Basic Building Techniques and Applications

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Basic Building Techniques and Applications

Postby chariots of fire on Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:42 pm

Just for something different I thought I might post a few ideas and guidelines that have accrued to me over the years of building models. They are pretty basic and can be applied to any model build that is done. No fancy scratch building, just plain stuff.

1. Check over all parts and remove all signs of flash and mold parting lines.
2. Fill in any sink marks in the frame or body that will be seen on the finished model.
3. Sand down tire treads with fine sandpaper to remove flash and give tires a more realistic look.
4. Use glue, no matter what type, sparingly and sand off chrome or paint on any part where it has to be attached to bare plastic.
5. For small parts like rear view mirrors, lights, handles, etc drill a hole with a #70 bit into the part and where it will be attached. Insert a piece of common pin or wire in the hole in the part and leave it sticking out enough so that it can be inserted into the place where the part will be attached and glue it in place. The pin or wire will help keep the part from falling off.
6. Check alignment of parts as they go together frequently! A misaligned part with throw off everything else around it.
7. Make sure all wheels touch the ground and that they are straight.
8. Some kits like the Ertl ALF kits include wire rods for axles that insert into the rear wheel hubs. Snip the wire off so that the tires do not stick out beyond the body sides. (Maximum DOT width requirement for trucks1 ;) )
9. Truck mirrors should be mounted so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Trim brackets accordingly.
10. Use diluted white glue or two part epoxy for mounting windshield glass and headlights. Superglue will fog the clear plastic uniess you prep it first with something like Future floor wax.
11. Trim decals tight to the letters or object and use decal setting solution to help settle decals down over raised areas or into depressions. If a decal crosses over a door line, trim the decal after it has set with a sharp Xacto knife and apply more setting solution so that it settles into the door/body separation.
12. Make sure that decals are straight and evenly spaced. Decals go on a glossy surface much better than on a flat or semi-gloss surface where you are apt to get silvering of the decal. If you want a flat finish use a flat spray after the decals have been applied to the gloss finish.

Well, there are just a few things that came to mind. Feel free to add your favorite building tips. I'd like to hear what they are!
Charlie Rowley
(Chariots of Fire)
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