to Make Balsa Wood Dough
If you have been building balsa models for any time at all then I'm sure
you've tried various putties and fillers. I've tried just about
everything that has been marketed. I've used spackling compound, Model
Magic-type stuff (hate it),
micro-balloons mixed with about anything that will stick to
a myriad of other things.
So far, none of them has been good enough for me to stop my search.
There are a variety of problems with commercial fillers. In fact, some
of them are so bad that I think the folks marketing them have never
actually used them on a model or they would know how bad the stuff is.
Some of the fillers work ok, but there are still properties that could be
better. These are just a few of the problems with various fillers that have come
and gone over the years:
- So hard to sand that it leaves a ridge
- Doesn't sand at all - usually means it's rubbery
- Too brittle (normally these are the extremely light fillers)
- Dries so fast it can't be applied properly
- Doesn't stick and falls off
- Poor color match
Over the years I've experimented using
cellulose-based glues, such as
Ambroid, to make filler. These glues sand very easily and stick well.
The two problems I've had with them is that they are generally too dark and
they dry so fast I often don't have time to get the filler in place.
At that point it starts crumbling off while I'm still trying to work with
Nevertheless, I still felt that a cellulose product was the proper base.
I just had to work the kinks out. I finally have.