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Help on puttying

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Right now I'm working on a 1/72 Tomcat and can't figure out how to putty the small gaps with out the putty either drying too quickly or having it turn into small bits and break apart. I know to tape off the areas but I just can never get the putty in completely.

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If the gap is real tiny, try white glue--run a bead of white glue into the seam and after it sets up for a minute or two, wipe off the excess with a damp rag.

 

Ralph

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I have good luck with 3M Acryl-Blue Glazing putty #05964. Got it at my local auto parts store. Used by auto body guys to fill minor scratches and stiff. Sticks well, sands out nice and doesn't shrink.

 

EJ

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If it is just a very small gap that you want to seal, try using vinyl spackling compound. Yes, it is soft and water soluble but add a coat or two of paint and it can not be easily hurt.

 

Use a toothpick and apply the material liberally to the area. When it is dry, use a wet q-tip to clean up any residue.

 

It works.

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Aves is your friend. The stuff is phenomenal. It can be thinned with water, smoothed out with a wet fingertip, sanded or machined when dry, it's tough as nails, and doesn't shrink. Excellent filler and sculpting medium. Once you use it, you'll never go back to traditional putties... Edited by BobPauly

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Wow! That is at least 5 different and workable approaches to filling gaps and seams, and no one even mentioned superglue/baby powder as a filler.

 

Rich: you seem to be implying that your putty is "crumbly" and dry before you can get it into the seams or gaps you want to fill. What are you using? THAT will help us give a little bit more avice on how to perhaps help you use what you have in a better manner. It could be a poor product (ala the OLD original Testors tube putty); or your product is old and dried out, or the cap was poorly sealed and allowed the product in the end of the tube to dry out, or....well, you get the idea!

 

However, ALL of the above suggestions are very good ones, and will give you a lot of alternatives if your current putty of choice in't salvagable.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Ok, here is the auto modelers solution straight from the auto body shop. Eurosoft glazing compound. Get it at your friendly local auto paint store. It is a catalyzed body filler that is very finely grained. Mix it very lightly with the catalyst and apply it to the gap with a pallet knife(art store). Immediately after mixing it is very thin but will start to set within 5 minutes. To clean up the area, hit it with a Qtip(cotton swab on the east side of the pond) dampened lightly with acetone. The Eurosoft will harden in about 5 to 10 minutes and you can sand and paint it if you are ready.

Edited by PeteJ

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Rich: you seem to be implying that your putty is "crumbly" and dry before you can get it into the seams or gaps you want to fill. What are you using? ... or your product is old and dried out, or the cap was poorly sealed and allowed the product in the end of the tube to dry out, or....well, you get the idea!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

 

Now that you mention it, I do seem to have a shelf-life issue with the Squadron Green Stuff. Any suggestions for making the cap seal better?

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Well right now I'm working with the Squadron white stuff, but where would you find the Tamiya thin glue I've never seen that or heard of Aves.

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It's the Tamiya glue with the green cap. You can find it at Sprue Brothers, Squadron and so on, or at better local hobbyshops.

Odd thing is I can't find any Tamiya products here in my local hobby shops.

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Tamiya putty is my weapon of choice but can be hard to find because (my local hobby shop guy tells me) the labeling does not meet U.S. or CA requirements. He gets a stash from a friend who travels a lot. Since you cant find the glue I guess that does not help. I've used auto body filler which works pretty well. Gave up on squadron putty a while back. It just doesn't seem as fine to me. For real fine lines I second the white out recommendation. It goes on easy, dries fast and sands out very smooth.

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I have a tube of Green Stuff that has to be 10 years old (well, maybe not 10, but certainly 5+) It is still in fairly good condition, but I got to reading some posts here, on the ARC Forum, and talking with the guys at a recent club meeting, and thought I'd try something new. I really didn't want any of the 2-part solutions - I don't use a lot, and can't be bothered trying to mix up a batch for the little I use.

 

I picked up a tube of 3M Bondo Glazing & Spot Putty - the red stuff. I looked for the 3M Acryl-Blue, but didn't come across any at the couple of auto parts places I tried. I've given the red stuff a try on my current project, and it seems to work well - covers and fills well, dries quickly (I was sanding light seam applications within 20 minutes), and sands smooth with a fine edge. I'll see how it looks as I move through the build, and how it works on other projects, but so far, it looks good.

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I have never tried this technique before but for me it works great. I'm using the Squadron white stuff,and decided so it won't dry on spot I just took the putty knife and stuck it in the tube itself and took out the putty that was at the tip and works well.

