Wet Sanding Your Plastic Model Car

Eleanor Hanson

You have gotten your model car home and got it all ready to assemble. Your next step is to get it painted. You load up your airbrush gun and get it set to go. Next thing you know you have a wad of paint of various colors. Belatedly you remember that you were going to clean your gun later but you must have forgotten. Now you cool new model is a big mess. What should you do now?

If you sand your model you take a huge chance on ruining your model. So, what now? The best answer to that is to wet sand your model. With the wet sand technique you can easily remove the mess without having to worry about big repairs or having to replace your model. The first thing you need to do is to prepare your model.

Wet your model with warm water. You may use a little dish soap if you wish but it is not necessary. Make sure that you DO NOT submerge your model car. If you do you can end up waiting a couple days for it to totally dry out before you can work on it anymore. Your next step is to make a sanding block for your sandpaper. Your sandpaper for this step should be between 400 to 1000 grit wet sand paper.

A sanding block is a tool used to hold your sandpaper and make it conform to the area to be sanded. In this case by using foam your sandpaper will be able to conform to the shape of your model. Another thing to consider is using mesh or cloth based sandpaper. If you use a standard paper based sandpaper you chance it falling apart on you in the middle of your repair.

Once you have your sanding block ready you can begin the process. Start by rubbing circles over the part of the model to be sanded. Take your time and concentrate on accuracy not speed. While you may be looking forward to getting your model built making a mistake could cost you more time and money. As you continue to sand you should add more water. This will keep debris from building up and will also keep your sandpaper lubricated.

The best way to do this is to use a spray bottle. It will allow you to mist water on the model without having to soak it.. Keep going with this process until your model car is back to the way it was before you had the slight accident. Remember, you can use this process any time you have a painting mistake. Depending on where it is though you might have to lay a small coat of primer down if your model car was two-tone in that spot or had a special paint design. This will allow you to go back and recreate the paint scheme that you had to remove. Now you just have one step left. You should now clean your airbrush gun before you begin to paint again that way you don’t have the same mistake again. Happy modeling!

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