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A Guide To 4 Most Common Types Of Abrasives For Ship Model Kits

Author: Andrew Anten
by Andrew Anten
Posted: Dec 23, 2019

No matter you are building plastic, metal, or wood ship model kits, at some point during scale modeling, you will be expected to make use of an abrasive product. From getting rid of rough borders, to shaping and preparing a model before painting or finishing, abrasives are one of the most helpful tools in any passionate hobbyist’s kit. As with other crucial products like paint and glue, a variety of abrasives suit different types of circumstances and materials.

To make things simple for you, check out the following four most common kinds of abrasives for scale models that you can make use of:

  1. Garnet Paper – It is most commonly used for woodworking and this abrasive has a harder grind in order to give the surface a finer finish and garnet paper can be used to shape soft to hardwoods like plywood and balsa.
  2. Wet and Dry Paper – As the name suggests, this product is perfect for both wet and dry work, and is wonderful for the fine shaping of wood and plastic. When water is added, it provides you with an even finer finish. While using it wet, a slurry is produced that is supposed to be wiped away periodically, and the abrasive itself is supposed to be dipped in water regularly with the intention of getting rid of any clogged material.
  3. Emery Paper and Cloth – It is specifically suited for flat surfaces and this kind of abrasive is usually used for polishing metals, with its strength and versatility perfect for smoothing tightly curved metal.
  4. Sandpaper – In spite of the name, sand is no longer used to make this product, replaced by other more effective abrasives like silicon carbide and aluminum oxide. Of these, aluminum oxide is the most common, has the widest range of grits, and can be used on wood or metal. Silicon carbide is available in very coarse grades, and is commonly used for wet applications.

Finishing a surface

Finishing is a major component of scale modeling, particularly when building historic models like famous warships. By making little by little use of finer grades, sanding gradually can get rid of any unnecessary stains, scratches or marks, and provides you with a smooth surface on which varnish or paint can be applied afterward.

At the time of smoothing a piece of wood, make sure to always sand with the grain rather than across to keep away from making scratches – these may not be visible right away but may appear once you have added paint. If you are determined to add clear varnish, dampen the wood initially to encourage its fibers to rise. Sand the wood using the finest abrasive once it has dried again.

However, if you’re working with balsa or any other sort of open-grain wood, the professionals working with different types of ship model kits recommend brushing on a sealant in order to fill the grain initially. Once it has soaked in and the wood is dry, sand the surface with the fine-graded abrasive. Follow these steps one or two more times to get a smooth finish!

About the Author

He provides lessons on how to choose the best ship model kits or the model boat kits through his blogs and online videos.

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Author: Andrew Anten

Andrew Anten

Member since: Dec 16, 2015
Published articles: 17

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