Aurora Build-Sanding Tip

Taped down, masked and ready for sanding.

The styrene window plugs are installed and the remaining void fill with a good quality none shrinking glazing compound. I prefer using this glazing compound for its feathering qualities, quick drying time, easy sanding and light blue color. Darker colored putties and glazing are harder to cover with light colored paints. This forces one to use a primer to even and give surface color uniformity.

I start by taping the fuselage half down to the bench. I use masking tape as a second pair of hands, this also allows me to use both hands if needed. The model is not fighting me and I’m not fighting the model as I work. Keeping the model flush, flat and not twisting as I work helps prevent any chance of cracking.

Use a light touch, let the sanding device do the work.

When the window outlines become visible, increase grit.

Place some additional strips of masking tape along the area where the putty has been applied. This serves as protection to the surrounding surface while you sand down the glazing previously applied. I start with a course sanding stick. You can use sandpaper or even a file if that is all you have. I don’t push or apply a lot of pressure. I just want to take away the high spots at first. Then as I work down and the window open outlines become visible I switch to a finer grit sanding stick. Eventually we get down to where the tape can be removed and the area on and around the windows to blend the work done into the smooth fuselage.

Feel for any bumps or imperfections.

Visually inspect for scratches and gouges.

Medium sanding blocks from Alpha Precision Abrasives.

Fine sanding block from Alpha Precision Abrasives.

The last step of the sanding is actually using either a very fine sandpaper or polishing stick to polish up the surface to the smoothest possible. Be sure to use your fingers to feel the surface, if there are any high spots or noticeable bumps, work those areas again using the same steps as before working until you are satisfied. If upon close visual inspection you detect any small defects then you can use a surface primer with filling abilities such as Mr. Surfacer. Apply, let cure then sand and polish as before.

Smooth outside, inside cavities filled with styrene and glazing.

With this complete the surface of the fuselage is ready to accept paint or primer and paint as you deem necessary.

Why didn’t I use say CA as a filler? Its faster. Yes, it can be if you have the time to complete the task from start to finish. CA as it cures gets harder and harder as time passes. This means that the surfaces rapidly become dissimilar in hardness. Think of it this way…CA becomes like Iron whereas the plastic is like wood. I prefer to use as close of a match as possible for a filler. Styrene with a light application of a high grade glazing compound is my choice. Think of it this way…if those who restore priceless automobiles use it, why shouldn’t I.

Follow along, we’re not done yet!

Here is a video explaining what you just read! LOL

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