If you are not
used to building models of this kind, you will find that your skill
improves with more experience. If you have any doubts, start off
with simpler models (those with a lower Skill
Rating), then work up to the more complex ones.
If the card
sheets are curled slightly when the model is delivered, flatten
them out by placing underneath some heavy books for a few hours.
Work in a well
lit area. Natural light is best, but a table lamp is useful to give
additional lighting. A right-handed person will generally find it
best to have the light coming from the left when scoring and cutting,
and from the right when gluing. Of course, a left-handed person
will prefer the opposite.
Always use a
sharp knife for cutting out. Never be tempted to "soldier on"
with a blunt knife, as it will tend to tear the card instead of
neatly cutting it. Use a knife with the thinnest possible blade.
The type of knife with a blade that can be broken off to expose
a new tip is very good.
The side of
a cut that is under the ruler is usually the neater edge, so try
to position the ruler on a part's printed area when cutting around
the edges. It's also safer should the knife begin to 'wander', as
it is less likely to damage the printed part. However, take great
care not to scratch or scuff the printed area.
If a part refuses
to come away cleanly from the card, make sure all the cuts have
gone right through, especially in the corners between tabs. Cut
them again carefully and don't just pull the part away, as it might
get damaged in the process.
ruler just below the line to be cut or scored, to take account of
the thickness of the blade. Make sure that the knife blade is pressed
against the side of the ruler as it goes, as a sharp knife may have
a tendency to 'wander'. Mind your fingers!
It is usually
best to cut out simple parts first, and then the more complex ones.
For a large
model, don't cut out too many parts at once. Only cut out the parts
needed to build each section of the model, that way you lessen the
risk of losing or damaging parts before they are needed.
the fit of parts before gluing. We have tried to make every part
fit exactly, but sometimes the fit of a part depends on how accurately
it has been cut or folded. Occasionally you may find it necessary
to trim a part to make it fit, and this is very difficult to do
once the glue has been applied.
squeeze a little glue onto a suitable container, and apply with
a fine paintbrush. Replenish the glue frequently, so that you aren't
using stale glue that is already beginning to harden. Wash the brush
frequently too, to stop it from going hard.
Try to avoid
doing too much gluing in one go, as the glue will have a tendency
to dry before you have fitted the part in place. If you need to
glue a large item, try to do it in stages. Otherwise, make sure
your glue is fresh, to avoid the possibility of it drying out too
A plastic lid
from a jar or other container is useful to squeeze a small blob
of glue onto when building a model (the lid from a pack of Pringles
is good). If you cut small notches around the edge of the lid it
will stop the paintbrush from rolling away when you put it down.
will have to fit a part to tabs where you can't reach inside to
push them together (usually on the last side of a "box"
structure). In these cases it is usually best to bend the tabs so
that they stick out slightly and then hold the part against them
until the glue is dry. This ensures that enough of the tabs make
contact to hold the part in place.
It is often
useful to press a part against a clean, flat surface while the glue
dries. Anything that is box-shaped, or has a flat bottom, can be
pressed against the work surface until dry. This is especially useful
where long tabs have to be held in place along their whole length,
like on the bottom of a walkway. Otherwise use the ruler or the
handle of a paintbrush to hold parts in place. A length of square-sectioned
wood (like an old chopstick) is also good for reaching inside models.
If a model has
joins that show along one side, try to position it in your diorama
so that the joins are either against another building, or facing
towards the back where no-one will see them. If a model is made
up of several large parts, try to make sure the joins are all on
the same side.
multiple copies of the same model (eg jetways and gates), make sure
the parts are fitted the same way round on all of them. Quite often
things like roofs can be fitted either way around, so it's best
to make sure everything matches. The same applies when putting models
together on a diorama. Make sure everything faces the right way
and lines up properly.
Don't be disheartened
if a finished model doesn't look perfect at close quarters. Remember
that the models will be viewed from a distance when fitted into
a diorama and will look much better as part of an overall display
with aircraft around them.
Models can be
enhanced by adding airline logos and other signs. These can be found
quite easily in various locations (especially on-line), printed
and glued onto the models in appropriate places.
In some cases
models from different scales can be mixed in the same diorama quite
successfully, to give more variety. 1:500 models are 80% of the
size of 1:400 models, so the difference in size of details such
as doors and windows is not great. So, for example, a hangar that
holds a Boeing 747 in 1:400 scale could be used to hold smaller
types if the 1:500 scale version is used.
sheets are butted up against each other, there is often a raised
edge where they have been cut. Use a round-ended spoon handle to
smooth the edges down after gluing.
To check that
runways and taxiways are being laid perfectly straight, put your
eye down at ground level and look along the centreline markings.