Removing Flash

When you buy a resin or vinyl kit, there is extra unwanted stuff attached to each piece called flash which result from casting. The fun begins with removing them.
Let's take the Misato kit out of her box and start!



 
We're looking at a piece of flash on Misato's left leg. I use the plier to carefully do a rough cut so that most of the flash is removed. Don't cut too close, otherwise the materials on the original surface may be chipped off.
Carefully file away the rest of the flash using the file. Move the file in one direction i.e. push, the pulling motion has no effect. Don't file away too much!
When the file doesn't seem to work anymore, use the wire brush to clean the file.

Use the #220 grit sand paper to smooth out the area. Dip the sand paper in water and wet sand. It makes sanding smoother, causing less resin dust (which can plug up your lungs like asbestos) and makes your sand paper last longer. You can also add detergent to the water to make sanding even smoother.
You can skip the filing stage and use the sand paper directly, but filing saves time.
You can also use the xacto knife to cut away the flash, but I find it more dangerous to yourself (cutting fingers) and to your kit (there's a tendency to cut away too much)

Folding the sand paper once or twice makes it easier to hold during sanding.
Alternatively, you can make a sanding block (see below).

Sand in circular motion in general. It reduces deep scratches on the kit.

 

Some Other Techniques
If you have some additional equipments, you can do the following.

For bigger pieces, a hand saw will do short work of the flash. Remove the leftover with a file or sandpaper.
For very delicate areas, Dremel is the least risky. This may be counter-intuitive, but think of the pressure required by using any hand tools and the possibility of breaking the part from the pressure. The Dremel doesn't apply any pressure if you do it right.
For flash in concave areas, a Dremel is again very useful. The cylindrical and prism steel burrs are very useful, especially the latter.
Here I was removing a piece of flash inside Misato's skirt using the prism burr.

 

Vinyl kits

You need to cut away the flash on a vinyl kit piece with a very sharp knife. But first heat the vinyl until it become soft. A hair dryer is recommended - hot water takes too long and is very inconvenient. Heat gun is too dangerous as it may melt the vinyl.
Carefully cut away the flash with a very sharp blade. Cut in direction away from your body parts (such as fingers on the other hand)! Everyone cut themselves once or twice or twenty times, so be very careful. When you feel resistance on the vinyl increasing, the vinyl has cooled down, so reheat the vinyl.
Ta da!
After the flash is removed, there are usually some leftovers. Heat the vinyl and do some fine cutting to get rid of the remaining crap.

 

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