When you see images of finished models in published magazines or on Internet I guess that you have noted incredible smooth surface finish of the kit and this is visible on gloss polished kits, semi gloss, flat… Even the kits which present machines with fade and dirt surface have again this surface smooth! No dust, no scratches, no paint visible traces, no traces of work… smooth!
There is couple of ways to get the clean surface of the kit which is very important for its look. My preferred way is to smooth it with fine sanding. As well there is a range of materials which could be used for this as well steps when you are using this, there is few general types of sanding. One is described before with sanding of kit during the basic assembly. Used material is more coarse as well we are faced with filler, plastic as well cement which need to be removed or reshaped. As result of this work surface could have scars from sanding and next step is to remove scars. Removing could be made by medium sanding with or without use of liquid fillers and surfacers. Basic purpose of this sanding is to prepare kit for painting. Use of liquid surfacers could make things much better and paint stick greatly. But this is not end of the story…
Painting coats of paint could make that you get layers of paint with irregular surface structure. Simply coat is somewhere a bit ticker, somewhere not. This is not problem with simple painting but when we use more colors this could happen. What we need to do is to smooth this painted surface and prepare it for decals. Decals need flat and gloss surface to be perfect set up. Albion Alloys have great solution in this way and the products are shown in the image gallery bellow.
This products you see on first three images present sanding blocks as well sanding paper (cloths to be more precise). They come in six grade start with 3200 and then 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and finest 12000. What you will going to use depend of the same surface and it configuration and this depend are you going to use block or cloth. Fourth image in gallery show 3200 grit sanding cloth in action over surface of Eduard MiG-21SMT. Kt is completely camouflaged and then surface is completely smoothed for the coat of gloss for decals. After that whole surface is sanded with 6000 grit cloth and surface was perfected for further use.
What you get inside pack of the sanding cloths are small block of foam. It is used alongside with sanding cloths but as well it is double sided, it is also nice to use for some finishing touch. Last image in gallery show use of this foam for removing some dust which is stick on the surface of this Hellcat kit after final coat of flat varnish. Surface was perfect after just couple of minutes of ‘foaming’.
Very important material in the work shop of any modeler! Simply you must have it!
Great thanks to Matthew D. John from Albion Alloys for providing of sample products.