Filling Cracks and Seams (Method A)

by: Stan Seel

Before you Begin:

This is a method for creating a durable, well-adhering filler for large (1-3mm wide) seams or cracks. You can use this on smaller projects, like filling gaps in torsos but it works best on larger projects like ships and dioramas.

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Supplies

  • Testor’s Model Cement
  • Baking soda
  • Superglue
  • Hobby knife
  • Towels
  • Tape (any kind)

Step 1

If the crack is open (That is, if there is no piece beneath the crack and you can see daylight through the crack) run a strip of tape under/inside the surface you will be filling. The idea is to make the crack only as deep as the thickness of the surface pieces.

Step 2

Fill the crack with baking soda. Just pour the soda in or you can “spoon” it into the crack with an exact knife.

Step 3

Level of any excess soda heaped onto the crack so the powder is level with the surfaces. Wipe away all excess baking soda that spilled outside of the crack. Leave absolutely NONE.

Step 4

Drip a line of superglue onto the baking soda. Hold the tip of the glue tube close to the baking soda for better control. But, DO NOT TOUCH the tip to the baking soda. If you do you will have to clean off the tip and refill the spot you touched with more soda. When superglue touches the baking soda it will INSTANTLY expand and set, creating a hard, dense foam.

Step 5

Because any superglue not touching the baking soda will take a while to cure, you will be able to wipe away any glue you dripped outside of the crack. The foam in the crack will already be cured so there is no chance of disturbing the crack you just filled.

Step 6

Sand and paint the surface as desired. The filler foam will have a consistency similar to styrene.

Filling Cracks and Seams (Method B)

by: Stan Seel

I also want to tell you about the “cusion method” for filling cracks in styrene plastics. This method “stops cracks before they start” by using a special solvent to join the pieces.

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Supplies

  • Methyl ethyl keytone
  • Plastic pieces

Step 1

Hold your two pieces of plastic together about .010″ apart and flow some M.E.K. (methyl ethyl keytone) into the crack.

Step 2

Wait a few minutes untill the plastic is all gooey, then squish them together. You should get a nasty bulge of plastic, but don’t freak! This is good!!

Step 3

Let it dry out completely, then sand. Voila! No filler needed!