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    Modern modeling


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    Greetings all: Just thought since model sprues are vastly more complicated compared to those say of the 1960 - 1980 variants We could use this to post insights that we have gleaned through our hobby.

    1. Clean sprues with mild antibacterial detergent. This helps especially if you live in a humid enviroment and or especially if you are working with resins. Plastic kitchen vegetable brush is ideal.

    2. Cut the sprue trees apart. Leave the parts numbers and the tree limbs they are attached to as one unit. This facilitates yopu being able to paint needed colours to all pertinent pieces in one session.

    3. Clean up the parts. At least an hour of my build time on any project usually goes into cleaning up parts. Mold seams and etc. Then paint as much as you can.

    4. Separate the parts from the limb stubs as needed being able to use the parts number remaining on the stub to identify them.

    5. Some parts are located at stress points on the trees. (Connected by two or more locations to the sprue.) You must strategically cut the sprue away without breaking smaller or fragile kit parts.

    6. Paint and finish each sub assemby as if it were a model unto itself.

    7. Work from the inside out, cockpit first, engine then the exterior.

    8. Have fun and Model on!

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    Photoetch is a great way to detail model kits. It has a long history beginning with model rail road hobby-ists. The first workable sets for WWI aviation came through Harry Woodman. A stellar modeller from the UK. He is truly the man that put the scratch in stratchbuilding. His sets are still available by the way through Fotocut at Rosemont Hobbies.

    Which way to fold?

    If they have been designed correctly the scribed face is what is to be folded. The scribed area should be inside the fold.

    Which tools are suitable?

    There are several methods but I find that a small drafting ruler, a sharp Xacto #11 blade, tweezers and an opitvisor are the best. There are jigs you can buy to clamp at hold while you fold. But I have never found the use for them when I can do the job with a little patience. It is usually very easy to handle if you follow a couple of guidelines. With pre-painted parts you will want to separate them first or be prepared to repaint them.

    1. Use candle or lighter heat to pass the PE metal fret over until you see the temper of the metal change colours. Nickel silver (which is neither nickel or silver) photoetch may take a bit longer to heat compared to plain brass. Just keep a close eye on the colour. Some blueing ok. You want it bendable but avoid making the parts brittle. 15-20 seconds under a heat source is ok but 2 minutes is too much. Also the smaller the part the quicker it will loose temper.

    2. Bend as much as you can reasonably do. and paint each part while still on the tree.

    3. The clear bag that the PE metal comes in...Is a great tool. While the parts are still on the tree put the fret back in the bag. It is the best time to cut them loose. (Parts will stay in the bag and not fly off into the modeler's black hole. ) Cut the bottom corner out of the bag to allow only the parts you cut from the tree to exit the bag.

    4. Use tweezers and an opitvisor. finish forming the part for exact fit by tacking it in place at one end and with the tip of a finger (away from the glue) form the piece to the surface and then finish any glueing needed. Viola!

    The standard method for surfacing PE brass for painting is to use Hobby Black. It is a very mild acid that textures and patinas the surfaces without sanding and possible damaging the delicate parts. Follow all instructions that come with the liquid solution and you can get great results.

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