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  • Plastic Body Filler

    Have built a couple of 1/32 scale Plastic static models for my track pit area . However some of the kits require some body work. Small window openings @ body seams etc. I have the body filler in a tube from Testers, but is this the only brand available. I find it won't flow or fill properly even if I apply it in layers. And it appears to shrink. Do you folks use this product or is there something else out there.

  • #2
    I use Bondo Professional Glazing and Spot putty. Cost about $5.00 at Wally World. It's the one that has a cream hardener with it. Any putty that you just squeeze from the tube will shrink besides having to wait for it to dry. A 2 part putty has a chemical reaction and cures. The Bondo Pro will kick in 5 minutes and can sand in 10 minutes without shrinking. I put a small dollop about 1/4 inch in diameter on a piece of masking tape and then just stick a tooth pick in the opening of the hardener tube and what sticks to the tooth pick is plenty to set the putty. A little less hardener and more working time, More hardener and faster set. Evercoat makes a similar product but used to cost more. Haven't used Evercoat in a while but I remember it being a touch smoother than the Bondo. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      For pure cosmetics, the modeling body putty out there is workable.


      On a slot car, where durability is important, I drop shaved styrene (even junk from old slot car bodies) into liquid styrene cement and let it dissolve.


      It forms a thick styrene 'paste;' the more styrene the thicker it is.


      It can take several days to truly set up. But it's worth it.

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      • #4
        For large holes, gaps, cracks I use auto body filler but for smaller fills I like Tamiya basic putty. This is the orange cap tube and the actual putty is grey, cures quite quickly too.

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        • #5
          Years ago the Testors putty worked OK, however several tubes that I bought in the past few years had become separated into liquid and solid layers and was useless, even if I mixed the layers together. I bought samples from both Hobby Lobby and from a local hobby shop. Probably both tubes had been laying around for years and the product probably has been reformulated since I used it in the '60s and '70s. I also have used automotive spot putty, but I have not been able to find any lately that did not require a separate hardener. I just bought some JB Weld to use as putty.
          Last edited by RichD; 09-19-2016, 11:32 AM.

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          • #6
            Apples and Oranges

            Hey guys, I moved over from the H0 forum, because I spent most the last ten years lurking over here anyway. I borrow from the larger scale gurus and adapt what I can to my H0 scratch builds. I've also restored Aurora bodies by the hundreds. You can take the boy out of the body shop, but not the body shop out of the boy.

            I cant recommend styrene as filler by definition, unless you are actually working in styrene. It's far too slow and tedious for people who hate to do body work in the first place.... but I'm one of those weirdos who enjoys it

            Choosing a filler all depends on what you're up against with respect the intended application. With regard to finish work, my observation is that folks always get into trouble when we divert from what is already known. I call it the "arbitrarily deciding to use wood dough because you happen to have some on the shelf, so you think it's a good idea plan".

            As fillers go, I just try to match what I'm working with. Resin for resin projects. Styrene for styrene projects. So for resin, I like catalyzed fillers like bondo, feather coat, or even some epoxys. I'm not keen on the modeling specific fillers simply because of the shelf life scenario where they get doughy or deconstitute in the container.

            If you have a glob of bondo on a styrene project, your tooling, be it a gouge/scraper file or sanding block; will tend to kite, skip over the harder filler. It's pain in the neck. Conversely if one was to try to knock a wad of styrene filler on a catalyzed resin project, your tooling tends to plow, dive, and drag. You can actually feel your tooling accelerate or decelerate over over a filler that isnt matched to the application. We're actually looking to control smooth deliberate strokes, which cut evenly and predictably across the transition between the parent and the donor material.


            I do a lot of styrene restoration work. My resto work requires that the end result is a color matched, color sanded, buffed, factory finish. If you cant see where I was, then I failed. Syrene is a very versatile medium, unfortunately the learning curve is almost vertical . The other down sides are that the actual working time is quite short due to it's fast flash rate. Accepting that shrinkage and subsequent re-coat is part of the process. The cure times must be adhered to. To avoid inclusions and backtracking cleanliness is a mandate not an option.




