I hate kits.
I have some flat spots on the turtle deck of the Nobler, in the
"precision formed" balsa top deck attached to the "precision die cut"
What's your favorite putty? The thing's going to use up the last of my
Econocoat, which is a low-temperature (and cheap!) version of Monocoat
that TopFlight used to sell. I want something that'll stick to balsa,
isn't too heavy, and is easy to sand. Compatibility with both iron-on
and silkspan is a plus, in case I get all nostalgic and cover it the old
On Tue, 08 Sep 2009 11:36:50 -0500, Tim Wescott wrote in
Some are more satisfying than others. ;o)
I would go with Bondo.
It sets up quick and sands beautifully.
It's probably heavy. But unless you're planning
to fill huge deep gouges, you shouldn't notice
If you have huge deep gouges, cut off the whole
turtle deck and make your own from scratch, using
the techniques that you like best. That'll teach
those kit makers!
At the other end of the spectrum is some featherweight
spackle. I don't know the name of it. One container
lasted me for years and years. I found it in the
hardware store and imagine I could find it again--or
something like it. I used it on small dings and
nicks, not for great big patches that would take a
lot of filler and a lot of sanding to blend the
patch into the pre-existing lines of the wood work.
You can tell you've found the featherweight spackle
by lifting up the container. It feels empty when
you buy it.
I've also used a lot of Plastic Wood. The new
water-based stuff is pretty nice. It would fall
between the Bondo and the spackle.
Let us know what you decide to do and tell us how it
Those may be the best options. I like Micro balloons, you can mix them with
Ambroid and be light and easy to sand, or polyester fiberglass resin and be
heavy and hard as a rock to sand, it won't mix with wood glue in my
experience. I bought micro balloons from Sig in the 70s and still use the
same jar. I had some of the ready mixed filler Tower sells and it worked
well when it was wet, dried out(ok, it lasted years)
On Tue, 8 Sep 2009 14:49:08 -0500, "MJKolodziej"
I've had a jar for 10 years or so.
I haven't tried mixing with Ambroid (I don't have any Ambroid).
I've never had any luck sanding epoxy plus Microballoons. Maybe
I got the ratio wrong.
I've used Microballoons plus CA to fill some voids in the
gel coat on an ARF glider (GP Spirit). If you stand back
10 or 15 feet and squint, it doesn't look too hideous.
I kept adding water to my plastic wood and featherweight
They lasted years, too, but finally gave up the ghost.
You can mix 'em with Ambroid?!? Why didn't I think of that. I'm trying
it right now.
What ratio of micro balloons to Ambroid do you use? Do you 'prime' the
surface with Ambroid to help things stick, or do you just slather the
putty on to the surface?
(Ambroid is my favorite balsa-to-balsa glue, usually. Partially because
I've become sensitive to CA, but mostly because it keeps me going at a
gentle rhythm, which in turn means that when I'm about to outsmart myself
I often realize it before it's too late. With CA and me it's often
'slam, bam, zzzt -- oh dang, where's the knife to cut this out'.
The higher the micro balloons ratio the easier it is to sand.
I've been thinking, how nice do you want to make this Nobler? I guess if
you tamed this beast of a kit and made it look nice it would heal some of
that frustration it gave you.......
I don't want to jinx ya but my best work usually gets planted to try and
grow a balsa tree.
That is why I moved to Home Depot bought wood glues 17 years ago. Titebond
II and III work as good as CA but just are not as fast. III sands better,
they are less expensive, and the most important thing of all in my
environment they last a while and the hobby shop can't ruin them by stocking
too much old stock.
One warning about TiteBond that I will pass on, sort of second hand. A
friend told me he heard this from the guys that used to run Pica and I have
seen some evidence that very strongly suggests it is true. Opened Titebond
will develop a fungus in about 6 months. That fungus makes it rapidly
unusable and there is some evidence that it makes a weaker bond. I have had
a bottle turn to glop in about 9 months or a year, so I suspect the basic
information was valid. Now I date it when I open in and pitch it at 6
months with no regrets. Glue is cheap.