These tips will help you to build plastic model planes. 1. When you get your model plane kit make sure that you wash all the parts properly with soap and water as plastic parts are made by injection molding and are covered with a chemical that is used to release the parts from the injection mold. If not removed by washing, this chemical will prevent proper paint adhesion to the model. Dry the parts using a hair dryer after you wash them.
2. The first thing to assemble and paint should be the cockpit as this would be enclosed permanently in the fuselage halves and it will be practically impossible to paint it later.
3. Use only a minimum amount of glue. You should try using only a thin line of glue around the fuselage and on the sides of the wings. If you find it difficult to control the amount of glue, try using a pin for applying it. If not controlled during application excess glue will form lumps on the external surface that will require finishing with sandpaper.
4. Alignment is of paramount importance during assembly. All your efforts will be in vain if the result is a crooked airplane. The wings and tail should be perfectly aligned with the fuselage. The best way would be to use tape for holding the big pieces together to check their alignment before glue is applied.
5. Many times you can observe gaps between the pieces that have been glued together. More often such gaps will be found between the fuselage halves or at joints between the wings and the fuselage. Just fill these gaps with putty or super glue and finish the surface with sandpaper once the filler dries out.
6. (a) If you are brush painting your model plane make sure that you have at least three brush sizes, wide medium and fine with you before you start painting. Never overlap brush strokes or try repainting any area that is still wet. If another coat is necessary, wait until the first coat dries out before applying the next one. When you finish painting clean your brushes with thinner and stack them upright in some old tin or cup.
(b) When painting with spray cans you may find that the flow slows down after some time. This is because the can cools down. The remedy is to place the can in warm water for about ten minutes before using it again.
(c) Though a bit costly, if you have an airbrush it is best as it will let you control the paint volume and air pressure letting you paint fine lines as desired.
7. The clear plastic canopy of your model plane has a frame that needs to be painted. A good way is to cover the whole canopy with masking tape and use a sharp blade to cut and remove the tape only from the frame, which can then be painted and left to dry. After the paint dries, remove the rest of the tape from the canopy.
8. Apply a coat of clear gloss overcoat over the paint to give your plane a shiny look. Once the gloss coat dries, you can apply the decals, which will now look much better on the glossy surface. It the plane has a naturally flat surface you can apply a clear flat coat after you apply the decals.
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