Dealing with Gaps

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by Mike G., Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Mike G.

    Mike G. New Member

    Oct 28, 2006
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    I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and wish all a very Happy New Year. Now that I have successfully completed a handful of models I want to start refining my techniques. That requires some help from the experts out there and while I have a number of questions, I'll post them one at a time so as not to make everyone nuts with my inexperience. My first question is what is the best way to handle gaps that may exist between parts? Is there a way to fill them and, if so, how? As always, I appreciate the assistance.

  2. Texman

    Texman Guest

    Morning Mike,

    Looking at your question, how the gap is handled depends on where it is at.
    For instance, if the gap is between the outer skin parts, you can find some excess paper that is the same color and cut it to shape and carefully fill it in.
    This will work for most gaps you may encounter.

    If the gap is around something like the seat, or some other subassembly to a main part, you can carefully trim it.

    And finally, one of my techniques, is to use some pastel chalk powders mixed into your glue until it is the approximate color you need, then use it like a filler putty. This works real well for me, as I build in very small scale and the color variations are not as noticable as they would be on a large scale kit.

    Hope this helps ya a little

  3. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    Feb 10, 2004
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    Well the obvious is to not end up with a gap but I can assure you that it happens to even the best of us. I know of only one exception to this and its JO Sutton I have never seen any of his models with a gap.

    I use water colors to color edges and I have tried to color glue with water colors and use it as gap filler. Because the glues are water based there are issues with warping and such. The glue will also ruin a good brush. What I have had good success with is to color Acrylic Gesso with water colors and use it as filler. You can see an example of this in my gallery photo of my Flak 38 . The gun barrel and the the gun site have the seams filled with this method.

    Larger gaps can be filled with narrow strips of paper and colored with water colors. Some comments on watercolors and Gesso. Use the good stuff a 12 color selection of paste water colors can be purchased on sale for $8 to $12 and will last for several models. Get the best brushes you can find. If you are not used to mixing colors to get the shade you want get a color wheel and learn how to use it. When mixing colors do it in sun light or use a light that produces true colors. You can purchase a florescent light at an aquarium shop that is in the 8000 K range and this is very good light for model building. The major reason colors don’t match on a finished model is that they were painted under a “normal” light and when displayed in a well lit room the colors are a little off.

    Gesso is white and has the consistency of glue but it dries clear and will take colors well you will also need some order less paint thinner to clean up your paint brushes.

    The last technique is to mount the part in such a way that the seem is hidden. This will hide a bad seem better then any patching you can do.

    Jim Nunn