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Lightweight Body Filler

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  • Member since
    March 2020
Lightweight Body Filler
Posted by Bridgebuster490 on Friday, March 13, 2020 8:14 PM

Well, I'm almost a newbie; been out of building for about 12 years and have just started back. During that time I'm sure some of the "go to" products have changed. I'm looking for some lightweight body filler, nothing heavy like clay, to be used very sparingly to smooth out body contours. I want something sandable that will setup overnight. I'd appreciate the benefit of your experience in finding such a product. What is it and where can it be had? Thanks!!

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, March 16, 2020 10:01 AM

There are lots of great putties out there that I have not yet tried, so my input should be considered accordingly. I don't do much major body work, just filling seams, joints, and scriber slips, etc.

For open gaps, uneven panel alignment, or other course filling, I use Bondo glazing putty from a 1:1 auto parts store. It's a lacquer based putty that dries fast. It is imperitive that it be applied thinly, as heavy application will distort/warp plastic. Also, being solvent based, it shrinks when drying, and the thicker it is applied, the worst this will be.

For small repairs such as panel scriber slips, scratches, chips, and other small imperfections, I use Gunze Sangyo Mr Surfacer 1000. It is a thick, primer like filler that dries quickly. It is also lacquer based, so will incur shrinkage. I also use this stuff on top of any filler work I've done with the glazing putty. The Mr Surfacer feathers out really well, better than the bondo.

There are many hobby specific putties. Squadron putties are used by some builders, and Tamiya putty is perhaps the most popular of the hobby putties. I haven't used them in recent decades, so can't comment personally, except say that they are all solvent based, so some degree of shrinkage will occur.

Many of the top builders use two part catalizing putties, such as made by Evercoat and others for 1:1 car repair. I have not tried them, but this is the way to go for serious putty work. They are a little more involved to use, as mixing with a hardener component is required, but the up side is, no shrinkage.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    January 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Monday, March 16, 2020 1:45 PM

I have used Bondo brand filler in the small cans available at Auto Zone and the like but I find that Euro Soft by Evercoat to be of the finest consistency. Both are cured with hardener which is mixed in prior to application. Too much hardener will affect adhesion to styrene. Also, it likes surfaces to be scuffed with 180 grit or 220 grit for good adhesion. Both dry-sand very easily and cure in a few hours but I like to wait overnight for best results. The Euro Soft is available at auto body supply stores or on line. It's a little pricey but it keeps for a long time if you keep the container tightly closed. I prefer the catalyzed fillers to the lacquer-based "red putty" since it doesn't shrink over time and does not soften under lacquer primer and topcoats. (I found the same to be true years ago in the 1:1 auto body field.) Each of us has our own preferred material based on our own experience but if you're looking to shorten the curve, try the Euro Soft if you have an auto body supply store in your area. 

chucky

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Thursday, March 19, 2020 7:42 AM

One filler I use that has not been mentioned is acrylic nail filler.  A complete kit can be  found in the cosmetics section of most big box xtores.  It takes a bit of a learning curve to use.  This stuff dries rather quickly, can be sanded in a couple hours or less.  Bonds well to styrene and with practice can be used to build up areas for custom work.  It does have a strong odor, so good ventilation is required.  Does not sand very easily, but the finished results are extremely smooth.  Doesn't react to laquer paints, but will swell if placed in a dehydrator.  May be worth your attention.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

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