Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Resin Kit Building 101: Part 4 - Filling Seams and Imperfections

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

I'm writing this short mini-series of articles to help assist me with some resin kit reviews I'm doing.  I figured that instead of boring my more experienced builders with material that they already know, or repeating the same helpful hints in article after article, it would be far easier to just reference these smaller articles like footnotes in any reviews that require some extra advice.

And so, we come to my fourth article and this one covers filler material.

At the end of my reviews, I have a small disclaimer section and one of the things that is said there is this; "due to the nature of resin casting, not every kit is going to be the same.  Excess resin and air pockets are a part of the game when you get into this sort of model building.  The kit that I got and built may be slightly different than your kit as far as minor quality issues."

There is a reason I say this.  Resin pouring is not an exact science.  Some of the garage kit makers have very expensive equipment to produce higher quality kits than others, however, you will eventually run into minor flaws in you model kits.

This sort of thing is to be expected when you delve into this kind of  model building so you should always be prepared to deal with these minor flaws.

Actually, small defects and bad seam lines can also be expected with your over the counter styrene model kits as well so this advice should work for types of models as well.

Although this is not the recommended method, I have on occasion used your standard model cement for very minor seam or air bubble fill jobs.  I found it especially nice at filling gaps on parts that have been super glued on.  Just be sure to use an applicator tip to cut back on the amount of glue applied.  I like this method for the minor repairs because the styrene glue hardens much quicker than the other method I'm going to talk about.


Most of your fill jobs however will be of larger air pockets or seams along the hull.  For this, it was recommended to me by a majority of the wonderful people over at the Star Trek Modelers Group on Facebook, that I use Apoxie Sculpt.

Normally, I don't like to sales pitch, but I purchased this stuff off of Amazon through THIS LINK and have not regretted it since.

The price is super reasonable and the amount you get will last you quite a while.  To use the stuff, you simply mix a little of the white stuff with an equal amount of the black stuff.  Mix it together thoroughly.  It is a little sticky at first so I let it sit for about 5 minutes so that it starts to solidify a tiny bit.

Once it is firm enough to work with, simply fill in the desired area.  You can use whatever flat edge you wish to smooth it out.  The stuff takes a minimum of 12 hours to harden, although they tell you to give it 24 hours.  At this point, you can shave it with an exacto knife, sand it, and even paint it.

Because it is a sculpting putty, it is also good for manufacturing your own parts, or filling in large sections of your model.  Once it firms a bit, you can carve it and shape it in to whatever you need.

This is the new command module for my upgraded Declaration Class starship.


And here, you can see a more ambitious use of the putty to successfully merge two lower halves of different engineering hulls together to create a whole new hull configuration for my Vogon Class construction ship.

And there you go, filling seams and defects, as well as manufacturing your own parts can actually be a bit of an easy thing with the right materials.

I hope you found this article as useful and informative as I did while writing it.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"

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