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PhilB

Removing canopy seams

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I thought I would share with you my method for dealing with this subject which can make even the most experienced modeller loose sleep at night.

This is a method I have used in the past and I think it works pretty well.

There may be some of you who have no problem with this dark art so please feel free to shoot me down in flames or make suggestions.

Probably just another load of my usual drivel! :speak_cool:

Otherwise bear with me and I will try and make some sense of the subject.

 

This is what we will be starting with. Its from Trumpy's A-7 Corsair with a lovely neat line down the centre ( note the reflection of my hand in the photo!):

 

P6151017.jpg

 

If I ever get round to building this I will be using Zactoman's canopy so this is a spare unless I screw that one up!

This also had two large lugs at either end of the seam.

Speaking from personal experience I ALWAYS use a razor saw now to remove canopies from the sprue and then sand flat any remaining sprue.

I have had too many blemishes in the past courtesy of Mr Sprue cutter!

 

Weaponry:

 

P6151015.jpg

 

 

On the left is the Mastercaster Miracle polishing set. I have a set of the small polishing pads but it takes ages going through each grade one at a time.

These will do the job in minutes, can't recommend them enough!

 

Next is a nailfile/sanding stick that a friend picks up from Florida for me. These cost pennies, have four different abrasive grades and are just as good if not better

than branded modelling sanders. I use them all the time throughout my builds.

 

Right, to start.

I start to remove the seam using the finest grade on the sanding stick. I would always use a flat sander at this stage.

Sponge sanders will start to sand the canopy and you will not be able to see where you are.

Using the stick horizontally and using a circular motion I start to remove the seam:

 

P6151019.jpg

 

Aaaargh! what has he done! Steady boys, it will all get better I promise.

What you do see here is how the mould of the canopy is not quite true. By using a flat sander you can see the unsanded areas so you can adjust your sanding accordingly.

Keep going making sure you sand horizontally.

Throughout this process make sure you regularly clean your sanders on a bit of cloth (ok yes I use my shirtfront!) as any grit will really mark the canopy.

 

Now we have removed the seam and its pretty even all over. Try not to go too far beyond the seam as this will make less work later:

 

P6151021.jpg

 

More shortly!

Phil

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Sorry to do this in separate posts but after I had written the initial post my internet connection dropped out before I could post it and I lost it, bugger! :speak_cool:

 

Anyway,

Next I use the grey crescent sander to start to work on the canopy to try and bring it back to a nice shiney finish.

Keep going until you get an even finish:

 

P6151023.jpg

 

It still looks pretty bad but I now start to use the oblong stick from the set.

Using the pale green side first, carefully start to polish in a circular motion.

Beware of any heat build up and clean the stick regularly. I have found if you go at it too fast the plastic dust can turn to goo and reattach itself to the canopy.

Hopefully it starts to look a bit better:

 

P6151025.jpg

 

Then using the white side of the stick complete the polishing:

 

P6151027.jpg

 

Its looking pretty good now. At this stage you can if you wish give it a final polish with Micro Gloss paste or toothpaste as suggested by members in previous threads.

Then its time for a good dunk in Klear/Future and hopefully you will get this:

 

P6151029.jpg

 

Another view:

 

P6151031.jpg

 

I hope this has been of help to try and make life a bit easier and less scary when dealing with the dreaded Can 'o' Pees

 

Phil

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Thanks, this will be most helpful for a lot of us! :rolleyes:

 

Too sad that Jay seems no longer be able to supply us with his MasterCaster sanding sticks. I tried to order them since last year and kept asking him when they will be available again. But now he even does no longer answer me on his forum. They are still on offer on MasterCaster (his) website. Strange behaviour in my eyes...

 

 

Thomas

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Too sad that Jay seems no longer be able to supply us with his MasterCaster sanding sticks. I tried to order them since last year and kept asking him when they will be available again. But now he even does no longer answer me on his forum. They are still on offer on MasterCaster (his) website. Strange behaviour in my eyes...

Thomas

Thomas,

I had a similar thing last year, ordered a few bits which arrived fairly quickly but the sanders set took about 4 weeks and then only after I chased him up on it.

Strange, don't know if he's having problems????

Phil :speak_cool:

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I thought I would share with you my method for dealing with this subject which can make even the most experienced modeller loose sleep at night.

This is a method I have used in the past and I think it works pretty well.

