What are piececool metal model Kits?
Piececool model kits are made from high quality stainless steel and brass sheets.
Each kit contains one or more photo-etched sheets holding the incredibly detailed parts which you to detach to build the model, using our highly detailed, easy to read instructions.
Many Piececool models are also pre-coloured using our extremely accurate printing technology. No glue, paint or solder is required to build a Piececool model kit.
Types of model
The Piececool range includes a huge variety of kits. We have military models, including tanks, battleships and fighter jets, architectural models, featuring some of the worlds’ most iconic buildings, our series of amazing fantasy models – with dragons and knights- and models celebrating Chinese culture and much more.
How to build Piececool sheet metal models
There is very little you need to do before you build, but here’s our checklist for an enjoyable build
- Clear your work area
- Read the instructions through before you start, and make sure you can identify all the parts
- Collect any tools you want to use
- Make sure you are comfortable and have good lighting
Building a complicated Piececool model may take several hours, so you will probably build it over a few days. Make sure you are able to keep all your parts safe and clean between building sessions.
Every Piececool kit comes with comprehensive step-by-step instructions. We have made these easy to read and understand.
Pay attention to the “installation reminder” section on the instructions: these show you the most important things to remember when you are building:
- Where a blue dot is shown on the instructions, insert the tab and use a 90° bend to secure the part
- Where green triangle us shown, twist the tab by 90°. This pulls the parts together and makes a strong structure
- Pay attention to fold lines
- Be careful about which side of the part is to be shown. This is particularly important with our coloured models
- Steps which require special attention are clearly indicated
If you get stuck, take a moment to study the images in the instructions to understand the step you are working on.
Although you don’t need any special tools to build our kits, the process can be faster and more enjoyable with a few simple tools. We recommend this basic kit:
- Clippers or side cutters to separate the parts from the metal sheets
- Needle nose pliers to grip, bend and twist components
- Tweezers to hold small parts
- Cylindrical items to help bend and shape curved parts. You might already have suitable items, but if not, look at the Piececool Auxiliary Tool Set, which contains 6 parts specifically sized to help build our metal model kits.
- A cutting mat to protect your work surface from scratches
The best way to remove parts from the carrier sheets is to use our specially designed cutters. These will allow you to easily snip through the metal, leaving a clean edge. Some modellers choose to use nail clippers as well. These are very useful if you have accidentally left a rough edge on a part, as they often have a built-in file which is useful to remove tiny burrs.
Inspect the part before you remove it from the sheet, and always try to clip the smallest section first, as this puts less stress on components. You might want to cut from the rear of the sheet, to avoid scratching the fine detail of the components.
Small pieces can be handled with tweezers, or small needle nosed pliers. Some of us like to use magnets – but these won’t work on the brass kits.
Bending and folding parts
Pay close attention to the instructions where they indicate that a bend or fold is required.
Folding rounded parts is easy if you go slowly: try to use something to help you “form” the shape. If you don’t have our accessory kit, many household objects like pens and pencils make great helpers. Remember to go slow, and gradually make your curves tighter: never try to form a complex bend quickly!
Long, straight folds are easy to make, but consider using a ruler to ensure your folds follow the etched lines for an extra crisp end result.
When you have finished your model, you may find that the high gloss components show some fingerprints. Some modellers choose to wear surgical gloves or even cotton finger cots while they are building to avoid this. If you choose not to, then it’s easy to remove marks with a cotton bud (Q-tip or similar) and a normal household window cleaner or even a mixture of two parts water to one part vinegar. Do NOT use ammonia-based cleaners.
If your model collects dust after some time on display, then use a can of compressed air (usually sold for cleaning computers) to blast the dust off. You may want to consider using one of our specially designed acrylic display cases to keep your creation dust-free for ever!
I have broken a part – what do I do?
First of all, don’t panic. Breakages usually happen when parts are bent too far, or too fast, so our advice is always to build patiently.
However, if you’ve broken a part, there are a few tricks to fix your model (and no-one but you will ever know)!
Our two favourites are:
- Apply one or two layers of good quality sticky tape to the back of the part, across the break. We use clear packing tape for this, trimming it to shape with a craft knife or sharp scissors.
You can then shape the part, fix it in place, and for extra stability add a tiny drop of superglue to the outside of the break.
This fix results in a strong repair that no one can see.
- Shape the part according to the instructions, and use some plasticine / modelling clay to fill the space inside the broken part to give it extra support.
We actually do this if we are building models for TV shows when we know they are going to be handled – a small amount of weight makes them more resilient.
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
The UK office which looks after all the orders and marketing activity is based in Surrey. Our head office is Hong Kong. We also have partners in Germany and the USA.
I need help – who do I talk to?
We love to help! If you have a problem with a model, you can get in touch with us via our contact page, or join our community on Facebook and Instagram where you can ask other modellers and piececool builders for their input.
Where do you ship to?
We ship to all parts of the UK. If you order before 11am on a weekday, we do our best to pack and despatch yoiur order the same day. Find out more on our shipping page.
my order hasn’t arrived – what do I do?
Email us with your order number – you can reply to the address in the confirmation email we send as soon as your order is confirmed, or use the contact page. We’ll do our best to reply the same day (Mon-Fri).
Is there a piececool loyalty program?
Yes! Anyone who has created an account with us can earn “piececool Points” when they buy from this site, write a review or refer a friend who registers with us. Find out more about piececool Points here.