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Got A Model Truck From Another Country?

Aug 15, 2008
Have you ever been cruising the Internet and saw an awesome looking model truck from another country and thought to yourself, "I gotta have it!" So you order the truck, wait the advised two weeks or so for it to arrive and opened it up just to find that all the instructions are written in German, French, or some other such foreign language? Never fear, with a bit of intestinal fortitude and some ingenuity you can soon have your new model truck assembled and looking as great as it did in the Internet pictures.

The first thing you must do is to figure out a way around the language barrier. There are many companies today that actually produce their models with multinational marketing in mind. In this vein they often include multilingual instructions in their boxes. Some may not however when it comes to trucks that may not be offered in all countries. If you are able to identify what language you are reading then you have a leg up to begin with. Knowing where your model came from can go a long ways toward helping you with this. The next step is to figure out whether or not you can translate these instructions yourself. There are online companies that offer translation services. You may even be able to get their services for free. Run a search on the Internet for these and see what you come up with. While there are many available it might take some digging to find the one you want. After you have then you can get your rough translation. This will help you when moving on to the next step.

The pictures are your next best friend when building a foreign model. Take your instructions and match all the pictures with the parts that match them. You might consider marking the sprue with a bit of nail polish and set each step with a certain color. This will help once you begin the assembly. If you are missing parts then you might have a bit of a time continuing. First see if the company has a help line in your language. If it does then go ahead and call. They may be able to send you the part(s) for free or at most just charge you for shipping. If they do not then you might have to consider making your own replacement parts. You can use the leftover parts of the sprue for this if it is a small part. If it is a large piece then you might have to adapt a part from another model for this purpose.

The last thing you will do is to assemble your model truck. All your patience at identifying parts and translating text can pay off here. If not then you will definitely have a challenge ahead of you. Take each step one at a time. Identify all the parts in the step and set them aside. Match each one up with the parts in the step and assemble them carefully. One thing you should always do is to do a test fit so you can be sure that each part will fit into place before you glue them. This will help to verify that they are in the right place and will keep you from having to cut parts loose and trying to reattach them. You are now ready to go out and give it a shot. Find yourself a foreign model truck and see if you can get it to come out looking like the picture!
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 truck fans.
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