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"Prepping and Priming 3-D Minis - Shapeways " Topic

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624 hits since 2 Mar 2017
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Mako11 Inactive Member02 Mar 2017 6:48 p.m. PST

I think I've finally found the right material to use for 3-D preparation, on those areas that have bad "stair-stepping".

I'm testing out Sally Hansen's "Hard as Nails" clear nail polish, which apparently has nylon in it, so I figured it would be compatible with the WSF material.

It's designed to fill in and smooth ridges in fingernails, so I thought it might do the same for small miniatures too.

Still testing tonight, but it looks promising.

One coat definitely smoothed out the texture considerably, and it didn't dissolve the plastic, so that is a plus.

Hasn't completely hardened yet, but I'm testing it on a small piece of spare sprue.

They recommend using several coats.

The stuff is quite thick, but can be thinned as you brush it on, by just continuing to brush the excess away. I also removed a lot by pushing the brush against the inside neck of the bottle, to remove excess liquid, before applying to the test piece, just like you do with paint.

One coat alone has certainly made the surface a lot smoother. I suspect 2 – 3 coats might completely do that.

It is also supposed to strengthen the nails too, so will probably do the same for the WSF minis.

What I like about this the most is that it can be applied by brush directly to areas where needed, unlike spray primers or gloss coats, which are usually applied to the entire model, which might cover up important detailing. It can also be applied very thinly, or left a bit thicker, as needed too, I suspect.

I'm letting this test piece dry, and then will apply another coat or two, just to see how it goes, but hope it works well.

It may be just what I need to get those 1/144th scale vehicles I've had sitting for a while prepped, and ready for painting.

Of course, normal spray primer gloss coats might work too, along with primers, for models needing total coverage, and smoothing out.

I doubt I'd want to cover entire models with this stuff, since applying it all over could be very time consuming, but it appears to be a very useful material for filling in those problem areas, so that then the minis can be primed, and/or sealed with a gloss coating, prior to painting, as desired.

Don't know if this stuff is compatible with the FUD and other materials, so I recommend testing on a bit of sprue for that as well, to avoid possibly ruining your minis, if it isn't.

The real plus is most drug stores, and Walmart carry it, so you don't have to make a special trip to the hobby store, or to order it on-line, and then wait for delivery.

As far as hobby materials go too, it is relatively inexpensive.

Don't know if it can be thinned, or not, and not sure it needs to be, but I may test that a little too. 91% rubbing alcohol is recommended as a thinner for some nail polishes, so I suspect using a drop or two of that with this stuff might also work as well.

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member02 Mar 2017 6:56 p.m. PST

Thanks for this! Awaiting your results as another tool in the toolbox is always welcome.

Mako11 Inactive Member02 Mar 2017 8:22 p.m. PST

1st coat seems to have filled in about 50%+ of the "crags", which you can see on the very thin, WSF sprue, when you hold it up under a good light, and against a slightly darker background.

I'm using the very thin sprue used to connect some 1/600th scale, modern jets, and I'd guess it is only a couple of millimeters thick, if that.

When viewed from above, the surface just looks rough, but when viewed from the side, while rotating the roundish sprue, you can actually see the relatively deep, microscopic crevasses that permeate the material.

A second coat filled in, and smoothed those even more, while also slightly thickening the sprue. It seems to have almost completely eliminated the rough surface.

I suspect in most cases, 2 coats may work fine, but I'm going to add a third coat in a little bit, to see what that looks like.

Thus far, it looks extremely promising, and seems to be doing the job I want it to do, in just the places desired.

Mako11 Inactive Member02 Mar 2017 9:36 p.m. PST


Works a treat.

Applied a third and final coat, and it turns out to be very smooth.

The sprue I was experimenting on is only 1mm thick.

Running my finger across the untreated side I was holding onto, you can feel its roughness – much like a sandpaper feel to it.

Doing the same with my finger on the treated side makes it feel nice and slick.

The piece is so small, I don't think it's possible for me to easily post a photo, but you can easily, really see the difference.

The coatings add slightly to the thickness of the material, slightly, but not obtrusively so. Given its more rigid feel, I suspect it also adds considerably to the strength of such thin pieces as well, so will be very useful for strengthening small machine gun and auto-cannon barrels in 1/144th scale, amongst others.

Can't wait to start using it on some BMPs and BTRs, now that I've found it works so well.

I'd be doing it tonight, if I had some decent lighting for the table.


Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

That is very good thinking, mako11. Thanks for sharing the results of your expriments. They'll come in handy. I'll be curious to hear how the polish takes paint and primer.

boy wundyr x Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

So basically a bunch of guys are going to be going into drug stores this weekend and having an awkward moment in the nail care aisle :-)

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2017 10:17 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing your results.

Dwindling Gravitas Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

@ boy wundyr

What d'you mean by 'this weekend'?
And what d'you mean by 'awkward'?


Mako11 Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

Haven't tried painting it yet, but imagine it is not much different than other plastics.

It will certainly need less paint, which reportedly the WSF seems to soak up, as it is absorbed into all the crevices usually present.

You're welcome.

I tried searching on-line about it, before I bought the stuff, but there didn't seem to be any info about its use, which is why I decided to share.

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