Our last column covered some model-building basics with regard to kits and tools. Confident you've memorized that information, we move on to explain some tools for the advanced builder who's ready to go forward.
The tools you'll wish to purchase next are razor saws, riffler files, alligator clips (or clothespins), silicon sealer, and two-part epoxy, as well as other better adhesives. We previously mentioned sanding mediums. You might want to secure several emery boards (those sanding sticks ladies use to shape their nails).
These and the tools previously mentioned will accomplish almost any construction task. And remember, body putty is not solely for modifications. There are often sink marks in a body or on some part that need to be filled before it can be primed and painted.
As your skills progress you'll develop techniques that give you the preferred results. There are certain self-explanatory safety requisites, such as not cutting toward your fingers. Believe me, you'll be painfully surprised to discover how easily a new #11 blade will cut through styrene-and your skin. You won't want to experience what we refer to as an "X-Acto Thumb-ectomy." Any seasoned modeler has war stories about mishaps with a knife blade. Razor saws are just as easily misused. Be careful.
Two-part epoxy is used not only to join parts, but also in concert with regular kitchen tin foil (not the "heavy-duty" kind) to replicate emblems and trim. The technique is to rub the foil over the item you wish to duplicate with a cotton swab until the impression is fully captured in the foil. Turn the foil over and fill the depression with a small dab of pre-mixed epoxy. When the epoxy dries, simply trim the excess foil away with your razor knife and you have your plated part.
Silicon is used in concert with epoxy or resin to create small parts such as taillight lenses and specialty pieces. Squirt a blob of silicon onto a small piece of cardboard and insert the part you wish to reproduce straight down into the silicon. Allow the silicon to dry completely (at least a couple of days), remove the "master" part and you now have a mold with which you can cast any epoxy or resin part. You can create special parts (in this manner) by carving a shape from styrene. These small molds last forever and are easy to work with. For example, if you're making taillight lenses, you can tint the epoxy or resin with acrylic paint to obtain a translucent red.
We're including photos of a couple of projects that demonstrate what can be done with the tools mentioned. The Candy Hot Pink '55 Ford Panel is from the Monogram kit. It has been "chopped" using a razor saw; custom parts are molded in to create the grille area with body putty and styrene; the hood exhibits twin outboard scoops using putty; and the center of the hood has a Camaro Z-28-type scoop installed on the top.
The Chevy Fleetside long box has been shortened with a razor saw. The hood again features a Camaro Z-28 scoop and a bed cover made from sheet styrene. Then it was covered with ordinary masking tape (for texture) and painted with acrylic paint.
Advanced cements are available from Pacer Industries (such as the Zap products). These are the cyano-acrylate (super glue) variations and come in a variety of types, such as Zap-A-Gap. The Plastruct liquid cement is my personal favorite for everyday applications; it comes with a brush on the underside of the cap, is easy to use, and bonds very well. We recommend you avoid most of the standard tube glues. Avoid the store brands that shout, "Glue for plastic models!" While they don't contain the nasty chemicals that some idiots sniff, they don't join parts either.
In our next column we hope to begin a build-up of a custom '64 Chevy Suburban combining Revell's pickup kit parts with a resin body from F&F Molds. And we will utilize the tools we've seen here along with some goodies from the parts box. Stay tuned.