Precautions to Take When Making Model Kits

Are you making model kits? Scale modeling is becoming a popular hobby nowadays, especially car model kits, which usually come cheap and easy to assemble. Meanwhile, there are some model kits that can be more complicated, which involves some risks and guidelines that need to be strictly followed. If you want to know more, make sure to read further!

What are the major risks involved in modeling kits?

  • Skin irritation
  • Superglue in the eyes
  • Toxins and solvents
  • Injury from tools
  • Fire and explosion

Skin irritation

Be careful when assembling model kits—some materials may contain chemicals that may be irritating to the skin. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to minimize exposure and use cotton or latex gloves. Using these gloves is a great idea especially during the painting process to avoid greasy fingerprints.

The risks from Superglue

Also known as cyanoacrylate adhesives, these glues are staples in a modelers toolbox. Superglue is famed for being ultra-sticky, having the ability to put together anything including human tissue.

It can easily stick fingers together, which is so inconvenient and frustrating. However, the real danger is when Superglue reaches your eyes. The only way to avoid this from happening is to be extra careful when handling cyano adhesives. Make sure to always replace the top immediately after use. Also, ensure to always have superglue remover and plenty of paper towels at bay.

If you accidentally get superglue on your hands, avoid rubbing your eyes. Flush the affected part with running water, cover it, and seek medical help if needed.

Toxins and solvents

Sometimes, modeling paints and products are water-based like acrylics and usually, they do not eliminate harmful fumes. However, products such as polystyrene cement, specific fillers like squadron green stuff, and enamel thinners and paints contain harmful chemicals.

While it’s almost impossible to eliminate total exposure, you can only do so much to minimize the risk of exposure. The first thing to do is always read the instructions. Know how dangerous, flammable, and toxic the product is. When using harmful products, make sure to work in an open well-ventilated area, Secure the containers immediately if they are not in use.

If you start feeling lightheaded or getting headaches, then it may because of the long-term exposure. The likelihood of experiencing these symptoms is high when you are working in a closed space for a long period.

Injury from tools

Probably the most common risk is the injury from using knives and other sharp tools. Most modelers are aware that they spend more time with a knife than any tool. And we all know what are the risks of using one. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a knife:

  1. Only put light pressure when cutting, whittling, or scraping.
  2. Cut away from your body, and while holding the knife, make sure you are working on a firm yet controlled grip so it won’t easily slip.
  3. Consider protecting your fingers with a band-aid/plaster to avoid accidental cuts.
  4. Use a sharp blade so you won’t need pressure. Using a blunt blade requires additional pressure and heightens the likelihood of slips.
  5. Try using knives with retractable blades, and when using them, only expose a portion of the blade. For knives without retractable blades, make sure to have the right knife and blade that works well for the job. Avoid using something that is too small or big for the task.
  6. Throw away used and blunt blades safely. At least wrap it around a masking tape and seal it in scrap cardboard.
  7. Always work in a well-lit area.

If you are using motor tools, make sure to unplug them when not in use. And while this sounds inconvenient, you should always protective eyewear when using a motor tool. Protective goggles will prevent small parts from causing damage to your eyes. Also, use a dust mask when sanding or cutting, especially when using a motor tool.

Fire and explosion

A number of modeling substances are either flammable or emitting flammable fumes. Therefore, it’s should be obvious to not use tobacco products when modeling, especially when undergoing techniques that use heat or naked flames. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid accidents.