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Trueing joints...

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Here's something that I've been mastering in the last projects that Id like to share. The idea is how to true a joint without making the seam/panel line to disappear. Sorry for the 1/72 example, but if it works in small scales, it's a breeze in 1/32.

This is a Heinkel He-170 in 1/72 scale - one of my ongoing projects. Before starting the boring rescribing process, a trueing between the engine firewall and the fuselage had to be done. This is necessary because the edges of the fuselage on that area (B, in the photo below) were not sharp resulting in an ugly panel line when matched with the nose edge (A). I could install the nose, fill the gap with putty and rescribe, but any further sanding on the nose would remove its rivets and panel lines (lack of planning, I know). So, I decided to use a sort of trueing technique.

Start covering the attaching surfaces of the nose with bare metal foil. The foil must be well applied around the contact areas, only. Any wrinckle or scratches will be reproduced later:



Now install the nose using small drops of CA. Try to get the best possible alignment, just like it was definitive. Next, rund CA all the way around the seam, so that it actually flows inside the seam. And then complete the job using copious amounts of "goop" (easier to sand than pure CA):



Apply some CA accelerator and carefully remove the nose. Since the foil adhesive is weaker than the CA, it just pops out:



For some reason, the CA doesn't stick to the foil. If it had, that wouldn't be a problem neither, since the thickness of the foil would make it invisible. Anyway, I removed all the foil, and the result is a perfect match of the nose with the fuselage:





Now it is just a matter of sanding the excess of goop. You must proceed the sanding by stroking parallel to the fuselage surfaces. This will remove only the excess of goop that will not be in contact with the nose. Better to use some pics to try to make myself clear:





You stop sanding once you reach the original fuselage plastic. The result is a very good fit, with a much smaller seam line. In my case, the nose literally clicks to the fuselage. Yet, the panel line is there, visible, and straight (as far as the nose edge is also straigh). Of course you can't see much in the photo, but here it is:



Maybe this is not the best application of the technique but, as I said, it's just an example. It's really useful on wing/fuselage joints, when making loose joints tight or preparing the slots for cannon barrels etc. Some folks use vaseline instead of the foil. Don't do that. Vaseline is a lubricant, and even if you think you removed all of it, it is still there, and will migrate during months, ruining your paint finish.


Hope it helps you somehow.



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Hi Piet,


Glad you found it usefel.

By Bare Metal Foil I mean well known material used to simulate BM finishes on models (produced by Bare Metal...

Never tried anything other than BMF. I guess any foil will work provided it is thin enough. Even those food wrapper foil should work, just brush some adhesive foil on one side to keep it in place while you work.




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