Tutorial - Working with Vallejo Putty 401

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong


This article is nothing very new, just some experience shared with the look on Vallejo's Plastic Putty 401 (you have to scroll down a bit). The product itself can be bought in bottle or in tube form. I now want to share with you some ideas on how you can use this wonderful stuff for different things.

Filling small Gaps
There is already an article in the Tutorial section about how to fill gaps on your miniatures with Milliput. You can also use the Plastic Putty in this case. I personally would prefer the Vallejo putty meanwhile, because it is way more easy to handle or rather for the lazy ones it is not that much work, because you don't have to mix it like milliput.

When you want to fill a gap just bring some of the Putty in place and take a sculpting tool or even your fingers to make it plain. It will dry in about 5 minutes. When filling gaps with this method you may recognize that you can't do very big gaps without having several goes at it. For bigger gaps I still would prefer Milliput. Another plus on the Vallejo putty is that it is easy to sand. Taking some fine sandpaper after it is dry to make it plain works really well. Here are some photos that will show you what i mean - filling gaps at a plastic miniature, sanding afterwards:

Fast filling gaps at a socket build up, first bring on the putty, afterwards calm it down with your fingers or some tool:

Remove crude Unevenness
Damn, i didn't make the next photo so we got to take another base. Please imagine yourself the same base as above just with the putty made plain, ready for sanding. Busy, busy Kong, haha. Here you can see the base of the Arkvenger after the putty has been calmed with my fingers and it is dry and already sanded. I did build up the base with cork, put some Milliput over its suface, let it dry and now take Vallejo' putty for the smaller unevenness sanding Milliput sucks sometimes as it is getting hard like stone, so this is really a nice way to go forth with speed. On the following pictures final sanding still has to be made.

Final socket finish
Another wonderful effect of this putty I use in the end when a project is finished and the socket will be made ready for the final finish, for sure you can also do this before everything starts, i often mix it, depending on my mood. Please don't do this on expensive already perfect sockets you've bought for much money. In the case you are working with simple wood sockets on your own this is just right.

Putting a thin layer of Vallejo's Putty over your wood, make it plain with your fingers and go from rough to fine sandpaper on it. Sanding finer and finer you will feel your socket become really, really smooth - for sure this effect comes from sanding but the putty helps it somehow, can't explain you why as i got the experience but no explanation. Afterwards paint your socket black or in the colour you like. There is also no photo of this, as it can't be really shown on a picture, you have to pet it with your skin to feel this epic smoothness. Always the same with me :)

Althai explains it via comment, many thanks:

"The reason is the putty is a homogeneous substance (no internal structure), but the wood has a grain which runs through it, meaning that no matter how much you sand it, the grain is still present. So you will never get as smooth a surface by sanding wood as by sanding putty, no matter how much you sand, as the sanding will affect the harder and softer areas of the grain differently."

Making a rusty or dirty surface
Another field of activity can be as a part of your Weathering Skills. Bringing up some of the Putty at places on models where you want to have a rusty surface or even mud. I most time use a Q-Tip for it to dab it on there and if you wait about some seconds to give it time to dry you can again dab your Q-Tip on to achieve different structures. I guess there are much more tools you can use - go find out yourself and don't rely on my words here too much :) - Next photos you can see the putty used for preparing weathered areas, filling small gaps and adding some structure to the fabric on the back of the car:


I long time have been in filling Gaps with Milliput and I still love it until my heart stops, but for small gaps I start to enjoy this Putty very much as it goes way faster and you have less waiting time in between. You know today's life is all about time and such, so maybe this will be a fine addition to your hobby stuff too. I also love the flexibility of this putty and the different ways you can use it (even to fill holes in the walls of your new flat, haha!)...

You can get this putty almost in every hobby store or online shop, I always buy mine when ordering from Battlefield-Berlin, just in case you are lazy to search on your own :)

Keep on happy painting!
Best Regards


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