As the title says, what filler do you like to use and why.
For me, I've got at least 10 different types of filler, from a pink car body cellulose based filler through to the newer acrylics like Perfect Putty and Vallejo.
My two most used fillers are Squadron Green, this stuff is litterally the muts nuts, it has to be the best filler to me for the following reasons.
It dries quickly
It doesn't shrink
It can be sanded to a glass like finish
It can be thinned with acetone and painted on
If used right it doesn't distort the plastic either.
My other go to filler has to be the Vallejo white acrylic that comes in a tube. I love the thin nozzle for applications, I can put a really thin bead around a canopy and just wipe away the excess with a damp cotton bud. It takes a bit longer to dry, it sands really well if you're using fine grits (600 and above) it doesn't fair well with harsher grits as it tends to clump up and pull off in lumps.
I've also previously used Tamiya grey, I like this but prefer the aforementioned fillers. The downside to this filler is that It shrinks as it dries and isn't very easy to apply over large areas as it dries a bit too fast.
I've got a tube of Perfect Putty but to be honest it's no different to the Vallejo putty but without the handy dandy nozzle.
I have never used the squadron green..but everyone who has seems to love it. Where is it available? I have my home made stuff (tamiya xtra thin and sprue) But i use the Vallejo one a lot...I agree that the perfect plastic is the same but without the fine nozzle..I have Tamiya one as well but dont really use it much. The Vallejo stuff is good for easy clean up and getting into small spaces.
I also have perfect plastic putty which I use where I want to be able to clean up with water (canopies etc). I find it a bit grainy and if you're not careful it is easy to wipe too much away with water.
I also have Mr Surfacer 500 which brushes on quite well for smaller, shallow gaps.
I have milliput, but in thin applications it isn't much use as I find it doesn't feather well, however if there's a big gap it's useful for filling the bulk of the void where something like Tamiya would never dry, or the solvent would damage the plastic.
I can’t get Squadron Green so I have to go with Humbrol Grey filler, which behaves very similarly to Squadron. Otherwise, P38 two part car body filler for the large mustn’t break stuff. I need to buy more actually. I hate Tamiya fillers, but their two part epoxy makes good welds.
Majority of my filling is done using HotStuff CA glue, but my putty of choice is Tamiya Basic (Grey). I use Milliput for any rescultping and quick clean-up and Mr Surface for finer areas like seams where I need the panel line to remain.
I too agree with Phil, Tamiya grey, perfect putty and mr surfacer 500. I also have had great success using the tamiya light curing putty, sets in a few minutes and can be sanded silk smooth and doesn't shrink at all. Just have to make sure you don't layer it on too thick otherwise the deeper putty never sets. A lot of people seem to have trouble with it but I have never had an issue. Not sure how I would get on now as I used to have CFL bulbs in the house which I used to set the putty but now all we have is LED bulbs.
I've tried everything mentioned above (except Vallejo) as well as Mr Putty, Mr Dissolved putty and Squadron White, and mostly I reach for CA with talcum powder mixed in usually. The talc makes the CA softer when fully hardened making it easier to sand and feather. The other bonus is it sticks like the proverbial, especially to stuff like resin and dries fast. For large areas I tend to opt for car bog because again it dries reasonably quickly with little or no shrinkage and feathers nicely. Mr Dissolved Putty is actually quite good to work with and can be thinned with levelling thinner, but drying time means 24 hours at least.
Viperbuilder wrote: For small areas I use CA and for larger areas I use Tamiya white putty. The white putty sands to a far smoother finish than the Tamiya grey putty and it is less brittle.
I found the white putty much worse than the grey, wondering if I have a bad tube maybe. I found it would flake off when I tried to sand it.
I've never found Tamiya white putty to flake and this is why I prefer it over the grey putty, which has the flaking and chipping properties, not to mention its shrinkage rate, which seemingly always requires a second application to properly cover minute air bubbles and chips. The white putty bites more into the plastic than the grey and really sands to a super smooth finish. It sounds like your white putty was too dry when you used it. It should spread like Marmite. I keep both grey and white putties in the fridge to stop them drying out in the tube. In the past, the grey putty has always dried in the tube after you've used 60-70% of it and the balance gets chucked out. The white putty, on the other hand, has a better lasting rate than the grey and I can get to 90% usability before it starts getting dry.
Another thing you have to consider is how long the putty has been sitting on a shelf and in what sort of temperatures. Both affect the longevity of the tube. The Tamiya putties should be very liquid when you buy them. I squeeze them in their tubes when new to mix them around a bit because there is a tendency for the liquid in them to rise to the surface of the tube while at the bottom the putty gets quite dry.
Still, I think this is a case of different folks, different strokes as to the preferred putty so try and experiment and settle on what works best for you.
Very weird. My tamiya grey I've had probably 7-8 years and still works as good as the day I got it, the white is maybe 4 years old and even when I used it when I first got it it didn't work right. But yes, as you say different strokes for different folks. As I said I like the light curing one but no one else I know has tried it has had any luck with it yet it works perfectly for me.
TLCP is very good for thin, quick drying application, but I finda that the top goes hard and leaves a gooey centre if applied too thickly. I have a UV lightbox with a 2 minute timer from AliExpress that cures it nicely and is good for some applications. Here is my YAV-8B conversion that I used it extensively on.
Yay, someone else that has success with TLCP. Layers no more than a couple of mm thick work ok, thicker and like you say the centre takes a lot longer to cure or doesn't at all. I used it with great success to fill the back of the 1/48 hasegawa f-4 splitter plates and it sands and smooths beautifully.