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Building Model Cars From Foreign Countries

Jul 23, 2008
There are many benefits for model car collectors when considering buying a car kit from another country. You can get a model of a car that may not be available in your home country. This is also a good way to pick up concept cars from other countries as well. This can be a way to beef up your collection to an enviable level. Let's discuss the first issue which, to some, seems to be the hardest to overcome.

Many model manufacturers today sell models that include multilingual instructions. Some however do not. It is these that we will concentrate on. The Internet is today's great equalizer. If you do buy a model that comes with instructions written in a foreign language then the first thing to do is to identify what language it is written in. If you know what country the model came from then this part is very easy.

The next step is to find a way to translate the text. If it is written in an alphabetic based text such as German, French, or Spanish then all you have to do is to type the instructions into an online translation tools such as Altavista's free tool babelfish. Once you choose the languages you are translating from and to then you can easily get a rough translation of the instructions you are trying to translate. One tip is to only do a block at a time as most of the different translation tools only allow you to do so much text at a time and you do not want to stop in the middle of an important step.

The next thing you must do is to look at the pictures and match all your parts up with their respective pictures. This will ensure that you received all the parts that you were meant to. If you did not, then you have one of two options. Either you can run an Internet search for the model manufacturer and see if they have a website in your own native language, or you can just attempt to modify a part from another cheap model to take its place. With the cost of shipping what it is today this may actually be your best option.

If it is just a tiny part and you feel pretty comfortable doing so then you might consider trimming the part out of the leftover parts trees that you might still have on hand. It does take a little skill to self craft a part like this but it can be very rewarding as well.

The last step is in assembly. Since you may not have been able to read or translate the directions this will take a leap of faith. Match up the parts for each step by the picture on the instructions and begin to assemble them in the order listed. If there are no pictures on the instructions then you should actually assemble the parts from the inside of the model out. In other words, start by assembling the interior and the engine assemblies. Next mount these to the chassis and add the wheel assemblies. Finally add the body. By assembling in this order you should be able to get everything in the right place with little trouble.

Always make sure to test fit everything before you apply the glue so that you know that they are going into the right place. This should help you out if you find yourself in a position where you are not able to read the directions on the foreign model car that you just bought. Have fun!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car sales, model trains, and model trucks.
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