As I alluded to in an earlier post, the drudgery of cutting, folding, painting, and gluing a scale mile of 1:700 PE railing can really break down the momentum you’re starting to feel as a build nears its conclusion. This is especially so if you’re using a paint whose naturally long curing time is compounded by life in the humid Southeast, such as I am in this instance. For the Hood build, I went with White Ensign Models Colourcoats as my paint of choice, since this company has done their homework and has, I feel, the most accurately matched paint on the market. With this quality, however, comes at least 36 hours of curing time between railing sides, since the threat of lifting/chipping is just too high.
Could you fold the rail, place it upright on a strip of tape, and paint from there? Sure, but I find that White Ensign products spray much better at a higher pressure, and I’ve had too many pieces go flying into the ether when confronting anything more than 12 PSI. So I came up with a new system:
Instead of cutting exact lengths of rail, I instead make each length about two or three sections longer than necessary. If you’re building a kit that has a precise amount of rail and no more (the Trumpeter 1:200 Bismarck comes to mind), then you may want to invest in either additional material or a different technique. Thanks to Gold Medal Models , however, I have more 1:700 rail than I know what to do with, so I can spare a few scale feet of the stuff.
Anyways, I cut it long, make the folds I need, and then attach it to a popsicle stick with a dab of Gator’s Grip glue. With such a small amount of adhesive, this takes only about 15 minutes to cure nicely. Holding the stick in one hand, I can then get both side of the rail covered in about 3 minutes; placing it aside, I find a perfectly dry length of rails late the next day ready to be cut and glued.
If you’re building a kit that features steel decks the same color of the railing, none of this will be necessary (while I have such a kit in my stash, a Dragon 1:700 USS Atlanta, I haven’t been fortunate to build it yet). If, however, you’ve got wooden decks and don’t know if its worth driving yourself insane with a masking job that may well damage the rails in the application process, this technique works great!
As a final side note, this photograph and image may look familiar – this tip of mine was accepted and published by FineScale Modeler in their December 2014 issue! As they haven’t paid me yet, I think I’m safe posting it here. 🙂
Happy modeling, friends!