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Hobby shed - Modelmaking glossary
Category: Hobbies and Crafts > Modelmaking
Date & country: 12/11/2007, UK
Words: 275

Fibre Optics
A way of sending light along very thin plastic fibres. Model kits benefit from fibre optics by requiring only one bulb to brightly illuminate multiple areas.

Where hot plastic or metal has run between two mould halves during the manufacturing process. Flashing manifests as very thin wafers that can be easily removed with a modelling knife.

Flat Bottom
Where the lower surface of a wing is primarily flat between the leading and trailing edges.

Flat-ended Stirrer
Used like a paddle to stir paint from the bottom of the tin. Pigment can often settle in paint and it's important to re-incorporate it to ensure colour consistency.

To texture or pattern with pulverized wool or felt.

A matt colour finish that excels in brilliance and visual impact.

Foam Cutter
A scenic landscaping and terrain making tool that works by heating special wire to the point where it vapourises foam it is brought into contact with.

A representation of trees, leaves, stems, and flowers.

FS Standard
Federal Standard colours (US). FS colours have no names, only 5 digit codes.

Refers to the body part of an aircraft.

a) An instrument for measuring or testing. b) Thickness or diameter, as of sheet metal or wire. c) The distance between the two rails of a railroad. d) The distance between two wheels on an axle.

An absorbent fabric with an open weave that is usually made of cotton. Often used with plaster to create earthworks.

A high-sheen paint.

Gloss Level
A measure of how high the reflectance of a dry film is. Generally measured at a reflectance angle of 60 degrees. Gloss and sheen are terms that are often used interchangeably. Note that the gloss level of paint can also affect its apparent colour.

Gloss Varnish
A solvent-based varnish used to give a high-sheen gloss finish.

Safety glass or impact rated plastic, protective eye covering, which is intended to protect workers from eye injuries.

A measure of how finely a paint pigment is milled. The finer the grind the higher the gloss level (although grind is not the only factor in determining the level). The coarser the grind, the more matt the dried paint film is. Paints that have been ground poorly can show particles in their dried film.

Ground Clearance
The amount of space between a vehicles undercarriage and the ground.

Gundam is a popular anime involving giant robots.

Used to make Plaster of Paris.

A lightly armoured military motor vehicle having continuous tracks in the rear for power and conventional wheels in front for steering.

Hammered Effect
A paint finish that, when dry, resembles hammered metal.

Hard Dry
Where a paint film is dry (fully cured) and cannot be scratched by normal handling.

The act or process of becoming hard or harder.

A scenery base made by laying plaster-impregnated gauze over a light support structure such as cardboard.

Height Scale
Refers to the height of an average man in the particular scale.

Hidden Units
Wargaming term used to describe units that a commander wouldn't be able to see.

An area or a spot of a model that is strongly illuminated.

Ski-like protrusion that holds the front of a vessel out of the water when at speed.

To make an impression in a surface.

Indirect Fire
A wargaming weapon capable of firing at something which it cannot see.

A pigmented liquid or paste used especially for washing models, to enhance depth and aid highlighting.

Instant Glue
Super glue. More correctly known as cyanoacrylate.

a) An unintended crease. b) A very sharp bend in a thread or wire caused by contact over a sharp edge or pulling out of a coiled form. The kink may result in a permanent deformation and loss of strength.

Multiple unassembled separate parts that make up a model.

A unique model made from pieces taken from other model kits.

To work clay or model putty, usually with the hands, until it is a smooth, pliable mass.

A machine for shaping a piece of material, such as wood or metal, by rotating it rapidly along its axis while pressing against a fixed cutting or abrading tool.

A painting method where layers are painted one over another to create the illusion of a gradient.

Term used to describe the set-up of a model railway.

Abbreviation: Light Emitting Diode. A type of diode that emits light when current passes through it.

Light Gathering Rod
Works in a similar way to fibre optic lighting. The end of the rod glows very, very brightly when natural or artificial light passes through it.

The stability of a colour, determined experimentally under UV light. Coloured pigments can fade due to attack by UV rays from the sun, which causes a chemical reaction within the pigment and a change in its structure which appears as gradual fading over a period of time.

Limited Run
A process where kits are cast in moulds with a shorter life span. Kits are usually of comparable quality, although sprue gates may be heavier.

A term describing a paintbrush charged to its full capacity with paint.

Abbreviation: Line Of Fire. In some wargame rules systems, one unit is considered to be able to fire upon another if can establish a clear line of fire.

Abbreviation: Line Of Sight. In some wargame rules systems, one unit is considered to be able to fire upon another if can establish a clear line of sight.

Manga is the Japanese word for comics; outside of Japan, it usually refers specifically to Japanese comics.

Covering an area with tape or masking fluid to protect it from excess brush application or paint overspray.

Masking Fluid
A water-based solution used for protecting areas on kits from being painted unintentionally. When the paint has dried the masking fluid is simply peeled off.

Masking Tape
An adhesive tape used for a variety of purposes, as to protect a surface that is not to be painted. A low tack variety is best suited for modelmaking.

