Tips on Building Model Engine Kits

A lot of people think that building models of cars, boats, trains or airplanes are only for kids. They are half right since most of the enthusiasts completed their first model when they are nine or ten years old. It was both fun and educational because you can learn a lot when building models.


By reading instructional guides and gluing the small pieces of plastic and wood together – usually, kids use too much glue – they learned to know about brakes, gearboxes, intake, exhaust, heads and engine blocks.


Over the years, people got better at assembling them – all the days spent avoiding homework finally paid off. Eventually, they progressed to painting replicas and adding more intricate details like putting in the brake lines and spark plug wires, and most of having quite a collection, and some of them even have made a living out of it.

Visit to know more about basic components of engines.

This article is not a review of some ultra-cool kits – it is more of handy tips on building models. If you now are a die-cast kit enthusiast using some plastic parts, the principles are almost the same, you will just need a set of a screwdriver to fit some of the parts.


Tip #1

Boxes are usually more than just a container to hold the pieces together. The designs are also known as box arts, and collectors usually keep the boxes after the models have been made – the retro-looking and pre-aged packaging is a keeper. Hardcore collectors prefer boxes that show the model and not the artists’ impression of what the model will look like when they are finished.


Tip #2

Quality models have tons of parts, not all of them are used, so it is an excellent idea to get familiarized with all the pieces before commencing. Die-cast replicas have started to become more popular over the past years. Some enthusiasts prefer the traditional plastic ones as they allow them to mix and match different parts so that the models are not exactly the same as the other replicas, although it is a lot of work to finish them.


Listed below are some of the tools to finish these models:


Razor saw


Dentist’s tools

Hand Drill


Jeweler’s screwdriver

Different types of glues


Different sizes of paint brushes




Tip #3

As for paints, a lot of collectors use airbrushes, but you can get excellent results with pressure packs. Acrylic Tamiya paints, although there are other brands, come up beautifully with color sands and polishes.


Tip #4

Regardless of what types of replicas you are building, it is imperative to read through the whole instructions from start to finish before starting the project. In doing so, it will give you a proper understanding of how these models go together. It can also help determine which parts need to be painted and which parts don’t. Manufacturers of these model engine kits expect people to use your modelling experience and imagination to assemble one, that is why the instructions are not prescriptive or detailed.


Tip #5

It is a lot safer and cleaner to use sets of small-side cutters to remove parts from the sprue or trees. Using knives to cut them out or twist them free may lead to parts getting damaged, especially the smaller pieces. When snipping the parts, double-check everything, making sure you are not cutting off portions of the components as quite often tabs are protruding to allow them to merge them to other parts.


Tip #6

A lot of these kits comes to some options in regards to appearance like tires and wheels. In this case, people need to get some smooth chrome that has center caps, which you can paint if you needed to, and sets of conventional-looking Halibrands. There is also a choice between full and regular whitewall tires. If you’re looking for a more classic or 60s style, Halibrands, as well as blackwalls might be the right choices.




Building model kits are a lot of fun. People will have fun building models with engines, drivelines, or suspension setups. These models also have a larger scale that will make the builder’s life a lot easier. Some of them have excellent quality, especially primered die-cast bodies and chrome plating, which are tougher than the usual ones. Some of them have excessive flash or extra plastics that are leftovers from the molding process.