Category Archives: Scale Model

Abrasives and Sanding Guide for Scale Modeling

No matter what kind of material you’re using- whether it’s wood, plastic, metal or anything else- you will surely use an abrasive at some point while you’re creating a scale model. Abrasives help smoothen rough surfaces and edges so a particular part is perfectly shaped in preparation for painting and finishing.

Abrasives are a staple in every scale modeler’s tools arsenal. But just like the other tools and adhesives that are used in this hobby, abrasives also come in different types. There’s an abrasive for every kind of material or situation and you need to know which one to use to produce a smooth finish.

To help you learn more about abrasives, we’ve created this guide that we hope would make you more knowledgeable about this vital tool.

Pay Attention to the Grading

There are different types of abrasive “grading” and the type that you need depends on the task that you’re planning to work on and the result that you want to achieve. Abrasive grading is identified by the particle size of its backing material which is usually made of paper or cloth. Below are the typical abrasive grading available:

  • extra fine
  • fine
  • medium
  • coarse
  • extra course

There are also subgrades available which are gradings in between the ones listed above. Furthermore, the spacing of the particles in the backing is also used in grading abrasives. If you want to smoothen a surface that has already been painted then you need to use a wide spaced abrasive also known as an “open coat” type. On the other hand, if you want to cut something fast then you will need to use “closed coat” abrasives which are identified by the grains that are tightly-packed in the backing.

The Common Abrasive Types

There are many types of abrasives available for scale modelers to use but it’s important to remember which ones are going to work best for specific tasks and situations. Here are the most common types of abrasive that modelers use:

  • Sandpaper- You might be thinking that sand is used to make this product but nowadays, it already uses more effective abrasive particles like silicon carbide and aluminum oxide. And it’s the latter that’s most commonly used because of the wide range of grits that it has which can be used to smoothen wood and metal. On the other hand, silicon carbide is available in grades that are coarse enough to be used for a wet application.
  • Cloth and Emery Paper- These types of abrasive is great for flat surfaces and is used mostly to polish metal. It is versatile and strong enough making it capable of making tightly-curved metal surfaces smooth and shiny.
  • Garnet Paper- If you’re working on a wood medium then you need this type of abrasive. It features grits that are harder making it suitable for achieving a fine finish. It’s also great for shaping both hard and soft woods like plywood or even balsa.
  • Wet and Dry Paper- As its name itself says this abrasive is great for both wet and dry applications. If you have plastic or wood that needs shaping and smoothening then this will also do the job just right. Apply water to it and it’s capable of giving a finer finish. When used in wet applications, you’ll need to regularly wipe away the slurry that it produces. It’s also recommended to dip the abrasive into water every now and then to clear away any material that’s left which could affect its abrasive property.

Finishing the Surface

Finishing is one of the most important stages in scale modeling especially if you’re working on projects that depict planes and some famous warships. One technique that you can apply to effectively remove blemishes and unwanted scratches, marks, and other imperfections are by using fine abrasive grades progressively. Once the surface is smooth and free from these marks, it is time for you to apply varnish or paint.

When it’s wood that you’re working on, remember to sand parallel to the direction of the grains and not across. This helps prevent unwanted scratches that are not visible during the sanding process but would later show up after you’ve applied paint. If you want to use clear varnish then be sure to make the surface damp first to encourage the fibers to rise. Wait for the wood to dry and once it does, you can start sanding it with the finest abrasive available.

For open-grain wood like balsa and others, it is good if you first apply sealant so that the grains are filled first. Once the sealant has soaked into the wood and has dried, you can do sanding with a fine-grade abrasive then repeat the same process one or two times more using even finer abrasives every time to ensure a smooth and even finish.

Plastic materials don’t have grain so you can sand it to whatever direction of your choice. Using metal polish to make the surface shine also results in a smooth finish but you can apply it only after all the undesired marks and scratches are removed.

How to Sand using Abrasive-Wrapped Wood Blocks

For scale model projects that involve large and flat surfaces, using a sanding block will help achieve the best results. It is more efficient and effective when done this way and avoids unwanted results like hollows on certain parts that commonly appears when sanding with fingers. Make a strip of the right grade abrasive then have it wrapped on a block of wood which is of your desired size and do the sanding as normal. When sanding edges, keep the wood block level on the surface to avoid rounding the sharp sections.

Sanding Small Materials and Objects

For smaller parts that can’t be sanded using the methods discussed above, you’ll need to use a different technique. Just dampen your finger in order to pick the desired part then smoothly rub it against the abrasive material. For small plastic parts, you will need to use wet-and-dry paper to achieve the best results.

