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Atlantis Toy and Hobby

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What Do the Skill Levels Mean?
Model kits generally come in one of five skill levels that represent how difficult it will be to complete:
Skill Level 1: Snap-together pieces and do not require glue or paint.
Skill Level 2: Easier kits that require glue and paint to complete. They usually have less than 100 pieces.
Skill Level 3: Smaller, more detailed parts. They usually have over 100 pieces.
Skill Level 4: Advanced kits with extra-fine details. They most certainly contain over 100 pieces.
Skill Level 5: For expert modellers. They have super-detailed parts, can contain hundreds of pieces, and often have moving parts, like working suspension on cars and motorcycles, rotating propellers on planes, and movable turrets on tanks.

Basic Assembly

How do I get the parts off the runners? 
It's best to remove the parts from the trees or sprue by cutting them off. Do this by cutting the part off as close as possible to the surface of the part so there is no excess plastic on the part from the tree. Most modelers use a hobby knife or sprue cutter (which you can find at most hobby shops). We do not recommend twisting the parts off because this can cause breakage, especially with thin or fragile parts.

 

Why do a few parts in my kit have rough edges?
Plastic injection molded model kit parts will sometimes have a rough edge or "mold line" on the part as a result of the manufacturing process. These can be removed by sanding the edge off the part with a small file, emery board, or sandpaper. Do this prior to painting your parts for a more realistic and professional appearance. Use a light touch as styrene plastic is soft and will easily sand.

 

What if I have a couple of extra parts left that are not called for on the instructions?
Since many times a basic mold will be used to produce more than one version of a model subject, you may find a few extra parts still on the trees that were not called for in the instruction sheet in your kit. This is not uncommon and these parts can be discarded.

 

Why do models sometimes look different on the box than what's in the kit?
Although we try to make sure that the box art represents the actual model kit, in some instances there may be small variations in what is shown. Sometimes, the hand-made master model is used for the box art photo because the actual kit production hasn't been completed. Or, the producer of the actual prototype may make changes after the model tooling is committed for production. In either case, the differences will be subtle and will not affect the overall model kit subject.

 

Is it better to paint the model before or after it's built?
Generally, you will have better results by painting your model before assembling it. An exception is to first glue together small parts of an assembly if they will all be the same color and painting it as a unit.

 

I am a first-time model maker and am having difficulty removing the decals from the page to apply to model. Do you have any suggestions for application?
Decals should be dipped in lukewarm water for only a moment and then set on a paper towel to let the water soak in and dissolve the adhesive that holds the decal on the paper. The decal will curl up, and then unroll after a short time. At this point the decals should be able to be moved around on the backing paper and slid into location on the model. Once in place they can be dabbed with the tip of a paper towel or tissue to soak up excessive water.



Glue & Cement: Types, Technique, and Troubleshooting

What type of glue or cement should I use?
Generally, most any glue or cement that is suitable for use on plastic can be used on your Revell model kit. Tube glues, such as Testors and Ambroid are the most commonly found and have a gel-like consistency. These are also made in a non-toxic formula to reduce some of the odors.

Use these sparingly in order to avoid the glue oozing out from the parts being joined. When using tube type glues you may want to squeeze out a small amount onto a scrap piece of paper or cardboard and apply a small amount to the kit part using a toothpick to control how much glue you are applying. Many builders like to use a liquid cement such as Testors, Tenax, or Pro-Weld, among others. Liquid cements can be applied using a small paint brush and can give you a nice, clean glue joint. Dip the brush in thinner from time to time to clean.

Other glue types frequently used are five minute epoxy, which is best used when you need a really strong bond for major structural parts of the kit, or "CA" glue, which is also commonly called super glue. CA is short for cyanoacrylate. Keep in mind that you do NOT want to use CA or super glues with clear or transparent parts as it will fog up the part.

Remember to always want to use any glue or cement in a well-ventilated area and to keep some nail polish remover nearby in case you glue your fingers together.

 

Why won't the glue always stick to the part after I've painted it?
Glues and cements will not always adhere to a painted surface because they were designed for use on plastic. It's always best to scrape away a small amount of paint from the surface of a part where you will apply the glue. This allows the glue to bond better.

