polishing hard to reach areas on a clearparts

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by jjp_nl, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #1 jjp_nl, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
    I have a question regarding polishing clearparts that's been bugging me since I've started work on the Revell 1/72 He-177 kit a week or so ago.

    As good practice I (and lots of other modellers too) tend to polish clearparts and dip them in future prior to masking them and installing them on the kit at hand. Information on methods and means can be found all over the interweb. And with a sweet and smooth bubbletop canopy ala P-51D it isn't that hard really

    However, the HE-177 clearparts does make me wonder how I might go about this. As the pic shows there's lots and lots of fairly prominent framing on the clearparts (gets a little scared of masking them up here). A checkerboard pattern if you like. I'm kind of in the dark on how to reach the tight corners of these clearparts as they are next to unreachable with your average polishing stick.

    How would you guys go about this?

    I have a set of Vac-form clearparts for the HE-177 as well. However the fit of these isn't particularly good, and with vacuform parts being so delicate they leave little room to bring out the filler and sandingsticks. The kit part on the other hand fit surprisingly good (compared to other builds of the He-177 kit I've seen) but have lots and lots of irregularities to them and will need considerable polishing before they look good.
     

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  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I make up a shaped piece of wood or sprue that has a chizel point, rounded edge, whatever the need is so that I can wrap the paper around it to get into the areas I want.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A cotton bud can also be used, either with toothpaste, or a car colour restorer such as 'T-Cut'. Once polished, wash off, then polish again with a clean, dry cotton bud. The cotton buds have the added advantage of being flexible too.
     
  4. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #4 jjp_nl, Jul 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
    Seems I was looking in the right direction after all....I did add a little extra to the mix though (since I absolutely hate polishing clearparts). Turns out...a cotton-bud (as mentioned by Terry) can be easily and sufficienly clamped into my motortool. Gently had a crack at a piece of scrap clearpart...and got a perfectly polished clearpart in a matter of minutes....tried both with toothpaste and just a clean cottonbud, and it seems a soft and clean cottonbud is more then enough to get stunning results....dipping it in future should add the finishing touch.

    I'm guessing taking on these HE-177 clearparts will become a whole lot easier now :)
     
  5. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    Another rather radical approach would be to sand off the framing completely and replace it with strips of decal. In 1/72 (I assume) it would be more to scale anyway.
     
  6. jjp_nl

    jjp_nl Member

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    #6 jjp_nl, Jul 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
    true...isn't this a method also used on vacu-form replacement clearparts (given their delicate nature and often way less prominent framing)

    I did consider this approach (and have to fully agree with the being more to scale), but since the framing on the kit-parts is rather prominent and 'thick' I think there's a good chance of doing more damage then good since it would take a good hard grinding to get rid of it all
     
  7. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    All true. good luck with your build and keep us posted,
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I like that idea Andy.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I've found painted strips of Tamiya masking tape easier to use than decal for the framing. Once in place, they can the be sealed with a dip in 'Future', and then touched-in with the required clear coat.
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Now that's a good tip as well Terry, thanks.
     
  11. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    You could possibly pull a 'me' and get glue on the canopy and smear it beyond repair..:lol:
     
  12. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    Nothing is 'beyond repair' Harrison. Clear parts can be sanded, polished and coated in future. If the smear is too deep the part can be covered with putty, sanded and a new one vac-formed or 'stretch-formed'. If the part is broken in two it can be glued together, sanded and vac-formed or 'stretch formed'.
     
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