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Some of your questions might be:. This site is intended to answer these and many more questions. We'll demonstrate building the typical model car kit from start to finish.

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You will learn many of the insider tricks that are used to turn a humble box of molded plastic parts into a museum-worthy masterpiece. You can use as few or as many of these tricks as you like to improve your models.

Helpful Tips for Plastic Model Building

But the most important thing is to have fun doing it! Contact Us. Search this Site. Welcome to Model Car Tips!

Hints and Tips for Plastic Modeling

The defining characteristic of model kits is that they come in several small pieces that need to be assembled to make the final product. The kits we sell at Hobby and Toy Central come in a variety of materials, including plastics, metal, and wood usually balsa wood. Depending on the material, you may be putting the model together using glue, screws, small nails, or a combination of the three.

Most model kits will also require some painting to complete so they appear like they do on the box. I'll be talking about plastic model kits and what you need to complete them. The most common kits found moulded in plastic make scale models of cars and trucks, military vehicles and figures, ships and boats, and aircraft. The model kits we carry come in numerous scales, ranging from to , and we're asked to explain scale all the time. Basically, the scale tells you how much a model has been shrunk relative to the size of the original. The two numbers are a ratio: telling you how many units on the real thing are equal to one unit on the model.

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If a model were , that means that one foot on the model is equal to one foot on the original, so in this case the model would be full-size. The further the second number gets from 1, the smaller the model kit is compared to the original.

If a model were that means that it is one tenth the size of the original. To put it another way, if your scale model is one foot long, the real thing is ten feet long. Most categories of models have a range of common scales that make the type of model manageable for the average person both to complete and display. For car models, the most common scale is ; for military models, either or ; for aircraft, , , or Sometimes we see very large commercial jets at , but this is uncommon with smaller planes.

Ship models are unique because the originals are so large. Common scales include , , and , but you will often find many strange scales in between. Model kits generally come in one of five skill levels that represent how difficult it will be to complete:. Skill Level 2: Easier kits that require glue and paint to complete.

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  5. They usually have less than pieces. Skill Level 4: Advanced kits with extra-fine details.

    Hints and tips for plastic modeling

    They most certainly contain over pieces. Skill Level 5: For expert modellers. They have super-detailed parts, can contain hundreds of pieces, and often have moving parts, like working suspension on cars and motorcycles, rotating propellers on planes, and movable turrets on tanks. There are a few exceptions to this breakdown. All model kits made by Airfix require glue and paint, so their level 1 is really a level 2. Sometimes, you'll find a kit that does not have a skill level listed.

    In these cases, you can safely assume that it is at least a level-4 kit. The first questions we always ask our customers when they are buying their first model is their age and what kind of experience they have with other types of "building" products.


    If the new modeller is under ten, we often suggest that they start at skill-level-1, snap-together kit. These kits only require a knife and file to complete, so they are perfect for a junior modeller.

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    7. We may also suggest a snap kit to children over ten who have had little experience with building toys. For anybody over ten, we typically recommend starting with a level-2 model kit. These kits require glue and paint to complete, but are still easy enough that the finished model will be something to be proud of. Regardless of skill level, there are two tools that you will definitely need. The second is a small file to smooth away the nubs and any imperfections. We often recommend that a first-time modeller simply use an old emery board for this purpose, but we also have metal files on hand if you prefer.

      Plastic model kits are made out of a soft plastic that is easily bonded with chemical glues called plastic cements.