TND’s Model Making Tips

TND’s Model Making Tips

How to make camouflage netting

This video is a real time video with commentary on how I made a camo net to wrap round a main gun. The main material came with the kit, but it is very similar to a loose bandage or surgical gauze you can buy from a pharmacy. Rather than be liberal with the glue, I cut open the bottle and applied it with a brush to the surface. I found its important to then paint the glue afterwards to the netting when its on the model so its almost encased and not be scared to get your hands sticky as you shape the netting to the required shape! I decided to then sprinkle on mixed herbs to replicate the netting. It was important to get the glue on first before sprinkling otherwise trying to paint glue on to herbs simply made a big blobby mess.

How to add decals to a model

This video is a real time video with commentary on how I attach decals. The main tool I like to use to attach decals is a large Stanley knife and cotton buds and you will see why whilst watching the video.

How to airbrush a model with a camo scheme – using masking tape

This video is a speeded up video of the highlights of the method I use to airbrush a 3 colour camouflage scheme. Firstly I airbrush the hull & turret NATO green. I then cut out sections from Tamiya paper masking tape (its yellow in colour & wide) to place over the area’s that are to remain green. I then airbrush the whole model again in NATO brown. I left the tape covering the green area’s on & then repeated the process with the tape to cover the area’s which were to be kept brown, leaving the exposed brown area’s to be airbrushed in NATO black. The whole process took about 8 hours and leaving the model to dry over night on each colour application. I then removed both layers of tape to reveal the finished scheme. Then using thin brush’s I added finer detail such as the sights and rear lights.

How to airbrush a model with a camo scheme – using Blu-Tack

This is my second video and is a speeded up video of the highlights of the method I use to airbrush a 3 colour camouflage scheme, except in this one I use Blu-Tack instead of masking tape. If using Blu-Tack, take care not to put it on delicates like handles or they come off!!!

 Avoiding the mess of excess glue and parts setting in the wrong position

This video is a good example of how I have learnt that not only how important it is to have a good pair of modelling pliers, but also demonstrates how to attach a small part to the hull of a model and avoid making a mess with excess glue/cement so that your model part doesn’t just fall over into the excess glue and set in the wrong position.

I have learnt to squeeze a blob of glue into a container (I prefer a cotton bud lid) and using my pliers I can dip the part into the glue in a controlled manner and apply a tiny amount of glue and avoid getting it all over the part and all over the hull/turret surface.

How to attach single piece rubber tracks to a model

When I first started building the 1/35 scale models, I found with my first few that I couldn’t get the two ends of the tracks to glue together. The pressure from being fitted around the wheels just pulled the joint apart. The other manufacturer method of heating a screwdriver up and melting the ends together wasn’t practical and dangerous, so I would simply push them loose up above the road wheels and glue them to the drive wheels.

Now I don’t glue the drive wheels with the teeth on, to the hull, I leave them off. I staple the ends of the track together, giving them a strong joint. I place the track around the other drive wheel and road wheels, place the teethed drive wheel inside the track so as to stretch it and then push the drive wheel onto its axel, pulling the track tightly in to place.

How to build tracks made of plastic sections or individual links

The first 1/35th scale model I built the tracks for was my Tamiya Tiger 1 and has been the only Tamiya kit since then.

On the whole it is the Revell kits that require the plastic tracks to be built. The instructions show a side view diagram with the track divided into sections around the road wheels and how many individual plastic links are required for each section. Sometimes each section is supplied already assembled but still need to be joined together.

The top & bottom tracks are usually the longest, so I build those first and put them in place after allowing the glue to set. Whilst it sets I build the end sections which go around the drive wheels as the glue doesn’t need to be fully set (thou a little does help) and mould them around the wheels to join them to the upper & lower sections. I do not glue the drive wheel with teeth to the lower hull, this way it can be moved around allowing the teeth to be aligned to the track.

How to make an aerial or antenna

For some reason this process has fascinated others including my best friend David. I guess a good aerial is a nice finishing touch. It’s taken me a couple of models to find a good method.

The first thing has to be using the right plastic. I’ve found that the thicker parts of kit frames generally take longer to heat up so rather than melt, they catch light and you can’t stretch them, so I always use the thinner parts of the kit frames, preferably a corner. When I’ve stretched it, I keep it stretched for a couple of minutes, otherwise it gets kinks and doesn’t cool into a straight line.

When I add glue to the aerial mounts, I let it set slightly, so it takes a firmer hold of the aerial rather than fall over. I’ve also built a stand out of old kit frames which I’ve attached cable ties. When I add the aerials, they sit in the cable ties so that they are held straight as the glue sets.