AGAIN… these modeling tips MAY be obvious to the experienced builder, but the point of this site is to help all types of builders – from novice to advanced. Hope these help!


Unlike gas prices, jars of paint have not gone up too much over the years and even during Covid. However, this tip is to save on a trip to the Hobby store more than the cost. You’ve been there – red has dried up; steel has congealed at the bottom and needs stirring; paint has separated – making a white and yellow swirl. The way I’ve learned to help this is to set the paint jars upside down every other time used. That way the globs can fall into the thinner and not bunch so much. It seems to help but isn’t foolproof. Yeah… spending the $1.89 is just as simple, but the drive to the store may not be for some.



This particular trick is a two-parter::

The first trick is to use these for chrome detail work – whether around the window sills or for emblems – etc. The pens come in many sizes and can help a great deal with fine work that otherwise would look haphazard with a toothpick.

The second trick is a doozy. On a hunch, I found the bumper of the current project to be seriously faded. This is an EXPENSIVE kit, so not an “I’ll just buy another one and swap out” kinda kit. These chrome pens WILL refresh chrome pieces! I am not saying it is perfect, but the difference for me was night and day. Couldn’t have been happier to make a $200+ car look even better. NOTE:: Try this with an un-needed bumper before using it on a valuable one. I did and it made it less nerve-wracking to fix the expensive bumper.



Ok, so why is it a good thing to keep these extras that the model companies give or from kits discarded? Well, frankly, they are a free piece of flat plastic to make many fixes to missing/broken parts. In the pic right, I’ve used a plate to make an axle piece that was missing from the kit I was working on. Using a tree-cutter, I was able to fashion the right size and it will work splendidly. They work for those small square inserts on some models that would have a hole for an axle pin to go through and you could even fashion custom ones to lower or raise the wheels in a car. Too many uses for something most kits include!


This should be a no-brainer, but after decades of building, I don’t think of it either. Let’s say you wish to build a 1996 Corvette Convertible because your dad owned one. At any time, they are prevalent on eBay for about $13 – about 40% of what a typical kit would run. Why not buy TWO? You get to have two bodies to paint (maybe even different colors for comparo), two sets of chrome, glass and other scratch/fade-ables to pick and choose from. It very much makes sense, but is often forgotten or overlooked. So, splurge on the other 13 bucks… my kind of “happy meal“.

Well, if this has helped ANYONE, my job here is done. I’d like to think that somewhere someone is getting a light-bulb above their head about something I’ve mentioned. There are too many issues with model cars and especially ones bought that are opened and have issues to not try and put these tips out there. Please comment if you have a care and feel free to get in touch with me with some of your tips – I might just use them in my next Car Craft!


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