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Photos George Dzahristos

This page is dedicated to builders, designers, innovative creators and those who appreciate the craft of building. It is intended to educate and inspire those who wish to pursue and contribute to this rewarding facet of our hobby. Wether you are just starting out or a seasoned builder, you will find content worthy of your time here.

When you think of a micro sander, you probably think that you don’t really need one. After all, your an “old salt” to building and your hand is plenty precise for pressure and repeatable stroke to sand anything, besides, you can always make a small sander by simply glueing some sandpaper to a small stick or block, right? Thats what I though too until I tried this Micro Sander by Micro Mark. Although a cost of around $92.65 may seem high for a simple tool like this it has proven to be indispensable for fine building and worth the inflated cost. The secret to its usefulness is 7,000 micro strokes per minute. These micro strokes are so tiny in movement that it really is like just a vibration from left to right and that means you can put the tip into areas and powder off material with great control simply by holding it in place, controlling the exact angle and amount of pressure you need and letting the tip do the work. Perfect, every time. Speaking of tips there are 8 different shaped sanding tips and 3 different grits of self adhesive sandpaper available. The sander is well built and powerful enough to apply a good bit of pressure to sand fast, its also suitable for heavy, regular use. What I love the most is the control it affords in very difficult to reach areas normally impossible to sand smooth. I like to use a clearing suction from a shop vac while in use to aid in safety and visibility, the air rushing past the sanding area also helps keep the sandpaper and surface cool as you work. This addition also helps sand more efficiently and keeps the paper from loading up as it will tend to cut rather than melt things like plastic and fiberglass. With this extreme control and ability to fit into normally impossible to sand areas, your building projects are automatically raised to the next level of fit and finish as even detail areas will be perfectly shaped. Of corse, everyone loves their Dremel tools (or other brand rotary tool) including me but this has become my most valuable tool for shaping everything from balsa, hardwoods, fiberglass and other composites (including micro balloons), to soft metals. All these materials and more can be shaped with a control you simply cannot duplicate with your hand alone...let the tool do the work, you control the tool!

Stage 2, P40 Mods: Gill Flaps, molded Exhaust Stacks & More

Scratch Built Fokker DR 1 by Steve Zerba

Micro Mark’s Micro Power Sander

- Item #: 81266

Review By George Dzahristos

Steve Shares with us his most current progress on a long term project.

They say “a scale model is never really finished!” Here is some of the evolution of my Top Flight P-40. New video to follow with more current mods soon.

Just add a cape!

Working in the shop and accomplishing tasks inevitably always involves making some sort of mess. Wether its painting or engine work, we can always use a better way to clean things up. Many of us have used all sorts of cleaners to try to get the job done, usually starting with milder cleaners but often resorting to more potent solvents and dealing with all the hazards they come with. That has been the case for me as well, but about 10 years ago or so I stumbled upon a cleaner with a simply terrible name (in my opinion) that I had discounted as just another kitchen cleaner. Why do I say that? Well, because the simpleton name of Goof Off really undersells how powerful this stuff really is. Unlike Methyl Keynote, Acetone, Mineral Spirits, Denatured Alcohol and the like, Goof Off sound like a kid safe toothpaste. IT IS NOT! So, What is it? Well, it is excellent for removing decals and other adhesive residue left by tape and it cleans at the level that all of the previously mentioned solvents do and even more. For example, it can degrease engines and get rid of burnt on residue from glow engines that a heated radiator fluid bath can’t, and can remove CURED Epoxy Paint. Thats right, CURED...Ever tried that with Acetone? Brake cleaner? It is a great paint stripped and remover and this stuff will remove it while all the while not etching or melting delicate plastic parts and the like...As you know, Acetone will reduce those parts to soup! In fact, my canopies often look rejuvenated and extra transparent with a quick wipe of this stuff, almost as if they were freshly Armor-All-ed. Even beyond that the canopies are a bit more flexible and less prone to cracking after an application - perfect for older models with brittle canopied! Goof Off Heavy Duty is safe on most plastics, silicones and rubber but as always, test on a less conspicuous area before swabbing your keeper part. On metal it cleans right down to the original surface quickly, cutting through years old heavy grease, paint and the like and leaves the metal looking new. It does seem to penetrate metals as well, leaving a slightly wet look although the part does not feel greasy in the least, yet, somehow seems to resist rusting as if it was freshly sprayed with WD40 and fastidiously wiped down...magic! Understand, this is not a solvent as such and cannot be used to thin down paint during the painting process. If you use it in this capacity the paint will never cure! Even Epoxy’s catalytic event will be stymied by this product.

So, Where Is All This Leading???

If you have read this far you have probably decided that Goof Off Heavy Duty can resolve all kinds of cleanup issues in you shop and home but for me, the ability to clean and condition metal, remove even cured paint and be kind to plastics, and other related all lead to one great thing...This is simply THE best airbrush cleaner available - hands down! And I say this as having been a professional airbrush artist for many years working commercially with ad agencies and studios as well as building all manor of models for all my life (48 years). It’s so good I use it on old epoxy, CA  and paint encrusted brushes, airbrushes and color cups that got clogged with epoxy paints years ago and there back looking and working like new! The real test was trying to clean out Klass Kote Gloss Clear (epoxy paint) from my delicate detail airbrush...acetone was only able to remove some of the paint but what was left behind was a stiff varnish of sorts that made the internal parts sticky... mind you this was fresh gloss clear and full strength acetone was only able to remove some of it. Trouble was on the horizon as the stuff began to kick....Goof Off to the rescue! It quickly removed all of the remaining paint like it was never there. In addition, the cleaner does not evaporate quickly like acetone, and so, I tend to just leave it in my airbrush for as long as I please. When I get back to painting (sometime days later), a quick flush with acetone or fresh Goof Off and I’m back spraying in seconds. In addition, because this stuff does not attack gaskets, O rings, nylon and plastic its just fine to throw your entire airbrush, without dismantling, into a bath of this stuff indefinitely. When you get it out of the bath it will wipe down to a like new condition complete with all the metal parts having a bit of lubrication as well, which makes new paint not want to attach as hard going forward. Even the most delicate airbrush will love you, no matter what type of paint you spray.

An Unexpected Bonus

Although all the major benefits are outlined above there is more! If you have to use serious products in your shop you also have to use serious cleaners and put up with the powerful, unhealthy and potentially explosive fumes for your hands and clothes as well, correct? Nope. This stuff has a fragrance, not a smell, that is very mild, won’t make you a zombie, and is also mild on your hands as it does not dry your skin like you’ve been in the desert for a week. Nor does it seem to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream like other harsh solvents do. You can even let it settle out and skim off the clean clear stuff for reuse on future clean up jobs!

Final word: Amazing

The Workshop SuperHero

Goof Off Heavy Duty

Review By George Dzahristos

Using oil paint and more to achieve a convincing weathered look.

Retired Colonel and master modeler, “Rock” Marcone Shares a few of his techniques