rec.models.scale FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)

Date: Mon Aug 3, 1998

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Part 1

This page contains a table of contents for the rec.models.scale frequently asked questions (FAQ) list. The FAQ is archived in multiple sections. See section 2 for a more detailed introduction to this FAQ.

Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 2

Culture and Etiquette

This section is intended to give some background as to what
rec.models.scale is about and explain some of the mechanics
of newsgroups - it is aimed at the novice internet user.

  • What is an FAQ? Why does rec.models.scale need one?
  • Is the FAQ copy-righted?
  • What is this "NEW SUBSCRIBERS" thing I see posted every &!^%# day!?!
  • How do I submit material to the FAQ?
  • Why is almost everything in the FAQ authored by this
    "Don Schmitz" joker?
  • How is the ship builders FAQ associated with this one?
  • Are there any "forbidden" words on RMS?
  • What subjects are reasonable for rec.models.scale?
  • Are thre any rules to follow when making a post?
  • Why is it I see the response to a question before I see the
    question itself?
  • Why do my messages take so long to appear or disappear so quickly?
  • Why doesn't anyone answer *my* questions?
  • What do all of the strange acronyms I see in posts mean?
  • Why do some posts have strange punctuation marks in them?
  • Can I advertise things for sale here in r.m.s?
  • Why don't we split r.m.s up into sub-groups to make it easier to read?
  • What is "trolling" ? What can we do about it?
  • What is "spamming" ? What can we do about it?
  • Wouldn't it be neat to post digitized pictures of my models to r.m.s?
  • What is a web site? Are there any web sites devoted to modeling?
  • Where do old messages go? How can I read them?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 3

    General Questions About Modeling

    This section covers some of the frequently asked questions about the
    general workings of the hobby/business of scale modeling. The questions
    and answers here don't cover techniques - they are background information
    for newcomers to the hobby.

  • What is IPMS? Should I join?
  • What does "scale" mean? What does the 1:24 on the model box mean?
  • Why are there so many different scales? Where did they all come from?
  • But what about ship scales? Where did they all come from?
  • But what about model railroad scales - what do all those letters mean?
  • But what about figures, what do all those XXmm measures mean?
  • How do I buy/sell models on r.m.s, or via magazine classifieds?
  • Why doesn't someone make a kit of <my favorite subject> ?
  • Why are Japanese model kits "better" than US made kits?
  • What are "aftermarket" or "cottage industry" suppliers?
  • What is a "resin kit" ? Why are they so expensive?
  • Where can I buy models cheaply?
  • Where can I find a model of <my favorite car> ?
  • Who are kit collectors/dealers?
  • Why aren't the swastika/beer company/tobacco company
    decals in my new plane/tank/racing car kit?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 4

    General how-to questions

    This sections covers frequently asked questions regarding construction
    techniques that can be answered in a few paragraphs. Questions with
    longer answers have their own FAQ section. Most of these questions
    are fairly general, although some very specific questions are asked so
    frequently I've included them here too.

  • How do I remove "chrome" from plated parts?
  • How do I remove paint from a model?
  • How can I get a chrome finish onto a part?
  • If I'm not that obsessive, what paint is closest to chrome?
  • How can I remove decals without screwing up the paint?
  • How do I make my own dry transfers?
  • Why do my decals have ugly silvery borders?
  • What are the basic techniques of painting models?
  • I understand pastels can be used to achieve subtle
    colour variations, especially for weathering - what kind of pastel should I use?
  • How do I apply pastels
  • There are so many fillers today. What should I use?
  • What glue should I use to glue plastic together?
  • How do I used liquid cement?
  • Which cement should I use?
  • With the proliferation of vinyl figures, what should I use to
    glue the parts?
  • Of what kind of plastic are soft drink bottles made?
  • Are their solvent type cements that can be used to join PETE
    plastic like there are for styrene?
  • What can I use then to join PETE?
  • What do I use to glue together dissimilar materials?
  • What do I use to glue together to metal parts?
  • What should I use to glue wood to wood?
  • What should I use to glue wood to styrene?
  • It seems that the super glue that I am using glues my fingers
    together better than the parts, why?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 5

    More General how-to questions

    This section is an extension of part 4, it covers frequently asked
    questions regarding construction techniques that can be answered in a
    few paragraphs. Questions with longer answers have their own FAQ

  • My superglue never seems to set the same. Sometimes it is slow,
    sometimes very fast, why?
  • Should I use an accelerator to speed up the setting time of CA?
  • Is it true that CA glue is made from Cyanide? Can I poison myself with it?
  • What are some basic safety notes about using CA?
  • Any other opinons on glue?
  • What do I use to glue on clear parts?
  • What are the basics of masking?
  • What are the basic techniques for applying decals?
  • I would like to tint the windows of the model I am building,
    how can this be done?
  • The F-117 that I am building has gold tinted windows. How can
    such a metallic tint be produced?
  • How do I attach canopies to my model?
  • My model aircraft is tail heavy, what do I use for ballast to keep
    the nose down, and where should I put it?
  • What tools do I need for modeling?
  • How do you transfer paint from the bottle when mixing, thinning, etc?
  • What are the basic techniques of painting?
  • I have heard of giving models a wash to bring out surface details.
    How do you go about this?
  • How can I remove scratches from transparent/clear parts?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 6

    How to make your own photo-etched parts.