There may be some of you who have no problem with this dark art so please feel free to shoot me down in flames or make suggestions.

Your instructions are very clear, Phil, but I would add one suggestion. In polishing out scratches or seams, a good result requires a lot of rubbing, and the twisting and flexing forces that this involves sometimes can produce a very fine pattern of "stress fractures" in clear parts. Unfortunately, these stress fractures ruin the appearance of the part but become visible only in the final stages of polishing -- a very frustrating and unhappy experience! Therefore, just to be safe, I find it worthwhile to tape up the ends the clear part to the extent necesary; fill it with wet plaster (if I'll be rubbing the outside of the part) or immerse it in a small box of wet plaster (if I'll be rubbing the part's inside); and then let the plaster set before I begin sanding and polishing. The hardened plaster is easy to remove before dipping the part in Future, but it greatly reduces the chances of stress fractures during the polishing phase because it prevents the part from twisting and flexing as one rubs.

 

Charles Metz

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Thanks for the bonus tip Charles. Very good advice. Would something softer like Blu Tac or Silly Putty suffice?

Not sure but I doubt it, because the key need is to prevent flexing.

 

Charles Metz

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Your instructions are very clear, Phil, but I would add one suggestion. In polishing out scratches or seams, a good result requires a lot of rubbing, and the twisting and flexing forces that this involves sometimes can produce a very fine pattern of "stress fractures" in clear parts. Unfortunately, these stress fractures ruin the appearance of the part but become visible only in the final stages of polishing -- a very frustrating and unhappy experience! Therefore, just to be safe, I find it worthwhile to tape up the ends the clear part to the extent necesary; fill it with wet plaster (if I'll be rubbing the outside of the part) or immerse it in a small box of wet plaster (if I'll be rubbing the part's inside); and then let the plaster set before I begin sanding and polishing. The hardened plaster is easy to remove before dipping the part in Future, but it greatly reduces the chances of stress fractures during the polishing phase because it prevents the part from twisting and flexing as one rubs.

 

Charles Metz

 

Great tip Charles. I will have to try that.

 

I had that EXACT same experience on my F8F as Trumpeter decided to put a giant seam right down the middle; which the 2 F8F-1s I have seen up close both actually had, but was barely visible on the 1:1 ship even right up close looking at the canopy.

 

I also had just a touch of those stress fractures show up on my Mk XIV spit as well, although I didnt have any seams to polish I had to sand on the frame a bit to get it to line up with the spine of the fuse; and as you said, these did not show up till later after polishing the canopy a bit after it was already mounted and fixed in place. :(

 

I assume you can buy plaster like this in NON industrial sizes (IE> not a 1-5 gal container) at some place like Lowe's or Home Depot?

 

Brian

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Good article, Phil! I have also found that Tamiya's polishes work well after some 1200 wet-or-dry. They seem to buff and fill as well.

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Good article, Phil! I have also found that Tamiya's polishes work well after some 1200 wet-or-dry. They seem to buff and fill as well.

Thanks Charles and Ken for your additional input.

I think its great that we can all add our tips and advice.

I knew that by getting "the ball rolling" a lot more knowledge and experience would come from other members.

Don't think it would happen on other sites!!!

 

Phil :beer:

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I assume you can buy plaster like this in NON industrial sizes (IE> not a 1-5 gal container) at some place like Lowe's or Home Depot?

 

Brian

 

Brian, I think that you can buy smallish quantities of plaster at a craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby (here in the states)

hth,

Mike

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One tip that one needs to be aware of.Be very careful as to rubbing out the scracthes.Did it to a tamiya canopy and it crack along the seam.Be very careful here.I guess the seam was super thin and caused the crack down the seam.Double check the seam before rubbing.Be safe than sorry.And i barely started rubbing when it crack.Larry

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So I just tried the above techniques on my Academy F16, which for the record has some scary seams. When I got the kit I originally thought mine had been horsed up when i saw the seam on it. So it has been sitting in my stash for about a year till I read this. So I ventured to Walworlds fingernail section and purchased an interesting looking emery board with 8 levels of sanding. Using the 6 lightest I got most of the seam off and then it polished up to almost clear without any Klear. No pun intended. Very easy, but just had to keep the surface clean of plastic particles as they built up. Will be dipping in clear tomorrow to see the final result, but it looks good so far. Great tips...thanks guys.

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