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av405

Sanding for Starters

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Hello everyone. Before I get to my question I just want to say that I just signed up because as a long-time lurker I have grown to appreciate and respect your guys' skills as modelers. I'm a 20 year old guy who has been interested in models for years and have slowly amassed a respectable collection of supplies and kits, some of which I've began working on. However, I want to learn to hone my skills and build up some good models which is why I'm here.

As for my question: For a semi-noob like myself, what would you guys recommend I get as far as sanding sheets/supplies go? I'm interested in being able to sand cars down of excess plastic for a smooth finish before I do any other work and in some cases be able to delete side door moulds and that type of thing. So what grits should I buy to get me started and hopefully cover from beginning to end (when I paint and hopefully polish). Also, what type of sanding paper do you guys recommend and from where?

Thank you all in advance.

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Hey there mate!

I've only got three years on you being 23, but I'll offer what help i can.

Now for removing plastic effectively, I'd say use a 230-250 grit paper followed by 800 grit these are Australian standards so might be different there.

What I suggest is, find a heap of sh*t glue bomb that's covered in paint, get a heap of varying grit papers and go for it. Use bondo here and there and let the learning begin.

Hope this helps.

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First off, welcome! :lol:

I usually start with 220 grit sandpaper for heavy bodywork, followed by 400 grit, then by 600. This will leave some "teeth" in the plastic to give the paint something to grab onto.

Any good hardware store should have the sandpaper you need. Don't bother getting it from the hobby shop----------it's too expensive. ;)

I would also look for balsa wood that's easily cut to make sanding blocks with. You don't want to always sand with just your fingers.........this can leave troughs which will show through your paint. The sanding blocks will keep everything nice and straight where you want it.

Hope this helps!

Edited by MrObsessive

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Bill is right on...you might want some 800 to finish . Also use wet paper, soaked in water with a drop of dish soap.

Also when sanding..DO NOT PRESS DOWN..let the paper float and do the work..keep it wet and stop, clean and look what has been removed.

Blocks of rubber or foam will help...in the 1:1 world the best tool is the "longboard"..

36_flexible_long_board_sanding_bl_1447882.jpgcxmefi70a_crease.jpg

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I don't know if the grades of sandpaper are different where I live, but if I finish with 600 I will see tiny scratches in the finish paintjob. I usually end with 1000. But perhaps that explains why I have a problem with paint flaking off edges when I am wetsanding. If there is such thing as 800 grit, perhaps that might be the best to use before paint. Also I would like to add that different brands of sandpaper seem to have different grits. I get the 3M brand that I find in the autobody row at the autoparts store. But the big sheet at the carpentery row seem to be a different grit even if the number is the same.

Edited by sak

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Guys, this is all great info! I will definitely utilize the tips you guys have mentioned. So, if say I'm deleting the front door moulding of a sedan I would start off with the 220 grit and slowly build up? How exactly would I know when to switch off to a higher grit? And Mike, about the wet paper, I would do that all throughout or just with the final 800 paper?

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You'd want to start with the 220 and work your way up BUT............I strongly recommend taking some liquid glue and spreading it over where you sanded.

The reason for this is plastic has a "memory", and when you apply a solvent such as liquid glue, you'll see where you sanded will magically "reappear". I then recommend sanding this area away a second time, to erase the memory, so that when you paint------the solvents in the paint won't cause the ghosting to reappear. This is especially the case when trying to get rid of door handles, molded on trim, etc.

Also as Mike mentioned, you'd want to wet sand pretty much through all your grits. I personally don't do this as water tends to "hide" whatever imperfections may be showing up while I'm sanding. It's a good way though to make your sandpaper last longer------------the stuff's so cheap where I get it, I don't worry about it much.

As far as stopping at a 600 grit when sanding------------I stop there because in the past, 800 grit was a little too smooth for the paint and I had trouble with paint chipping. If you're using a good enough automotive primer such as Duplicolor or Plastikote, those primers and your color coats should take care of any fine scratches that may show up.

At least that's what's worked for me, and my paint speaks for itself. ;)

Hope this helps!

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Alberto.....LISTEN TO BILL.......His finishes and Builds are "OBSESSIVE".....Search for Bill's Build on the Merc (HINT . HINT!) And it will all be clear I also see scratches using 600....But I also polish after painting for final smooth.

Yes Bill I'm cheap and wet sand most things :blink: :blink: <_<

I justify that buy ing the "good" paper and hope it lasts.........

I do blow most of that away with 65 psi in the other prep place..the garage ;) and it must be dried to see ;) sooo that is time not needed for most builds.

I've found bondene with the brush best for ghosting and as I shoot Duplacolor and HOK I stop at 600 grit for bodywork, paint and polish follow ;)

Edited by MIKE THE MANIAC

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How exactly would I know when to switch off to a higher grit?

This is where you'll learn to get a feel for sanding. Like a good artist, one learns when to pick up their brush. :)

I'd say you don't want to sand to a point that contours are lost--------but enough that it's accomplished the job. I recommend maybe practicing on a junk body, to get a basic feel of the different grit sandpapers before getting started on your project.

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First off, welcome! :lol:

I usually start with 220 grit sandpaper for heavy bodywork, followed by 400 grit, then by 600. This will leave some "teeth" in the plastic to give the paint something to grab onto.

Any good hardware store should have the sandpaper you need. Don't bother getting it from the hobby shop----------it's too expensive. :lol:

I would also look for balsa wood that's easily cut to make sanding blocks with. You don't want to always sand with just your fingers.........this can leave troughs which will show through your paint. The sanding blocks will keep everything nice and straight where you want it.

Hope this helps!

i just recently started sanding the entire body on my models instead of just doing mold lines and moving on with it. the way you mentioned above is exactly what i found works me as well.

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Sand paper grit is Internationale the grit ,say 600 falls thru a 600 mesh screen 400 thru a 400 mesh screen etc

i recommend open face sand paper for rough sanding you can tap out the debris and keep the paper live. like hitting a chalk board eraser .

on real life cars i use open face paper and smack it face on with a paint stirring stick wooden one.

for small scale i tap the paper with a small stick i made for the job. over a rag.

save the wet sanding for final sanding.

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Gentlemen, thank you so much for taking the time to reply back. Bill, I will definitely take your advice to heart. I have at least one junk body lying around somewhere so I'll give it a shot with that when I find the time (and space!).

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By the way, I'm currently starting to look at Bill's Merc build on his fotki account. Thanks for the heads up!

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quick rouht cut a finger nail file ....be careful .. over cut you lose

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