A tall vertical pole which supports the sails of a sailing ship.

The lowest sheen paint. Matt paints have very low light reflectance when dry and usually contain a high content of pigment. This can reduce durability compared to mid- and high-sheen finishes and if a model is to be handled it's advisable to finish it off with a coat of varnish.

Matt Varnish
A solvent-based varnish used to give a protective and decorative low-sheen matt finish.

A Japanese contraction of the English word mechanical. Generally refers to fantastic machines seen in anime or manga.

A particular material.

A knit or woven fabric consisting of small, evenly spaced holes.

A paint, commonly containing metallic pigments, used to simulate the look of a particular metal.

An effect where a colour appears to be different in different lights. Metamerism is a fact of nature and paints are often mistakenly blamed when metamerism is really the cause. The reason is that different types of light render colour differently. For example, natural sunlight contains more blue light, whereas artificial lights contain more orange. Thus blues will appear more intense in daylight than in artificial light.

A material designed for polishing aircraft canopies.

To combine or blend into one mass or mixture.

A usually full-sized scale model of a structure, used for demonstration, study, or testing.

In some wargaming rules, morale is a measure of unit's psychological strength.

Also known as a tool, a mould is a block (usually steel or aluminium) that is carefully eroded on one side to leave the shape of the kit sprue. A mould usually comprises two halves which are brought together during the injection moulding process and then taken apart to leave the finished sprue. During the process, hot plastic is poured into the mould which runs into the channels and takes the form of the sprue. Once cooled, the plastic is removed from the tool as the finished sprue. A release agent can also be used to ensure the plastic doesn't stick to the mould.

Ornamental trimmings added to flat surfaces, cornices and columns.

Nautical Mile
A nautical mile is a unit of distance that is used on the water; it is equal to 1.15 miles or one minute (1/60 of a degree) of longitude.

An extremely bright colour.

Abbreviation: Non-Metal Metallics. Painting the appearance of a metallic surface without using metallic paints.

A weight inserted into the front end of an aircraft with tricycle undercarriage in order to prevent it from sitting on its tail.

A model consisting of one piece of hollow, molded plastic.

Abbreviation: Out Of Box.

Abbreviation: a) Out Of Production. b) Out Of Packaging. c) Out Of Print.

The hiding power of a paint or coating, commonly expressed as a percentage of the coverage over black substrate divided by the coverage over white substrate. The opacity of paint can be a good guide to how many coats it will require. Due to the pigments used to obtain the colour, bright or clean yellows and reds will generally have the poorest opacity.

Orange Peel
A generally undesirable effect where a paint finish resembles the skin of an orange when dry. Orange peeling can happen when the paint's viscosity is too high and needs to be thinned more or if the pressure at which the paint was applied was wrong.

Wargaming term describing an attack in overwhelming strength made by units in travel formation rather than deployed for combat.

A chemical reaction with oxygen from the air. Solvent-based paints dry, or cure, via an oxidation reaction.

Paint Marker
A marker used to paint fine details or small areas on a model kit.

The range of colour characteristics of a particular model. A board that provides a flat surface on which artists mix paints and the range of colors used.

Panel Lines
Detail on model kits. Panel lines can be raised, to depict various details on a models surface, or recessed.

Technique for creating forms by mixing wet paper pulp with glue or paste.

Abbreviation: Play By Email, in which a wargame is played by sending moves through e-mail to a remote opponent.

Abbreviation: Play By Mail, in which a wargame is played by sending moves through a mail service to a remote opponent.

Having a pearly luster or gloss.

Traditionally an alloy containing 80% tin and 20% lead.

In most wargames, each game turn is made up of several steps, often known as phases.

Photo Etching
A process that uses chemical or machine etching to remove material from a metal. This produces small parts with much higher detail than can be obtained through injection moulded plastic. Photo etch parts are common after-market products.

The component which gives paint its colour. Pigment is bound by resin in the paint film. Matt paints generally have high pigment content, whereas gloss paints have much lower pigment content.

Plaster of Paris
A paste-like mixture which modellers use to construct scenic terrain.

The measure of how easy a game is to play.

A block used as a display base for models.

The chemical term for resin.

A plastic polymer commonly used to make model kits.

An opening in a ship's side providing access to the interior.

A portable aerosol for use with an airgun or airbrush. Propellant is useful for modellers who only airbrush occasionally and don't wish to invest in a compressor. Like any aerosol, the pressure will decrease as the unit becomes spent and it's important to monitor the quality of the paint delivery as you go. See Choosing paint and painting tools.

Radiating blades that are placed so as to thrust air or water in a desired direction when spinning.

Protective Mask
Used to protect the respiratory system from sprays and dusts.

A model suitable for use in complete evaluation of form, design, performance, and material processing.

An instrument, in the form of a graduated semi-circle, which is used to plot and measure angles.

Quick Drying
To cause solvent-based paints, which dry by oxidation of polymerization, to dry rapidly, oxidation or polymerization agents are added to the oil-based paint.

German Standard colours.