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CVI Techniques


Below are a number of suggested modeling techniques for detailing 1/6th scale figures. These include some from our own work bench, as well as some contributed by our customers.

This listing will expand and change over time, so check back again for updates.

APPLYING CVI PATCHES

Remove the fabric from the paper backing sheet. Carefully cut the patch from the background fabric using sharp embroidery scissors and/or an Xacto knife. You may wish to color the edges of the cut patch to match the color around its perimeter. We recommend using paint for this, as felt-tip pens may result in unwanted ink bleed. Coloring the edge helps mask the white color of the fabric material and can improve the finished appearance of the patch.

We recommend using yellow carpenter's glue to attach the patches. This way the patch can be soaked off with water if you later wish to remove it. If you're applying the patch to a non-porous surface, like vinyl or leather, we recommend Fabri-Tac adhesive.

If you've used the carpenter's glue method, above, and want to remove a patch, just thoroughly wet the area around the patch (an eye dropper works well for this) let it sit for about five minutes. If it starts drying, rewet it. The glue should be softened, so just pull up the patch - some tweezers may be helpful. If there's remaining glue residue, wet an old tooth brush and lightly scrub the area. The reside should readily disappear with some moderate scrubbing.

REMOVING MANUFACTURER'S INSIGNIA

If you want to remove a manufacturer's screen-printed/silk-screened insignia, try the household solvent Lestoil. Citrus-based Goo Gone may also work on less tenacious markings. They're both available in many U.S. grocery & hardware stores. Soak the patch in the solvent for about 10 minutes, then use an old toothbrush to scrub it away. You may need to use multiple applications. It's highly recommended that you use rubber or latex gloves when working with these solutions. Please read and be aware of all the manufacturer's product warnings.

In some cases you may not need to remove a manufacturer's insignia in order to apply a CVI replacement. For instance most companies' SS collar tabs are flat enough that a CVI replacement can simply be glued on top of them with FabriTac or white glue.

APPLYING CVI WATERSLIDE DECALS

Handle the decals carefully as they are very thin and do not come with a protective finish. They can scratch easily. We recommend that you first start by applying a clear gloss finish to the surface receiving the decal. This lets the decal sit snugly on the surface without air bubbles getting trapped beneath it. Cut the decals from the decal sheet. Be sure to cut as close as possible to the decal design, as the decal carrier film is a single piece. Dip the decal in warm water for about 20 seconds. Remove it from the water and CAREFULLY slide the marking into place. We recommend using a pair of fine point tweezers and a toothpick to aid you in decal placement.

Once the decal is in place, blot dry. You may wish to apply a decal setting solution, such as Solvaset. Let decals dry for an hour. Once the decal has set, spray the surface to the desired finish for improved durability and appearance - matte is usually the most appropriate. Use ONLY a clear laquer such as Testor's Dullcoat/Glosscoat. Enamel clear coats like Krylon or Rustoleum may cause damage to CVI decals.

REMOVING MANUFACTURER'S DECALS

Removal of any manufacturer's insignia may require different methods. Start light and build your way up. Begin by soaking the decalled item in water for 30 minutes, then scrub at the decal with a toothbrush. If this doesn't work, try the same technique but using denatured alcohol. If the decal still won't budge, you can try applying a citrus-based solvent with a Q-tip, saturating the decal and trying to rub it off with the swab's tip. If you still have no luck you can try stronger solvents, but you may start to see some of the paint come up with the decal.

An alternate approach is to rub the decal off with sandpaper, then repaint the scrubbed area (or whole item).

APPLYING RESIN DETAILS

If you're using resin details (like our lift-dot fasteners, SS pips, or others) we recommend using CA (for adhering to plastics) or 5-Minute Epoxy (for sticking on fabric) to apply them. While resin may look like polystyrene plastic, plastic model cement will not work on these. You should also try to make sure any the molding anamolies are sanded down so that your detail parts will fit as intended. Just use the black grit wet-dry sand paper (not the tan colored paper used for wood).

PANZER SKULL APPLICATION TIPS

Before applying our skulls, you'll want to make sure that the application side of the badge is as falt as possible. We recommend using wet-dry sandpaper for this (available at any hardware store). You might also wish to sand away some of the thickness of the badge, as it will make the final version appear more "grounded" to the collar tab.

We recommend that you both prime and paint the skulls for the best finish. You have many options, but but we've used Floquil Gray Primer, followed by Testors Model Master Aluminium. FabriTac has worked fine for adhering the skulls to the tabs or uniforms, but you could also use epoxy or CA if you wanted something more permanent.

MAKING YOUR OWN GERMAN CAP SOUTACHE

A soutache is the inverted chevron of braid, colored-coded by service branch, which is worn on German caps like the M38 and tropical cap. Seen up close it appears as two strands cord running adjacent and parallel. This can be simulated with realtive ease in 1/6th scale. You'll need some thread (color coded to the service branch - we actually like to use embroidery thread for this), fine-point tweezers, and yellow carpenter's glue.

Start by pour out a small blob of glue. Next take your thread (cut two pieces, and make them a little longer than you think you'll need) and run it through the glue. Now roll it in your fingers to make sure the glue saturates the fibers, then squeeze off the excess. Take the point of your tweezers and stick then at thepoint where the apex of the chevron will be. Drape the glue-soaked thread around the tweezers and pull both sides down to make the chevron. Once it's where you want it, just press the thread into the cap material. The glue should make it stay in place.

Now do it again, running another thread right along side the first one. Once these two threads are in place, just trim off the excess (which should be hanging from the cap). And your done! Use this technique, along with our Heer Cap Insignia, and you'll end up with a cap that'll pass inspection, even under a magnifier.

MAKING US WEB GEAR END TABS

To simulate the crimped metal end tabs that are featured on much WW2 U.S. web gear and equipment, start by buying a gun black marker (available at many gun shops) and finding a disposable metal pie plate - the thin kind that comes with many store-bought pies. First cut a small rectangle from the pie plate using scissors or an Xacto knife. The rectable should be sized to act as an end tab, so it should be twice the length needed (since it will be folded over). Once the tab is cut from the pie plate, flatten the bent cut edges against a flat surface with your finger or some burnishing instrument. Next, use the gun black marker and apply a black finish to the tab. When dry, carefully start the fold in the tab, bending it most of the way over but leaving enough room for the webbing to be inserted. If you like you can put a dot of FabriTac on the end of the webbing to help hold the end tab in place, but we've found that merely crimping it down usually works fine. Fit the bent tab over the web end, then use a pair of needlenose pliers to crimp it in place