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Just picked up one of these. The detail that got 'added in' after the smoothie version doesn't seem to be as bad as I recall. In fact... it looks pretty nice. Is my memory going or have they cleaned this mold up?

Nice kit in general. The box art is nice, the new decal sheet is spectacular. I really like the new big base with the metal rod.

Heckuva kit for only thirty two bucks.


 

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In the past I have seen people troweling on lots of putty to smooth over the incorrect panels, that is not necessary. Simply start with 200 to 400 grit sandpaper and sand away the panel details, leaving them just barely visible. Then, using 600 to 1000 grit wet sanding paper, remove the last traces of the incorrect details and bring back the smooth look of the original 1979 "smoothie" kit!
 

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In the past I have seen people troweling on lots of putty to smooth over the incorrect panels, that is not necessary. Simply start with 200 to 400 grit sandpaper and sand away the panel details, leaving them just barely visible. Then, using 600 to 1000 grit wet sanding paper, remove the last traces of the incorrect details and bring back the smooth look of the original 1979 "smoothie" kit!

You say 'simply,' but that's a LOT of sanding. Oh,my aching injured shoulder! :lol:
 

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You say 'simply,' but that's a LOT of sanding. Oh,my aching injured shoulder! :lol:

John P, I totally sympathize... that being said, I must agree with krlee, if you've got the gumption, the tiling can be sanded away, I am using a 1/537 Enterprise saucer in my 1/537 Reliant build (old project) where I used putty to smooth out the lower hull, and completely sanded off the tiling on the upper hull. Looks great but it was a lot of scrubbing, so it's not for the faint of heart. I suppose it all depends on how desperate you are to get that smooth look, if you're trying to build the whole kit, that's a heck of a lot more sanding than just the saucer, and what happens if you accidentally sand away some detail, or round off an edge that is supposed to be sharp? Challenges abound... even if you decide to use putty to fill, you're still going to end up sanding, but perhaps not as much... I have an original smoothie and paid the extra few dollars for it just so I wouldn't have to do that much sanding, but I have another tiled one that I plan on bashing into some type of dreadnought or something like that in the future, and even then, I plan on using 1/537 Reliant engines for that, so I won't have to deal with the tiling on them, at least.



*Edit: I did not use the upper saucer from Enterprise, only the lower saucer, my bad! I sanded off the raised features of Reliant's upper hull to get it as smooth as possible. You can still see the tiling filled in with putty in the images of the lower saucer.







 

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What is the best putty or filler material for the Enterprise 1/537th kit? I am planning on doing one and I think fill and sand is far better. Too much labor and detail loss risk for the sanding only option.
Options
1) Evergreen plastic followed by putty
2) Just putty
a. Tamiya putty
b. Vallejo putty
c. Perfect plastic putty
d. Milliput
e. Bondo
f. other putty options
3) Stretched sprue and then putty
Advice requested.
 

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What is the best putty or filler material for the Enterprise 1/537th kit? I am planning on doing one and I think fill and sand is far better. Too much labor and detail loss risk for the sanding only option.
Options
1) Evergreen plastic followed by putty
2) Just putty
a. Tamiya putty
b. Vallejo putty
c. Perfect plastic putty
d. Milliput
e. Bondo
f. other putty options
3) Stretched sprue and then putty
Advice requested.
If I were going to use putty of any kind on this kit it would be the Bondo Glazing and Spot putty. It is very easy to work with, actually bonds to styrene and abs plastic so it is unlikely to lift after applying masking tape. It also dries fairly quick when applied thin.

 

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krlee that's the very stuff I used to fill the panel lines with on my Reliant/Enterprise lower saucer hull swap. works just as good as you say, but it does have minor shrinking issues, at least, I've experienced it. The secret is just to trowel on more, and keep sanding...but yeah, it holds on like grim death and won't crack easily.



I've also had very good success with Tamiya white putty thinned with lacquer thinner. I simply brush on a layer, let it cure, brush on another, etc. until the defect is properly covered, then sand. It wet sands very nicely. It hasn't shrunk on me yet and it's easy to work with, thinned or not. A bit messy, but then most putties are, I find.
 

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I've seen people just stick the correct Aztec details on top without sanding or filling and I thought it looked good. That's what I'm doing with mine.
 

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Bondo or squadron white putty would be your best bet. When I use the squadron putty I leave the puttied piece near an open window for 2-3hours and it's ready to be sanded.
Stayaway from the perfect plastic putty and the vallejo because in my opinion they take way to long to dry.
 

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Putty

krlee that's the very stuff I used to fill the panel lines with on my Reliant/Enterprise lower saucer hull swap. works just as good as you say, but it does have minor shrinking issues, at least, I've experienced it. The secret is just to trowel on more, and keep sanding...but yeah, it holds on like grim death and won't crack easily.


