login   |    register
Start Here (for Beginners)
This forum is for younger modelers or people just starting out in the hobby.
Hosted by Kevin Brant
Reading the Seams
drabslab
_VISITCOMMUNITY
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,149 posts
AeroScale: 1,581 posts
Posted: Monday, May 01, 2017 - 01:57 PM UTC
Hoi,

I am just bumping this,

Because soemone of my local hobby club asked, and because it is such an interesting topic

Joel_W
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 9,444 posts
AeroScale: 7,295 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 04:30 AM UTC
Kevin, glad that method worked. Going to be trying it myself in a day or two.
Joel
FinneganBojangles
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: May 01, 2013
KitMaker: 60 posts
AeroScale: 56 posts
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 03:08 PM UTC
As an update, I tried the "Supafiller" Rowan suggested, mixing talcum powder with CA glue. It works wonderfully well. It's quick drying and although I can still see the seam, it's completely smooth. The real test of course will be priming the model, but I'm confident at this point I won't have to touch it up.
FinneganBojangles
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: May 01, 2013
KitMaker: 60 posts
AeroScale: 56 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 11:55 AM UTC
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'll give it another go during my days off of work this week.
Joel_W
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 9,444 posts
AeroScale: 7,295 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 05:31 AM UTC
Kevin, I feel your pain. Small seam lines always are the hardest to deal with. Squadron Green or White putty just doesn't work very well in that situation. It's not that it doesn't fill the recess, it does, but wet sanding removes the top layer and some of the recessed layer, so that you have either the same indent, or it's slightly less, but you still have it.

I use 4 alternate solutions:

1- I thin Squadron Green stuff with Tamiya Xtra Thin glue till it's a very soft like paste. Then using a small flat dental or sculpting tool, I apply small dollops to the seam and really push it in. Let dry and repeat. Let dry and dry sand. Even when I polish that seam, I don't use wet paper, as I'm concerned that the water will dissolve some of the Green stuff.

2-Thick Super Glue. Again, I apply it in dollops, smooth. Let dry, then a 2nd coat. Let dry, and wet sand. Regular Super glue is usually too thin to fill anything but a scratch. Several coats are needed. Never tried the Talcum powder method, but it seams that it makes the Super Glue thicker as well. A option I will have to try myself.

3- As Jessica alluded to, you can always use stretched sprue or plastic rod to fill slightly deeper seams. I've used this method many times. Sand when dry, then a coat of my thinned green stuff to finish off the procedure.

4- I've also used Tamiya's regular Gray Primer straight from the bottle applied in a few heavy coats. Fills small seams and scratches as well.

Just take your time, repeat as necessary. All plastic joints that were joined with plastic cement will have some melting of the plastic. When you don't get it to bubble up, there is usually a concave seam left to deal with. Believe me I know. I'm an expert at getting that concave seam line.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: June 11, 2003
KitMaker: 17,166 posts
AeroScale: 12,620 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 11:48 AM UTC
Hi Kevin

My favourite filler for tasks like this is a trick I learned in the early days of Armorama - probably the best tip I've ever picked up! - "Supafiller" (a mix of superglue and talcum powder). Neat superglue works as a filler too, but the resulting joint is often harder than the surrounding plastic. The beauty of "Supafiller" is that it dries quickly, doesn't attack the plastic (but don't use it on clear parts - it'll fog them), doesn't shrink and is easy to sand - and, importantly, is about the same density as styrene.

Basically, pour a drop of superglue onto a palette and mix in some talcum powder until it has the consistency of toothpaste. I apply it with a toothpick and it sticks like the proverbial "poo to a blanket". You can quickly build it up in layers for major modifications.

All the best

Rowan
warreni
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Australia, Australia
Joined: August 14, 2007
KitMaker: 5,851 posts
AeroScale: 2,181 posts
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 07:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ok, I tried that last night, now the seams on the bottom of the fuselage are slightly less noticeable, but still visible enough to bother me. Should I try to use Mr. Surfacer to fill in the gaps?



Mr Surfacer will fill the gap very well. Or you could use Liquid Putty from the same company.. A bit finer..
Jessie_C
_VISITCOMMUNITY
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: September 03, 2009
KitMaker: 6,702 posts
AeroScale: 5,998 posts
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:59 AM UTC
Give it a shot and see what happens. You may need to resort to more aggressive fillers if it doesn't work. The trick with eliminating seams is being persistent.
FinneganBojangles
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: May 01, 2013
KitMaker: 60 posts
AeroScale: 56 posts
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:50 AM UTC
Ok, I tried that last night, now the seams on the bottom of the fuselage are slightly less noticeable, but still visible enough to bother me. Should I try to use Mr. Surfacer to fill in the gaps?
Jessie_C
_VISITCOMMUNITY
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: September 03, 2009
KitMaker: 6,702 posts
AeroScale: 5,998 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 02:42 PM UTC
Sometimes the plastic is just like that, regardless what you've done or not done. Try gluing a piece of stretched sprue along the seam line in the indentation and sanding it flush after it's dry.
FinneganBojangles
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: May 01, 2013
KitMaker: 60 posts
AeroScale: 56 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 01:38 PM UTC
I've run into a little problem on my La-7.

Here is what the seams look like before sanding:



Here's what they look like afterward:



There's still a noticeable indentation where the parts meet. It's a bit difficult to see in the picture, but I can feel it when I run my finger over it. Is there something I'm doing wrong? And what's the best way to fix this? Thank you!
warreni
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Australia, Australia
Joined: August 14, 2007
KitMaker: 5,851 posts
AeroScale: 2,181 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 11:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Actually Mr Surfacer is a heavy surface primer with filling properties.



