Sunday, May 5, 2013

Creating replica antenna wire for scale model kits

Am almost finished with the 1/48 Arii Chance Vought F4U-1A Corsair that I'm building and I thought it would be nifty to add the antenna wire that stretches from the forward antenna to the tail of the Corsair. I thought of cutting out a sprue from the runner of an old kit, putting it to a flame then stretching it out with my hands. I saw my brother do this once I thought it would be as easy. Problem with me is that I have shaky hands. So that method didn't actually do well for me, the moment I tried to stretch out it would break immediately. Thankfully Divine Intervention came in when I was trying for the upteenth time to make a wire out of the old sprue.

The method I accidentally ran into starts like this. Look for an area with cool tiles, like in the kitchen or a bathroom. Cut out an ample length sprue then burn the end of it with a candle till it starts to burn.

creating antenna wire from an old sprue

Once you notice that the burning end of the sprue is actually starting to melt, blow out the flame from the end of the sprue then stick the melting part to the cool tile. The cool tile will harden the end of the sprue making it stick to the tile. Slowly stretch the sprue from the end that you stuck into the tile. Once you have your desired length, stick the melting end of the sprue that you are stretching on to the cool tile's surface, this will harden it.

creating antenna wire from an old sprue

Voila!, you have some thin replica antenna wire.

creating antenna wire from an old sprue

I didn't cut off the sprue from the wire as the sprue part will come in handy in easily seeing the wires and as an aid in positioning the wires. I use super glue to stick the antenna wire to the scale model kit. I first stick on one end. After that dries I stick some blue-tack on the end with the sprue and use that to help position the other end of the wire on the model kit. By doing this it helps my model kit not be a victim of my shaky hands *snicker* I used a nipper to cut off the excess wires, but reading in another forum I found out that using a soldering iron or a heated metal part to melt the excess wires might actually be a better method

creating antenna wire from an old sprue

Some problems I encountered when sticking on the wires was that the wire can sometimes be very thin, so they break easily. Another is that the super glue would drip onto the already matte finish of my model kit giving it some glossy spots where the glue fell...arrrrgh, have to spray that again. All in all, it went ok.

And Thank You Lord for the inspiration!