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Restoring the finish to kits molded in color

Q: Almost every kit today requires removal of flash and at least some light sanding. With kits that are molded in color, is there something short of clear- coating that can be applied to the finish after sanding that will restore the kit’s finish without the lighter sanded areas standing out?

– Marshall Anderson
via E-Mail

Ken: The surface of a colored-plastic kit is superglossy, and the fine scratches that result from sanding will dull that finish.

The best way to remedy that is to polish out those scratches as you would any painted surface. Any of the commercially available polishing kits should do the trick.
Remove any flash as carefully as possible, to avoid creating more of a headache than you need. Instead of sanding, try scraping the seam or mold line (the source of all flash) by “back-blading” a single-edge razor blade down the length of the seam. Clean up the area with the finest grade of sandpaper required to eliminate the seam.

Polish the surface with progressively finer grades of polishing paper. You’ll see the shine begin to return as you use finer grades.

Finish the process by rubbing on Novus 2 polish, which should really bring out the shine.

My first and only experience with leaving a kit in its raw plastic form was the old Monogram 1959 Caddy, which was molded in pink, and it turned out pretty good!
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