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Add Wire Details to Your Models

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wire details

A few simple tools and some patience are all that is required to add extra details like the grab irons in this kit.

©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Seperate Wire details really make a model stand out. Grab irons, ladders, lift rings, coupler cut levers, brake lines and other details used to be molded onto the shells of plastic models. Today more and more of these items are available as seperately applied parts on kits and ready-to-run models.

Adding these parts takes a little time, but the results are worth it. The techniques are not difficult if you apply a little patience and practice.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 30-60 minutes / car

Here's How:

  1. Remove Molded Details If you are starting with a model with molded details, these can be removed with a chisel blade in a hobby knife. Hold the knife against the body of the car and press lightly into the details. A sharp blade is essential to good results. Be careful not to gouge the sides of the model. Use a light grit sandpaper to smooth any rough spots.
  2. Drill Holes If replacing molded parts, use the scars from their removal to locate new holes for the details. Use a small awe to make dimples to guide the drill when making holes. Using the appropriate-sized bit, drill new holes taking care to keep the bit perpendicular to the body. Drill slowly and with light pressure to avoid breaking the fragile bits.
  3. Opening Pre-drilled Holes If you are working with a kit that includes add-on parts, chances are good the holes for them are already in place. Use a small reamer to remove the paint from inside the hole. This will make applying the details much easier. If the kit includes only small dimples to locate holes, use a pin-vise with the appropriate bit to drill the hole. Take care to use only light pressure and keep the bit perpenducular to the body through the entire hole to prevent breaking.
  4. Insert Details Insert details into the holes. If pieces require excessive force, use a reamer to clean out the hole. Keep details spaced properly and evenly off of the carbody.
  5. Adhesive Fix the details with an appropriate adhesive. For plastic detail parts, plastic cement works well. For metal parts, use a fast-setting CA (Cyanoacrylate). If possible, apply glue from inside the carbody. If you will be painting the model quickly, the paint itself may be enough to bond the parts.
  6. Paint If you are adding parts to a prepainted model, match the paint to the carbody as closely as possible. Apply paint with a small brush carefully.

What You Need

  • Detail Parts
  • Hobby Knife with chisel blade
  • Pin Vise
  • Drill Bits
  • Awe
  • Modeling Reamers
  • Plastic Cement
  • CA (Cyanoacrylate Adhesive)
  • Paint
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