Building Plastic, Vinyl and Resin Model Kits Guide
Here is some basic information for beginner's or those returning to model building after a long break. This information is intended to help you aviod several pitfalls in starting a model and get you to the painting stage. 1. Wash your model parts in warm soapy water to remove any contaminants like mould release. 2. Dry assemble your model to be sure all the parts fit properly. 3. Don't twist the parts of the sprues (plastic trees) on Styrene kits, use a clipper or hobby knife to get a clean smooth cut. 4. Vinyl kits need to have their parts trimmed to fit together properly. Do not trim the vinyl right down with nothing left because when you glue these pieces they will not hold properly together. It is best to immerse the parts to be fitted in warm water then carefully trim the part but leaving 1/2 inch that can be tucked or fitted (much like a toy doll joints) into the other piece. You will find the parts will cooperate if the vinyl is soft from the warm water and the fit will be snug and clean. You will also have a larger "glue" area. Use Styrene glue on styrene kits only. Use Ca Glue (Crazy Glue) on Styrene, Vinyl and Resin. 4. For strong bonds in "load" areas of your model "spot in" Ca glue then spray an Ca Accelerator which will hold the joint together like a "tack weld", the accelerator will harden the Ca glue in seconds. You can then add to the joint with longer drying resin epoxy putty like Aves. Aves can be used on all three types (Resin , Plastic, Vinyl) and comes with various hardening times from 5minutes to 24 hours. Resin parts have to be drilled out and "pinned" for best assembly because they are a solid material usually while vinyl and plastic are hollow. You can use a Hobby Dremel tool to do this as well as sanding or smoothing the epoxy. Epoxy comes in two parts which must be mixed in equal amounts, then applied usually with your fingers. To smooth before it's "cured" use water or vaseline. 5. Always primer your model after it's assembled to see if you need to smooth out joint areas or fill in low spots etc on seams. The primer has two purposes to "highlight" any visible flaws and to provide good paint adhesion. Vinyl does not take oil based paints very well and will remain "tacky" under most conditions if an enamel paint is used. For Vinyl stay with Acrylic based paint for a good dry paint job. Sand you model when you have it in primer but use fine grit wet/dry sand paper 600 or higher so as not to gouge the surface. 6. For your painting stage refer to kit building videos and magazines and research the subject you are building to get the best results. 7. Try not to "handle" your model after primering so as not to leave any surface imperfections. There are many clamps you can use to mount your pieces to paint and allow dry. You might want to build your own spray "rack" out of sprues or some other materials to hold or lay the pieces you want to paint. 8. Do not throw away the flash (cuttings), sprues etc that the parts were on because you can use these to make repairs or fill gaps in your model. It's best to have the material that is "colored" or matched to the kit you need to repair or adjust. 9. To fill large gaps or deep seams use any two part epoxy putty. For light seam work, sand it down then go over the surface with model putty or porcelein repair putty these both can be sanded smooth and don't shrink. For Vinyl and some plastic (styrene) kits you will want to add alittle "weight" to stabilize the model. You can use old wheel weights or fishing lures which are made out of plyable lead. Simply drop or glue them into the feet or bottom of the model. You can pour Plaster of Paris into the bottom over the weights, especially on vinyl kits this is a must as the vinyl tends to "cave" in when it's near any temperature changes..such as sitting in sunlight on a window for instance. You can also fill the cavity on vinyl with expandable foam which you spray into the cavity or a less messy method is to use old newspaper or plastic grocery bags and simply "stuff" the model. Finally please be sure to wear safety equipment as with any hobby there are dangerous or potentially dangerous and toxic substances. Read instructions carefully before you start. You will need safety glasses, gloves (rubber reinforced fingers for using hobby knifes) (latex or vinyl for mixing epoxy) , breathing protector (mask) or filter and good ventilation to avoid inhaling fumes from glues and paints.
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