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Old December 12th, 2016, 01:55 PM
Whitey's Avatar
Whitey Whitey is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pax River...via Boston (Dorchester) Mass.
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Default "Flat" Tires...

Modern aircraft (and older types too) have pretty high tire pressures. As the aircraft sits on deck, the tire area touching the tarmac will be flat on the surface...and us model geeks like that look, it looks "real". This, does not look "real"! :

I typically achieve the look by running a fresh sheet of sandpaper under the tire as it sits on a flat surface, but the risk of breaking something is high there. Yesterday I decided to try a method that a buddy of mine shared...sitting the model on a hot iron. Sounds more risky, man!

Well, the idea, is to set the model on a warm surface and let gravity take over...not drop your model into a deep fryer.

1. Set the iron up so it is level.

Pretty important. Improvise, adapt, overcome! I was going to set my iron on a baking rack the wife has, but the handle of the iron was too wide...the dish drying rack on the other hand, would work fine. I selected the lowest heat setting, sat it in the rack, and leveled it... PRIOR to plugging it in! I used a couple of oven sticks to get the iron level and situated.

2. Place a piece of wax paper onto the iron. This keeps the wheels from sticking to the iron, and also keeps melted plastic and paint off of the iron...pretty important for tranquility in the household.

3. Plug up the iron and let it get warm.

4. Place the model onto the warm surface. (Test fit placement prior to plugging up. You want the wheels to fit onto the surface evenly and not have one falling into one of the holes. You may even want to mark the wheel placement.) Here we go...

My buddy likes to press lightly on the top of the model, in an even manner to get the wheels pressing down. I have a steel weight that I used in this case. Bottom line, you want to watch the wheels closely and make sure they are each "melting" evenly. It doesn't take long, and you only get one shot so be careful!

I left this F-15 on the surface for less than one minute. The main wheels reacted just fine under the weight, the nose I had to lightly press on to get an even flat spot.

I'm happy with the results, and it was easier than sanding them. The set up and prep took much longer than the process.

"People drift towards liberalism at a young age, and I always hope they change when they see how the world really is." - Johnny Ramone



Italeri 1/48 DC-130A

1/48 Collect Aire AF-2W Grumman Guardian (Restoration)
...I know, I'll get back to it soon enough!

Last edited by Whitey; December 12th, 2016 at 11:17 PM.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 07:24 PM
ORANGF15Guy's Avatar
ORANGF15Guy ORANGF15Guy is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,539

That is awesome.....great tip!

On the Board:
F-15C "Splinter" Camo
F-16D Oklahoma ANG
F-4C Oregon ANG
St. Louis F-15C
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Old December 12th, 2016, 08:59 PM
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GEH737 GEH737 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Newnan, GA
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Nicely done - and great tutorial
I've finally admitted to myself that I'm a collector
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Old December 13th, 2016, 09:05 AM
Jens H. Brandal's Avatar
Jens H. Brandal Jens H. Brandal is offline
Trust me, I'm an engineer
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Essex, United Kingdom
Posts: 3,257

High stakes, but a nice reward if you get it right. Looks good.

Knees together for parts, knees apart for knives!
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