How to Build a Plastic Model Car- DIY Beginner’s Guide

plastic model car

Having a hobby, no matter what it involves, may be quite beneficial in lowering your stress levels, particularly if it is something therapeutic in nature.

Building model cars is an excellent example of a pastime that can keep you concentrated on a single task for long periods of time. Building plastic model vehicles for fun may help you acquire a variety of other skills, including as painting, sanding, detailing, and trimming, as well as how to use your imagination.

When you are model building, you may also develop your organizational abilities while having a good time with your family and friends. If you concentrate on older model automobiles, you will also get an understanding of their historical significance.

But, first and foremost, how does one go about building a model car?

Building a Model Car


plastic model car

Once you have obtained the model vehicle kit that corresponds to your ability level, you must ensure that you have all of the necessary tools. A sharp hobby knife, a tiny file or a sanding block, some masking tape, and an airbrush are among the tools you’ll need.

When you purchase model vehicles, the kit itself includes everything else, including the stickers and paint. In some cases, the stickers and paint are even included.

Cutting and Trimming 

First and foremost, you must remove all of the pieces off the sprue before you can begin working on your hobby model automobile.

The sprue is a collection of pieces that is kept together by plastic bits and holds each component in place. To construct your model automobile, you must first cut the plastic pieces that hold the various sections together.

Secondly, you should do with care in order to avoid damaging the pieces or leaving bits of plastic protruding from them. If the latter occurs, there is a remedy available.

To finish, use your tiny file or sanding block to smooth out the surface until it is completely smooth and free of imperfections.

You should be careful while removing the pieces from the sprue since, when purchasing model vehicles, you do not always have the same amount of freedom when it comes to making errors as you have when building them.


If the components in the kit have already been put together and need to be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, you should go straight to painting them without first gluing them back together.

Airbrushes are the most effective tool for painting model kit automobiles. This is especially true for the base coat, since any tiny details need a steady touch and a good old brush to achieve.

To ensure that the base coat is applied correctly, the initial layer should be applied with a delicate touch. Do not spend an excessive amount of time looking at one section of the model.

Maintain a consistent flow of paint throughout the whole surface and avoid applying the paint in a rushed manner.

The second coating should be applied after the first layer has been spread evenly over the whole surface of the part(s) in step three.

This time, be sure you apply enough paint to cover the primer and let the layer to dry completely before proceeding.

You should let the paint to dry completely between each application, particularly if you’re putting a paint and lacquer solution to the surface.

Take a careful look at your work once you’ve finished applying the second coat of paint and check for any faults such as the primer showing through or an uneven paint patch.

If that’s the case, apply the third layer, being careful to spread it evenly and slowly over the surface. When it comes to the base coat, it is best not to apply more than three coats of paint at one time.


If your model kit has pieces that you will need to assemble yourself, you will need to complete this step before moving to the next step of painting the model automobile. Glue is the most effective method for doing this.

Before you can glue two or more plastic components together, you must first sand down the surfaces of the parts that will be connecting together.

By doing so, you will guarantee that the glue adheres effectively to the two pieces and that the bonding process is as soon as possible.

Once the surface has been sanded smooth, wipe it off with a soft cloth and apply glue to the gaps where the two halves come together.

However, just a little amount should be used since you do not want glue to flow from the components after they are joined. Apply some pressure to the two sections and then leave them for a short period of time to allow the glue to adhere.

Finishing Touches & Decal Designs

plastic model car decals

One thing to note is that although not all model kit automobiles are supplied with decals, those that are will make it quite simple to apply the stickers on the model car. Just make certain that you adhere to the proper placement and alignment guidelines outlined in the instruction manual included with the kit.

If there aren’t any decals included, you may make your own by looking for them online or visiting your local hobby model store. In order to make your model automobile seem more realistic, you may even apply weathering effects such as patina or rust to it.

Of course, a brush and some skill are required for this step in order to achieve the desired weathering effects. If you don’t, your model automobile will end up looking like a complete disaster.

The Advantages of Model Kit Building

Scale modeling as a hobby offers several advantages. The first is the development of skills. While you choose the model you want to create, you’ll learn more about its history, and as you build it, you’ll gain experience in planning, cutting, drilling, gluing, painting, and a variety of other abilities.

Because model vehicles allow you to spend some time alone and relax, they are a stress-relieving activity that allows you to forget about your worries for a while. If you like group activities, on the other hand, this may be quality time with the people you care about.

The fourth, and perhaps most important, reward is a sense of accomplishment. We feel rewarded and happy of what we’ve accomplished whenever we complete a task effectively.

Because we construct in phases and just a little progress is enough to make us feel good, it’s easy to achieve something worthy of praise using modeling. This is more than enough reason to pick your model among the many plastic model cars available and get started building right now!

What Are the Model Scale Sizes?

Choosing the appropriate plastic model size is critical since it has a significant influence on the entire construction process. The model is a fragment of the vehicle’s true size.

A 1:24 scale, for example, signifies that the automobile is 1/24 the size of a genuine car. If the scale number is less, the model is larger. You should try to figure out whatever scale you love working on and then stick with it or experiment with multiple scales.

Larger models may be simpler to work with since they don’t have as many little, delicate elements, but smaller models are often completed faster.

The Following Are Some of the Most Popular Models:

  • 1:12 – a huge, detailed model that is generally more expensive;
  • 1:18 – also known as big size model vehicles, these are often purchased by adult collectors;
  • 1:24 – a very popular model, with several kits available in this size;
  • 1:32 – a popular size, particularly for historical automobile models;
  • 1:43 – a popular model in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

Final Thoughts: Choose a Subject on Which You Will Like Working

You should choose a model that you adore in order to be passionate about building it. Look for something you’ve always enjoyed, especially for your initial creations, because you don’t want to be stuck with a model you don’t like.

After all, it’s time and energy-intensive job, and no one has that time for things they don’t value. Look for inspiration in the things you like since, nowadays, plastic model automobiles are really evolved, and you’ll nearly always be able to locate the exact model you’re looking for.

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