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Can I paint and varnish the individual parts of my mini before I assemble it?
Just wondering if the glue would stick properly to the paint or varnished layer, or if there would be some difficulties such as a weak bond or trouble adhering properly.
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I would say build as much of the mini as poss, before undercoat and painting, as I find that it will stay together. Glue doesn't bond as well to painted surfaces and I have no idea how it would react with a layer of varnish (never used the stuff personally, gloss is too shiney and I've seen far to many cock ups caused by Purity Seal...)
Super glue will bond anything.
I usually assemble some of the model before painting, but leave a lot of things off. For example, my Space Marines have the Legs, Torso and Backpack assembled, but that's it. I paint the arms seperately, gun seperately and head seperately. I do this because it's much easier to get into the recesses, gaps and paint around the whole part when it's not attached to the miniature. I drill a small hole on the parts where they won't be seen on the final model (neck of the head, muzzle of bolter) and insert/glue some brass rod, which I then push into a cork. Then I hold the cork while painting. When all parts are done, I glue it together.
Don't forget, you could always use a hobby knife to 'scrape off' the paint where the plastic cement should bond it.
If you search the forums you'll find that there are loads of topics on this subject. People are split on the topic, but it usually comes out as; some prefer to paint on the sprue and then assemble, others full assemble and the last batch assemble parts that won't get in the way. The latter option is generally the better in my opinion.
However, I would avoid varnishing until assembled. The parts might not bond that strongly with a layer of varnish between them.
yes, super glue will bond to anything. Even paint.. Problem is, with glue between two surfaces that have paint on it, the glue is only bonded to paint.
You now have to rely on the bond of the paint to hold up the weight of the model.
I kept having pieces fall apart after slight jostling through normal play.. This was from gluing two painted pieces together. I have stopped working this way, and have no problems now.
If you still want to paint before assembly, remember to mask off the areas that are to be glued.
In most cases I generally find it easier to assemble most of the model before painting. Ravendove's advice on painting a marine is good. I usually take it a step further and glue the arms on too without the bolter as it's still easy to get to the chest.
For more unusual models, like the drop pod for example, I clip all the pieces off the sprue and paint each piece individually since I believe it'd be a pain to paint it when even partially assembled.
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i don't think anyone mentioned why some people don't like painting everything unassembled. When you put it together the gaps between parts are noticeable on some models (alot have things like shoulder pads that will cover the joints though). Also, when attaching the pieces you sometimes notice u have spend a lot of time on a part that may be covered or barely seen. that can be solved by fitting everything together with sticky tack first.
despite this, i paint my models mostly unassembled. I glue a tiny bit of sprue to an unseen area of every part so i dont touch the pieces im painting. i cut them off at the end and glue it all together.
To prevent paint or varnish getting on the parts that will be glued just dab on some pva then paint when it has dried. When you're ready to glue you can just peel off the pva. Job done.
I definitely advocate part assembling, Nids especially are an absolute paint to paint properly if fully contructed.
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