I've also had very good success with Tamiya white putty thinned with lacquer thinner. I simply brush on a layer, let it cure, brush on another, etc. until the defect is properly covered, then sand. It wet sands very nicely. It hasn't shrunk on me yet and it's easy to work with, thinned or not. A bit messy, but then most putties are, I find.
Thanks to everyone!!
I have used Squadron putty and I have had ok results and some horrible disasters!
Whiskey Rat: Which lacquer thinner do you use? I assume it is the Tamiya Lacquer thinner, but I want to be sure.
 

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Thanks to everyone!!
I have used Squadron putty and I have had ok results and some horrible disasters!
Whiskey Rat: Which lacquer thinner do you use? I assume it is the Tamiya Lacquer thinner, but I want to be sure.

eagledoc15, I have a can of plain old store brand lacquer thinner, nothing fancy. Lacquer thinner is lacquer thinner, you don't need any particular brand, unless you want a particular brand for whatever reason of course.



As an aside but related to this discussion, wherever I can I like to use plastic to fill gaps and spaces, minimizing as much as possible my usage of putty. On something like the paneling on the Enterprise kit however, there's simply too much of it to consider laying plastic down, so putty/sand is the only real alternative in this particular case. Or, just sand it all off and skip the putty altogether, which is a perfectly reasonable alternative. Either way you're gonna get a case of bursitis in your elbow and shoulder from the repetitive motion...



For me, my number one concern is the shrinkage that I get when using Squadron putties and similar. So, even using the red body-filler putty, I typically will do at least two or maybe three applications before I am satisfied that it can't shrink down into that crevice any further, because there's so much packed in there now.


I also use two different water-based two-part epoxy putties, which I reserve not for filling small cracks and gaps (although sometimes yes but rarely) but rather for re-shaping large areas and building up thickness on thin parts. Aves is great, cures hard as a rock, but can be difficult to manipulate until you get some practice with it and a feel for how to work the material. The second water based filler is a Japanese product, Wave is the brand, and it is called "light type epoxy putty" and can be found online here. It cures within 3 hours, is water based, about the same density of most polystyrene when cured, is easy to sand, easy to carve, and also holds on to plastic like grim death as long as the surface has been scuffed or sanded to give it some tooth to bite on. Both of those are entirely different creatures from the Squadron, Tamiya, etc. type one-part fillers, and have very different handling characteristics.


All of that said, what would I do if I wanted to get a smoothie Enterprise from a tiled kit? Sand it, skip the putty. It's just another step you don't need. Just be careful to not destroy any detail while you're scrubbing furiously at the parts and you should be ok. Except for the bursitis.
 

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I had read that Perfect Plastic Putty had no shrinkage? I have never tried it. Is this the reason for the long drying time? Does it also bond to polystyrene?

Regarding sanding, can controlled use of a Dremel sand off the outer tiling? Would it be reliable? Or would the depth of sanding not be exact enough for it to work?
 

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Yes PPP does bond to polystyrene, don't know why it takes so long to dry though. Forgot to mention last night the good thing about PPP and Valejo putties is they can be applied an soothed using ones finger tips so sanding may not e needed.
Back when I sanded off all that extra paneling on the refit I placed pieces of masking tape over detailing like the botanical garden windows on the lower hull and when sanding very carefully close to the windows.
 

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I had read that Perfect Plastic Putty had no shrinkage? I have never tried it. Is this the reason for the long drying time? Does it also bond to polystyrene?

Regarding sanding, can controlled use of a Dremel sand off the outer tiling? Would it be reliable? Or would the depth of sanding not be exact enough for it to work?

charonjr I would think that a Dremel would be too sloppy and concentrated, versus a square of sandpaper about 3"x3". I suppose if you have the skill for it, but personally I would not try it for fear of digging too deep in some spots and having to go back and fill anyway. I'm not a fan of PPP, it tends to soften up and break apart if you wet sand it, (I did a quick experiment not too long ago and the PPP actually washed away completely after I had let it cure for a day) but I have seen several folks on Hobbytalk use it with impressive results, so I guess it's all in the technique.
 

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I bought a tube of the Perfect Plastic Putty a few years ago to try on my first 22" eagle model. It had dried up inside the tube and was useless. So, I went back to the automotive red spot putty or homemade plastic putty. Since then, I have tried the Vallejo putty and have liked it.
 

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The tube of PPP I've got tends to dry if not used for a while and what I'll do is put a few drops of water into the tube and let the putty absorb the water and it's good to go again. To bad it's in a tube instead of a jar or small tub, it old be easier to keep moist.
 

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For those who want to add putty to get rid of the goofy Aztec detail...….

Remember, in order to add these panels, they had to cut more metal out of the tool. Increasing the thickness anywhere they added these tiles.

If you want to return to the smoothie as close as possible, you need to sand without adding the putty.

I suggest to anyone attempting this, prime with a color that has good contrast from the plastic.
This will show you your progress.
Once you get close, spray with more primer and go to a finer grade of sand paper and repeat until you get it the way you like it.

On a side note...…
To me, the texture of these panels reminds me of stone blocks.
I've often thought of painting a Enterprise, embracing this stone panel look and creating the 'Castle Enterprise'.
 
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