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The operative word is 'carefully'! So as not to loose details. Then with patience. There is probably more information over in the modeling section on sanding plastic material but is mostly contained within different build threads. Focus on the life size science fiction weapons builds for the most condensed area of information.

Most of the best end results usually involves working with a filler material to close gaps and recesses but that is also with larger scale kits mostly.

The adage I also use is remember your 'grit' size in relation to the scale. Meaning you start at the fine or super fine 'grit' paper as doing so means if you started with an 80 grit you are basically using boulders to sand with in 1:64 scale and deep scratches will result.
 

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Another good resource section are the plastic diecast to slot car conversion threads. Most of them involve extensive cutting and rebuilding with a lot of finishing to get smooth body shells.
 
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