How to Build a Vacuform (vacuum-formed) Scale Model

2014 July 30
by Doug

Right On Replicas, LLC Step-by-Step Review 20140730*
How to Build a Vacuform (vacuum-formed) Scale Model
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Review and Photos by Doug Cole  Doug

If you’ve been building models for a while you’ve probably heard the term “vacuform kit.” As opposed to the usual injection molded kits that are so common these . days, the vacuum molded kit is formed when a heated sheet of plastic is lowered onto a relief die and the air is vacuumed out to pull the plastic onto the die plate. The plastic then cools and conforms to the die plate.  The result is a single sheet model kit that looks like this. The parts have been outlined in marker here to show them clearly.

 

Most people shy away from these kits as they clearly involve more work than just cutting the pieces off of the tree as you do with injection molded kits but there are some good reasons why you might want to consider building one.  First off – it’s really not that hard to turn that plastic sheet into a really nice looking model (like the Messerschmitt Bf 109-E above). And secondly, there are quite a few models marketed as vacuform that the injection molders never made. Quite often odd or unusual models are found in the vacuform offerings that the main stream model companies would never consider producing. While they used to be quite common the only good source for vacuform kits is online as most of the mainline hobby stores only deal with high volume kits. A search for vacuform kits at online auction site will turn up a large number of these kits and you might just find one that would make a unique and unusual model for your display shelf.

 

For the Modeler: This review is based on the Falcon Industries 1:48 Scale Messerschmitt Bf 109-E model kit although the techniques shown in this review can generally be applied to any vacuform model.  This “kit” consists of one white plastic sheet of parts, two clear cellulose canopies, and a set of pictorial instructions. Details such as panel lines might not be as crisp as injection molds but they’re acceptable. Some scratch building is required on the part of the builder.  In this kit, simple parts such as the main wheel struts, tailplane struts, and aerial are not included and will have to be made or sourced from another kit by the builder. Another thing you’ll have to do is find or make decals for your model. Most of these kits were produced prior to the days of the color printer. Fortunately, there are a lot of aftermarket sources online nowadays for both accessory parts and decals to provide professional results for your vacuform model. Overall completed dimensions are Length: 7″, Width: 8″, Height: 2″.

 

Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; extensive paint and finishing information; adhesive selections and applications; seam and sink identification and repair methods; decal selection, preparation, and application; how to use setting solutions for great looking decals; detailing and construction options; detailing the instrument panel; construction sequence deviations for fit and finish; contest finishing considerations are discussed;  version considerations; installing windows with white glue; scratch building minor components; using aftermarket and kit bashed parts, are all fully examined in this pictorial 14 page, full-color Step-by-Step review.

 

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Ed Roth ’57 Chevy Bel Air 1:25 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-4306 Review

2014 July 25
by Doug

Right On Replicas, LLC Step-by-Step Review 20140725*
Ed Roth ’57 Chevy Bel Air 1:25 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-4306 Review
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Review and Photos by Alan Mann Alan Mann (Thumbnail)

The 1957 Chevy was introduced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in September 1956. It was available in three series models: the upscale “Bel Air”, the mid-range “Two-Ten”, and the “One-Fifty”. A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the “Delray” was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified. In 1957 Ed Roth painted a new ’57 Chevy in a custom paint scheme to help promote his California pin striping shop. It was the perfect ride to blazon his name down the side in flaming letters. For 1957, the New Bel Air model was equipped with a fresh 283ci V-8. Additionally, Bel Air had reached the peak of refined retro elegance. Their fins and headlamps were stylish and the interior was spacious, comfortable and elegant.