            Rather than tossing parted out culls, I began rendering them into a sticky spice rack of the original factory color palette.



            The nifty part of "goop" is that you can adjust the viscosity on the fly to suit the application; from a thick heavy filler "bondo", to flowable intermediate consistencies "glazing", to liquid washes "primer", as well as a sprayable form.








            Color sanded and buffed.






            You can also spray styrene. This roadster project was fabricated in the model's original factory "bright olive" color, and then over sprayed using "standard green", also a factory color.





            Sometimes things go awry and efforts to color match the filler fall short. In this case all the fills and repairs left enough tells to fail muster. The shiny overspray shown here actually needs to rubbed back to approximate the factory finish.





            This pair suffered from the dreaded shrink divot/crack at the front screw post. After filling the repair, the area is color blended, sanded and buffed.


            Ulitmately, I say use whatever filler works for you, when I find myself on the gaurd rail, hanging upside down and on fire, I always go back to fundamentals, because the answer is usually always there.
            Last edited by model murdering; 09-19-2016, 10:27 AM.

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            • #7
              Two of my favorites have already been mentioned. Bondo spot glazing putty and Tamiya. As Super Dave said, you can get it at Wal-mart, it's not two part, comes in a large tube for $5... by far the best value. When I've got something that is really intricate... I break out the Tamiya. But to be honest, I often can't tell a difference but it depends on what you're working on and how delicate it is.

              You want a putty to be similar in hardness as the material you're working on. If it's too hard, you can sand away material around the putty too easily & the bondo doesn't work well with balsa wood for that reason. But for styrene, I've found Tamiya and the Bondo to be preferable.

              By the way, for 3D printed plastics, I prefer the Bondo.

              Squadron makes a modeling putty & I tried it once and prefered the Bondo.

              I know some guys who swear by milli-put (sp?) but I've never tried it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Robert View Post
                Have built a couple of 1/32 scale Plastic static models for my track pit area . However some of the kits require some body work. Small window openings @ body seams etc. I have the body filler in a tube from Testers, but is this the only brand available. I find it won't flow or fill properly even if I apply it in layers. And it appears to shrink. Do you folks use this product or is there something else out there.
                Gotcha Robert.

                I detest trying to use those cookie dough consistency fillers. You need to be able to contol the horizontal and the vertical!




                Here's a short bit on how to make the base styrene filler. It's just plastic chips cut with 3502 roughly 50/50 by volume. It's all about what you do after you make the base thats important. You can make it do whatever you want, within reason. You'll be able to float the material easily using surface tension.






                Heres an excerpt from a series of videos I did a few years ago. As H0 is my chosen scale, I use a 00 or 000 artists brush for pinpoint accuracy. You'll have to gauge the brush for the job. The base styrene is about the consistency of mayonnaise, that would be the goop in red jar.

                The thinner, Testors 3502 is added into the lid of the red jar containing some of the red base material. It allows you to control the viscosity and get it down into the range that you require, instead of trying to perfect detailed areas using a broom and drywall mud.

                It will shrink and require a follow up, maybe two. It depends. I also do multi viscosity applications where a higher solids application goes down first, and a thinner application is applied over the top to blend it down and feather the edges out.
                Last edited by model murdering; 09-19-2016, 09:37 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DRW-FJ40 View Post
                  Two of my favorites have already been mentioned. Bondo spot glazing putty and Tamiya. As Super Dave said, you can get it at Wal-mart, it's not two part, comes in a large tube for $5... by far the best value. When I've got something that is really intricate... I break out the Tamiya. But to be honest, I often can't tell a difference but it depends on what you're working on and how delicate it is.

                  You want a putty to be similar in hardness as the material you're working on. If it's too hard, you can sand away material around the putty too easily & the bondo doesn't work well with balsa wood for that reason. But for styrene, I've found Tamiya and the Bondo to be preferable.

                  By the way, for 3D printed plastics, I prefer the Bondo.

                  Squadron makes a modeling putty & I tried it once and prefered the Bondo.

                  I know some guys who swear by milli-put (sp?) but I've never tried it.
                  Actually, the Bondo putty I was referring to and recommending is the 2 part with hardener.

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