Balsa Hull finishing order - RC Groups
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Mar 16, 2013, 05:31 PM
Registered User

Balsa Hull finishing order

Hi All,

Building my first Balsa Model. A Sterling CC. When finishing the hull. Do I apply filler, then sand, then more filler, then sand until I get all the flaws out before i apply Aero Gloss? Or do I apply filler, then sand, then Aero Gloss, then more filler, then sand, then Aero Gloss?

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Mar 16, 2013, 07:11 PM
Registered User
Jeff 2010-In my humble opinion I would not use Aero Gloss dope for the balsa wood hull. I would sand the balsa to contour than coat with a resin, either polyester or epoxy. If any filling was needed I would use a polyester scratch and glazing putty made by EVERCOAT, for filling of and imperfections. This filler is easy sanding and can be used over bare wood, resins, and primed painted hulls. The use of fiberglass cloth is also an option you might want to consider. What ever you do, do not rush to finish paint the hull until you have a perfect hull in primer.

I would also coat the entire interior of the hull with a coat of thinned resin for water proofing the balsa wood.
Mar 17, 2013, 10:22 AM
Chris Craft Corvette
42Corvette's Avatar
Hi Jeff,
When I built this model I sanded until I got nervous about removing too much material, then I used bondo with a catalyst. Make sure you have a surface that is scuffed up enough to hold the bondo. Don't skimp on material. It's easier to do things one time than to cut corners and have to make repairs later. I then sanded my bondo and balsa until It was close and I then fiberglassed the hull with
3/4 ounce fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin thinned with denatured alcohol. Then clean the fiberglass of the waxy substance, sand it and apply a second and maybe a third coat of thinned epoxy resin. Sand the last coat and you can use catalyzed
bondo for continued sanding and making the hull ready for primer. I used 3 heavy coats of catalyzed automotive primer/filler.which were sanded again, before the primer and paint were applied. This is a lot of work but the results are very satisfying and will last indefinitely. It is still a small part of the overall effort required to build this model. I've posted several pictures of my Corvette. My hull was done as I recommended to you. You might be able to log on to my build in R/C Groups for more details.

Good luck Jeff.
Mar 17, 2013, 11:51 AM
Registered User
Hi Ed,

My will be a shelf model. I don't have a motor. My next may be a RC water model. With that said do you think I should fiberglass? I have been using HobbiCo HobbyLite filler, I don't really like the way the HobbyLite goes on. I had worked with bondo years ago, do you think I'll have issues if I bondo over the HobbyLite?
Mar 17, 2013, 12:04 PM
Registered User
Tim B.'s Avatar
Mr.Corvette, thats a GREAT picture !

You captured the "Bullnose" shape of the Big CC perfectly in that build ~
Last edited by Tim B.; Aug 10, 2016 at 04:31 PM.
Mar 17, 2013, 02:26 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
We have achieved great results on balsa hulls using DEFT satin finish laquer.
The satin finish laquers have a "filler" in it to give it less glossy finish.
Sanding between coats helps level the surfaces. If there are any deep areas to fill, then
the Bondo or light spackle works well.
We have also laquered in a layer a SILK SPAN, or tissue and that helps prevent splitting
under "duress". After a few coats of laquer over the silk span, and some primer, a really
smooth finish can be achieved.

Mar 18, 2013, 06:33 AM
Registered User
That can't be very good Umi, it doesn't involve Cyano or Resin.

Regards Ian

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