 

 

For the Modeler: This review is based on the Ed Roth ’57 Chevy Bel Air 1:25 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-4306. Revell rates this as a Skill Level 3 for a more advanced builder. The kit includes 185 parts molded in White, Clear and Chrome and Rubber tires. Copyright dates on the chassis and parts date this kit to 1973, making this a Re-Issue or REPOP. That being said it looks like this is a straight re-release of the old 3n1 kit that has been around forever but with Roth decals now. The molding is thicker on the parts not the usual thin parts seen in new kits; also there is some flash to deal with and mold lines. The motor is quite detailed and has 3 different intake options, Roth (Custom), Street or Drag. This motor lends itself to easy aftermarket details! The chassis is straight forward and clean. One note is this kit deletes the Drag tire options and you only get one set of tires. The interior is nicely detailed and a multi-part design due to the trunk and doors opening. The body is nice but all the trim is molded on to it meaning lots of Bare Metal Foil work or Silver Paint Details. Decals include a Roth Flame Job or some basic Drag decals.  Overall completed dimensions are Length: 8-1/8″, Width: 3″, Height: 2-1/4″.

 

 

Covered in this Review: If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; extensive paint and finishing information; adhesive selections and applications; seam and sink identification and repair methods; engine detailing; decal selection, preparation, and application; how to use setting solutions for great looking decals; detailing and construction options; detailing the dashboard; construction sequence deviations for fit and finish; contest finishing considerations are discussed; finishing the tires for realism; adding engine compartment details for authenticity; version considerations; removing unwanted scripts; instruction errors and omissions; customizing the interior; complete interior detailing; using foil for chrome accents; where “not” to use glue; installing windows with white glue, installing the door, trunk and hood hinges for maximum strength; detailing the windows with black edging; using foil for realistic trim; are all fully examined in this pictorial 20 page, full-color Step-by-Step review.

 

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Click the Buy Now link below to purchase the full Step-by-Step review for  $2.95 USD.

Important – You MUST click on the “Return to Right on Replicas, LLC” link after you’ve made your purchase to download your review!

 




 

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*All registered trademarks are the property of their respective brands.

 

Laird-Turner Meteor 30′s Air Racer 1:32 Scale Lindberg Model Kit #70562 Review

2014 July 24
by Doug

Right On Replicas, LLC Step-by-Step Review 20140724*
Laird-Turner Meteor 30′s Air Racer 1:32 Scale Lindberg Model Kit #70562 Review
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Review and Photos by John Orenski John Orenski Thumbnail

First commissioned in 1936 by Roscoe Turner the Meteor, or RT-14 went on to become the only three-time winner of the Thompson Trophy race. Once placing third in 1936 and winning in 38’ and 39’. Based on a traditional mid-wing monoplane the Meteor had fixed tricycle landing gear and a simple cockpit layout. Being a racing aircraft it needed as much power as possible and was powered by a 1,000HP Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engine that could reach speeds of 350 mph.

  

For the Modeler: This review is for the Laird-Turner Meteor Air Racer 1:32 Scale Lindbergh Model Kit #70562. It is a skill level 2 kit for the intermediate builder.  The Lindbergh kit has been around for quite some time and consists of approximately 30 parts it is a simple kit that holds up well with time. The parts are molded in soft white styrene with little flash but some rather large ejector pin marks. Among these parts are a well detailed engine face, two piece canopy that shows excellent clarity, and a pilot. A full set of markings is also included.  The finished dimensions are; Length 9.5″ X 10.5” Wingspan.

 

Covered in this Review: Basic construction; glue, paint and material selections; prop finishing; engine detail colors and applying highlights; detailing the cockpit; wheel/tire paint selection; paint masking techniques for finish; using Future Floor Polish on glass; detailing the pilot figure; mounting techniques for finishing small parts; identifying pin marks, sinks and seems; repairing gaps; clamping methods; altered assembly sequence tips for better finishing; decal preparation and application with setting solutions; are all fully examined in this 9 page, full-color Step-by-Step review in PDF format.

 

 

100% money back guarantee!

 

Click the Buy Now link below to purchase the full Step-by-Step review for  $2.95 USD.

 

Important – You MUST click on the “Return to Right on Replicas, LLC” link after you’ve made your purchase to download your review!

 




 

Right On Replicas, LLC ©2014 All rights reserved.

*All registered trademarks are the property of their respective brands.