Monday, April 5, 2010

Puttyless Seam Line Removal: The Presanding Method

Seamline removal using the presanding method:

First, I aligned the armor parts to be joined. The arrows indicate the direction of sanding motion one should employ, simply sand parallel to the seams. In cases where the seam lines are multi-angled, the direction of the longer seam or along the length of the part should be followed. This is also a good example of a seamline along a curved surface.

Presanded with a 300-400 grit sandpaper, with the parts separated,
Then together, still uncemented. Although you can see a few gaps and uneveness still visible, the seamline has almost disappeared. Note that you have to brush off the dust before cementing.

The parts cemented together, applying a little pressure to induce the melted plastic to ooze out of the gap (Note: presanding actually minimizes the amount of ooze that comes out of the gap.  Too much of this ooze can actually damage the gap and the area surrounding it). Thick Cement has plastic additive, and that gives the bond strength when it combines with the melted plastic. Also, though I did all of this in a matter of 10-20 minutes (for the sake of demonstration), letting the cement cure for at least 30 minutes ensures for a better and stronger bond.

Light sanding is all that is needed to remove the excess, although in some cases, a little shaving with a slightly blunt knife may be required. The picture below shows the armor partially sanded smooth,

And this one, fully sanded. I usually finish with 600-800 grit, although having a 1000-1200 grit won't hurt either.

In some cases, even just pre-sanding (280/400/600 grit) can make seamlines disappear. These are the forearms of the HG Palace Athene.  You wouldn't even know the difference between which forearm was a snapfit, and which was already cemented and sanded smooth.

The forearms finally painted.

The PG Astray's Hilts

The Twin Buster Rifle of the HG Wing Honoo

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