Prepping Plastic Models For Assembly Tips for things you should do before building a plastic model.
Careful preparation of a model kit is as important as careful assembly. The first step in preparing to assembly any model is – READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and get familiar with all the parts, steps, and details involved. The second step is to clean the model parts to remove any lingering traces of molding release agent. Most modern plastic model kits need little cleaning, but it’s a good idea to clean them anyway. This ensures the best possible bond between the plastic surfaces and any paint you need to apply. Many kits will recommend soaking the parts-trees (sprues) in warm water with a few drops of grease cutting dish washing detergent – pat dry with a paper towel and let sit until completely dry. This is fine, but doesn’t account for all the handling the sprues will get while you’re building the kit (skin oils are just as bad for hobby paint as the release agent) I prefer to use a Q-Tip to swab each part with a drop of rubbing alcohol just before cutting it from the sprue (yes, you do have to be careful when swabbing very small / delicate parts). Alcohol evaporates very fast and the part is usually dry by the time I’m ready to put it in place. Also – rule # 1 for building plastic model kits – Never remove a part from the sprue until you’re ready to paint or install the part. Cutting parts free in bunches is a good way to loose parts or end up misidentifying them when it comes time to assemble them.