 

I'm having a problem with the cement I'm using. The model pieces seem to come apart after a while.
There are a variety of brands of cement on the market that are made especially for styrene plastic. Different modelers have different preferences of what they like to use. To get the best bond from the cement you use, we suggest scraping the plating or paint where the parts meet to get the best bond. You may want to try changing brands of cement or using super glue or epoxy to see if that makes a difference.

 

Will superglue work on a model? 
Most super glues will work on styrene plastic, but if you're not an experienced modeler your best bet is probably to stick with the more common tube or liquid glue for plastics. There are a wide variety of superglues available ranging from water thin to gel and drying times from instant to slow setting.

 

I accidentally got a finger print of paint or glue on my windshield. How can I get it off without ruining it?
If you only have a little bit of glue or paint on your glass, you may be able to get it off just by rubbing with a soft cloth. If you have any more, you may have to use more drastic measures like using a very fine rubbing compound ,such as white toothpaste. You can also use a superfine polishing kit. If you wind up with a slight fog on the glass, you can usually eliminate it by using model wax, clear enamel or liquid acrylic floor wax. If the glue is embedded too deeply, your only choice is to replace the glass.



Paint: Colors, Technique, and Troubleshooting

What type of paint is best to use?
There are dozens of different paints sold in hobby and craft stores, hardware stores, and chain stores. We generally suggest that you try to stay with paint made specifically for plastic models. Most hobby paints will be either:

  • Enamel, which you will need to use paint thinner or turpentine to clean your brushes and equipment, or
  • Acrylic, which is water based so water will clean brushes and equipment.

You must clean the unpainted plastic parts prior to painting because paint may not adhere to the parts otherwise. This will remove the oily mold release spray that is added during manufacturing. To clean, put a few drops of a liquid dish or hand soap on an old toothbrush and give the parts a quick scrubbing. Let the parts air dry.

Many modelers like to use spray paints for the largest parts of their model, such as car bodies or aircraft fuselages because sprays will provide a better finish. Usually smaller detail parts are painted with a brush using bottled paints.

Some general guidelines when using sprays are:

  • Use a coat of primer before spraying on your paint. Some paints may "craze" or attack the plastic surface depending on the paint's ingredients.
  • Don't attempt to cover the part with one coat of paint. You want to spray several very light coats to build up the coverage. Paint coats that are too heavy cause runs and loss of engraved detail. Follow the directions on the can, but generally you'll want to wait 15-20 minutes between paint coats.
  • It's best to stick with the same manufacturer for the different types of paints you use on the same model (primer, color and clear, if you use a clear coat). Putting one manufacturer's paints over another may cause them to react with each other.
  • Let the paint dry completely before handling or trying to polish out the paint. Although it may seem dry on the surface, a good way to tell if the paint is fully cured is to hold the model up to your nose, if you can still smell the paint, it's probably not dry yet.

 

How can I fix a mistake in my paint job?
Your model should be quite salvageable. First thing, do NOT use sandpaper. There are a number of products that will remove most paints from styrene plastic safely. We recommend using products made specifically for this purpose, such as Scale Coat or Easy Lift Off by Floquil. Once you have stripped the paint from your model, wash and dry it thoroughly and re-prime. You should be good to go!

 

Why do I sometimes get bubbles in my paint?
There are a number of possibilities that could cause bubbles in your paint, but one of the most common is residual mold release left from the manufacturing process. Before painting any model, wash it with dish soap and dry thoroughly. Be sure to prime your model before painting so any imperfections may be resolved before applying your finish coat.

Is it better to paint the model before or after it's built?
Generally, you will have better results by painting your model before assembling it. An exception is to first glue together small parts of an assembly if they will all be the same color and painting it as a unit.

 

Why can't I find colors like fiery yellows and leafy greens in paints?
There are a variety of manufacturers that make an almost universal variety of paint colors that are compatible with plastic models. Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Floquil and Badger are just some of the companies you may want to check out. Rust-O-Leum is also safe because it is fish oil based, but always test first to be sure.

Don't be afraid to look in military, automotive, marine or any other category for paint. It's the color that counts, not the name on the bottle.

 

How do I make the bumpers on my model look like they're gold plated?
Tinting any chrome plated parts is very simple. Tamiya, Gunze-Sanjyo, and others produce clear color paints. Simply brush on a light coat over the chrome and you have tinted trim! If you want a darker tint, apply a second or third coat.

