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FROM THE February 2011 ISSUE

Painting kits molded close to the correct color

Q: I have been building NASCAR kits that are molded quite close to the correct color. When that happens to you, do you build it as-is, or do you spray a coat of the same-color paint?

I think it would look tacky if the body was not painted. 

Brad Deaton
Herrin, Illinois

Ken:
That’s a good question, Brad, and one that could lead to a lengthy philosophical discussion regarding the best way to build a model. 

Some kits are indeed molded in colors that are close to the full-size subject, and the parts look good – until you start removing them from the sprue, cleaning up seams and sanding parting lines – at which time you begin to lose the familiar squeaky-smooth feel of a brand-new plastic car body.

Also, leaving a body unpainted is out of the question if you want to use putty to fill sink holes or injection pin marks. 

Another consideration, depending on your level of commitment to building an accurate NASCAR model, is that the color of the molded plastic is probably not exactly the color of the 1:1 car.  Painting the model would allow you get just the right color.

Now, for the other, more-important side of the coin: it’s your model and you can build it any way you want, painted or not.

And here’s a confession: I built a box-stock Monogram 1959 Cadillac when they were first issued. They were molded in bright pink plastic.

I washed the body with soap and water, and waxed it with a good automotive wax. No paint, no sanding. It looks good, and it was one of the most “fun” models I’ve ever built.

There’s no “wrong” way to build a model if you’re having fun.

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