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Hobby Helps: Working with Resin Models

Resin Models can be built, trimmed, sanded, glued, and painted with the same paints used on plastic or metal models but do have some important differences.

Here are some great tips for working with resin models:

  • Always wash all resin models to remove any mold release compound residue which may still be on the model. - If you do not primer and paint may not stick. After washing allow the model to thoroughly air dry.
  • Resin models may have more "flash" at the mold seams than usual.  Carefully trim away the flash with a sharp hobby knife. 
  • Gently sand flash or mold lines if necessary, when sanding be sure and wear a face mask for safety.
  • Use caution when trimming small, delicate parts like gun barrels or fenders.  Resin is more brittle than plastic.  Properly support the model and there shouldn't be a problem.  Look out for air bubbles as you trim, the model will be weaker near an air bubble.
  • There may be some visible air bubbles from the casting process.  Usually these bubbles will be on the bottom of the model and not visible.  If necessary, fill these bubble with model putty.
  • If any resin part becomes warped, you may soften the resin by running the part under hot water. Put pressure on  the part against a hard flat surface as the part cools.
  • Tracks may not be open between the road wheels.  You may either paint these spaces black or take the time to carefully open up the spaces with a rotary tool. (wear a face mask and eye protection if you do this).
  • Wheels may be either glued in place or with some effort made to roll.  To allow the wheels to roll, drill a hole for the axle using a fine modeling drill.  Place a 0.32 wire through the hole  and carefully glue the wheels to both ends of the axle wire.  Be careful to avoid gluing the axle.
  • Try test painting the underside of the model and let the paint dry.  Test the paint adherence by scraping with a fingernail.
  • On open cab vehicles, paint the cab interior with a light color.  On closed cab vehicles, paint the windows black or dark blue with highlights to simulate glass or a dark interior. Gloss coat the glass after painting to add the shine of glass if you like.
  • Resin models can be glued with super glue.  When using super glue, the gap filling slow set type works best. Avoid Rubber cement as parts glued with rubber cement will slip out of place before drying more often than not.  Five minute epoxy works well in a pinch.