Using Panzer Putty

by Eric Christianson

Part of the reason I wanted to build the British Saladin Armored Car was to try a new product called ‘Panzer Putty’. This rigid, stretchable material has some of the properties of Silly Putty, and other properties that are unique. Called an ‘intelligent’ putty by the manufacturer (, Panzer Putty is specifically marketed to assist in airbrushing hard and soft line camouflage over the uneven surfaces typically found on most armor kits. A YouTube video is available online showing how it is used.

Some experimentation was needed but eventually I got the knack of it. I stretched it into a ¼ inch ribbon and cut two-inch segments from that. The putty does not have any tack whatsoever except to itself, which was frustrating at first, but I was able to anchor one end of each strip by wrapping it around something, pushing it into some detail, or touching it to another piece of putty to fix it in place. I then used tweezers to ‘design’ the curves I wanted. Tweaking it here and there took some effort but I had everything finished and ready for painting in about 10 minutes. I found Panzer Putty no more difficult than using masking tape and/or blue tack, etc., but its unique properties distinguish it from those other mediums.

The key at this point was to wait about 10 minutes for the ‘intelligence’ to take over (J), meaning to let the putty settle down over the myriad of bumps and crevices on the surface of the model. I wanted a sharp edge so I used a tool to flatten any twists or rope-like sections, getting the top edge of the putty as close to the surface of the model as possible.

Over at the paint booth I found I could carefully paint on one side of the ¼ inch of putty without any problem. A minute later, I easily lifted the putty (remember – no tack present whatsoever) to reveal a perfect demarcation line between the colors. 30 minutes after putting the used putty back in the tin, it had re-settled into its original blob form and become rigid once again. By the next morning the paint from the airbrush had disappeared altogether, leaving the same shiny, black ‘putty puck’ that came in the mail. I can honestly say that this first experience was good enough for me. So long masking tape, Panzer Putty is here to stay!

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