Motorcycle Tips
Carbon Fibre

General Tips


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Filling Ejector Pins Marks
There are times when ejector pin marks on some parts must be repaired since they will be visible if left untouched. There are a few ways to fix these:

  1. Fill hold with putty and once dry, sand away access putty.
  2. Fill hold with CA glue and once dry, sand away access CA.
  3. Using styrene rod of the appropriate diameter, cut off a slice from the rod and then cement the disk into the the ejector pin mark. Once dry, cut away access styrene and sand to a final finish. I prefer this method. 

Sources for Detailing Materials
Its easy to think you'll only find materials for detail models at the hobby store or in the plastic modelling section. No so. Remember, in a lot of cases 'modelling' supplies are simply common items used for other purposes that have been repackaged in smaller quantities. Check surplus stores, craft stores, automotive supply stores, hunting & fishing store, hardware stores, etc. Basically any store the carries do it yourself products. 

Fine coated coloured wire is a perfect example. I found some perfect wire for clutch cables in the model railroading section of a hobby store. Since its for train layout wiring, its considerably cheaper than buying wire sold as a detailing product. And in a fishing supplies store, I found extra fine wire which is great for electrical wiring detailing.

Service Manuals
Sometimes it can be difficult to find reference material for a specific motorcycle model you're building. Any service or repair manual can be used as a reference for determining what various electrical connectors, banjo fittings, metal texture, etc. look like. You can use this information and 'artist license' for detailing most motorcycle models.


Rebuild shocks and forks
Some shocks are moulded all as one piece and don't look very convincing. An are difficult to paint convincingly. Its quite easy to rebuild the shocks using steel wire, brass tubing and thin wire.


Similarly, the front forks can be rebuilt to have the telescopic portion made of real metal (steel or polished aluminium) rather than trying to use metallic paint to get the desired look.

Use a variety of black paints
On bikes like the BMW K100, Yamaha V-Max, Yamaha Virago, etc. most of the colours specified in the instructions are Black, Flat Black, Chrome Silver and Flat Aluminium. If you follow the instructions to the letter you won't be very satisfied with the result. By using so much of the same colours, the details will disappear into the sea of black.

To add realism to the model you must use a various shades of black. You can do this by mixing gloss blacks with flat blacks, blacks with dark greys, etc. to get several shades of black for the bike. The subtle shades may be hard to notice in photographs, but in person it makes a world of difference.

Add exterior details on Sportbikes
On sport bikes like the Yamaha YZF-R1 and Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, look at the exterior for extra details that you can add. 

Since these types of bikes will have their engines covered over, don't spend too much time and effort on engine detailing if you plan to leave the fairings in place all the time.

On the YZF-R1 and CBR1100XX, I added things like package tie down anchors, brake line supports on the swingarm, different sized control cables, markings on the handle bar controls, etc. 

Use metallizer paints.
If you haven't tried metallizer paints such as those offered by Model Master, SnJ, etc. then give them a try. These paints are used by the aircraft modellers for reproducing metal finishes on natural metal planes.

Various colours are available and they do wonders for adding a touch of realism to a motorcycle model. I don't know what I'd do with out them!

Take a look at the other pictures of the frame of completed Yamaha YZF-R1.

More information on the Model Master Metalizers is in the Workshop

Trying Something New!!
Don't restrict yourself to doing just the paint schemes suggested in the instructions.

Maybe you don't like the suggested colours. If not, try some that you'd like. After all, a lot of motorcycles get custom paint jobs after they start showing their age. For example, very few Harley-Davidson owners leave their new Harley in stock form. There is a wealth of 'bolt on' customizing parts available that they can use to personalize their Harley.

I tried something completely different with the Yamaha YZF-R1 and its my most satisfying build to date.

Contact Coaster
Last revised on: March 2, 2004
Copyright 1998-2003, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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