Depends which grade you are using..
HawkeyeV
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Wisconsin, United States
Joined: September 20, 2006
KitMaker: 319 posts
AeroScale: 129 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 03:09 AM UTC
Actually Mr Surfacer is a heavy surface primer with filling properties.
warreni
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Australia, Australia
Joined: August 14, 2007
KitMaker: 5,851 posts
AeroScale: 2,181 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 05:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Watching with interest and I'll be trying out these techniques on my next build.
Just one question, what is Mr Surfacer? And do you sand it back after applying? I've never come across that product in any model shop here in the uk.



Yes Stephen you need to sand back the excess. It is basically liquid putty. Sometimes you can remove the excess using cotton buds soaked in methylated spirits or alcohol.

Cheers
Warren
phantom_phanatic309
#372
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: March 10, 2010
KitMaker: 2,164 posts
AeroScale: 1,358 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 09:41 AM UTC
Watching with interest and I'll be trying out these techniques on my next build.
Just one question, what is Mr Surfacer? And do you sand it back after applying? I've never come across that product in any model shop here in the uk.
warreni
_VISITCOMMUNITY
South Australia, Australia
Joined: August 14, 2007
KitMaker: 5,851 posts
AeroScale: 2,181 posts
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 - 08:06 AM UTC
I think I may have found the perfect putty. It is from a place called deluxe Materials and is called Perfect Plastic Putty. Water to clean up and dries very fast. All you do once it is dry is put some water on a cotton bud and rub gently. All you are left with is a filled seam. Brilliant!!
samkidd
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Alaska, United States
Joined: January 06, 2006
KitMaker: 525 posts
AeroScale: 4 posts
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 - 06:40 AM UTC
Followed a link to this thread from a post on Armorama. Absolutely fantastic work and great techniques that really come to life the way you explain them. I bookmarked this thread and will absolutely direct others here as well because there is something here for everyone, regardless of experience. Thank you so much for sharing!

Jim
Large Scale Armory
big_bert_uk
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: February 14, 2012
KitMaker: 15 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 09:26 AM UTC
love this thread, very informative and an essential read for any dedicated model maker, newie or veteran, great stuff
rochaped
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Lisboa, Portugal
Joined: August 27, 2010
KitMaker: 648 posts
AeroScale: 639 posts
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 12:21 AM UTC
Hey Gerald,

your thread proves that sharing knowledge improves everyone! I've read stuff here that even after 15 years modelling never crossed my mind, ears or eyes before.
Thanks for sharing and also to everyone that added further tips
Cheers
billbill
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 18, 2011
KitMaker: 55 posts
AeroScale: 6 posts
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 04:21 PM UTC
Gerald.
Bookmarked your site for future reference. Great information and photos
auger0_0
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: January 12, 2011
KitMaker: 53 posts
AeroScale: 50 posts
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 06:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If you have a few minutes take a little side junket over to my blog to check out how I do flush mounted nav lights. This too is a key to having a clean seamless finish.

http://hawkeyeshobbies.com/squawkbox/?p=77



Since it is a very cold and windy weekend, I may have time to add another
chapter to 'Reading the Seams thread.



Deadlink in this update, and thanks for a great article

HawkeyeV
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Wisconsin, United States
Joined: September 20, 2006
KitMaker: 319 posts
AeroScale: 129 posts
Posted: Thursday, March 04, 2010 - 02:10 AM UTC
Like welding, you match the two pieces to be bonded together, then apply the rod to the two to melt them into one. Fit the pieces together, then using the liquid cement of your choice apply it along the seam. The solvent will wick along and into the seam. A little pressure to the compress the two pieces together will create the bond as each melts slightly forming the weld.

Typically liquid solvents evaporate fast, so by the time you apply it to the separate pieces then try to put them together the "Heat" is gone and no solid or lasting bond is created.

I think the Tamiya product is your better option.
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 5,978 posts
AeroScale: 3,474 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 10:32 AM UTC
G'day Gerald, just wanted to say that I must have read this thread 20 times from start to finish and every time I get another little gem technique. Probably the most useful and informative single thread I've found yet. Also thanks to all of the other contributors here, you guys all ROCK.

Cheers, D
HawkeyeV
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Wisconsin, United States
Joined: September 20, 2006
KitMaker: 319 posts
AeroScale: 129 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 05:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

This is very informative. I have a couple of questions though.

1. When do you use the putty vs sprue? Just depends on the gap?

That is a judgement call. Which ever is going to provide the best results. If the area is structural in nature or subject to any loads, then sprue is my first choice. If it is very small and cosmetic only then glazing putty.

2. Do you only use the Mr. Surfacer to touch up the seams once you've used the sprue/putty to fill in a gap?



Mr Surfacer serves both as a fine filler and a method to check the seam before painting. It also helps to color neutralize the area. That is to say if you use a dark colored filler it helps cancel the stark contrast between the surrounding plastic and the filler. The decision to use Mr Surfacer again is one of experience at Reading The Seam. Over time you'll know if you need it or not. But in the meantime the attage: When in doubt...use some Mr Surfacer.

If you have questions you can also contact me via email, my addy is in my profile. Be sure to sign up for my blog feeds http://hawkeyes-squawkbox.com/