Learn This Basic Scale Modeling Skill

As you can see, knowing some basic things about abrasives and learning how to use every single one of them is a skill that every scale modeler needs to possess. Not only it ensures good quality, it also prevents errors and mistakes while in the process of building a scale model. Do you use abrasives in your projects? What kind of grade do you choose for certain situations? Please feel free to share some tips with us by posting them in the comments section below.

Read More

Collecting Diecast Models: The Beginners Guide

Contrary to what others believe, Diecast models are not ordinary toys. They show exact details in both mechanical and historical aspects of real vehicles. Due to its metal construction, a diecast model often shows more detail than the cheaper plastic models. They also hold longer than the ordinary plastic toy cars out there. For this reason, many people prefer to collect diecast models.

But like any other hobby, the collection of diecast models has to start somewhere. In this article, you’ll learn important things to consider before you start buying models for your collection. Here are some tips you can follow when you get int this worthwhile and popular hobby.

Where Do You Want To Start?

As an aspiring die casting collector, you should first take a look at the overall picture of your collections especially as it gets bigger. In this aspect, there are no fixed or standard rules, so your personal preferences and decisions are the basis for what your collection will look like. Build something that will make you happy and end up proud.

Whether it’s cars, trucks, trains, buses, coaches, military equipment and other classic things like Dinky toys that you love, it’s important that you have a clear idea of what you want to help you decide on which diecast models to purchase. Apart from the exact types of vehicles you want to include in your collection, you should also consider the following factors:

Brand- Do you want a special collection of Dinky toys? How about models from Mattel or Matchbox? Do you want to collect exclusive models or variants like Ferraris or Lamborghinis or do you want a general category of supercars instead?

Size- There are different sizes of Diecast models that are available. Make sure you know the size of the models that you want to collect. Is it 1:43, 1:36 or 1:12? Selecting models of the same size is important.

Period- Do you love cars from the 1960s and 1970s or those that were made earlier? A collection that focuses on a certain period of time is a good one.

How To Save or Display Them

It doesn’t matter if you have one, a couple or even hundreds of diecast models in your collection. It is important that you know how to keep and display these models. Before you keeping or displaying the cars in your collection, you should consider the following points:

In or out- Choosing whether to store your diecast models in or out of your boxes depends on your preferences. Both have a unique set of benefits. For example, if you want to show your high-quality collection, then it’s a good idea to display it outside your boxes. On the other hand, if you want to keep more models in a relatively smaller room, keep them in their boxes instead.

Type of display Case- If you choose to have it displayed, but do not want anyone to touch it, you can get a prefabricated envelope that fits your entire collection. But if you don’t have enough budget, you can create one yourself. Run the handyman and start the project weeks before the day the exhibit will take place. Most of the time it’s the first option that works best, so search online for the best offers.

Environment- Where will you present your collection? Make sure that it is well positioned and that there is sufficient light in the room itself. Make sure that the décor is less distracting so that the entire scene is focused on your diecast collection.

How To Maintain Your Diecast Model Collection

Finally, if you want your collection to survive the test of time and still be in pristine condition in the coming years and decades, you need to take a few steps to make sure that every single one of them is in top shape all the time. Besides being able to store them in a safe place, you also need to make sure that the temperature and humidity are correct. Dusting them regularly also helps to prevent damage to the paint and even corrosion in worst cases. Remember, it is something that will increase its value if you take good care of it over the years.

Read More

12 Useful Tips Towards an Improved Scale Modeling

Scale models are made to resemble real stuff and creating one requires serious skills. Depending on the size and scale of the piece that you want to create, copying every detail exactly as how it looks on the real thing isn’t easy.

As a creator of these wonderful works of art, you need to be able to duplicate every shape, color and make sure that the size is right in order to bring every model into life. The level of difficulty varies from model to model and there’s definitely more to scale modeling than just putting tiny pieces of wood, plastic and other materials with a glue then coating it with the right color paint.

Here are some tips you can get ideas from in creating the best scale models. Be sure to put it in a checklist so you can easily see which ones you’ve already mastered and applied in every project that you work on.

1. STUDY YOUR SUBJECT

Choose something that you’re interested in on your next scale model project. For instance, if you love cars then don’t choose to create a motorbike, a plane or a ship as your next model. It can also be something that you want to learn more about so you won’t be bored working on it even if it takes months or even years to complete.

2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BY RESEARCHING

After finding the perfect subject that you’d want to work on, it’s time to do some researching so you can find as much useful information as you can gather about the subject that you’re going to copy. The Internet is a good source of information on your subject and you can also get magazines or even books to read so you can get a better idea on the model and how it really looks like. Visit online forums that are known to other scale modelers like ModelSpace. In here, you will find even more information and even some friendly advice from those who are experienced in the craft.

