Plastic Model FAQ
What are plastic models?
Plastic models, also known as plastic kits or model kits, are miniature replicas of vehicles, aircraft, ships, buildings, and other objects that are made of plastic. They are typically sold in kit form and require assembly and painting to be completed. They are usually highly detailed and accurate representations of real-life objects and are often used as collectibles.
What sizes do they come in?
Plastic models come in a variety of scales, with the most common being 1:35, 1:48, 1:72, 1:144, and 1:350. The scale refers to the size of the model in relation to the size of the real object. For example, a 1:35 scale model is 35 times smaller than the real object, while a 1:72 scale model is 72 times smaller. The smaller the scale, the more detailed the model can be, but also the more difficult it can be to assemble.
How are they made?
Plastic models are made by injection molding, in which plastic is melted and then poured into a mold. The mold is usually made of steel or aluminum and is created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The finished plastic model is usually made of plastic materials such as polystyrene, ABS and PVC.
Plastic models can be highly detailed, with many featuring moving parts, detailed interiors and engines, and various levels of complexity in the assembly process. Many plastic models are also highly collectible, with some models being produced in limited quantities and becoming highly sought-after by collectors. They are often used for educational purposes, as a way to teach about different historical, technological and scientific subjects.
Where do I find them?
Plastic models can be found in many specialized stores and online retailers, as well as in some department stores and toy stores. The price of plastic models can vary greatly depending on the brand, model, and level of detail, with some models costing hundreds of dollars.
What does it take to make a plastic model kit?
Assembling a plastic model typically requires the following tools and steps:
- Tools: Basic tools such as hobby knives, scissors, tweezers, and a plastic cement or glue are needed to assemble a plastic model. Some models may also require specialized tools, such as a drill or a saw, depending on the level of detail and complexity.
- Clean the parts: Before assembling, it's important to clean the parts of the model to remove any mold release agents or other contaminants that may be present. This can be done using a mild detergent, a toothbrush and warm water.
- Study the instructions: Carefully read and study the instructions that come with the model. These will give you an idea of the order in which to assemble the parts, and any special techniques or tips that you should be aware of.
- Start with the main assembly: Begin by assembling the main parts of the model such as the body, the chassis, or the frame. Make sure the parts fit together snugly and that they align correctly.
- Add the details: Once the main assembly is complete, add the smaller details such as lights, mirrors, and other accessories. Some parts may be delicate and require more care when handling them.
- Paint and finish: Once the assembly is complete, the model can be painted and finished. Some models come pre-painted, in that case, you can skip this step.
- Display or play: Once the model is complete, it can be displayed or played with. Keep in mind that some models are fragile and should be handled with care.
- Brushes: Used to apply paint and other finishing details to the model.
- Patience and focus: Assembling a plastic model can take some time and focus, and it's important to take your time and pay attention to the instructions to ensure a good result.
- Youtube is a great resource for guidance
It's worth mentioning that some models have more complex assembly process that others, and some may require additional tools and materials, such as a drill or a saw, or even electronics and lighting to make it more realistic. It's also important to keep in mind that the process