Paint or Assemble First?


House Mother, Cheerleader
I'm going to add some crown molding to the window frames on my renovated hotel. I've already applied basecoat to one outside wall of the top half of the building. (I'm testing on one wall before I proceed.) The final color will be brown.

I'll use 1/2" wide x 3/16" thick extension of the window frame, topped with a 1/4" wide x 1/8" thick cap. I'll trim the ends of the cap at an angle to meet the edge of the window frame.

Is it better to assemble and prime the crowns before I attach them to the building, or should I glue them on first, then prime and paint them after?
I would be inclined to paint the strip wood/mouldings first, then cut to size and touch-up the ends.
In Nscale, I have little choice. With Gscale, you can do so much more in a prototypical fashion, but this way saves a lot of meticulous trim painting ON the model.

THANKS, Ken! I was leaning to painting them first also, but novice that I am, I wanted an expert opinion. My concern was that the glue might not stick as well to painted surfaces as to raw wood. Painting first would cut down a lot on the tedious cutting-in! There will be enough of that as it is, since the window frames will be a different color from the walls.
As long as the paint is sealed to the wood it should hold well enough, but then again its gonna be exposed to Socal weather, so...?
Claudia -

If I understand what you are doing, I would glue the cap to the facia, then paint the top, front, bottom, and ends, but not the back of the crown. That way you're getting the best of both worlds: gluing raw wood to raw wood, but painting the moulding before you apply it to the building.

Kj, I hate to admit that I might have gone ahead merrily and painted everything, including the backsides. As it is, I have only primed half of one outside wall, so I can do as you suggest by finishing and mounting the crowns before I do any more painting. THANKS!

Josh, depending on your point of view, we're TOO close to the beach. The famous SoCal marine layer is much too familiar --- year 'round June Gloom where we are. As a result, I store the buildings inside most of the time. Still, I'm trying to do my best to make sure the paint stays where I put it. ;)
Ahh, thats gotta be slightly annoying whan you wanna run trains and have to carry out a dozen or so buildings, one or 2 at a time!
Not really too annoying. I keep most of the buildings on an old metal tea-cart, ready to wheel 'em out and set them on their tile pads. I can have the whole thing set up, populated, and ready to run in about 30 minutes, provided I haven't forgotten to charge the batteries.