3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SCALE MEASUREMENT

Be sure that you’re choosing a scale that you’re capable of working on without losing focus and interest. And remember that the bigger scale model it is that you’re planning to build, the smaller room you’ll have especially if there are some other items that you want to show everyone as part of your creations. Scale models that are bigger in size tend to be harder to complete. Most of the time, it’s the advanced modeler who prefers larger scale models. Above all, be sure to follow instructions to the letter. The most popular scale sizes are as follows:

  • 1/72
  • 1/48
  • 1/35
  • 1/32
  • 1/24
  • 1/18
  • 1/16
  • 1/12
  • 1/4

4. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

If you want to accomplish much in every single day that you spend working on your scale model, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right tools available. Don’t start a project without the tools necessary to accomplish every part of the job. You don’t need to have everything as you start but at least get those basic ones that can help you get started. You can get these from several model kit retailers both online and in stores near you.

5. USE THE RIGHT ADHESIVE

There are several types of adhesive out there but when it comes to the scale model that you are building, you should find the information about the kind of glue that you need to use on the model kit itself. And if you’re lucky enough, your model kit might even have a sample of the right glue that you can use. Some manufacturers want to make sure that their customers are properly guided by providing all the needed stuff to start with.

6. READ AND STUDY THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions sheet that comes with your scale model kit isn’t there just for show. It is meant to be read and studied by the modeler. So before you even start assembling the pieces together, be sure to go through the instructions and find out how the pieces should be grouped so you can assemble the different parts faster. Most instruction sheets group different parts together for easier construction and management. Manufacturers do this to avoid major mistakes from happening.

7. STAY AWAY FROM WRONG TURNS

One major mistake that beginners often commit when assembling a piece is jumping ahead only to find out later on that there were pieces which are meant to be attached to another section of the model. If it’s your first time building your own scale model, it is best to stick with the building sequence that is detailed in the instructions. Manufacturers made a sequence like that and took time to print it to be included in each kit so modelers can enjoy as they build every piece correctly.

8. IT’S NOT A RACE

Building a scale model takes time and it also requires one even more years and a lot of scale models to build to become an experienced modeler. When building your own model, be sure to take time especially on the hard parts. It’s not wrong to take things slow. It isn’t a race that you’ve embarked on. Be sure to take much-needed breaks and relax for a while so you can find time getting your thoughts together on how to tackle the succeeding parts that need to be built. Be sure to put time and build even those parts that you don’t really like and remember that the model won’t be complete without it. Patience is a virtue as they say and it applies in every part that you build to complete the model that you’re working on.

9. PRACTICE AND TEST

Before gluing different parts together, it’ll be good if your first fit any parts and see if they really are meant to be glued. If you see that they don’t match then find the right part and fit it again before applying the adhesive. There will also be instances where even the right parts don’t fit well with each other and in this case, you can use a fine file or a sharp knife to scrape and make adjustments before finally applying the glue. Testing also applies even to the paint that’s meant to be applied in every part. Most paints change color when they dry so be sure to apply small paint first on a testing surface and wait until it dries before starting on the major paint job for your scale model.

10. ENSURE PROPER VENTILATION

When you reach the stage where you need to use solvent, paint or even glue, be sure that you’re in a place that has proper ventilation. And always replace the cap after using any of these substances then store it in a place with that’s cool and dry. Also, you need to remember to keep them in places where children and pets don’t have access to. This prevents untoward incidents that can harm not just people but also the project itself that you’re working on.

11. FIND A GOOD SPOT FOR STORAGE

No matter what size of scale model it is that you’re working on, there will always be small parts here and there that needs to be kept safe all the time. You can’t afford to lose even just a single one of those or your scale model will end up as a disaster. Put them in clean containers or group the related parts together using resealable bags then place them in a well-organized box where both completed parts and those that still need to be assembled are also stored separately. If you need to be away for a while, be sure to keep the completed parts and the ones to be assembled together with all your tools away where they can be safe from your curious kids.

12. ENSURE PROPER LIGHTING

There’s nothing that beats natural light so be sure to work in a place that is abundant with this all-important factor. Working in places where there’s poor lighting can result in a poor quality of work especially on the paint job. And the poor lighting isn’t good on your eyes either. Invest on a head-mounted magnifier and as well as a magnifying lamp to ensure quality in every project that you work on.

Follow these 12 tips and you’re sure to have a better model building experience every time. Did we miss something important or do you have another tip to share with your fellow modelers? Feel free to let us know by posting them in the comments section below.

