Easy Ways to Customize Model Tires and Rims

Orangeville, ON (James Doan) One aspect of your automobile model that can be easily detailed to give you a unique show piece is its tires and rims. With a little imagination and some simple detailing techniques, you will have a model that can take a place of pride on your display shelf.

Tired of rummaging through your spare parts box looking for an alternate set of rims for your latest project? You don’t feel like paying out an exorbitant price for some aftermarket ones? Unusual buttons of the right size can make unique scale custom car wheels. Check your local sewing or fabric store.

When going that extra step in detailing, paint the raised letters on your kit tires with a lacquer paint. Enamels never seem to dry on rubber.

It is amazing what something as basic as a little paint in the right place can do. Paint the centre section of chrome factory mag wheels with gloss black. You should paint the insides of brake vents flat black to give depth to the vent holes.

A circle template makes creating wide whitewall tires easy. Find the proper size circle, tape the tire behind it, mask the surrounding open circles, and spray the tire white.

You have probably noticed that real tires seldom look as shiny as kit tires. Scrub your scale tires with Comet cleanser and a wet toothbrush to create a dull appearance. Be sure to rinse the tires in warm water after scrubbing.

And while you are working with your tires, try this tip. For realistic tread surfaces, sand your tires on a piece of 400 grit sandpaper held or taped to your work surface. This technique is especially useful on slicks.

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