Orangeville, ON (James Doan) More modellers are keen to attempt kitbashing conversions as part of their modelling experience. There are many challenges to consider when starting out. Before taking knife, saw and putty to your pristine kit, take a moment for some friendly guidance.

With input from local modellers, we have compiled our favourite Dos and Don’ts to help you have a pleasant model converting experience

DON’T get putty on unwanted areas. Surround the area being worked on with masking tape before applying the putty.

DON’T apply modelling putty in one thick layer. Most modelling putties shrink as they dry. To help avoid this, apply several thin layers.

DON’T risk damaging your model by trying to remove excess putty or filler by scraping or grinding. Any extra material can be removed by gently rubbing the area with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol.

DON’T paint any part of a model before test fitting the piece in its final position (this is especially necessary for the hood). Having to sand down and re-paint a finished piece to make it fit doesn’t do much for building enthusiasm, and can result in sloppy work.

DO fill small holes that may run completely through a part by simply backing the hole from the inside with a layer of masking tape. Then apply your favourite putty. After drying, remove the tape and continue where you left off.

DO take advantage of the ability of sanding sticks to be trimmed and shaped for sanding odd body contours.

DO hold sandpaper with a tweezers to get at hard to reach areas. Recessed panels and tight spots are almost impossible to sand successfully using your fingers to hold the sandpaper. Here’s a great way to reach those tight areas. Cut a very narrow strip of sandpaper about 1″ long, fold it over lengthwise, and insert in into the end of a slide-locking tweezers with about 1/4″ left protruding. When both sides are too worn to sand any further, simply make a new fold, continuing until the whole strip is used.

DO mark a model body for modifications using a pen or thin marker that won’t rub off when the part is handled.