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Dealing with Seams


One of the biggest problems confronting the beginning modeler is eliminating seams, or joints. Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that models (because of the need to assemble them) contain joints where the pieces come together.

Many of these joints occur where small pieces are attached to each other or larger pieces. The seams that give us problems are the ones that occur where large exterior parts are joined to become the fuselage, wings, turret or hull. Recently many manufacturers have placed joints in places that disguise the seams, either along an existing panel line, in the case of aircraft, or along the edge of the hull or some other superstructure.

So what do we do when we want to build an older kit or a newer kit that isn’t so well engineered?

Lets begin by looking at some common problems that keep parts from fitting together properly.

Ejection pin marks
These are the circular marks created when pins in the mold push the sprue out. The hot plastic can be marked by the pin, this creates a recessed circle in the plastic. Sometimes, as the plastic is injected into the mold the plastic fills the opening for the pins. This creates a raised circle, or semi circle. Along the joints this is usually seen as a half circle, sometimes recessed, sometimes raised.

Miss-aligned locator pins/holes
These are the little pins that fit into little holes to align two pieces during assembly. Sometimes they won’t line up properly preventing a proper fit.

Warped parts
This is when you hold the parts together on one end and they’re a mile apart at the other.

About the Author

About Mike Taylor (modelguy2)


First reply Mike, very good, thank for the info.
MAY 19, 2002 - 11:22 PM
Good review of glues and how you use them... I like that kind of comparison.
MAY 20, 2002 - 12:53 AM
Good article on seeming and glue. Are you going to do anything on panel lines? ponysoldier The Horse The Gun The Man
MAY 22, 2002 - 11:45 AM
Panel Lines Huh? Well I have this PzKpfw. IV article half done.........lots done also on a Monogram Kingfisher article........ I've been pawing over an Accurate Miniatures B-25 C/D.... that would be a good one for panel lines huh? Stay Tuned to Armorama.....................
MAY 22, 2002 - 12:24 PM
I noticed that in this article the model you were showing was a TBD Devastator (pretty sure from Revell, correct?). I just finished a TBD and one thing I noticed is the lack of photographic references available (mainly as there is no single TBD left in the world, save for 2 underwater wrecks). If you need any info, I'll be happy to share what I have. Jeff JEdgar2534@yahoo.com
FEB 11, 2004 - 01:11 AM
Finally! What I really needed!
FEB 11, 2004 - 01:32 AM
All skill improving articles well approved. Thanks for the info .
FEB 11, 2004 - 07:43 PM
Very usefull Mike, thank you.
FEB 12, 2004 - 04:20 AM
A good article Mike with useful info for all to share. Thanks
FEB 12, 2004 - 06:13 AM
Great article. Thanks for pointing it out Jim. -Katyusha-
FEB 12, 2004 - 01:33 PM