Thursday, December 20, 2018

Starting a Cape Cod House (Walthers 933-3776)

I don't have a great track record when it comes to getting started on projects - especially when it comes to modeling. Witness the 3 years it took for me to get around to using the resin casting kit I got one Christmas (and I'm not even going to mention - again - the quarter-century it took me to (re)start airbrushing...). Let's just say that my reach all-too-often exceeds my grasp. It's one thing to get a model kit - it's a far different thing to start, and finish, it.

So the fact that I've started building a kit less than a year after I got it is a minor Christmas Miracle. Yes, last Christmas, the Missus - inspired by this painting of "My Dream Cottage" on my 1948 calendar . . .

Got me a "Dream Cottage Kit" that she made up herself . . .

The "kit" was/is actually made up of 3 kits, plus details - including the house itself (Walthers 933-3776), a picket fence, a pergola & trellises, hydrangeas and roses.

Well, going against my usual bent, I actually built the pergola & trellises already (only 11 months later! click here for the build), and now I'm starting on the house itself. With a little luck, it may even get done before another Christmas rolls by . . .

While the house kit itself is an easy-to-build styrene kit ("Intended for ages 14 and up"), I figure time & patience to detail - hallmarks of any good craftsman - will yield the best results.  So with that, the first step is to give all the parts a good washing:

I used warm water with Dawn grease-cutting soap & a toothbrush . . .

then set the parts aside to dry thoroughly.

Once dry, I primed all the parts (except the roof) with a rattle can of Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (gray). I didn't bother priming the roof since the plan had been to add Campbell's shingles to the roof. But I decided later to see how nice I could make the stock roof look with paint & some weathering.

After familiarizing myself with all the parts (including labeling some on the back with a Sharpie), I cut them all out, sanded/filed down any parting lines or sprue/gate marks, and divided them into different "painting families":

All the parts to be painted white are grouped together, the walls will be a yellow/cream, the shutters will be green, etc. I used cheap masking tape to tape the smaller parts to old business cards for ease of handling while painting:

And, just in case I forget what color I'm supposed to be using, I write it right on the card. The next step will be to mix up the different colors of craft paint for airbrushing.

In the past, I was always too impatient to do anything other than jump right in and assemble everything right away, figuring I'd paint it later. But I think taking the time to clean up the parts nicely, and painting everything beforehand will look much nicer - especially if I want a nice contrast between white window frames, cream walls, and green shutters.

Be sure to stay tuned to see how it turns out - and, as always, if you have any tips/suggestions please let me know. Despite how long I've been into model railroading, I'm still a rank amateur when it comes to structure building and really appreciate the benefit of others' experience.

Meanwhile, there are some "folks" who don't fret over such things. They're content to while away their time and toast themselves in front of the old railroad stove . . .

Gratuitous kitty pic.
Yes, I just placed that old hassock cover there to see if Lexy would use it.
Like a moth to the flame . . .

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