Restoring a model, part 2

OK, you've managed to take the old model apart, at least as much as needed or possible.  You've taken all the old paint off the plastic, again as much as possible.  Now you have to get it all back together, and turn it into a completed, nicely done model.

You'll probably have some repair work to do from the chop job done when getting it apart, and you'll definitely need to remove the old dried glue and clean up the joints.  You'll need the knife and files to pick and scrape, and the sandpaper to remove globs of glue smeared on the surface.  A grinding tool like a Dremel is especially useful for getting into those tight spots in some joints.  

You might have broken pieces to be glued back together before assembly, and even missing hunks where the plastic proved weaker than the glue.  You might have parts that would not come apart and need to be trimmed as is.  In any case, you have putty, glue, and carving tools to repair just about anything.

Missing parts:

 You're really faced with several logical choices:  you can locate replacements from another old model, you can get parts from a newer reissue of the model, you can make do without the part, or you can carve or build your own replacement.  

Locate replacement old parts:  It's not easy.  You can lurk around in ebay, looking for another old model that has the part you need, and you can ask other modelers on the net if anyone has a spare you can buy.  If you have any spare old parts, return the favor by helping some other poor modeler out in return.  

Replace with newer reissue parts:  You might be restoring an old 1961 Frankenstein, and need his right hand and one of the grave markers.  There are several newer reissues you can pick up right now and raid for parts.  It usually won't be the same color plastic, but you're going to paint it, anyway.  This way you can have the 1961 Aurora logo on the base of a completed model.  Another reason for not just buying and building the newer version is, some of these model kits have been modified by whoever owns the molds, for instance the original Batman had an owl, the Batman name carved on the tree, and other changes to his chest and head since Monogram started reissuing him.

Do without:  Say what?  Well, you can build what you have and do without the part if it's nothing important to the scene.  What's one bat missing on a Dracula model really matter?  So what if the test tube is missing off the Dr. Jekyll model?  For some people, it matters a lot, but if the average family member wouldn't notice it gone, don't get too hung up about it.

Build your own replacement:  Put some of the "modeling" into model building.  This requires first of all that you have a good idea of what the part looks like.  If you ask around on the Net, you'll find modelers willing to send you copies of the instructions, and if you search around you'll usually find good pictures of buildups somewhere in cyberspace.  My Witch model had several important parts created this way.  What is needed is some imagination, some basic materials, and the willingness to try doing it, even if you've never done any sculpting before.  A material called Sculpty is real handy, it's found in hobby and craft stores, and is a clay like material that is hardened by baking in the oven.  A scrap box of odds and ends should be started, you never know what will come in handy.

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