How to make diecast model car kits

Written by vincent labbate
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How to make diecast model car kits
Diecast model car. (car image by JASON WINTER from

There are many types of diecast model car kits that can be built, from simple cars and trucks to tractor trailers. While the difficulty level may differ depending on the model, they all follow the same building format. For beginners, selecting an easy model is the best path to take because fewer parts will have to be put together, and most of the parts are already painted. For more advanced hobbyists, a challenging model might be best. In general, building diecast model cars requires some time and concentration. Of course after the model is built, it can be proudly displayed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sharp knife
  • Fine sand paper
  • 4 small plastic containers
  • Paintbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Paint
  • Wet rag
  • Hobby glue

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  1. 1

    Place all of the pieces that came in the kit on a table. The body, including the doors, boot and hood, will generally be diecast, whereas the other pieces will be plastic. Put the diecast pieces aside for the moment and keep the plastic parts in front.

  2. 2

    Cut out one plastic piece at a time from the plastic grid that keeps the piece in place by using a sharp knife. The plastic grid generally holds anywhere from 10 to 20 plastic pieces of the same category. For example, the grid might have all of the engine components connected. Use the sandpaper to grind down the extra plastic created from the mould of the plastic grid. This will ensure a clean look when the model is built.

  3. 3

    Place all of the parts from the same grid category into small plastic containers. These containers will keep all of the parts organised during the building process.

  4. 4

    Paint each part. Use tweezers to hold the piece, so that the piece can be painted completely without painting your fingers. Put a small amount of paint on the paintbrush and paint the piece with one coat of paint. Do this for all of the parts and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before continuing the build. If any mistakes happen, use the wet rag to wipe away the paint. Note that many beginner models might not need to have the parts painted due to the easier difficulty level.

  5. 5

    Read the instructions that came with the kit because there is normally a specific order in which the parts will have to be put together. Generally, the engine is built first followed by the interior. Attaching the trim, such as bumpers, mirrors and other components, are usually last. The model kits that are for beginners are usually snap kits, meaning that little to no hobby glue is needed to put on the parts. These pieces easily snap into place. For more difficult models, glue must be applied to each part. To put two pieces together, dab a small amount of hobby glue on each part. Firmly press the two parts together for at least 10 seconds and allow the parts to dry for a few hours before continuing.

  6. 6

    Assemble the vehicle completely once the glue has dried. For example, once the engine is put together, place it in the engine compartment. The engine may sit in place or need to be glued in. Following the instructions, put on the rest of the parts, such as the widows, mirrors and wheels. Once the model is put together entirely, it can be displayed in a cabinet or on a shelf.

Tips and warnings

  • Set aside at least two days when building an intermediate model. The painting and gluing process causes a delay in the build.

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