Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tutorial: Making a part cleaner


In past tutorials, and WIPs I've mentioned that cleaning parts before painting is an essential step to achieve a smooth glossy finish.

A lot of modelers will only wash their parts while they're on the sprus to remove the mold release left over from the manufacturing process. They clean the parts while they're on the tree so they don't accidentally lose the parts down the drain.

While I think that method is a good start, the parts still need an additional cleaning after they under go the sanding process; because you're leaving behind a lot of skin oils, and sanding debris that will stop the paint from laying perfectly smooth.

After a lot of trail, error and expensive replacement part bills; I finally created a way to quickly, easily and safely clean large batches of parts.


Go to your local grocer or department store and buy one of these big containers of nuts... the container needs to be made of plastic, and it should have a plastic screw on lid. I bought mine at a department store that rhymes with 'smargut'.

Then eat all the nuts (or put them in a bag).

Give the container an initial rinse to clean out all of the leftover nutty goodness.

Once that's done take your pin vice, or a drill and select a small bit. The hole the bit leaves MUST be smaller than the smallest gunpla part you can think of, otherwise you're going to lose parts and have a bad time.

Drill about 2 dozen holes in 1/2 of the lid like so.

And that's it, you're basically done.

Add some your parts, some lukewarm water, and dishsoap; replace the lid and gently swirl the contents around a couple of times. I usually let the parts sit in the soap water for about an hour to be sure the soap lifts most of the remaining oil and grime from the parts.

When you're ready make sure the lid is on tight then tip the container over in the sink. The water should drain leaving the parts (and some soap) in the container. Just add water and strain a few more times and you should have a batch of clean, ready-to-paint parts.

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