels.  I basically brush-painted the whole model with a layer of thinned flat black acrylic craft paint, and then rubbed most of it off with an old sock and Q-tips, leaving the black paint in the recesses and along the edges of panels.  I rather like the effect, but then again, I like canned tamales; my tastes need not be taken as necessarily good.

I enjoyed building it, even with all the filing and sanding, and the fact that it's difficult to paint.  I didn't mind the work.  But I suspect a lot of kids are going to buy this model and be confounded by the scale of the task, or put off by the amount of sanding necessary.  It looks like a beginner's kit, but it really isn't.


Warren Zoell said...

Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind?

Motorsport Modeller said...

Looks quite good and the details seem fine. Nice work on the painting.