Read More

Miniature Doll Houses: A Girls Hobby?

For many years I have had the satisfaction of meeting as well as being familiar with many miniature enthusiasts. What amazes them concerning seeing familiar items in a little, reasonable type?

A lot more compared to a kid’s plaything, developing doll houses, and eventually enhancing and furnishing them in a motif of your option, has become an adult hobby. The only way to improve on that is to have a daughter or grand-daughter that can share that rate of interest and also enthusiasm with you. Possibly take them to a hobby shop in nh and pick out some crafts to do together.

Personally, my interest are in antique miniatures and dolls, compared to in modern works. The weird aspect of that is the fact is that antiques are seldom created with a true eye to scale, and range is of utmost value when seeing modern minis.

The Problems

Includes the primitive problems within the manufacturing facilities that many of these dolls were developed and contributes to my wonder. A number of these small dolls have actually lasted in excess of 100 years, they have been handled, as well as played with, liked and commonly deserted, only to turn up years later in an attic. The furnishings of this exact same age were often hand-made, usually primitive, and also a lot did not stand the examination of time along with the little dolls did. To locate, own and take pleasure in these items today is a joy.

Produced doll house furnishings of this era, were commonly made in Germany with the little dolls. I had a dear german friend who brought her childhood collection over to me and help her sell them. She is a 90 year old doll maker, a wonderful woman that still teaches how to play a piano, runs her own household, she also outfits her dolls. She had many tale to outline every furniture, and also keeps in mind how many hrs she invested with her sibling in creating the tiny little bedding, doll clothes and also lampshades. I like to believe there are comparable tales regarding every antique item that comes to my means.

If a bed is standing for one made of timber, I could not tolerate it in plastic. If shower room components represents porcelain pieces, then do not make them in wood! Realistic look is crucial in my own collections.

Truely Skillful Creations

Some fanatics take pleasure in making every one of their very own furnishings, devices, and their very own dolls. This demanding craft can just be appreciated by those of us with less talent, yet certainly, makes their fascination apparent. Some crafters make such elegant pieces that the rates can regulate as long as their complete dimension counterparts. Theres a miniature musicians, who paints on tiny canvases each masterpiece is a distinctive painting. Various other artists paint on small plates, and buttons as canvases.

There are miniature musicians who make miniature needle points, knitting, rug making, pottery and timber worker. One thing I actually discover is when somebody welcomes this pastime, it is typically a lifelong fixation.

Read More

Model Train Scenery – Mountains and Ground

When a hobbyist can place track, scenery, and structures together in an interesting layout, the magic occurs. The model train scenery transforms the railway right into a miniature world frequently depicting a historical scene. The pleasure of your miniature globe of working railway, as well as realistic scenery, infect all that see it. Just a feeling of fulfillment you need to have. Everyone who sees your design will know it took preparation and also great deals of study in real life to reasonably earn it as possible. There is a lot that goes into building miniature models. People don’t know the investment you have to make with time as well as for the products. Not to mention cleanup can be a disaster. I strongly advise picking up a decent vacuum that can pick up the minute fibers that can be left, you can find one on this site.

For functions of this article landscape design and also scenery are utilized reciprocally. With the current materials available, you can construct most of the scenery for your format. The sub-terrain of display cord and cardboard strips sustains the scene at the base. Styrofoam sheets are one more product that could be utilized. On the terrain, the scenery is based and constructed from plaster, fiberglass, light weight foams or paper mache.

Since the most prominent scenery component is a hill or chain of mountains, it allow’s a look at mountain production. A usual means to earn model train mountains is with plaster, rubber mold and mildews. Other methods consist of sculpting, shattered ceiling floor tile and a urethane foam rock spreading method. Foam scenery costs a little bit greater than plaster as well as it takes a little longer to shade.

Among hobbyists, numerous think that foam provides a better end result. Your hobby store could provide you with in-depth guidelines and the internet could supply access to books and also articles. As an alternative to plasters, you can actually attempt Styrofoam® board and beaded foam. They are light-weight, yet when fine sand is into form, you can create a dirt problem.

the additions of ground landscape can trigger a hobbyist to doubt ways to obtain the right features for so many different grounds and environments.

For rocks, for mountain hills and roadways, use ground foam, it is one of the most prominent way to get the best appearance. Watering white repainted adhesive or spray on the ground base, it prepares the ground for peppering with the grass-looking ground. An additional method is to mix the glue on top of the foam after the foam has been put on the ground. Together with ground foam is one more conveniently located product, Lichen, for making trees and bushes. To replicate track ballast, a carefully ground granite works well. To imitate water, try material, rippled glass or polyurethane. Choices for replicating lawn consist of colored sawdust, wood chips, and ground foam. Ultimately, for trees and also shrubs attempt developing with candytuft, Western sagebrush and also caspia. Apply model foliage with adhesive. All of the scenery pieces could be purchased in your neighborhood pastime store so do not really feel overwhelmed.

