Insider 12-23-2010

In my last blog I showed you how different materials are used in models, my current project is no different (although I can’t show you it just yet!).

Sometimes using putty rolled out into flat sheets is more versatile than plastic so I thought I’d show you how I make flat sheets of putty.

There are many types to choose from, you’ll want one that cures very hard, is not flexible and can be sanded and carved easily.
Start with a form made from scrap card, gluing a “runner” on each side, as in picture 1. The thickness of the runner determines the thickness of the sheet. The form can be made as wide as you need.

After mixing up the putty, dust talc on the form to keep the putty from sticking.

Flatten out the putt making sure it reaches the sides as in picture 2.

You can use any cylindrical object, but you’ll want to dust it with talc to keep the putty from sticking to it as you roll it flat.
Go slow, since the putty will start bunching up in front of the roller, making several passes (picture 3).

After the putty cures, you will have a nice flat sheet of putty that can be carved, sanded and drilled easily.

When curing, don’t put it too close to a heat source, this causes small air bubbles to form on the surface.

Try lifting the sheet out of the form before it has cured and drape it over soda cans or other objects to make curved shapes.

Texturing the putty using the knurled end of a tool, as in picture 5, makes good tread plates. You can use almost anything for textures.

Hopefully this has inspired you to try some of these techniques in your own modeling projects!