Basics on working with resin model truck conversion kits

 There are many advantages to working with resin conversion kits.  Most modelers enjoy the fact that they get to build something very unique while expanding their skills and creativity. Another great aspect of working with resin conversion kits is that you have a lot more truck brands and custom parts available than what is offered by the manufacturers of plastic model kits. Below are answers to frequently asked questions for modelers who are just getting started with resin conversion kits. If you are reading this and thinking “What is a resin conversion kit?” 

How do I build a resin model truck conversion kit?

Building a resin conversion kit is a lot like building a factory plastic model truck however there are some key things to know before you begin. Cleaning the resin before assembly is very important as well as deciding what to use for a chassis. As far as assembly, basic building instructions are included with all Keystone conversion kits so you will have some guidance to help you along. If you ever have a question about your conversion kit, contact us. We are here to help!

What should I use for a donor chassis?

There are a few ways of building with conversion kits which make them great for model builders of different skill levels. The most common method is to use the frame and accessories from a factory model kit as a “donor chassis” to put under your conversion kit. If you are comfortable with scratch building you can always make your own custom chassis, however Keystone offers hundreds of parts to help you complete your conversion kit including frames, wheels, tires, fuel tanks, engines, suspensions and much more.

Do I have to clean the resin parts?

Yes! Before building it is important to clean all resin parts to remove any mold release. Failure to do this step may result in poor paint adhesion. There are a few ways to clean the resin parts. One way is to soak them over night in Westley’s Bleche White. Another method is to scrub the parts with a solution of warm water and dish soap or a dry cleanser such as Ajax or Comet (Do Not Use Hot Water). After cleaning the parts, place them on a paper towel and let them air-dry.

How do I work with the pewter metal parts?

Many of the Keystone conversion kits include small detail parts for the cab that are cast in pewter. These can be mirrors, running lights, air horns, grab handles, head lights windshield wipers and more. Although some modelers may get nervous with the thought of cutting and shaping metal pieces, the truth is pewter can be quite easy to manipulate because it is a soft metal that is very malleable. Another benefit of pewter is that It can be painted or polished to look like chrome by simply using a small metal file tool.

What tips do you have for assembly, adhesives & paint?

Once all resin parts are clean and dry, give them a light sanding with some superfine sandpaper. Any imperfections can be repaired with modeling or automotive spot putty. Next, drilling holes for mirrors, wipers and turn signals can be done. Remember to test fit all the parts before gluing. Super Glue works well for basic construction of your model but 5 minute epoxy should be used for finish assembly of cab to frame, wheels and tires, mirrors, air horns and other parts that require more adhesive strength. For a better finish we recommend using an automotive primer as a base coat before painting any colors.

What do I use to make the cab windows?

All conversion kits include clear sheet plastic and window patterns so you can make all the windows for your resin model truck cab. We like to use the clear sheet plastic by Sig for our window material. Sig company makes it for remote control airplanes but it works fine for model trucks too. When gluing window material to the cab we recommend to use either Elmers white glue or Testors clear parts cement.

How do I store resin model truck parts?

If you do not plan on building your resin conversion kit right away it should be properly stored to avoid damage. Resin parts should be kept in a cool dry place. Never store the resin in areas that are subject to extreme heat or cold as this can cause warping. Resin parts such as cabs and hoods should not have anything laying on or leaning against them as this may distort the shape. For a finished or built-up model truck these same rules apply. We also suggest putting your finished piece in a display case. In addition to showing off your awesome modeling skills, a good quality display case will protect your model from dust and “curious fingers”.

Does Keystone sell complete resin model truck kits?

Yes! In addition to the 100 plus conversion kits, we have complete resin model truck kits with all parts needed to make a finished truck. We specialize in antique and classic trucks from the 1950’s to the 1970’s so if you have a specific truck project in mind or a photo of an antique or classic truck you want to replicate, please contact us. We probably have the parts you need to complete your truck!