How to Add Nose Weight to a 1/144 Plastic Model Aircraft

Written by eric brown
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How to Add Nose Weight to a 1/144 Plastic Model Aircraft
Give your model aircraft a more realistic feel when hanging by adding nose weight. (Plane F-14 model image by ENRMA from

Many model builders specialise in a particular type of model, such as the 1/144 scale plastic model aircraft. A huge number of models exist in this particular style and model aficionados frequently like to hang these model aircraft from ceilings. This can present unique challenges if you want the aircraft to point downward. Adding nose weight to your 1/144 scale models can help give the impression that they are actually flying, or nose diving as the case may be.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cleaning swabs
  • Side cutters
  • Adhesive lead strips

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  1. 1

    Separate the nose cone or section of your model from the rest of the pieces prior to putting it on. If your model's fuselage is two complete halves, separate them both. It is best to do this before you start your model but can easily be done if portions of it are already assembled. See Tips if your model is already assembled.

  2. 2

    Clean out the inside of the nose cone or section of your model aircraft with cleaning swabs. Again, if your model's fuselage is in two halves, clean out the nose section on both halves. Alcohol swabs work well but can damage some plastics so check a test piece if using alcohol; electronics cleaning swabs also work well.

  3. 3

    Cut a few strips of adhesive backed lead small enough to fit in the nose section or cone of your model aircraft. Use your side cutters to cut the lead. You can also use a cutting board and utility knife but this requires quite a bit of pressure so be careful not to cut yourself. See Resources for places to purchase adhesive lead strips.

  4. 4

    Peel off the adhesive covering on the back of your lead strips. Stick them on the bottom, inside the nose section. The weight of the rear of your model aircraft and the amount of weight you want will determine how many strips to use. Use your best judgment based on your reasons for weighting the front end.

  5. 5

    Trim any lead from the strips that is sticking out or that may interfere with how the plane is assembled. Finish assembling your model according to the directions. If your model is already assembled, reassemble the portions you took apart.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply some acetone or fingernail polish remover where the nose cone or section attaches for models that are already assembled. Use caution when separating the pieces so that you don't break anything. If your model does not have a nose cone or section you may need to disassemble more of it to get access to the inside of the nose area.
  • Do not eat or drink when working with lead.
  • Wear gloves if working with large amounts of lead.
  • Wash your hands after handling lead.

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