 

How do I make my own custom paint color?
If you have a quality airbrush you can make any c color paint you want by simply mixing solid color paint with clear. Practice with different percentages of the two and see which resultsyou like best.

 

I want to paint the interior of my car the same color as the body, but I don't want it to be shiny like the outside of the car.
There are a couple of ways to do this. Testors offers a product called "Dull Coat" #1260 in a 3 oz. spray can. Another trick is to mix in a small amount of talcum powder. Test it first. The less you put in, the shinier it will be; the more you put in, the flatter the color will be.

 

Sometimes when I paint my car the paint dries like sandpaper. Why does that happen?
What you're getting is known as "orange peel." This is a result of the paint drying too much before it hits the surface you're painting. The vehicle that is the liquid that carries the pigment from your spray can or airbrush is evaporating too quickly while it's in the air. You can stop this from happening by applying a slightly heavier coat of paint, either by holding your spray can/ airbrush a little bit closer to the subject, or moving just a little bit slower.



Decals: Types & Application

How do I apply decals?
Some kits contain "Peel 'n Stick" self-adhesive decals that are applied by simply peeling the image from the paper backing and applying to the model. Kits that require glue (Skill Levels 2 to 6) have traditional waterslide decals.

To apply a waterslide decal:

  • Cut apart the individual images from the sheet.
  • Dip the decal into lukewarm water for 1 or 2 minutes. Take the decal from the water and see if the image will move or slide on the paper backing. If not, return to the water for a few more seconds.
  • Once the decal will slide on the backing, put the decal and backing on a paper towel for a few seconds to remove the excess water.
  • Then bring the decal up to where on the model you want to apply it and slide the image from the paper backing onto the model. While wet, you can still move the image on the model a bit to position it just where you want it. If there are any air bubbles under the decal, gently push the bubble toward one of the edges of the decal with a wet Q-tip or edge of a paper towel to remove it.
  • When the decal is in position, simply leave it air dry and it will stay in place.

We sell various decal setting solutions that will help the decal conform to sharply curved surfaces. We suggest trying out the specific solution you wish to use on an unused decal from the same sheet applied to a piece of scrap plastic to make sure the solution will not react with the decal. If you wish to spray a clear coat over your decals, the clear paint you intend on using should be tested first using the same method.

 

I am a first-time model maker and am having difficulty removing the decals from the page to apply to model. Do you have any suggestions for application?
Decals should be dipped in lukewarm water for only a moment and then set on a paper towel to let the water soak in and dissolve the adhesive that holds the decal on the paper. The decal will curl up, and then unroll after a short time. At this point the decals should be able to be moved around on the backing paper and slid into location on the model. Once in place they can be dabbed with the tip of a paper towel or tissue to soak up excessive water.

 

My model requires that I put the gas cap on before the decals. How are you supposed to fit the decals over the gas cap?
The best way to do it would be to apply the decals first, and then with a sharp hobby knife make an "X" pattern hole in the decal and then install the gas cap.



Advanced Techniques

How can I open the doors and trunk on my model without ruining my body?
There are a variety of ways to do this, but the generally accepted method is to use a #1 hobby knife blade. Turn the blade upside down so the sharp side faces up. Gently drag the knife blade the entire length of the panel line. You will have to do this several times, so be patient. Once the blade cuts through the body you should have a clean cut with only minor smoothing of the panel line needed.

 

How can I make my stock interior look like vinyl?
A company called Scale Motorsports produces a variety of reproduction upholstery pattern decals that work very well. However, you'll need a second color as they are partly clear to let the other color show through. When painting your interior, use flat color or semi-gloss paints to give a more realistic effect of vinyl or leather. Rub the paint with your finger tip and it will produce a slight sheen, like polished leather. Remember to look at ALL colors available, aircraft, military, armor, marine, any of these may just the right shade that you're trying to achieve.

 

How can I add make my tires look like they've been driven?
If you want your tires to look like they've been on the road, scuff the tread with coarse sandpaper or steel wool.

