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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Begin at the Beginning
Colorado, United States
Joined: January 25, 2004
KitMaker: 11,669 posts
AeroScale: 11,011 posts
Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011 - 03:06 PM UTC
Recently I spent about 4 hours in prepping a kit. I can usually gauge how long a build will go after the preparation time. In this kit there are a lot of parts (141 @ grey styrene parts w/16 not needed) and I had my hands on all of them at one time or another this evening.

For me prepping is one of the most critical events of a build. The plastic sprue attachment points that have been previously noted are not bad to deal with at all. I will begin my build blog in a separate thread later this next week. The underside of wings stabilizers and elevator did get a quick base coat and will be left to dry for a couple of days.

The following is provided to help anyone looking for a good method to prep.
1. Read and re-read the instructions.
2. Sand smooth all edges of the wing panels, ailerons, stabilizers, elevator & rudder
3. Sand smooth most sprue attachment points for other parts.
4. Separate parts into fabric covered, metal and wood areas.
5. Inventory required paints for the build.
6. Test fit basic components.
7. Identify areas that will need "extra" work or detailing from your spares or aftermarket sets.
California, United States
Joined: April 01, 2002
KitMaker: 4,285 posts
AeroScale: 1,164 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011 - 02:50 AM UTC
Nice list Stephen. If I may add one to it.
* Gather your references. I fail at this far more than succeed. Sometimes I am so jazzed to get going on a kit, I neglect this and just dive in. Now, we don't have to do it with all builds, but it helps when we need it. I'm finding that I am slowing down in my "attacks" as it were. Taking more time to "read" the kit to ID trouble spots etc. Much like your list. Thanks for posting. "Q"
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 8,156 posts
AeroScale: 3,756 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011 - 10:42 AM UTC
Great intro post Stephen. Maybe you will do a "20 questions" like Mal so we can guess what kit you are building ?

Like Q, I am usually to pumped to gather references, but one thing I do now for all kits before I start is read as many online build reviews as I can so that I am aware of any likely trouble spots before I dive in.

Cheers, D
Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
KitMaker: 6,743 posts
AeroScale: 6,151 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011 - 02:25 PM UTC
Another step can be added as well , Wash the model parts before any work begins . Nothing is worse then having release agent still on the parts . Nasty little thing