Recently I came up with a plan to organize a model building and painting workshop to be held at various anime conventions in 2004. I'm very enthusiastic about the plan, but at the same time I'm keenly aware that I need to improve my painting skills before I can try to teach anything to anyone. So, to try to improve my skills and develop the teaching plan I have decided to do a number of quick projects, under conditions similar to what students will face in the class: In particular, limited tools and supplies, no sprays, and all painting done by hand, with acrylics only. The last time I brush-painted a full model was in the summer of 2000, so some review and relearning was in order.
For the first of these projects, I chose the Nichimo Regult. The kit is very small and simple, and yet rewarding to build as-is. I thought this would make it a great choice for the limited time of the modeling workshop. Unfortunately, however, the kit's availability is rather poor these days, so buying them for the workshop would not be a particularly good deal. Presently I am considering other alternatives. However, the Regult still served as my re-introduction to brush painting. It's been a very fun project and a great excercise: and now I have a neat little model for my effort.
Initially I intended to finish the whole project in the amount of time people would have in the workshop: between 3 and 6 hours. However, that really didn't work out at all: It took 4 hours of work before I could even start the paint job, and I'd put in about 17 hours over two weeks before the thing was done. In light of that it's pretty unrealistic to think that someone new to modeling could do any kit starting from start to finish in the time of the workshop: At most they might be able to complete assembly and surfacing and start the paintjob. I'll have to keep these results in mind as I plan the event.
I did complete the kit according to the rules I set down: no knives, no sprays, etc. with just a few exceptions. The Regult kit has big screw-holes in the pod and hips and feet, I could not stand to leave those as they were, so I filled them with SGT. Also, I drilled out the gun barrels, and once or twice I did wind up using an xacto knife, mainly to clean up small mistakes. It was really tough to work on a model and not use a knife. It makes me want to rethink my no-knives rule for the workshop.
Overall I'm very happy with how the kit turned out. I had some serious paint adhesion problems along the way that caused the acrylic coats to come off in chunks, when really I would have prefered they stay exactly where I put them. This resulted in some patchwork, but hopefully it's not too bad. I also was a bit sloppy with the wash I applied, but I'll just have to do better on the next model. It was a lot of fun trying out the decals I had printed for this kit: I think I maybe overdid it a little but it really added a lot to the model.