IPMS General Robert L. Scott

"A Proud Member of IPMS/USA Region III"

8th AF Museum Modeling Seminars

Hey guys,

Well, I finally have time to tell you about the visit to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Ga. on the 16th Oct.  Bruce Radebaugh and I went down to an Advanced Model Building Seminar being held by three very top notch modelers:  Rafe Morrison, Dave Powell and Floyd Werner. All three have won at the IPMS National Conventions.

I got up Saturday morning at zero dark thirty, actually 5:00AM and drove to Bruce Radebaugh's house. Boy, its dark out there in the country; no street lights!  After missing it twice, I finally found Bruce's house. We loaded up Bruce's models and headed out.  After about an hour and a half, we stopped in Metter, Ga. for some breakfast. We got there just before a bunch of cheer leaders who were headed to Savannah for the Cheer Leader Competitions.

After breakfast, we got back on the road, arriving at the museum at 8:30AM.  After checking in, we unloaded our models (the museum had asked us to put on a display). Bruce put them out on the provided tables and the guys promptly got the seminar under way.

Dave Powell was up first. He talked about tools, putties and adhesives.

- Dave recommends Tamiya Extra Thin liquid glue.  He likes it because it's not as "hot" as the other liquid glues: TenaX-7R, Testors, Micro Mark, Pro Weld, and a few others.

- Some other glues/adhesives he recommends are: Gorilla Super Glue (it is more flexible than others) and watch crystal cement to attach canopies, antennas and seat belts. It can be cleaned up with alcohol.

- To remove sanding dust from crevasses before painting, he uses a bristle pin from Radio Shack called Pro Grade. It looks like a pen with retractable fine nylon bristles. It’s sort of like the old type writer erasers.

- For re-scribing lost panel lines, he likes to use a scriber he bought from Home Depot. It’s made for scribing soft metal.

- For forcing super glue to cure quickly, try Bob Smith Zip Kicker brand from Micro Mark, it seems to harden the super glue but not so hard that it can't be sanded. That's a problem with super glue, once it's hardened it is very difficult to sand without removing the surrounding detail. Another reason he likes Gorilla Super Glue, you can leave it a while before sanding.

- For removing photo etch parts, put a piece of tape on a hard cutting surface (a piece of glass), the will help keep the part from disappearing into the "Black Hole" that inhabits hobby rooms everywhere.

- Prime the photo-etch part before gluing. Again, use Gorilla Super Glue.

- If you use acrylic paints, try cleaning the surface of the model with Poly Scale Plastic Prep before painting. Use a micro fiber cloth....makes sure it is clean! Use a primer before applying the final color(s).

- To replicate weld seams on armor, scribe a line, and then fill the trench with a piece of stretched sprue using liquid glue.

- Some other useful tools: round sanding sticks with medium through extra fine grits can be found at Hobby Lobby. (?) I've never seen them.....

- To make sanding sticks: stick double sided foam tape on a flat stick, and then put wet/dry sand paper on the sticky side.

- To make soft sanding pads: stick wet/dry sand paper to both sides of the foam tape. It will bend to conform to curved surfaces.

- Try using a hot knife to remove large parts from the sprue trees.

- When painting a canopy: put on the interior color first, then black, then the exterior color. The black adds depth and prevents seeing through the top coat.

- To prevent that little sprue gate on canopies from shattering, cut the canopy off with a fine micro saw.  It can be found at Micro Mark. Put tape on the clear parts to prevent scratches.

- Also from Micro Mark: small saw blades that look like number eleven Xacto blades; they come in various size teeth.

- For filling ejector pin marks, get a punch set, punch out different sizes of plastic disks and glue with liquid glue; sand smooth as necessary.

- Use Gorilla glue, the regular construction glue, to glue clear parts on the inside of models with windows. It's flexible and will not harm the clear parts.

- After painting and before the next coats, burnish the surface with an old Tee shirt or micro fiber cloth.

Putties and gap fillers:

- Before applying gap filling putties, clean the surface with Windex.