 

How can I make an "alligator skin" vinyl top?
To make an alligator skin pattern top, we suggest using two unlike paints. You'll need lacquer and enamel. It's best if you use an airbrush so you can better control how much paint you apply. After masking the body, apply a thin coat of enamel. While still wet, apply a thin coat of lacquer. It's best to use either flat or semi-gloss colors for more realism. As the paint dries, the lacquer dries fairly quickly and will form a skin. Since the enamel dries slowly, it will crack the skin and form an alligator style pattern. One of the benefits with this method is you can use any colors you want, either the same or contrasting to produce your own special effects. If you'd like your top to have a seam, apply a strip of narrow striping tape before applying the paints.

 

How do I apply flocking?
There is a bit of a trick to applying flocking. Here is our suggestion: First make a mix of 50% water and 50% white glue. Then add a drop of dish soap to the solution. The dish soap is the secret ingredient to making your flocking come out evenly. Apply the mix where you want your flocking to be. While still wet, sprinkle the flocking on evenly and lightly press it down to seat it in the wet glue. When dry simply tap the model lightly to remove excess flocking. If you'd like it to be a heavier covering, simply apply the same mix of glue over the first and add another layer of flocking.

 

How can I get the chrome trim on my model cars to look realistic like the ones on the box covers?
Although chrome trim on car models can be painted on using silver paint, you'll definitely need a steady hand. Instead, you might want to try "chrome foil" or "Bare Metal Foil". This is an extremely thin, self-adhesive chrome foil that comes on a flat sheet. You'll generally cut a piece a bit larger than the surface you want to cover and peel the foil from its backing paper. Apply carefully to the model and burnish it down to the surface gently using a Q-tip and toothpicks as tools. Once it's fully covered the intended surface, you can trim away the excess foil using a hobby knife with a brand new blade. You will use very little pressure on the knife as the foil is very thin and will cut easily. Finish up by polishing the trimmed foil with a Q-tip.

 

How do I put original-looking tinted glass in my model?
Reproducing tinted glass on your model is as easy as clear paint. Preferably using a quality airbrush, spray a light coat of the color of your choice. Be sure to apply light coats. If you want a darker tint, simply apply a second or third coat.

 

How can I make my own side trim?
Both Plastruct and Evergreen Plastics offer an extremely wide range shapes, tubing, strip and sheets of plastic that can be used for scratch building your own patterns and designs. A good hobby shop should have these in stock because they're used for all categories of modeling from architectural to railroading. Find a style that you like, form it to what you want, cover it with hobby foil like Bare-Metal, and you have custom side trim.

 

I want to build a dirt track race car. How can I make it look like it's been raced?
Applying mud to you race car is very easy. Using a small container, scoop some dirt from your yard into the cup. Be sure to remove any rocks or grass, and pulverize it as much as possible. Add a 50-50 mix of white glue and water until you get the consistency you like. Use a flat paint brush to paint the mud on your car where you want it and let it dry. If you want more mud in the same area, just brush more on top of the first coat.

 

What is the best way to put vinyl tires on the rims?
Vinyl is a thermal product, which means the warmer it is the more pliable it becomes. If you have difficulty getting your rims to fit the tires, place the tires in very hot water for about one minute. Carefully remove the tire using a utensil such as tweezers, and while still warm, press it onto the wheel.


Where can I find more reference material about the subject I'm building?While we try to provide as much paint color and other reference material as possible with each of our kits, some modelers will seek out more information based on how much detail they wish to add to their model. Larger book stores frequently have books and magazines with extensive background material and color illustrations that can be quite helpful. Your local library can be a good source, as well. You may also want to search online - there are many model building forums, research sites, and photo galleries that can be quite helpful.

 

Why do models sometimes look different on the box than what's in the kit?

Although we try to make sure that the box art represents the actual model kit, in some instances there may be small variations in what is shown. Sometimes, the hand-made master model is used for the box art photo because the actual kit production hasn't been completed. Or, the producer of the actual prototype may make changes after the model tooling is committed for production. In either case, the differences will be subtle and will not affect the overall model kit subject.

 

Who makes the models that are on the box tops?
The models you see on a model box are most often a prototype piece, meaning it may be the first or one of the first models of that item ever made. Many times these are made from what are known as "test shots," which are the first kits to be run through the mold to see if there are any problems that need to be corrected before the model is put into production. These are usually put together by master modelers who work for the company.

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