SCALEdown Models

We have had many enquiries as to the ease of construcion of the high detail kits.

 

Nigel Ford, owner of SCALEdown offers these guidelines:

 

For many model tractor collectors the thought of investing in a quality, white-metal kit could be daunting. There's always the possibility that with so much detail the model won't turn out as good as one professionally built.

But that should not be the case. There are ways of helping to make sure that your finished kit will look as good as one built by an expert.

One huge advantage of white metal is that if you are not happy with how it looks, it can be taken apart again (unlike plastic kits) without fear of defacing the parts. I know a number of collectors who have stripped and rebuilt their early attempts once they have become more proficient.

The average kit will contain around 90 parts including wires of varying thickness to make the steering drag link, trackrod, throttle and radiator screen control. Brass is used rather than white metal where extra strength is needed - on front axles for example.
Some builders have use this extra durability to depict tractors on the turn by twisting the king pins with pliers. This would be impossible with most white-metals.

Like any construction project -preparation is the key. First of all understand what you will be doing. The instructions with the kits describe how the kit is assembled and numbered parts are shown not only on a parts sheet but also in position on drawings of different stages of the assembly. So if there is any confusion arising from the description a close look at the pictorial pages will usually explain everything.

The Fordson Dexta Parts pictorial will now be seen below.

Once you've. understood what you are going to do make sure that all the pieces are present. Do this by checking the parts you have against the parts board. Reference slips will highlight any expected differences from the parts board. Unlike plastic kits most of the parts in a white metal kit are off their tree and the scar may need to be filed or scraped flat. The parting line from where the mould halves join may also need fine fettling away.

Once all the pieces have been prepared, a hot, soapy wash should be given to all the parts (except transfers) to remove all traces of the mould release agent which would stop the glue sticking properly. Use a container big enough to slosh the water around and then hot rinse twice, being careful not to tip away tiny parts like rivets and badges.

All parts that need holes are ready-drilled and it is a good idea to do a dry run -assembling the parts without glue to make sure that everything fits properly. The glue can sometimes stop fitting parts snugly. Wheels, for example, can rebound after they have been pushed on to the axles giving a wider wheel track than expected.

During assembly excess glue may exude from joints but again, unlike assembling plastic kits, this is not a problem because it can be trimmed later or wiped off while still fluid without defacing the surrounding area.

When gluing, priority should be given to making sure that the parts set in correct alignment to each other. To reduce the occurrence of glue squeezing out don't use too much glue. Using a piece of wire as a dropper to transfer the glue from the bottle to the kit gives you control over how much you use. Applying it directly from the bottle can be a bit hit and miss. Most kits contain small wires and these can be used before they are needed for assembly.
Try to make sure that pre-drilled holes don't become filled with glue oozing out from a nearby joint.

The development of flexible or rubberised superglue has made the gluing stage speedier and cleaner. With standard superglue it is very easy for the glue to set before the parts are together properly. These flexible glues also last longer. Apparently standard superglue can become very brittle after about ten years.

The Sub Assemblies! If it looks like this then you are well on the way to success!


Some experienced model builders will use soft or 'low-melt' solder for assembly which is fine if you're confident and have the necessary skills. Some potential kit builders may have been discouraged In the past by not being able to finish the model off in the right colour.

We now have a full range of correct shade paints available in tinlets to ensure that every model can look as authentic as possible.

Although we also supply primer you may wish to use an aerosol for a finer application. Nigel Ford recommend Halford's light grey, white or yellow depending on the colour of the top coat to be used. Yellow and orange top coats don't cover very well so benefit from the yellow primer. Similarly use a white primer for whitish top coats.

Warm, well ventilated, dust-free areas should be used for spraying, and parts or model being sprayed should also be warm. But even more important than that, the aerosol itself should be warmed in freshly-boiled water. But remember - paint is very inflammable so always remove switch off the source of heat before putting the paint into the water.

Warm paint produces a finer mist than cold paint which helps avoid applying too-thick a coat that can swamp detail or run.

Before applying transfers it is best to cut the card leaving each transfer on a different piece. This means you can wet and apply each one separately. Once the transfer is wetted slide it off onto the pre-moistened site and align it with a slither of card to avoid scratching the paint. When it is in position press it home with tissue. If this moves it, wet it and try again. This technique should avoid the frustrations of having them curl up and split. I struggled with this when I was a lad.

Ready-painted badges are sometimes included in kits but these are often in colours different from the rest of the tractor and are very fiddly to fit in the right place.


Patience Rewarded!

 

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