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Richard (and all):

1) The Squadron green stuff and white stuff is essentially the same stuff as the auto-body red/blue putties; just more expensive in smaller quantities. There are some differences in grain (fineness) between them, but it's the "putty equivilant" to all those different brands of superglue, which are ALL cyancrylates of various viscosities and you can pay more for brand names if you choose.

 

2) All of the "automotive putties" are thinnable with good old Testors liquid cement (in the big clear bottle). I'm sure the Tamiya cement is very good also, but the Testors cement is probably more available across the country. Keep in mind all of these types of putties will shrink a bit, especially if applied too thickly. Also, they cure from the OUTSIDE IN. If you do build up a big area of putty, be sure the bottom layers are fully cured, and not just "dry" before applying more. How do I know this? Well, you should see the nose of my 1/48 F-11F Tiger I built in the 80's where I used 3M Acryl Blue for the majority of the nose extension. It was fine for about a year, and then it slowly "bent" to the right as one side of the putty cured faster than the other!

 

3) To help presereve your putty in the tube, put a couple of drops of liquid cement into the neck just before you seal it back up. Also, uncap it only long enough to use it (whether dipping from the tube or squeezing out a line). Air is the enemy, so keep it capped when not actually using it.

 

4) I've read great things about 2-part epoxy fillers like Aves, but they're harder to find, harder to work with (mixing), and almost always lead to a LOT of waste because you always mix way more than actually needed! I save those types of fillers for the BIG jobs where large area needs filling/reshaping/building up, and for areas where I want absolutely NO shrinkage.

 

5) The bottom line is whatever works-works! Try all of the suggestions above and experiment on your own. Order some stuff if it's not available near you. What one guy finds a breeze to use may be too much trouble for another. There is no ONE right filler! Hope this helps!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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I have bottle I have mixed with liquid cement and pieces of plastc melsted in to thin but not runny consistancey. It works great in small gaps. You have let it se for a few days to throughly dry. It bonds the pieces together as one piece. Also if you need to scribe over it, it doesn't chip like putty can. I have been doing this for over 30 years.

 

 

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2) All of the "automotive putties" are thinnable with good old Testors liquid cement (in the big clear bottle). I'm sure the Tamiya cement is very good also, but the Testors cement is probably more available across the country. Keep in mind all of these types of putties will shrink a bit, especially if applied too thickly. Also, they cure from the OUTSIDE IN. If you do build up a big area of putty, be sure the bottom layers are fully cured, and not just "dry" before applying more. How do I know this? Well, you should see the nose of my 1/48 F-11F Tiger I built in the 80's where I used 3M Acryl Blue for the majority of the nose extension. It was fine for about a year, and then it slowly "bent" to the right as one side of the putty cured faster than the other!

 

3) To help presereve your putty in the tube, put a couple of drops of liquid cement into the neck just before you seal it back up. Also, uncap it only long enough to use it (whether dipping from the tube or squeezing out a line). Air is the enemy, so keep it capped when not actually using it.

When you say cure what exactly do you mean? Are you saying that overtime putty will lose its strength and fall out?

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When you say cure what exactly do you mean? Are you saying that overtime putty will lose its strength and fall out?

 

The auto body-type putties contain solvents. The putty hardens when the solvent evaporates, this is called curing. The reason you want to keep the application thin is so that you won't trap a lot of solvents under a thick layer--the solvents will eventually evaporate, and if you have a thick layer of putty, you will develop what's called a sink--a depressed area in the final surface.

 

Rule of thumb--keep the applications under 1/32" thick. Let the putty dry overnight. Use the sniff test--if you sniff it and can still smell solvent, it hasn't fully cured. Build up thick areas gradually, or use some other type of filler that won't shrink as they cure, eliminating the sinks. Epoxy putty, CA (super glue) and microballoons (or baby powder), and scraps of sheet styrene all work well when you need to build up a lot of surface. Same goes for wide gaps--instead of using tons of putty, use some stretched sprue (take a runner from the kit, heat it over a candle, and pull the ends apart--you'll "pull" a thin thread of plastic) or sheet styrene to bridge the gap, or use one of the other non-shrinking fillers I mentioned above.

 

Something else I do is to give the glue joints a little squeeze a few seconds after I apply the cement--this will really only work if you use a liquid cement, because CA's dry too quick and tube glues are messy. The squeeze will push a little bead of plastic out of the seam, doing most of the filling in the process. Let dry overnight, sand, and you're usually good to go. You can glue the seams with CA, let the glue cure (which, for CA, means a minute or two), then use a little more on top as a filler. Be sure to sand CA as soon as you are able, because it gets harder over time. That's one reason, I'm sure, why Gil likes mixing the CA with baby powder--it sands a bit easier....

 

Ralph

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