Saturday, 1 June 2013

1/100 Tamiya IL-28 Beagle - Part 3, Mr. Surfacer

Smoothing seams is a bit of a speed bump in my progress with my Beagle. I suppose this part of the construction can take as little or as much time as you decide to dedicate to it...

I decided to give a new product a go - Mr. Surfacer. I had heard a lot about this liquid filler and it's ability to fill in small blemishes and seams. It's a self levelling sludge (the only way I can describe it) which flows into bumps and cracks and settles there. Once dry you can sand it smooth.

First of all I filled down the worst of the overlapping seams with a needle file, then smoothed away the file marks with some very fine glass paper. And then I carefully painted on Mr. Surfacer in a smooth line up the seams (see photo of fuselage) before leaving it to settle and dry.

Once the filler had dried I checked to see if it had settled down into the blemish in which case I gave it a second coat of Mr. Surfacer and again waited for it to dry.

Finally I started to carefully file and then sand the new seam until I felt the join was smooth enough (see photo and the engine nacelles). I used the fingernail technique to tell me when the joins were 'seamless' by dragging my nail over the join - if it caught on an uneven seam then I continued to sand it.

Seams sanded I try out fitting the wings and discover that there will be more
work ahead of me. But the central seam does look a bit better as does the
joins on the engine nacelles.
Now, you may very well find that in smoothing away the areas around a join that you also sand off some of the detail - like the panel lines. There's nothing you can do about that, you will just have to try and use a scribe or sharp point to draw back on these details. Raised detail is another matter, for example there is a hatch on the nose which had a raised seam all the way around it which my sanding rubbed out a little...I'm still thinking about how I will correct this.

Anyway, you get the idea. 

Mr. Surfacer - as opposed to my usual Milliput filling - is an interesting and useful material. Before I started using it I used to fill with Milliput and then use a wet brush to smooth down the filler, BUT Mr. Surfacer is self-levelling, more or less smoothing itself out. But, as usual with these specialist modelling materials, it is not the miracle stuff that some people make it out to be on some of the forums. It will not miraculously make defects in the model's surface disappear...That is all down to how much hard and careful work you do with elbow grease!

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Stephen. Never heard of this stuff before myself.

    Its true about the sanding aspects, but this looks worth a crack all the same.