  • How do I make my own photoetch parts?
  • Are there any better etchants than the messy ferric chloride stuff?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 7

    How to obtain a really high gloss finish.

  • How do I get a really high gloss finish on my model cars?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 8

    How to get a realistic "bare metal" finish.

  • How do I get a polished metal finish on my fighter plane/sports car?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 9

    This section contains assorted lists of information. Much of this
    information was taken from previous versions of the FAQ, and so
    may be dated - I welcome updates. The lists include:
    o A list of questions without answers.
    o Addresses of mail order companies and aftermarket suppliers.
    o Modeling clubs and special interest groups.
    o Intersting websites.

    Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 10

    This section contains more lists - it was broken up to keep
    mailers with 30Kb message limits happy.
    o Magazines, newslettes, etc.
    o Museums that provides sources of research.
    o Model manufacters and distributors.

    Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 11

    Various comments on individual link tank tracks (long).

  • What should I know about individual link tank tracs?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 12

    What are the basics of building resin models?

  • Which glues work best for resin parts?
  • Which fillers work best for resin parts?
  • Which paints should be used for primer?
  • How should Silver/Aluminum finishes be applied?
  • What makes a good/bad resin model kit?
  • Are there any recommended books or periodicals with methods?
  • Any more basic techniques I should know about?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 13

    How to make custom decals

  • Could you give me some general information about making decals
    with a computer?
  • Where can I get clear decal sheets?
  • When I print my decal ink balls up on large areas! How can I avoid this?
  • Water smears ink on my home made decals! How can I avoid this?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 14

    Painting tips for assorted (real and fictional) space craft

  • What paints/colors should I use on my (Star Trek) Enterprise ?
  • Who makes the best Saturn V kit?
  • What is the "correct" paint scheme for the Saturn V?
  • Are there any sources for parts to "accuratize" the common Saturn V kits?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 15

    Questions on weathering and detail painting.

  • What is meant by "weathering" and "detail painting" ?
  • What are "washes", and how do you do it?
  • What is "dry brushing", and how do you do it?
  • How do I simulate large surface effects such as fading, dust, etc?
  • How do you weather with pastel chalk?
  • How do I simulate rusting metal?
  • How do I darken panel lines?
  • How do I paint fine details such as emblems and instrument markings?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 16

    Lists of hobby shops and interesting places to visit while travelling.

  • I'm going to be in <some city> on business, are there any
  • good hobby shops, museums, battlefields, etc, there that I should visit?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 17

    This section is about paints and painting. It tries to answer some
    general questions about materials and techniques. Someday I
    hope to add a follow on section discussing various types of paints
    in more details.

  • What are the dangers of painting?
  • Why is painting such a black art?
  • What are all the different kinds of paint? How do they differ?
  • What are these new "acrylic" paints I'm hearing about?
  • So where do "epoxy" paints fit in this picture?
  • What type of paints are best for modeling?
  • What is paint thinner? How do I use it?
  • Do I need to use those expensive little bottles of thinner made
  • by the paint companies?
  • What is primer? Do I have to use it on my models?
  • Is it safe to apply one type of paint over another?
  • Is it safe to mix different brands of paint to get a particular color?
  • I put a second coat of the same type of paint on my model and got
  • a cracked and wrinkled mess - what happened?
  • Why doe my "flat" paints come out glossy?
  • Can I get a good high-gloss finish with a brush?
  • Do I need an airbrush to build good models?
  • What is "Future Floor Wax"? What is it good for?
  • What do you thin Future with for airbrushing?
  • Is there any way to speed up the drying/curing process?
  • Why doesn't paint cover the edges of panel lines?
  • How do I prepare parts for painting?
  • What is a spray booth? Why do I need one?
  • How can I build a cheap spray booth?
  • Are bathroom fans/range hoods safe for a spray booth?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 18

    This section is a how-to guide for making cast resin parts.

  • How do I cast my own parts in resin?

  • Rec.models.scale FAQ, part 19

    This section is a collection of "advanced" building techniques - various
    ways to build models that are substantially better and/or different
    than those available in kit form. Examples include scratchbuilding and
    panel-line scribing.

    If you are just starting out in modeling you may want to avoid trying
    these techniques until you have a few kits under your belt. Beginners
    may well consider these techniques ridiculously extreme, however after
    you've been in the hobby for while you may well be bitten by the
    "Advanced Modeler's Syndrome" bug and go off in search of the ever
    more-perfect model, at which time this information is likely to
    become very valuable.

    The material here is far from a "text book" treatment but includes a
    lot of general information and some more specific tips.

  • How do you restore engraved panel lines that have been lost to
  • filling and sanding (or that were never there to start with)?
  • How do you "scratchbuild" ? How do I get started?
  • What is/are vacuforms?
  • How do I assemble a vacuum-formed kit?
  • What companies produce vacuform aircraft?
  • How can I make my own vacuforming machine?
  • Where can I get styrene for vacuforming?
  • I sanded too much. What now?
  • How can I make bulkheads that fit?
  • How should I do the canopy?