When a model kit part is broken, it cannot be easy to fix it. This blog post will provide you with an easy guide that you can follow for improving your broken model parts!
How do you repair a broken model kit? Here are the first steps to take:
- It would be best if you scraped the area with a light scraping motion.
- Put the broken pieces back together, so they are square again. Put glue on the ends to stick them together.
- If the part is big enough, you can drill holes at the ends for small wires. You can then put them together with cement.
- Glue or solder parts and let them dry one hour before handling.
Let’s take a closer look at how to fix or replace the damaged or fractured parts:
Step 1: Cleaning the Parts
If you have ever tried to glue broken things before painting them, you will find that it is more complicated if the damaged part has already been painted.
- When you mix plastic, paint, and glue together, they will turn into a big mess. The pieces will go soft and spongy on you.
- Make sure the paint is dry before you start this part of the repair. You can use a hobby knife to clean off parts.
- Be careful when you glue things. Use the knife to scrape all around the piece that is being glued. Clean out hard-to-reach areas with it too.
- When using glue or paint, make sure that you do not leave any on the parts. That will cause the adhesion to be less desirable.
Step 2: Filing and Fitting Model Kit Parts
- You need to clean the area of dried glue and paint before you file the ends. You want to make sure that the pieces are as square as possible.
- Be careful with some parts because they might not be too critical, but other details will be vital.
- If you have a specific glue, you will need tools of the same type of glue. The different parts also determine what type of tools you will need. If it’s most accessible, just put a little glue on end and hold them together until they dry.
- You can do the part down flat and glue one side. Then, after it has dried, you can turn it over and glue the other side.
Step 3: Glueing and Drying
For glue to work quickly, you will need a quick-drying adhesive. We will talk about different types of glues in a later section. When doing pre-fits, make sure that the part is the correct length. Then you can use good glue or cement to put it together.
After you dry, you might need to put some more paint on the parts that dried. You can use a type of putty called Testors modeler putty to help finish the painting.
Step 4: Drilling and Wiring
Finger Drills let you fix a broken wire. I have a selection of drill bits as small as 1/32. Look for these at craft or hobby stores, and buy some wire from those stores also.
It is hard, but I drill a hole in each piece for a thin wire to fit into. I put glue in the gap before placing the wire in. Then let the glue dry before putting glue on it again. You have to do this twice!
This is a list of some of the best glues and cement for building models.
- Plastic Model Glue by Testors (TES3501) Testors essential plastic model glue is an inexpensive glue for all purposes. Some people do not like it because it is not the best, but some are happy with it.
- Extra Thin Cement by Tamiya (TAM87038) Tamiya Extra Thin Cement is a glue that kids in fifth grade often use. This kind of glue is robust and takes a long time to dry and set. Kids like this glue because it is strong and can use it for the project they are building.
- Insta-Cure Super Thin 1/2 oz. CA Glue by Bob Smith (BSI101) This glue has a water-thin viscosity. It is for joining things that have tight fits. You have to hold the parts together very tightly while the glue sets.
- Space Age Plastic Welder by Tenax (TEN7R) This is one of the best plastic welders on the market. It works quickly, and once it’s finished, it’ll seal permanently. Many model builders like to use Tenax when building models.
- Bondic Liquid Plastic Welder w/LED Light (BND1) Bondic is a glue that fixes and fills things in just a few seconds. It uses an LED light to harden the glue, so it sticks to the surface.
What Can Go Wrong With a Model Kit
Models can be made of metal, plastic, or other material and come in various scales. A model car is usually about one-eighth the size of an actual vehicle and might include moving parts such as the steering wheel or an opening hood that reveals engine details.
Models are often used to demonstrate how something works or what it looks like. If you have ever assembled a model kit from scratch, you know that many small pieces are involved in building something large enough for display. If any part becomes lost during the assembly process, it will make the whole model useless because without crucial pieces, no matter how hard you try, it would not stand on its own two feet!
Things to be Careful of When Fixing Your Model Kit
If you have a delicate piece make sure it’s on the bottom of the pile so as not to break it while trying to glue it together with other elements. If you’re using white glue, make sure that both surfaces being glued are dehydrated before applying pressure, this will prevent paint from coming off onto the surface below when gluing two parts together. Also, don’t forget to let those newly glued pieces set overnight before handling them too much because they can still come apart if pulled at just the wrong angle.
Tips and Tricks for Fixing Broken Model Kits
- Nowadays, many plastic models are made of two different types of materials. The cheaper ones often have a softer kind of plastic that is easily damaged by heat or the rigors of being passed around in school classrooms.
- First, try to put it back together with just your hands. If this fails, you can use hot water to soften the parts and see if they will fit back into place when dry
- A cold pack might help fix warping caused by the sudden change in temperature; don’t forget to wait for at LEAST 24 hours before trying again.
- If you can’t get the plastic to its original shape, try filling it in with putty. Putties are an excellent tool for fixing up all sorts of things around your house, and they also work very well on model kits!
- Finally, consider using hot glue to fill in any gaps or holes where pieces have been lost. For best results, wait until everything is ultimate.
- Last but not least, remember that you don’t need perfect-looking models right away – many look amazing when appropriately painted! Just take your time 🙂
Tips for Using Glue, Paint, and Other Tools to Fix a Broken Model Kit
The fear of messing up the whole project is enough to keep you from even trying. However, with just a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll have that piece fixed in no time at all! Here are some things to remember when repairing a broken model kit part:
- Use Crazy Glue. This is perhaps one of the best tools for fixing model kit parts because it dries quickly and solidifies plastic very well. For best results, use it when you don’t need to twist or bend your broken piece after gluing. Be sure that there is no excess glue on the surface before putting it back into place!
- Think dry run before assembling. Before you start working with any kind of adhesive (bonds), paint, etc., make a dry run with the material first to know how much product will be needed to complete what job without wasting anything along the way.
- Make sure things are clean. Cleanliness isn’t just part of good hygiene. If your model kit part is clean and free from dirt, oils, or other material that can cause problems with the adhesive you’ll be using to fix it, then everything will go much more smoothly!
- Check for alignment. It’s important to check each step of the way when selecting a broken piece so that there are no spots where parts don’t align perfectly because this could affect how well they fit together later on. You can get a good idea of what kind of alignment you should be going for by looking at the old glue job on your broken piece.
- Use care when painting. If you’re going to paint over something already fixed, then using some plastic model primer or another type of adhesive before applying fresh coats will help your new paint job last a lot longer. It will also keep it from peeling away from whatever material underneath later on down the line!
When Should You Stop Trying to Fix Your Model Kit and Buy Another One Instead (and how much does it cost?)
You should always try to fix your model kit before you buy a new one. There are some exceptions where it is impossible or expensive to buy a new part. You can’t buy replacement parts that will work for your model, or the repair is not good enough. But in general: Fix it first. Buy second.
With this guide, you will be able to fix your model kit and get it up and running in no time. You can use these tips on other types of models as well! Now that you know how to repair a broken model kit part, don’t let the opportunity pass you. Apply some simple techniques to never have to worry about fixing another one for any reason ever again.
This is an invaluable skillset worth having for future projects or even fun with friends and family members who love building things together. Why not take advantage of what we’ve shared today? If you’re ready, grab your tools and start working right away!
Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.