Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Perverse Performance by Perfect Plastic Putty®
Scott Kruize - December 2017

Of course, we take seriously our moral obligation to follow the dictates of our club officers. We are, for example, supposed to bring LOTS of models to our Contest-and-Show in April. So says our Prez. Similarly, our vice-Prez says we're not supposed to keep futzing around and experimenting with various types of filler and putties – each semi-functional/usable if – and only if! – each modeler understands the optimum way of using them. Instead, he told us all to get the stuff he discovered: Perfect Plastic Putty® from Deluxe Materials, LTD. After all, we knew already that those Brits are Total Clever Dicks, having had to invent the phrase, after such pressing need to use it among and about themselves all the time... Anyway, it's easily applied, can be shaped with a wet fingertip or any other tool, dries hard enough for our purposes, and takes any kind of paint nicely. As the tube label says under the title, it “Fills fine gaps. Creates invisible seams.” No wonder Eric's ordered us all to get it, use it... and quit whining!

And so I did, and found it just as he described. Then after a fairly long interval without needing it, I unscrewed the cap on my tube. Horror of horrors! – It no longer came out smoothly like toothpaste, but seems to have gone all dry and crumbly inside.

I was on the verge of defying our vice-Prez's authority and starting to whine. But then I reminded myself that as a modeler, I must be resourceful, and never at a loss. So I played around a bit more.

Yes, it's true PPP may start to dry out in the tube. But if you extract a few soft crumbs and work them with just a little water, it goes right back to being what it was. (I use the tiny rimmed clear-glass disk on which I sometimes mix small quantities of a particular snippet of touch-up color. The low-tech tool you see in the picture is a toothpick, cut off at a slight angle.) The white putty resumes being a smooth paste, is easily applied into even the smallest cracks and holes, smooths out neatly, dries hard enough for us, and takes over-painting exactly as before.

After this reassurance that my tube of PPP would continue to serve, I coaxed a few drops of water into it, shook it briskly a few times over the course of three hours, and find now it's back to squeezing out of the tube as a nice, easy-to-work paste.

So I resolve this New Year's not to whine about troubles with putty ever again, a stance I urge on all my fellow modelers. And I will try to summon up the Moral Will to refrain from whining about anything else as I model. After all, I can always pray to our patron goddess Styrenia, remembering the thought that gives Overriding Serenity to all our modeling efforts:

It's ONLY a HOBBY!

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