SEARCH SCALEAUTOMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Fixing a crack in a car-model body

RELATED TOPICS: BODYWORK
Q: I was lucky and found the Haulin’ Hearse and Ambulance by JoHan at NNL West. However, the models were in pretty bad shape. The ambulance was missing half the driver’s side, and has an ugly crack along the top.  

How can I fill in the crack? I have used everything from ACC glue to putty, but the crack keeps on reappearing.
 
– Stephen Brown
San Jose, California
    

Ken: Fixing a major crack in a car-model body isn’t as simple as slapping on some glue. After the structural integrity of an injection-molded body has been compromised, it’s difficult to get it back without performing some plastic surgery.

As you’ve found out, the weakest kind of repair joint you can make is a butt joint, which is basically just gluing the crack shut; a mere twist will cause the pieces to snap apart again.

The proper fix depends on the location of the crack. If it’s along the top, the easiest method of repair is to add a plate of sheet styrene up under the roof, to bridge the gap and keep the sides from separating.  

That’s fine if you don’t mind the extra thickness under the roof, but if that’s an issue, carefully cut a “trough” along each edge of the crack, about halfway through the underside of the roof. Be careful – we’re not talking about much material here.  

Butt the halves together, then add a styrene “splint” up  into the trough, which bridges the sides without creating as much extra thickness to the roof.  When that’s dry, you can reinforce the joint with epoxy for insurance.

After the damaged area has been reinforced, cut a shallow V groove along the joint on top of the model, fill it with body putty, then sand and paint. The joint will disappear.  

(Cut a groove, so you get enough putty into the crack for it to adhere.) 

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of ScaleAutoMag.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0
FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
SUBSCRIBER-ONLY CONTENT

CLAIM YOUR FREE GUIDE

50-plus great reader tips!