Archive for the ‘AMT’ Category
New York Comic con is just around the corner – October 10-13, 2013!
Round 2 will be there – stop by and see us at booth 443. You won’t want to miss our new model kits, die-cast cars, slot cars, Forever Fun, Captain Action, and even the Wicked Witch of the West will be in display.
The original “Star Trek” television series featured technology that had first appeared decades earlier in science fiction stories. Pulp heroes had been wielding ray guns, flying faster than light and teleporting from place to place since the 1930s. But perhaps the true inspiration of Star Trek’s superscience is the revolutionary physics discoveries of the early 20th century. Relativity, discovered by Albert Einstein and quantum physics, pioneered by Max Planck revealed a universe far different than ordinary human experience might suggest.
Although Einstein’s theory forbids matter to accelerate past the speed of light, the demands of sci-fi storytelling require that people be able to travel between the stars in a reasonable amount of time, usually hours, or at most, days. Enter the space warp drive, or as it was called in “Star Trek’s” pilot episode, “hyperdrive.”
Warp drive in Star Trek works by annihilating matter (in the form of deuterium, a kind of hydrogen gas) and antimatter in a fusion reaction mediated by dilithium crystals. This produces the enormous power required to warp space-time and drive the ship faster than light.
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Two all time classics join forces as Polar Lights presents Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man VW Beetle. This intricately detailed 1:24 scale snap-together kit features Spider-Man stickers to appeal to young modelers and several optional parts for the VW modeling enthusiast. Part options include steering wheels, bucket seats, bumpers, mirrors, exhaust systems, wheels and more. The hood and trunk open to show the spare tire and complete engine assembly.
Okay so it appears we did not do as well as we had hoped. He had missed a step in the directions, the ALL pieces had to be painted, even those that were purposely not painted for artistic appearance. It was upsetting but a great learning experience. I am happy with the way it turned out and there is always next year
- Before gluing parts together, always ensure that the contact points are clean and that the parts fit well. When applying the plastic cement, only apply to one of the parts. An excessive amount of plastic cement will not only prolong or prevent proper adhesion, but may also melt and deform the parts. Plastic cement must always be used as conservatively as possible. When gluing clear parts, such as windows or canopies, try to avoid plastic cement. This is because plastic cement can “fog” clear plastic even in areas where not directly applied. For clear parts, use white glue.
- Gaps between parts may become apparent after assembly. To remove a gap that is too large to overlook, it may become necessary to separate the parts, adjust their fit, and re-adhere. Another option is to fill the gap with modeling putty, or another substance which dries to hardness and can be smoothed and painted over. When applying putty, only the smallest amount is required. An excessive amount will be difficult to remove later and in the case of clear parts, may be impossible to remove without evident damage to the part beneath. Follow the instructions on the packaging and use a plastic tool to apply the putty, so as not to scratch the model.
- If an assembled part is not adhering properly in some places, it may not be necessary to separate the parts and re-adhere. Another option is to use a liquid plastic cement to re-adhere the parts. By applying a small amount of liquid glue to the outside of the gap, the glue is drawn into the gap by capillary action. It is important not to apply too much glue, for the reasons above, but also because too much glue may remain outside the gap and dry to hard, malformed bubbles. In general, less than a drop will suffice. When the glue has been applied, hold the parts firmly together until proper adhesion is assured.
Once two parts are glued together, it may be necessary to clamp them together until the glue sets. This may be done by holding the two parts firmly together with your hands, but you may also use a variety of tools to do the same job. Elastic bands, clothespins, plastic clamps, tape, and wire are all suitable materials. When applying the clamps, make sure that the pressure exerted on the parts is great enough to keep the parts together, but not nearly enough to deform or break them. Also make sure that whatever clamp you choose to use will not scratch the plastic.
Whether you are a competitive modeler (contest, 4-H, Boy Scouts, etc…) or building for fun the following links offer some great tips and tricks to help you.
Here we are assembling the engine. He used most of the parts from the Stingaree model, he choose to use use the larger exhaust headers found in the Royal Rail model to customize this model. Here he is trying to hold them in place while they dry.
Our first step was to clean all of the parts. Since we learned from our 2012 experience, we knew that for the paint to stick evenly all parts had to be clean. Dust and oil inhibit the adhesion of paints and glues, as well as detract from the final appearance of the model.
