Newbie Needs a Plan

Hi,
When I was a young buck I did a lot of modelling but now I'm a born again newb and have no idea what tool chain is good so I need some basic advice.
I want to do the Tamiya 1/24 Toyota GT-One. However, due to limited time (and patience) I want to cut a few corners. First, I want to make it as indestructible as possible because I'm going to give it to someone who is probably going to drive it into walls at 900 mph (relatively speaking). So I'm going to mostly skip the innards (spraying it matte black) and concentrate on the two tone red / white paint job. The idea is to give it a great finish but also be something that someone can play with without worrying about a wheel falling off.
So, my questions are:
1) I need two types of glue - one to "tack weld" things (quick as in 5 seconds?) and another to go back and make it strong like bull. For tack welding I'm thinking "Super Glue" and for the regular glue I was thinking the usual Testors goo. I would like to know if someone can recommend any specific products that might be better for my purposes.
2) I want to put most of the effort into a high gloss finish. I was just going to use the recommended Tamiya lacquers, put the decals on, and then go over everything with Tamiya's clear lacquer. Other than that I'm not really sure how to get the best finish. How important is a primer? How should I clean the subject before spraying? Can / should I heat those Tamyia spray cans? Are they ok to spay outside if it's a little cool and damp?
Mike
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Welcome back to the fold, my son :-)

I think that if you're trying to make it to last, then you would be better served by using Tamiya plastic cement for the regular glue job. You could then use superglue on the inside of unseen joints to strengthen them too.

For priming and smoothing, Mr. Surfacer from Gunze is good. Depending on how rough your first construction/puttying job is, you might start with 500-grade, and after removing any dents and imperfections, use 1000-grade Mr. Surface for the final priming. Then, a nice base coat would help to avoid "shining through" in the final coat. I can't comment on the paints you want to use for cars, but after that, one good recommendation is Future floor polish (I kid you not!) for the glosscoat.
You'll get plenty of help here my friend.
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snip
to use the recommended Tamiya lacquers, put the decals on, and then go over everything with Tamiya's clear lacquer. Other than that I'm not really sure how to get the best finish. How important is a primer? How should I clean the subject before spraying? Can / should I heat those Tamyia spray cans? Are they ok to spay outside if it's a little cool and damp?

Painting without priming is hit or miss. You can do it, but it doesn't always work well. I use Krylon sandable primer, found in hardware stores. It was first recommended to me by folks on this list, and I have used it ever since these many years (yes, this is an OLD list).
Also, that Krylon primer works well with automotive lacquers. Many of us use touchup cans of auto paint like Duplicolor and others. You may have to rub out last coat and overcoat with a clear coat to get a real high gloss, however.
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Don Stauffer in Minnesota wrote:

going to use the recommended Tamiya lacquers, put the decals on, and then go over everything with Tamiya's clear lacquer. Other than that I'm not really sure how to get the best finish. How important is a primer? How should I clean the subject before spraying? Can / should I heat those Tamyia spray cans? Are they ok to spay outside if it's a little cool and damp?

Depends on what kind of paints you use - I use enamels, never prime anything, and have never had a problem in over 40 years of building.
If you're using acrylics or lacquers, that could be another matter. I don't use them for that reason. But a lacquer will give you the highest most durable gloss.
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