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BLAIR LINE Helpful hints on how to paint & build laser cut wood structures

Listed below are some helpful hints and tricks in the construction of Blair Line kits.

The instructions will assist you in constructing your kit with ease.


  • SHARP HOBBY KNIFE WITH NO. 11 BLADE (emphasis on sharp here)
  • TWEEZERS (optional, I prefer the squeeze open type to the squeeze closed type)
  • SQUARES (optional, you may also use laser cut parts or scrap as a square)
  • STEEL RULER (optional, but will help with cutting parts from sheets)
  • WEATHERING MATERIALS such as chalk, India Ink mix, etc. (optional)


  • Toothpicks and rubber bands

  • Use the rubber bands for holding walls together and securing roofs to walls while waiting on the glue to dry.
  • Always take care with rubber bands as you put them on or take them off, so that you don't break any small detail parts.


  • Paint all of the parts before assembly.
  • Use grey primer in a rattle can it seals the wood well, it is inexpensive and final colors cover it well.
  • Grey primer actually works better than white primer for maintaining final paint colors.
  • When possible paint final paint colors with paint from a can too.
  • When using rattle can colors for the final color do not use a primer.
  • No primer coat is necessary if using an airbrush either.
  • You can brush paint with both Floquil and Polly S successfully.
  • The key to brush painting is prime the parts with equipment gray primer from a can.
  • Prefered for brush painting is Polly S or any acrylic paint for the easy cleanup and lack of irritating fumes.
  • You can use a wood stain and India Ink/Alcohol mix for staining instead of painting.

    Notice :

    You will get some warping when using stain or India Ink, so please read the next section below.


    If you saturate the wood with paint or stain from a brush, it will warp. Sometimes the wood warps when you are careful too. Don't panic and be patient.

  • If the wood warps, let the paint or stain dry for a few hours, then cover the parts with wax paper or plastic wrap and press with a heavy object for about 24 hours.
  • The parts should better and straight after applying method above.
  • The drying process will take longer in a high humidity climate.

  • It is common to have a little warp in the larger wall pieces until they are assembled.
  • The walls will straighten as you are building the kit.
  • Gluing the walls to one another and adding bracing helps in straightening the walls.
  • Many Blair Line kits have interior walls that will stiffen the exterior walls.

  • If you break a part, chances are very good that you may glue it back together, allow it to dry and proceed with assembly.
  • If you damage a part that it cannot be glued together, Blair Line will replace it.


  • Use a SHARP hobby knife when remove parts from the carrier sheets.
  • Cutting parts from the carrier sheets is definitely not the time to skimp on blades.
  • We cannot stress enough how important it is to use a sharp knife.
  • Common No. 11 blade is a good choice.
  • Purchase 100 pack of these blades to save on cost.
  • Typically you will use 2-3 blades while building a kit.

  • Like cutting styrene, it is best to make a few light cuts instead busting through like a lumberjack with one deep cut, using a lot of pressure and damaging parts.
  • Unlike styrene you cannot bend and snap the parts. You must cut completely through the wood to remove the parts.

  • If you are having trouble finding the tabs for removing the parts, turn the sheet over.
  • You can see the tabs much better on the back of a laser cut sheet then on the front of the sheet.


  • Always use the proper glue.
  • Elmer's yellow carpenters glue when gluing wood to wood is a good choice it is strong, works well on wood and gives me time to adjust the parts.
  • Also at times you may use a thick, gap filling CA if you are in a hurry.
  • Aways use CA when gluing metal or plastic to wood.
  • You can also use Aileen's Craft Glue from " Michaels " stores which also works well.
  • We do not recommend white glue (except for gluing paper signs to buildings) and especially do not recommend white school glue or glue sticks for the construction of Blair Line kits.
  • Use a light coating of glue for joining walls to each other.
  • You can go a little heavier with the glue on hidden tabs and slots.
  • After the walls are positioned and square use lots of glue to the unseen interior corners. This will make your structure strong.


  • Many of the parts have a peel-n-stick adhesive which has a very aggressive adhesive so no gluing is required with these parts.
  • Please use caution with placement of the parts, because they are difficult to remove and re-stick.
  • Window frames have a peel-n-stick adhesive for attaching the window glazing so you don't need a special adhesive for this process.

  • If you are having difficulty removing a misplaced peel-n-stick part try heating the misplaced part with a hair dryer.
  • This will loosen the adhesive and you should then be able to remove the part.


  • You can paint the paper shingles before applying to the structure, with paint from a can.
  • Inexpensive " Wal-Mart " paints which are available in flat black and primer gray, both are good shingle colors.
  • The shingles are peel-n-stick, so after painting, peel off the backing and stick it to the wood sub-roof.
  • Burnish them with your finger to make sure they stick well.
  • If you have a corner of shingle coming loose, simply apply a little Elmer's white or carpenters glue and restick the shingle.


  • You should wait until the structure is assembled before applying weathering.
  • You can use pastel chalks, India Ink/Alcohol or light wash of some sort of grimy color for weathering.
  • You can use darker colors to weather light colored objects and lighter colors for weathering dark objects.
  • Consider the environment of your model railroad when weathering.


  • If you are weathering structures placed near a coal mine they would be covered with black coal dust.
  • If you are modeling a viable operating business don't overdo the weathering.

    An operating business is more than likely going to have a waterproof roof and at least a little paint on the walls and trim.

    We wish you luck on your build and if you have any questions or concerns please contact us. We will obtain the correct information in order to assist you.