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How I sometimes remove mold lines from armor road wheels

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  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: Central CT
How I sometimes remove mold lines from armor road wheels
Posted by xenon55 on Saturday, August 29, 2020 10:09 PM

While building Tamiya's Chally II kit, I noticed how bad the mold line on the road wheels is. If you look close enough at the pics, you can see that it isn't simply flash. The two halves of the mold weren't aligned and caused a step on the wheels. It probably wouldn't be noticed once built, but it bothered me. Cleaning them up manually was more work than I wanted to do. So I chucked them up in a cordless drill and used that to spin the wheels while sanding them. Hopefully this will help someone else out.




  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, August 30, 2020 1:02 PM

Good idea! What did you sand the wheels with?

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, August 30, 2020 3:50 PM

Yeah, it's a nice one - I usually take my sanding block for sanding which is some 120-grade sanding paper wrapped around a cork wood block. A fine file could also be used here. Another alternative is to take the edge of a sharp knife and hold it perpendicular to the sanded surface - of course you have to be extra cautious here. One thing to watch is the temperature - when the sanded surface gets too hot and the plastic starts to melt it's better to take a break and let it cool off!

Thanks for sharing and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: Central CT
Posted by xenon55 on Sunday, August 30, 2020 4:38 PM



I used sanding sticks starting out with 220, 400, 600, and ending at 800.



Yes, I went slow and moved the sanding stick around to help avoid a hot spot. I initially used an x-acto knife with a #11 blade and scraped a road wheel by hand. But I wasn't happy with it. There was a slope to the wheel where it would meet the track. Depending on what part of the wheel you looked at, the slope could be high in the rear low in the front, vice versa, or fine. Plus it took too long for something that I wasn't happy with. So I thought of doing it this way.


Next time I try it, I'm going to use a block of hardwood with sandpaper wrapped around it. I feel the foam in the middle of the sanding stick was too soft and I didn't get a square edge to the wheels.


  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, August 30, 2020 4:54 PM

Great idea!  Cordless drills make an excellent alternative to Dremel tools in many situations.  Dremels run so fast you almost always end up overheating what you're trying to sand.  I made my own rotary sanding rods of varying grits out of hardwood dowels and sanding belts wrapped helically around them with contact cement.  Just chuck that up in a cordless drill and you have a safe, effective method of sanding the insides of jet engine intakes. 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Monday, August 31, 2020 11:12 AM

Ahoy friends.  I find that some road wheels and especially airplane wheels/tires don't have anything to chuck onto because of their size, especially 1/72 airplane wheels.  I use the same technique as above, except that I install the wheel on the end of a round wooden toothpick. You can cut the tip of the toothpick down progressively until you get a real tight pressure fit.  Then you chuck the toothpick holding the part into your drill. Generally, using very slight pressure, you can sand off the mold line without jarring the part loose from the toothpick.  You need to get the wheel on the toothpick relatively straight so as it won't wobble.  Also, cutting off the toothpick short so that the wheel is close to the face of the chuck helps to keep the wheel from wobbling.  My example is a 1/72 P-38 main wheel that I've subesquently painted.


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