To remove dust and oil, we simply washed the pieces (still on the sprue) with warm water and a very small amount of detergent. We used the sink, however you may also wish to use a shallow basin and a strainer to ensure that you do not lose any small pieces down the drain. We let them soak for several minutes, agitating them occasionally. Taking the pieces out, you can leave them in the strainer to rinse thoroughly, the lay them out on paper towels and dry them thoroughly with a clean paper towel.
Some modelers suggest removing pieces and assembling prior to painting, however out 4-H leader suggests that is all items on a sprue will be the same color, you can paint them while still attached.
Small scissors or shears can be used to remove the parts from their respective sprues. Using a knife to remove parts is difficult, dangerous, and may damage the part. Only when the part is removed may you use a fine knife to remove any flash or excess sprue still attached, this is where we use the small nail clippers they are easy for him to handle alone and less dangerous than the sharp small knife.
My son has selected the AMT Stingagree (http://www.autoworldstore.com/AMT_Stingaree_1_25_Scale_Model_Kit_p/amt38664.htm) which he will kitbash with pieces from the AMT Royal Rail (http://www.autoworldstore.com/AMT_Royal_Rail_ihobby_Exclusive_1_25_Scale_Model_K_p/amt630ihobby.htm). The Stingaree is described as a wild showrod-meets-dragster, which will be a perfect fit to kitbash with some of the wilder elements of the Royal Rail. But more on that later.
This year we are taking what we have learned over the last few years and combining the use of glue, paints, and decals to create a finished model – incorporating parts of another model.
In addition to the materials that are referenced above we have also purchased or at least gathered (and by we I mean I have purchased for my sweet 11 year old) the following items:
- Assorted paints (mostly greens – because he likes green)
- Plastic cement – several kinds including one especially for windows
- Tweezers and small nailclippers (these are great for trimming sharp bits from the sprue)
- Assorted elastic bands
- Modeling knife (this is my exacto knife – and used with my supervision)
- Small shears
- Masking tape – we do very little masking because the painting we do is pretty basic
- Paper towel
Some people would also include modeling putty and sand paper but we are also a little more basic. Now the rules say he could do any vehicle, spaceship, airplane, etc… but since this was the first year he has done a combination kit like this, I suggested something a little more basic. Our first few attempts were basic designs, snap together kits, then last year marked a new project where he had to both paint and glue.
The paint did not stick to the model, bubbled – badly. So when I started at Round 2 I set out to figure out just what had happened to avoid having it happen again.
1) So now that we have selected the model. This is not the kit he wanted, but we had to select one that was more advanced than some of his choices, and a little less exotic than others.
2) While we did not research these cars, we did visit the Auto World store to look for a model that we would like to do, that fit the requirements. We looked at the number of pieces, materials required to complete this project and the ability to modify this particular piece. Without the ability to see the step-by-step instructions – I think he made a good choice.
3) Next he had to look at the configuration. Configuration may include tires, accessories, the doors and windows open or closed, or even embellishments and exhaust pipes. In the case of the Stingaree, and the Royal Rail both offered many customization options.
Okay so apartment living and modeling is proving to be a bit of a challenge. I tried to build the hood (and being mechanically challenged) this was no easy task. It did not work nearly as well as I had thought it would in my head. It did contain some of the fumes and over spray which is good since I did this on my balcony.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Since it is the older ones project and he is old enough to handle some tools safely I have had to step back and allow him to sink or swim. For the most part it has been really good. The one thing that we have done differently this year versus prior years is that we have washed all of the pieces very well. We had a painting issue last year where the paint basically bubbled up and ran off. So this year we took the whole tree and washed it using plain dish soap and hot water. I am hoping that this will be enough to save the paint job.
7 weeks until the fair and counting…
I will post some pictures of our progress next week…
Well it is that time of year again and we are just starting our fair projects at home. Unfortunately we live in a 3rd floor apartment, which makes painting both inside and outside difficult. To minimize fumes and mess I began to look for options for building a miniature spray booth. I am not endorsing either of these, because I have not completed it yet, but I found 2 sets of instructions for completing this project.
It looks like the materials I will need to complete this project are
1) Plastic Storage Crate or Similar Size Cardboard Box depending on which set of instructions you choose..mine will depend on whichever box I can find.
2) An extractor fan – the second set of instructions uses the exhaust hood from a stove. This one seems simplest.
3) Flexible hose – like for a dryer vent
- Full instructions are available on the individual pages.
Puny Human Pin Hulk?
