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Removing seam lines from your built kits is pivotal in the overall finish of a model. Manufacturers have always had a habit of putting seams where they are most visible on a kit, hence a need to remove them from view. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate 3 different methods I use to remove seam lines from my kits.

What you will need :

  1. The piece you are planning on removing the seams from.
  2. Sanding supplies. In this case, I have a fine nail file and some sanding pads (1500 and 1800 grit to be specific).
  3. Some glue to join the parts.
  4. Some basic type putty to act as a filler / leveller for those bad joins.
What you will need

First of all, remove the pieces you want to join from the sprues and prepare them accordingly for glueing. For this example, I am using Mr Cement. It is a lot easier to apply to the pieces with the supplied brush that trying to drizzle on glue as you would have to with other brands like Humbrol. Apply a generous amount of glue to each piece (not too much though as it can melt the plastic and make removal a pain).

Step 1
Push each piece together tightly so that the excess glue leaks out of the seam. If you find that the pieces decided to push themselves apart after assembly, use a small clamp to hold pressure on the piece until the glue dries (second picture below). This excess glue acts as a filler and can make seam removal a lot easier.
Step 2
Step 3

Method 1 :

Once the glue has dried, check the seams for ones that are evenly filled with glue (that is no gaps and the edges are flush with each other). Now take your sanding stick (or in this case, a nail file) and begin to sanding across the seam (in this case left to right to left).

Step 4
Sand away until the glue has gone and the seam cannot be felt when you rub your fingernail against it (sometimes seams can be still seen but are properly filled in). You might notice that the sanding has damaged the part a little. Don't worry as this will be fixed in the next step.
Step 5
Take a finer grit sandpaper and sand the same part again. This will buff out some of the deeper scratched made from the initial sanding.
Step 6
Below is a picture of what my piece ended up like. You will notice that there are still a few scratched from the first round of sanding. Once primer is applied, it will fill these scratches and they will disappear from view altogether.
Step 7

Method 2 :

If the area is too small to get any sanding implements into, make sure that the gap is evenly filled (as before) and take a sharp blade and gently slice away the glued area until it has completely gone.

Step 8
Below is a picture of how my piece ended up. If you cut too deep, add some putty to build the area up flush again and gently re-cut the piece with the sharp knife. If you have one visibly flat area where you shave off the glue, gently rub the blade in a wider area to even out the shape better. If possible, sand with a fine grit sandpaper to get rid of the uneven edges.
Step 9

Method 3 :

If you have either uneven seams (one higher than the other) or a big gap in the seam, it is time to use some putty. Squeeze some out onto a spatula first of all.

Step 10

Take the spatula with putty on it and wipe it across the seam in question. If the seam is of an uneven height, wipe across the seam from the lower side to the higher side. This will help build up the lower side to match the higher side better.

If the seam has a big gap, push the putty into the gap and add a bit more on top to allow for shrinkage back into the hole.

Step 11
Allow the putty adequate time to dry before grabbing your sanding implement and sanding the putty back flush with the piece. Once sanded back, use a finer grit sandpaper again to smooth out those scratches as done earlier.
Step 12

And here is the final product :

  1. Method 1 - The glue and sand technique.
  2. Method 2 - The Shaving technique.
  3. Method 3 - The Putty technique.
Final step

When you prime your kit, go over all seams again as a lot of the time, seams can seem to be invisible and can't be felt but as soon as primer is added, the bits missed will show up clearly.

If you find that there are still seams after all that, use the Putty technique to fill them again. Sand it back, re-prime and check again. If there is still a seam, repreat again until it has gone completely.

Remember to check carefully, there is nothing worse than finding a seam (and it's usually the one most visible too) right at the end of painting the piece and having to start again!

If you have any suggestions at all regarding this, other tutorials or possible suggestions for future tutorials, please send me an email and let me know.