There are no restrictions to earning the gorgeous scenery of the American mountains that could leave your viewers breathless. The miniature structure is more concerning and creative so, focus on creativy rather than being concerned on how much cash will be spent. Having a deep understanding of trains is not required to get this pastime. Everything will certainly occur when you need it. What you require currently is time as well as treatment when building.

Read More

5 reasons why you should make scale models

There are many model projects from building cars, plains, ships, trains, vacuums, etc. People use these models for their projects and also collect them as a hobby.  Here are the main reasons why these scale models are made.

Skill development

In building any size or model, you should follow certain steps. To pass these stages, you need to learn the history and look of your model which includes the construction, painting, etc. of your model. Many activities are involved in building these models including planning, cutting, drilling, sculpting, painting, detailing, photography, etc.

Release of stress

Everybody goes through stressful periods in lives. Building scale models is a creative way of releasing stress instead of spending your time in watching movies. If you have a partner, you two can spend a lot of time together creating and painting your model. It is a great hobby.

It gives you instant reward

If you build parts, then you can break down a large project into bite-sized options. As you slowly build the entire model, you will get a strong sense of personal achievement.

Helps to be an artist

Scale models will give you the opportunity to create your art. There is a lot of room for your personal ideas. Once you know how to put a model together, you can give you personal touches to it.

Good time spent

If you can make a scale model with your partner or friend who has similar interest as yours, you will have a lovely time together. The feeling of working together for a shared passion is great. At a time when people are busy using technology, scale modeling gives the chance to do something creative and fun.

If you want to make scale models, you should follow guidelines related to these. You will be able to find information online. It’s a great way to have a good time and test your imagination.

Read More

5 reasons why you should use miniature architectural model

Architectural models are three dimensional that are created to show physical images of buildings. These are the reasons why you should use these miniature models.

  1. It helps to visualize in three dimensions the scope of a construction project. It can help to communicate the layout and spatial interrelationships. This model will make it easier for people to imagine what a two-dimensional blueprint looks like in reality.
  2. You can use this model as a sales tool. You can use this for selling a condominium in a new constructions project. The potential buyer will be able to visualize the outcome of the project. The buyer can see where their unit will be located. It can be used to sell tickets in stadiums so that people know where their seats are.
  3. The three-dimensional model affects potential investors and donors of a construction project. The model brings life to the project. It improves the understanding of the project and builds up confidence regarding the project.
  4. A model is often used as a site map for large and complex construction projects like an airport, amusement park, etc. It will give people a good reference point for their project.
  5. These models are used in the construction permit and approval process. The regulation boards will be able to see how the project will impact your surroundings. These models make it easier to generate approvals.

Architectural miniature models are thus very helpful. With this type of model, you will be able to put your creative idea into a physical form. Your work will become easier, and people will appreciate it.

Save

Read More

5 tips for collecting die-cast cars

Die-cast cars are very popular. These cars are made by using a process that forces molten metal into a mold cavity under very high pressure. These cars often have details that are made of rubber, plastic, and also glass. If you like collecting die-cast cars then here are some tips for you.

Maintain the cars carefully

Many people don’t know that it is necessary to maintain the diecast cars. The diecast cars must be kept at room temperature and in a dry environment. They must regularly be dusted. Over time, the exposed diecast cars will tarnish. You can use anti-tarnish bags to avoid this.

Store the cars properly

In a good display case, a single coat of wax can last a long time, and you won’t need to dust regularly. You can find display cases large enough to store the entire diecast car collections. There are cases that are designed for portability as well.

Have knowledge about prices and industry news

You should monitor the prices and industry news of diecast cars. You will get much online information for free. If you are a new collector of diecast cars, then you should start by making a list of the cars you already have. You can then use the list to keep track of how each car has appreciated.

Learn about the grades of condition

Many collectors start collecting cars that are recently manufactured. But serious collectors will go for the vintage diecast cars. You won’t find these vintage cars in pristine conditions.

You should start with 1/64-scale diecast cars

You can find diecast cars that are as large as 1:12 and 1:18 scale to as small as 1:87 or even 1:148 scale. The most popular scale is 1:64. Cars of this scale size are readily available. These are also less expensive than the other formats.

Both children and adults are fans of diecast cars. There are many good manufacturers of this car available now. New collectors should start by collecting cars with scale 1: 64, and then move into the other formats.

Read More