For a plastic kit cut off the panel you want to dent then use aluminium foil to replicate the part you want to dent, bend it to the shape you want then apply something like PVA glue to the back so it holds the shape and then glue to the model and paint it. Foil has the advantage that pant will chip of leaving metal underneath.
For bigger dents use heat from a candle or lighter very, very carefully. A hairdryer that can direct heat into one place might also work.
You're looking to heat the plastic until it gets soft enough to bend but without melting it, it takes a lot of practice.
Once it's soft apply dents with something metal - a knife or ruler is often good.
Remember it's a lot easier to add a but more heat again in a minute than it is to rebuild a melted or completely burned up car body. Plastic burns easily and quickly and the fumes given off are not pleasant. Only do it to bare plastic because some paints and glues - even when dried - can cause some really nasty fires and fumes when exposed to naked flame.
Thin plastic parts like roof pillars melt first so you might want to protect them with tin foil to try to deflect the direct heat.
Have a bucket of water handy or a sink you can drop it into if it all goes horribly wrong.
Thinning out the plastic on the reverse side as you would for rusting, can also help for damaging. Just be careful with the heat. I have seen the use of hand warmer carbon sticks in this application too. It can give you a much more topical area of heating, thereby saving the use of tinfoil or fullers earth as a heat shield/heat sink.:tup:
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