Fine gaps can be filled with super glue and talc powder. Put some super glue and talc powder on a plastic lid, push some talc into the glue until it makes slurry. Transfer the slurry to the gap and push it into the gap with a tooth pick or piece of wood. Remove the excess; apply some accelerator/Zip Kicker and sand. *First, you might want to put down some masking tape to keep the super glue off surrounding areas. This mixture/slurry will also work to fill ejector pin marks and dimples or voids on the model’s surface.

- Other types of putty: 3M Acryl Blue can be found at Auto Parts stores. Try Plumbers Putty for really big gaps. It can be found at Home Depot, Lowes or Wal-Mart.

- Seam filling with Mr. Surfacer 500. Clean the surface before applying to the gap/seam with a brush. Work the Mr. Surfacer into the gap and let dry. It may take a couple of applications as Mr. Surfacer shrinks. Remove excess with a Q-tip dipped in Tamiya thinner.

- Lastly: Aves Apoxie Sculpt Putty (www.avesstudio.com). It is a two part putty used by figure sculptors. Mix equal parts A and B. The putty is soft and easy to work; keeping your fingers moist, work it into the gap with your fingers.  Excess can be removed with a Q-tip dipped in.... water! Allow to cure overnight. It comes in two plastic tubs. Store them in the fridge...makes it last longer. It does have a shelf life.

 Next up was Rafe Morrison.

- Rafe suggests using Dymo Embossing Tape for re-scribing panel lines. It can be moved a couple of times and is thick enough to keep your scriber from moving.

- He likes to put on a primer before painting: try Dupont Fill'N Sand 131S Acrylic Primer. Burnish it with 1000-1500 wet/dry sand paper. Be sure to clean the surface with Windex before painting.

- Rafe likes to use communion cups for paint mixing. They are cheap and being made of glass, can be cleaned easily.

- An airbrush cleaning kit can be found at Harbor Freight. Comes with everything you will need to clean your airbrushes.

- When transferring paint to your airbrush paint cup, use a large brush. Keep one for white paint and one for black and colors.

- When using acrylic paints, he cleans his brushes in Windex.

- For flat finished models, spray on a primer coat of flat black or flat gray in a diffused pattern, no need to be heavy handed. For a gloss finish, use gloss black or gray.

Apply the paint front to back on wings and up and down on the fuselage. Then fill in using a circular back and forth motion.

- Rafe doesn’t believe in pre-shading panel lines. To enhance panel lines, mix a very thin solution of brown or black and apply with a brush. Mix about ten to one paint and thinner. Use acrylic on solvent based paint and solvent on acrylic based paint. Before applying, make sure the paint is thoroughly cured! Remove the excess by blotting with a paper towel.

 Next up was Floyd Werner and NMF or Natural Metal Finishes.

- Before applying Alclad, spray a smooth coat of gloss black or dark gray, depending on the shade of aluminum you are trying to reproduce.

- Spray Alclad at about 5 to 10 PSI.  This will help keep the Alcald from drying before it hits the surface, prevent build up and airbrush “tip dry”.

- If you have used putty or super glue to fill gaps/seams, make sure to polish them smooth and apply a primer before applying Alclad or SNJ or other silver finish. If you don’t do this, the seams will show through. Floyd says a coat of future will also work, but the finish will not be as shinny or as deep.  This will look like slightly aged aluminum.

- As mentioned above, apply coats of gloss black or gray primer before applying the NMF/SNJ/silver paint.  Another reason to apply a base coat of gloss black or gray will prevent the swirls in the plastic from showing through.  Alclad primer works best, but others can be used.

- After applying Alclad/SNJ or other silver paint, spray on a coat of Alclad Clear Coat.  IF needed! Use only Alclad thinner with the clear coat.

- For a factory aluminum finish, use various shades of gray. For a very shinny finish, use gloss or semi black. To reduce the mono chromatic effect, pick out various panels (do the same panel on the opposite side of the model) and mask them off using blue painters tape.

- To reproduce various shades of aluminum: mix black, gray or dark blue into the Alclad and spray on different panels. Alclad also comes in different shades: titanium, steel, burnt aluminum, new aluminum, oxidized aluminum, magnesium, etc. Then after decaling, apply a coat of Alclad clear coat....If desired or needed.

That’s all I have from my notes. I hope this will help improve your models.

I am certainly going to use some of these suggestions/techniques.

 Jerry Hall

 

 

 

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