U-Boat Type VII-C 1/72 Build log – Part Four

Past steps shown I have to really focus on torpedo gates. Quick putty-sand attack didn’t work and the PE part seam just wouldn’t go. My main concern was the choice of putty. I came to the conclusion Tamiya putty was far from ideal product for the task and as you have seen earlier, tried Milliput. This gave much better results though still not perfect. At this point I went shopping for other options and bought myself some Mr. White Putty, Mr. Dissolved Putty and Mr. Surfacer 500 and 1000. I guess a little putty review should be in order now. Anyway, here is how dried Milliput looked like when I started the work today:

Dried Milliput

My previous attempts to sand the part flush failed also because of the way I did the sanding. I used plain sandpaper on finger and Squadron sanding sticks. Both feature elastic base, so when sanding join between harder metal and softer plastic, the latter would invariably give more so it’s hard to achieve flush seam. Needed a new instrument for sanding flat, so I made one from a clothespin. I’ve seen similar on some website except mine makes use of the spring instead of glue.

Clothespin sanding stick

I really liked the result. It’s easy to hold, has two working surfaces, a straight edge and, very important, changing sandpaper takes seconds. I was afraid the spring would not hold strong enough, but it haven’t snapped once. Very cool.

Clothespin with 1500 grit wet-and-dry

Armed with my new instrument I went on with sanding of the Milliput. As I said, the result was better this time. This is after 220 Grit:

Torpedo gates seam sanded with 220 Grit

And this is after 1500 Grit. Better than last time but still not perfect:

Torpedo gates after sanding with 1500 Grit

I thought this is a perfect time to try and compare my new putties. So I applied Mr. Dissolved Putty on starboard gates:

Mr. Dissolved Putty applied

And Mr. Surfacer 500 on port gates:

Mr. Surfacer 500 applied

I also took a round on board walls with Mr. Surfacer 1000:

Mr. Surfacer 1000 applied

In short, I liked Mr. Dissolved Putty a lot, it really got a grip on the metal part and was not easy to peel off as Tamiya Putty and, in less degree, Milliput. I also did like Mr. Surfacer 1000 a bit more than the 500 one but mostly in applying part. The former is more liquid and easy to spread evenly. I’ll try to do a proper review and comparison on those and elaborate on stronger and weaker sides I noticed.

So after a short drying time I went on with sanding and this time achieved something close to the desired. Here are port gates sanded smooth:

Port gates seam sanded flush

And a board wall. What might seem to be random gaps along the edge is a transparent layer of superglue. The surface is in fact smooth.

Board wall sanded smooth

Haven’t had any spare time left to do the priming right away, but my father in law will hopefully do that tomorrow. Can’t wait to see the result.

UPD: Priming done. Result is better than the last time, but still not perfect. I can see now I didn’t bend the PE parts precisely enough so they would fit the curvature of the hull. I guess the ultimate solution would be to just remove them and bend properly, but it’s too much. I’ll try to fix by more puttying/sanding and a little bending in place. Which could easily result in the option number one I guess.

Board wall holes fit

Board wall holes fit

Port gates fit

Starboard gates fit

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