In the recent past I have tended just to use Tamiya 'Smooth' Epoxy Putty... But with a thirst for new techniques, tools and mediums, forever driving my interest in Zimmerit, and it's application, relating to the final look of the vehicle, I have decided to try other 'putties' and materials despite being very happy with the Tamiya 'Smooth'. But I have noted that a lot of modellers are getting some outstanding results with the Aves Epoxy Putties. So why not give it a try?
As mentioned previously, for this build Aves 'Apoxie Sculpt' is being used. This two part epoxy putty coves in various sizes, that suit all pockets, and a few different shades to give the modeller/taxidermist/sculptor/repairer a choice of base colour or match to the item it is being applied to. I suppose in theory, I should have chosen a 'Yellow Ochre' variety, in order to give as true to life application as possible... But then I would have had to paint the AFV in a dark brown/black for the armour plate areas with a covering of 'Rot Oxid' prior to the Zimmerits application! And as a lot of my other builds are quite 'protracted' affairs, this Tiger will be built almost straight from the box. Before I continue, are there any major or minor detail areas that need refining? I know of the pry bar aperture on the engine bay access door/hatch, I was wondering about the Turret face gun sights... Did this later run of Krupp/Porsche Turreted Tiger B's have the binocular or monocular sight aperture?
Right then without further ado' let us get to pasting! After a few experiments with the 'Apoxie Sculpt' I found that this epoxy putty is very soft, yet not overly tacky. It will adhere to an unprepared styrene surface, but it will ease the application if the surface it is to be applied to is 'roughened up' a little prior to the putty being spread.
Next mixing up a large pea sized lump of the 'Apoxie Sculpt' in equal parts, I split the lump into two 'petit pois' sized portions and began to work the putty onto the Turret's sides with my thumb and finger. A little water to 'moisten' the 'Apoxie Sculpt' helps this process.
When you have covered the area that is to receive the Zimmerit pattern, take a 'smoothing tool' of your choice, I tend to utilise 'Artists Palette Knives', but small craft spatulas, sculpting tools, and even cocktail sticks, can all be used in order to cajole the putty into an 'evenish' thin layer. Remember that on the actual vehicles that were given this protective surface coating, it was not overly applied in a heavy thick coat, due to weight concerns, and that the surface disruption caused to any 'magnetic mine/grenade was due to a combination of factors relating to the properties of the Zimmerit paste, and the patterns surface creating an 'awkward' adhesion' point, plus the effect that raising the paste in ridges/grids created a 'magnetic void' by not allowing the 'mines' magnets to make any firm contact with a 'ferrous' surface.
A little more water and work with your 'tool of choice' and you should easily be able to achieve the desired putty thickness of between 0.5-.08mm. Any thicker and you risk the creation of excess putty, causing build up on the patterns vertical columns.
When satisfied with your applied layer of putty... Go and put the kettle on, grab your 'gear roller', step back think about your references, any particular 'difficult' appear upon the surface that you might encounter... And you will be ready to start applying your Zimmerit Coating Pattern! ...If you wait for around half an hour, the putty will have very slightly 'hardened' upon the surface, making it easier to imprint the ridges into the 'Apoxie Sculpt' without removing any of the fresh extremely soft and tacky 'moistened' putty.
Start your application of your 'ridged pattern' at either end of the Turret side plate, by rolling with your thumb or finger the 'gear' in both up and down motions, overlapping the columns... This probably only relates to this particular pattern though, as I have not seen much pictorial evidence of such 'over-rolling' and 'meshing' of the pattern upon the smaller hull (and more commonly applied smaller Turret pattern upon the KT) applied ridges, only that the pattern would be a bit untidy around fixings mounted to the armour plates.
Again check your final covering against your references,and when happy with your pattern... Put it aside to dry/cure.
So the first part of this three pattern application done.. Next up the hull!
Thank you all, for checking this Zimmerit blog out... Back real soon.