Modelling tip: Using caulk to fill gaps

This post is sort of a 'cheat' I came up with for plastic models that don't quite come together right in the construction process, and end up with an unsightly gap on the completed model. Yuck! Who wants that! I'll admit, most of these 'gaps' are self-inflicted and could be overcome if I had a bit more patience, the right tools (clamps or other bracing), and so on.... unfortunately, there's too much to do and I don't always want to spend a huge amount of time on one section of one kit! This is probably a more acceptable cheat when you are 'kitbashing' a structure as its often impossible to get just precisely the right cut the first time out.

The solution I found is to use paintable caulk. I am sure most people are familiar with this type of product. I've tried in the past to use some types of modeling putty for this job, buy I've often found them to be quite grainy and difficult to work with. Standard household caulk seems to work really well at filling gaps and cracks. Since I often re-paint most of my buildings to tone down the factory plastic colors, add realism, increase opacity, and so on, its easy for me to repaint over the caulk (which is why its important to use 'paintable' caulk!) which obviously comes in very limited colors that won't match the building!

Application could not be easier. I started by using a q-tip to apply the caulk to the model, but found that just putting a bit on the finger and applying it directly worked better. A damp paper towel cleans up the caulk easily and quickly. In several hours, the caulk is dry and ready for repainting. Note that in the 'after' picture at the top of this post, the caulk had not been painted. Even so, the difference to me is quite incredible.

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