Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quick Resin tutorial + Start to finish Hazel head quick build

Many people familiar with gunpla start off building the bandai plastic models, but after a while the plastic builds become a bit monotonous, so sometimes builders will seek more challenging builds. be it in the way of modifying their kits, looking at different manufacturers for more challenging model kits, or perhaps dabbling in resin. Resin kits are a special material that you can find some very beautiful and detailed kits in, that may not be available or possible in plastic form. some resin kits even require a plastic frame from an existing kit, for improved posability!

I decided to do a quick runthrough of a typical resin build, start to finish, and touch on as many techniques and methods you'll encounter when working with resin. The build was fairly quick so quality isn't as great as if i'd taken more time, but it was simply for the purpose of teaching some basic resin prep. So, lets get started shall we?

Resin comes in many different shapes and sizes, as far as how it's packaged. recasters generally use generic packaging, but more dedicated casts get their own boxes with fancy boxart and other goodies stuffed inside.

but inside these boxes the contents are generally similar. your resin pieces will be divvied up into vaccuum sealed plastic bags, this is where the absolute most important part of the pre-build process comes into play.

It's incredibly important to make sure your instructions are present (or at the very least a parts list) and you want to check that against your pieces. here, I've arranged everything according to the photo, and everything is there. but for larger kits, or smaller workspaces, this might not be an option. what I typically do is cut the bags open and lay out the parts, then using a sharpie, i dot, or check off the pieces in the instructions as i come across them.

Next up tools!

some of the basic tools you'll need to assemble a resin kit aren't much different from a standard gundam (or really any model kit) some cutters for removing the larger parts of the gates, a knife for small areas and rescribing, a file and/or sandpaper for smoothing areas, and blu-tac for test fitting.

when i cut resin, i try not to cut too close to the piece, because resin is harder, but also more fragile than plastic, you can crack or break your piece, and create more work for yourself, so here I take my time, and I trim the resin gate down.

after trimming it'll look something like this. not too shabby for some cheap-o cutters. next we'll take sandpaper and try to round it out so it looks nicer, and fits into the other part of the chest better. another thing to take note of is that resin is more toxic than plastic, and as such you should wear a mask whenever sanding or prepping the pieces.

looking good. the bottom (front) part of the molds are a little different, but it looks fine, so i'm not going to mess with tweaking it too much.

another common issue with resin, is your longer thinner pieces have a tendency to warp either in the molding process, or in the shipping process. fortunately it's a relatively easy fix. all you have to do is throw some water in the microwave (or boil it) and dip the part just past the bend, for about 5-10 seconds at a time, and slowly work it until it's at the desired shape. (fun fact: this also works for most plastic)

Next up, once everything is all cleaned up and ready to go, it's time to dry fit, not a necessary step, but should provide some insight on how you're going to be assembling this thing,

 a lot of the pieces are flimsy and don't really fit unless glued but most of it fits together no problem. Next I take everythign apart and give every piece a thorough inspection. to make sure all of the panel lines and details look good, look out for missing details, and check for flash and other imperfections.

Now would also be a good time to rescribe all of your panels (not always necessary, but 90% of the time, makes your life a lot easier) To do this, i use the backside of my hobby knife, and gently (I apply next to no pressure at all here, seriously, let the knife do the work) run it through all the panels and just make sure they're even and all the gunk built up from the casting process is cleaned out of them.

finally, it's bathtime.  in a small tupperwear container, I fill it to where i think i need with Purple power, and soak my parts for a few hours (usually 8-12, but it doesn't affect the plastic, so you can leave these in here as long as you're comfortable)

Next I prime everything and inspect the parts once more, making sure I got everything on the first go-around. as you can see here, i missed a little flash, and one of those uneven spots, easy enough to fix, Just grab my knife and sandpaper and start hammering away.

another thing i noticed was the detail on one side was uneven with the detail on the opposite side. So i'd have to work on that with my knife as well.

after some handy knifework, we were ready for another round of primer on all the pieces. there was some unevenness on the v-fin pieces as well, which yielded me an opportunity to show off a quick tip I learned with this build.

smaller parts are harder to get onto pegs, and don't adhere well to blu-tac when trying to get them on alligator clips. for this, I just put a dot of super glue on the end of a toothpick, and stuck it on an end of the piece that wouldn't recieve any paint, once it dried I could use my alligator clips to hold the toothpick so i could paint the part, and when i was done and the part was ready to be attached to the model, I just use a knife to carefully remove the excess super glue.

after the next round of sanding, things looked a little better. next I test fitted all the pieces once again, to see if there was any difficulties after applying paint that i'd have to work around (when I worked on my Efreet, this problem occurred after final flatcoating and final assembly, so it was hard to fix)

once I confirmed everything was fine, I began the painting process. now, this is where I realized I had missed a pretty vital opportunity to show off one of the most important parts of resin building. and that is pinning. again, pinning isn't ALWAYS vital, but it can really help you out on larger kits. the bigger your parts are, the more stress you put on the surrounding areas. and if your kit is a free-standing kit, or has a large gun, you're going to need all the extra support you can get. so for that you'll want to add pins to larger areas and joints and things to help hold all the extra weight.

normally you'd do this long before you paint, but I originally hadn't planned to do this step. for pinning you'll need some glue, a brass rod (or a paperclip in a pinch) and a pin vice (or a dremel with some small drill attachments)

after i set the first half of my pin, (i like to cut it too big intentionally, so i have plenty to work with) I'll make a second cut on the pin, this time at a sharp angle. then i'll carefully line up the parts, and press the two pieces together (there are better ways to do this, but this works best for me.) and drill my second hole in the indentation in the second piece.

NOW you should be good to paint. if you've already started, carry on! the last bit of advice i can give here is if you have to mask (and believe me, you'll probably have to mask) be sure to lay down a gloss coat beforehand. resin doesn't take paint very well, even with proper sanding, priming and other prep work, so it helps to have one more layer of defense against the possibility of paint pulling. gloss gloss gloss, let it sit and cure before working with it, and try to be patient putting it down as well as pulling it up. nothing is worse than repainting that piece after a perfect masking job.

finally, after you follow all the steps laid out in this tutorial you should be able to do a final assembly of your model, and move on to your next big project :)

again, this was a rather quick project, so I feel i could have achieved better results if I had spent more time on it, But i wanted to get the basics across without droning on too much. the base for this kit is made up from spare pla-plate and tubing.

in conclusion, working with resin is a very involved process, and takes a lot more time, patience and care than most stock plastic builds. but are a great way to hone in on cleaning and other skills that can help you level up your gunpla game.

there's a plethora of resin available to the market, so I recommend if you're starting to get bored with snapping up plastic kits and you're looking for a new challenge, pick up a small resin kit and dive in. it's a great learning experience. Hopefully you found this tutorial helpful. for more on the featured builds you can check my blog out at: http://justiniusbuilds.blogspot.com or my youtube channel at: http://youtube.com/baconmaster6969

until next time!


  1. Very interesting.

    I have a hi nu fit resin kit and need more informations because this will be my first work in resin. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Very interesting.

    I have a hi nu fit resin kit and need more informations because this will be my first work in resin. Thanks for the tips.