Stargate Props and Costumes

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General discussion about the art of prop building. Includes molding, casting, painting, electronics etc..
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By SG Merc
If you've ever finished a resin prop from a kit then you know that trapped air bubbles beneath the surface of the cast can hard the final surface of your project. Thankfully this can be fixed with simple materials and techniques.

First, what to use:
  • Super glue + baby powder mix: Simple, cheap and effective. When mixed together it quickly hardens into a versatile filler.
  • Milliput: A sculptable epoxy. Comparatively more expensive than other options and not as easy to find locally. Best reserved for when you need to reshape part of a project.
  • Bondo Spot Glazing Putty: Great for the final surface coat as it is soft and easy to sand smooth.
  • Resin: If you have resin then it can sometimes work for filling large holes. Rough up the inside of the hole with knife so that the resin can anchor, or else it might not stick.
Some tips from my experience:
  • Enlarge small holes: This makes it easier to fill them. Dig out areas where bubbles are covered by a thin resin skin with a razor blade. It can be difficult to tell if pinholes have been filled, so consider widening them a bit.
  • Rough up the inside of large holes so that the filler material can anchor itself.
  • Use the right stuff: See my list above. Use glue+powder for large holes, and leave a thin gap before the surface of the prop so that you can finish with glazing putty. The glue+powder is hard and difficult to sand smooth. Conversely, Bondo will crack and sink if used too thick filling large holes.
  • Use the right tools: Wood toothpicks are good for pushing material into holes. Use a thin piece of plastic or metal for spreading it. A cut up gift card works well, but a metal spatula is best.
And here are some pro tips for using Bondo Spot Glazing Putty:
  • Apply in thin layers if you need a lot of it. It dries fast and will therefore crack if put on too thick.
  • Keep your tools clean! It dries fast and will make your smooth applicator rough. The best way to keep your tool clean is to tape a paper towel to the edge off your workspace and scrape off your tool regularly as you work.
  • Use metal sculpting spatulas if you can. This will give you the most control over spreading Bondo.
  • Sand with fine grip paper inbetween layers of Bondo. Wet sand where possible.
Following these steps will get you out of most holes. If you've got additional advice then share below.

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