Whether you use the base that comes with the Hulk or you’re planning to use something different, I suggest you plan on pinning the big guy. Pinning isn’t difficult and will make your model more stable on its feet. It starts by filling the hollow foot assemblies with a solid material that will hold the mounting pins. I used epoxy putty that I pushed into the foot halves before I assembled them. The assembled feet could be filled with plaster of Paris just as well, but make sure all the water in the plaster has time to evaporate before you close up your model.
It hadn’t occurred to me to include pinning in this article when I was building my Hulk, so I will illustrate the procedure for pinning with another MPC snap-fit kit, the Vampire Glo-Head, Fig. 5. Round 2 has taken pains to make the model more stable than it was when originally issued, but I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t fall over at model contests. After the hand halves were joined, I filled the hollow interior with epoxy putty and sanded the bottom smooth.
Then I needed to locate the hole in the resin and wood bases on which I would mount the model. This hole also had to line up with the epoxy plug in the base of the hand so it would sit in the proper position on the resin base. While I held the hand in position, I penciled four alignment marks around it, extending the marks onto the resin base. Then I connected the marks with the aid of a straightedge, locating the centers of the holes, Fig. 6. They were drilled into the hand and base; for this model, I used a big screw for the pin, Fig. 7. A section of sprue or a dowel would work also. I used this technique to pin Spider-man to his base as well.
If you’re reading this article in the first place, I presume you probably weren’t going to leave your Hulk unpainted. His upper body and feet assemblies were designed to be trapped by the trouser halves. It’s easy to paint the trouser parts and Hulk assemblies separately and then join them together.
The fit of the Hulk’s upper body to the top of his trousers isn’t the greatest, and the seams along the trouser halves are prominent. However, they appear where seams on real trousers do, so they don’t have to be eliminated for a realistic appearance. The pieces of the test shot I assembled had to be glued and clamped carefully to prevent them from coming apart. The gap between the Hulk’s torso and his trousers can be filled fairly easily (I brushed several layers of white glue in there) and the paint on the trousers touched up.
A Model of a Different Color
Everything I’ve had to say about gluing the snap-fit Incredible Hulk applies to the Amazing Spider-man – and all other snap-fit models, for that matter. Spidey was designed so the red and blue parts of his costume could be snapped together unpainted. The design itself is ingenious, but it makes life harder for the modeler who wants to assemble the model with glue.
I tried and failed to remove the mounting tabs from the hands and feet assemblies, thinking I could paint them separately from the body and attach them after painting. It would have been much easier to simply assemble Spider-man entirely (which I eventually did) and then paint him. This required a lot of masking, but the results were well worth the effort.
The hardest part was to get the red and blue sections to fit smoothly. I sort of cherry picked the areas where one section would have prominence over the other. And the usual seams reared their ugly heads under a coat of primer, Fig.8. I had to be careful not to fill the incised web pattern when filling gaps. Where I did fill the webbing, I tried to resculpt it with hobby knives and even a fine routing bit in a rotary tool – that proved unnecessary as we’ll see.
Painting the web pattern may seem daunting, but I found a few ways to make it easier. Over a good base of white primer, I painted the red areas of Spidey’s costume with an airbrush, using Testors Model Master Guard Red. This is a very bright red and dries to a gloss finish. To paint the webbing, I mixed a bit of liquid detergent with some Hunt’s black ink in a small cup. The soap broke the surface tension of the water-based ink so it wouldn’t puddle on the gloss red paint. Using a fine, pointed sable brush made it fairly easy to apply the ink into the incised webbing.
I found it best to plan ahead when applying the ink so that I could avoid grabbing a wet spot while holding the model. I began painting the back of Spidey’s boots – these were areas where I could practice painting the webbing without my mistakes being too noticeable (rubbing alcohol cleaned stray ink marks off the gloss red paint). I tended to hold the figure around the waist, so the next areas I painted were the arms, then the head, and finally the torso.
The ink dried rapidly; to prevent my finger oils from marring it or the red paint, I wore rubber gloves while I worked. I saw that the intensely black ink looked the same in the molded webbing as it did on any parts of it I had inscribed. Even flat surfaces where the webbing got filled looked okay; on its own the ink reinstated the detail very well.
Time to Celebrate!
- Because I’m done with this article and a couple of fine models. I was very impressed with the final appearance of these snap-fit kits. Their engineering made me take some different approaches to those I’d have made with glue kits, but the results were otherwise the same. I hope you enjoy building your models as much as I did mine.