In most cases, when building a model car of any kind, you will probably have to do a little bodywork to achieve the look of divine immaculate perfection. Whether your bodywork may be filling a low spot, crevice or doing a totally unique and creative custom job, you will most likely have to use some sort of body filler putty…
Evercoat Glaze Coat polyester finishing putty is a professionally offered product that can be found at your local automotive paint supply shop. Yeah, this stuff is used on real lowriders. Don’t be silly, the sticker price is approximately $20 for a 30-ounce bottle and this polyester you can’t wear it to school. It usually comes with a free tube of hardener that you have to mix together. Depending on how much bodywork you plan on doing, it should last you a long time. Funny, but we’ve actually saw some models made almost entirely out of putty. And that’s sort of like a ’64 Chevy Impala lowrider cruising the boulevard all patched up with loads of Bondo and paint; worth a million, huh?
In general, follow the directions on the bottle’s label. This product can be used directly over a sanded or painted surface, or even over bare metal or plastic. If you want the best surface bond and better adhesion, always sand the area to be worked on with about 80– to 180-grit sandpaper. The sand paperboard is like using a disposable spreading board because it is easy to clean up and is appropriate for this type of work. You can also find these boards at most hobby shops and real body shop supply stores. The price is about $15 for 100 sheets, so doing some extra house and yardwork is not a bad way of earning the cashola. Clean up your room sometime.
Okay, back to the bodywork itself. Covering the basics, we will start with using a 1/18-scale metal die-cast body to show some examples. First, we begin by stripping the body completely of parts and paint. Paint stripping is not necessary, but we prefer to start fresh as a baby to avoid factory paint reactions. The big plan is to turn this ’55 Buick into a mild custom and to do that, we want to shave off some body trim and fill in some holes. However, the models that you worship with lots of holes in them actually means that they’re “holy.”
We started with the hood and ground off two body lines that went down the center and then filled in two holes that were for a hood ornament and emblems. Second was the body itself where we decided to leave the middle chrome molding and everything else was to be smoothed out. The trunk was also going to receive the same treatment.
We began by sanding the areas to be filled with 80-grit paper because it’s a hard metal body and it takes more to sand it. Next, you want to mix your putty with the hardener. Remember to read the bottle’s labeled instructions to do this, even if you have to use a magnifying glass because the wording is so small. Fill in only small areas at a time because the putty dries so quickly! You can use a small flat spreader but he usually just uses his fingertip so he can press into the area to be filled.
Once we have completed the filling and the putty is fairly dry, we began sanding where we earlier began using an 80-grit sanding stick. Always try to sand in one direction for a more even texture result. Do this only until you have removed the bulk of the putty and then go down to a fine-grind 180-grit paper to feather it in to the rest of the body. You may have to lay down some more putty if you didn’t get it all smooth the first time around.
When doing a plastic or resin models, the same thing applies except that you may not always need rough 80-grit to do this. Glaze coat putty is great for filling body lines like the doors. This putty is cool, finger-pliable and will not melt (by chemical reaction) your plastic, and also will not shrink or crack easily. In others words, take out the trash more because this stuff is worth the price.Once you’re done with all of your bodywork, you’re now ready for primer. We suggest a good filler primer with a light guide coat. Sand and prime at least two times to be sure that your project is smooth and flush. Also, memorize these words of advice five times fast: buddy, I can make my model cool and killer, not cruddy and fuddy-duddy, but maybe a little nutty.