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I had similar experience with it. Went and grabbed the two containers of it last used a couple of months ago and both were hard or partially hardened. Tossed 'em both.

Going back to bondo for the times I need such a thing. If it's just a small area, I use epoxy putty but it's not very friendly for doing large scale filling-in of grid lines.
One-part self-curing putties are the best for filling these types of gaps/panel lines/gridwork, IMO. Agreed Perfesser, an epoxy putty is not well suited to that particular sort of filling on broad surfaces. Once again, I advocate strongly for using plastic sheet, strip, or other shapes (as necessary) for filling gaps, rather than putty, to ensure that as much of my model remains plastic as possible. If I'm not making large mods to my build, minimal puttying is best; gluing in plastic is ideal. Troweling on loads of solvent-filled putty will sometimes deform the plastic if it's thin, and creates extra work when sanding down to your final surface. And what if you go too far? MORE putty?? Luckily the 1/537 plastic is approximately .060" in most areas, so you actually can heap on putty without real fear of harming the kit, just don't breathe too deep...

On the 1/537 panel lines, Bondo, spot glazing putty, Tamiya white polyester, (Squadron and Testors shrink too much for my taste) or anything similar would be the way I would go, and have done so before. I do however want to give the liquid goo angle a trial on one or two of the kit parts to see what exactly the technique would be. I have a feeling it's not as simple as it sounds...
 

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I went and bought a tube pf PPP a year or more ago and when ever I go to use it again it's dried a bit so what I'll do is stick the open end under running tap water for a second or 2 let what's in the tube soak up the water and stick under the tap again and I keep doing this until it's soft enough to use. After all it's water based is it not??
 

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I went and bought a tube pf PPP a year or more ago and when ever I go to use it again it's dried a bit so what I'll do is stick the open end under running tap water for a second or 2 let what's in the tube soak up the water and stick under the tap again and I keep doing this until it's soft enough to use. After all it's water based is it not??
It is indeed water based, so I'm not surprised that running a tap over the end of a dried-out tube will re-moisten it and make it workable again. That's one major advantage over chemical-based one-part putties; the PPP can be salvaged it seems, if it dries in the tube. I've had more than one tube of Squadron, and Testors, dry out and simply "brick", with no hope of re-liquefying them (now I try really hard not to leave the cap off any tube when I'm applying the putty so there's minimal oxygen exposure). For folks on a tighter budget, being able to save that tube of PPP can mean keeping more money in the bank, and out of the garbage can, quite literally. Without having actually used PPP on any of my builds, I am guessing that, once sealed with paint, clear-coat, etc., it would be stable, assuming minimal or no handling of the model and no impacts to the surfaces containing putty. I've seen some builds on HT that incorporate PPP; they look good, the finish looks smooth, and I haven't really seen any complaints about performance yet, so I have to include that to be fair. I like being able to wet sand though, and PPP won't allow that without what I consider to be unreasonable risk of removing more putty than wanted by dissolution. Has anyone attempted filling in the panel lines on a 1/537 with PPP?
 

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I also picked up a bottle of Vallejo acrylic resin putty about the same time and I'll use the PPP for gaps and the other for more tiny gaps. The best part of the Vallejo is one can smooth it with your finger tip and when done just stick your finger under running water to clean your finger, no more heavy sanding. The PPP can also be smoothed with the finger tip.
 

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I also picked up a bottle of Vallejo acrylic resin putty about the same time and I'll use the PPP for gaps and the other for more tiny gaps. The best part of the Vallejo is one can smooth it with your finger tip and when done just stick your finger under running water to clean your finger, no more heavy sanding. The PPP can also be smoothed with the finger tip.
That sounds like the technique to use with PPP and Vallejo, etc. If you can minimize sanding by smoothing with a fingertip then it's simply a matter of making sure not to press down too hard and actually squeeze out some of the putty from the gap you're trying to fill, leaving a slight concavity. With Tamiya white polyester putty, I will sometimes take a q-tip moistened with lacquer thinner to help clean up corners that I've filled, and to get the putty worked all the way into the gap. Same technique as using a fingertip, basically.
 

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I hate puttying - it always goes wrong.

I bought this re-pop a few weeks ago - its like saying hello to an old friend - flaws and all.

What I will say is that the plastic feels a bit softer than the ERTL run - which may have been down to old stock in new boxes back in the day (a recently purchased star trek IV refit is as hard / brittle as china after all this time and I remember mixed densities in the late 80's and 90's when I was buying about one a month!) - I've been modifying the parts some and the Aztek comes off quite easily (accidentally in this case). Its still a chore but less elbow ache.

I've butchered my kit and need to get a replacement but they are quite hard to come by in the UK at the moment - awaiting a repop of a repop.

H
 

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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.


I think the only two objections that I remember from the 80s (maybe 3) is that the paneling was scribed too deeply for scale, and that the design was not the "Aztec" paneling painted onto the original shooting model. Oh, and that the Engine pylons are too thin. Personally, the thin pylons, while easy to damage with glue, was aesthetically pleasing to me. Other inaccuracies can be corrected with resin parts that DLM (Don's Light and Magic) sold/sells. So, it's up to you how much you want to spend to make corrections to this kit. I remember when I bought my first one in 1979, my sense of detail accuracy was not developed at all. So, I found it to be a very pleasing kit.
 

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I hate puttying - it always goes wrong.

I bought this re-pop a few weeks ago - its like saying hello to an old friend - flaws and all.

What I will say is that the plastic feels a bit softer than the ERTL run - which may have been down to old stock in new boxes back in the day (a recently purchased star trek IV refit is as hard / brittle as china after all this time and I remember mixed densities in the late 80's and 90's when I was buying about one a month!) - I've been modifying the parts some and the Aztek comes off quite easily (accidentally in this case). Its still a chore but less elbow ache.

I've butchered my kit and need to get a replacement but they are quite hard to come by in the UK at the moment - awaiting a repop of a repop.

H
I have noticed that all the Trek kits coming from China these days are using a thinner, much softer kind of polystyrene than Ertl used to use. I don't know if Ertl's kits where Chinese or American made.This thinned, soft plastic is hard for me to use. Easy to gouge or even sand through, I find myself wishing for the harder, thicker plastic used up through the 20-aughts. It's easier for me to work with.
 
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