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How to fix your mistakes when painting plastic model cars

How to fix your mistakes when painting plastic model cars

“Oh no, I did now.” You’ve just applied a lot of paint and created huge drooping paintballs on your once perfect model. That perfect race finish you were hoping for is now a disaster.

However, all is not lost. You can fix almost any paint mistake you’ve made on your racing model with just a little work. With a careful paint sanding technique, you can create a perfect finish.

Using four techniques; standing painting, respraying, paint polishing and waxing, you can fix almost any mistake you make. I’ll show you how to use these techniques to adjust your model and get it back to competition level.

Standing paint is the first technique we’ll use to correct the spatter or orange peel situation you’ve created on your model. Orange peel is simply additional paint that is applied thickly and ends up making the surface of your model look like the outside of an orange. The easiest technique I’ve found to correct this kind of situation is to simply use sandpaper to remove the excess paint. The hardest part of doing this is not getting stuck in the details sticking out of the surface of your model.

There are many different grades or grits of sandpaper. I basically classify sandpaper into two types, coarse and fine. Coarse sandpaper comes in grits from 100 to 1000. The lower the number, the more natural it is. For heavy paint removal, I usually use No. 320 grit. Fine sandpaper is 2000 to 12000 grit. This fine grain is one of the secrets to achieving a perfect finish.

The sandpaper is available with different types of backing. I prefer a cloth pad over the cheaper paper pad because I usually only use a wet sanding technique. Wet sanding is where you use water to help lubricate the surface of the model and generally works better for my model paints.

Your first task is to let the paint dry completely. Then start removing the uneven paint by rough sanding, being very careful not to sand any plastic parts of your model. I will cut sandpaper into very small pieces and hold or glue them to wooden “tools” to fit into small spaces. I will also use paint thinner to soften the paint build up around the detail areas, keeping in mind you don’t want to ruin the plastic.

After doing this, spray paint again on the damaged area.

Continue this process of sanding and respraying until you are satisfied with the finish. At this point you are ready to fine sand the paint.

Fine sanding really is the real secret to perfect paint finish. I process the paint finish by sanding the paint using these grits in order.







The sandpaper I like to use is sandwiched between foam so it conforms more easily to the surface of the model. Each step uses the wet sanding technique with water. Vary the sanding strokes in different directions and try not to use too much pressure. At the end of this paint sanding sequence, the surface of your model should be very flat and smooth. This will take us to the next step which is polishing the paint.

Paint varnish is the next secret to that near-perfect finish for your contest-winning model. I prefer Novus plastic polish. I work the paint up to a fine mirror finish by successively using No. 3, No. 2 and then No. 1. This prepares you for the final step which is wax protection.

Wax protection is the final step in creating your contest winning model finale.

I use Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze #26, a professional high-tech yellow wax. You can find it at any auto parts store. I apply it with a soft cloth and buff the paint to a showroom finish.

Well, there it is. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort. After all, you’ve fixed your pain problem and come out with a model that has a full showroom and a winning competition finish.

#fix #mistakes #painting #plastic #model #cars

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