Hey guys, I've been searching this newsgroup and some sites but I can't seem to find answers to a few nagging questions - I hope someone can help....
1) Handling parts - What type of gloves do you guys use? I bought some disposable vinyl gloves that seemed to work well, but now I've discovered that they stick to enamel gloss paint (I had let it dry for 24 hours...) leaving little particles/dust in the paint. Do those finger cots work well?
2) Seam Lines - I know this has been discussed but I'm confused as to the ultimate result of trying to sand/fill seam lines. For example the two halves of an engine block on a Revell car kit... you can tell when you put the pieces together that there is an obvious demarcation point between the two halves. Is the purpose to completely erase this point so the pieces look like one piece? If so how do you do this? I don't see how putty can get inside such a hairline split.
disposable vinyl gloves that seemed to work well, but now I've discovered that they stick to enamel gloss paint (I had let it dry for 24 hours...) leaving little particles/dust in the paint. Do those finger cots work well?>>
Personally, I don't wear gloves, I just wash my hands well before I touch anything, then again just before I do paint prep. Not sure which 'vinyl' gloves you're referring to, but you could try powder free latex surgical gloves instead. Many people also use lint-free cotton gloves. The cotton and latex gloves are both available at Wally World and other like stores.
ultimate result of trying to sand/fill seam lines.... you can tell when you put the pieces together that there is an obvious demarcation point between the two halves. Is the purpose to completely erase this point so the pieces look like one piece? If so how do you do this? I don't see how putty can get inside such a hairline split.>>
Yes, that is the idea. The point of filling seams is to close gaps, eliminate demarcation lines and to make the surfaces level relative to one another. First however, you don't want to get into the mindset that each and every seam needs to be filled--some seams are actually supposed to be there; case in point, the lower rear fuselage on a Bf109 has a real seam that people fill and sand only to discover it's supposed to be visible. In your example on engine blocks--real engine blocks are typically a single piece, so there wouldn't really be a visible parting line. Wing roots on aircraft drive me nuts because some are visible, some aren't--I have to do the research to figure it out. Sometimes it's more of a PITA than it's worth. Second, you don't have to actually putty every seam you need to clean up. In the gluing process, the plastic melts and sometimes does a fine job of filling the seam for you. All you need do is let it dry and sand it. Then there are gap-filling super glues that you let dry, a quick sand and you're done. If you actually do have to fill a seam, don't get crazy with the putty on the first try. If you apply it too thickly, it will usually just dry and crack, then you get to sand it all off and start over. Put on a very thin layer, sand it a bit and see where you stand. If it needs more add another thin layer. Use coarse grit sanding tools to just knock down the high spots and start gong finer until it 's smooth and level. Then you can spray on a thin layer of a contrasting color paint, give it a quick sand with fine grit and any low spots will show up, in which case you need to fill and sand a bit more. It can be a simple or tedious process depending on how critical it is to make a particular seam go away.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
1) I hardly ever wear gloves to handle plastic, a tad cumbersome. As to handling the model while, or after painting I'll prop the model on something 'till it dries.
2) When gluing parts that in the real thing are one piece, to use your example, an engine block. Some have a separate oil pan, some times chromed. That's good, it is one whole part. Yet, some have the block oil pan in two halves. You know the oil pan is one piece and the block ditto, thus, you want to make it seem like one piece so you sand and if necessary putty or use super glue to fill the gap, sand, polish and voila ! It looks like the real thing !
Like the other answer you got, I don't wear gloves either, just wash my hands well to remove the oil on my hands before building or painting.
Dry fit the parts to see what gets covered up with another part, why waste time getting it really nice if you're ever going to see it? Regular modeling cement works real well in softening the plastic and welding the seam together, then you can sand the seam down. Now, due to the casting process, there is a seam on an automatic transmission but it is usually ground off and the resulting finish is about an inch wide flat or dished in area where the casting seam was. Most car builders though will grind any and all rough areas out of transmissions and engine blocks in the quest for the perfect show vehicle.
So actually its up to you on how far you want to take it, how accurate you need to be.
I can't say about planes or other genre as that's not my cup o' tea
Another option for those "hairline splits" is to use Mr. Surfacer 500 or
1000. It's like a thick paint, so it can flow into & fill those crevices. Apply it with a paintbrush or toothpick, cleanup with lacquer thinner. When it's dry, wet-sand it smooth. The 1000 can also be thinned with lacquer thinner for airbrushing, and makes a good primer.
If you can't find Mr. Surfacer, try a "filling primer" or "sandable primer", which you can find at most hardware and automotive shops. A light coat will fill any hairline cracks, prime the surface for painting, and can be wet-sanded if necessary.