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Advice and thoughts on the Fine Molds FA-1 Claude w/metal parts

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Delivered today was the 1990's Fine Molds A5M1/2a Claude with white metal detail parts. The metal items are gunsights, seat, anything to do with the engine from the prop to the exhausts, and a couple of other things. I've never fiddled with white metal part on a plastic kit, so I'm a bit curious about how it's done and if anyone has built this kit on the forum. Any real advantage to metal over plastic or has molding technology caught up with the white metal details?


I have a few notes from the English translation sheet for finishing some of the metal items.  Comments are welcome:


"For more realistic finishing, inject the enameled flat black diluted by thinner after polishing the engine part with brass polish." The brass polish has me curious, I understand about a flat black "wash" (of sorts).


Ergo, "Finish the crankcase as you do for the engine"


"Finish the propellers (sic) with sandpaper and and compounds for more realistic finish." Do the range of of Tamiya (or similar) range of compounds work for this?


I've also recently acquired the Fine Molds FA-5 D4Y2 amd FA-7 D4Y3 "Judys" with white metal parts. so white metal knowledge would be quite useful for them as well.


Thank you,


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I must admit that whenever I have built a kit with white metal parts I have treated them the same way I would treat styrene as far as cleaning up etc. goes. White metal is malleable, and the inevitable flashing and sprue marks can be removed with a sharp blade. It can be gently polished to remove scratches as you would with styrene, but if the moulding is crisp then you won't have to worry. For fixing the white metal parts together or to the styrene I suggest using CA in a gel form - it gives you time to position parts properly, unlike the liquid CA which either set instantaneously or sits around for ages deciding whether it set or not. On larger white metal joints I'd recommend 5 minute epoxies as they give far better strength - however as they cure in about five minutes then they can be a waste if you have a large number of parts to consider. I also admit that I prefer white metal to a lot of resins which can be difficult to work with - either too hard or too brittle.     

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I want to echo what MilneBay has described about white metal parts. They are nice and easy to work with, particularly for landing gears and props. Just be aware that they need a little more CA glue than plastic or PE, but excess can easily be scratched off if your first attempt was unsuccessful. Handle them with care because they tend to bend easily and then are very diffcult to align back into proper shape.


Happy New Year, Michael

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For cleaning and polishing any white metal parts use a graduation of abrasives such as Flex-i-file. I always found that the best polish for a bright finish was a tube of Auto Solve (a white abrasive paste similar looking to tooth paste) it's a Chrome polish for vehicle bright-work. The finish is long lasting too. 

The instructions are suggesting that you high light detail with a thin Black paint wash. Cyano (super glue) works perfectly with White metal. When White metal requires a normal paint finish, use an Auto spray primer first.


White metal is a common generic term and the composition can vary from no Lead, in English Pewter. I preferred this although it' melts at a higher temperature, Through more percentage parts in a standard casting material such as KA to a high Lead content in some metals used in large flat castings. Always wash your hands after working with White metals. Some metals erroneously called White metals are actually Zinc Aluminium based Mazak or Zamak.



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