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Monday, 20 January 2014

Model Tips for Beginners - Part 1

Previously we did a Blog on  Basic Tips For Model Building for beginners that takes you step by step through some basic steps on building a model kit.  

The following are some questions that some of you, our customers, have asked either through email, social media or here at our store.  If we haven't answered your question, please send us an email or come down and see us here at Chinook & Hobby West!

How do I get the parts off the runners? 
It's best to remove the parts from the trees or sprue by cutting them off. Do this by cutting the part off as close as possible to the surface of the part so there is no excess plastic on the part from the tree. Most modelers use a hobby knife or sprue cutter (which you can find at most hobby shops). We do not recommend twisting the parts off because this can cause breakage, especially with thin or fragile parts.

Why do a few parts in my kit have rough edges?
Plastic injection molded model kit parts will sometimes have a rough edge or "mold line" on the part as a result of the manufacturing process. These can be removed by sanding the edge off the part with a small file, emery board, or sandpaper. Do this prior to painting your parts for a more realistic and professional appearance. Use a light touch as styrene plastic is soft and will easily sand.

I am a first-time model maker and am having difficulty removing the decals from the page to apply to model. Do you have any suggestions for application?
Decals should be dipped in lukewarm water for only a moment and then set on a paper towel to let the water soak in and dissolve the adhesive that holds the decal on the paper. The decal will curl up, and then unroll after a short time. At this point the decals should be able to be moved around on the backing paper and slid into location on the model. Once in place they can be dabbed with the tip of a paper towel or tissue to soak up excessive water.

We also would like to add that using a decal setting solution afterwards will help the decal 'snuggle' onto your project for your best look.

What type of glue or cement should I use?
Generally, most any glue or cement that is suitable for use on plastic can be used on your Revell model kit. Tube glues, such as Testors and Ambroid are the most commonly found and have a gel-like consistency. These are also made in a non-toxic formula to reduce some of the odors.
Use these sparingly in order to avoid the glue oozing out from the parts being joined. When using tube type glues you may want to squeeze out a small amount onto a scrap piece of paper or cardboard and apply a small amount to the kit part using a toothpick to control how much glue you are applying. Many builders like to use a liquid cement such as Testors, Tenax, or Pro-Weld, among others. Liquid cements can be applied using a small paint brush and can give you a nice, clean glue joint. Dip the brush in thinner from time to time to clean.
Other glue types frequently used are five minute epoxy, which is best used when you need a really strong bond for major structural parts of the kit, or "CA" glue, which is also commonly called super glue. CA is short for cyanoacrylate. Keep in mind that you do NOT want to use CA or super glues with clear or transparent parts as it will fog up the part.
Remember to always want to use any glue or cement in a well-ventilated area and to keep some nail polish remover nearby in case you glue your fingers together.

I accidentally got a finger print of paint or glue on my windshield. How can I get it off without ruining it?
If you only have a little bit of glue or paint on your glass, you may be able to get it off just by rubbing with a soft cloth. If you have any more, you may have to use more drastic measures like using a very fine rubbing compound ,such as white toothpaste. You can also use a superfine polishing kit. If you wind up with a slight fog on the glass, you can usually eliminate it by using model wax, clear enamel or liquid acrylic floor wax. If the glue is embedded too deeply, your only choice is to replace the glass.
Pro-Weld Liquid Glue

Testors Clear Parts Cement

Plastruct Liquid Glue

CA Glue, Debonder and Accelerator by Speed

Testors Model Cement and Liquid Glue

Watch for Part 2 next week:

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