I've explained this technique to many people over the years but never got around to posting photos to illustrate it. Here is the techique explained with photos. Essentially, I have tried to reproduce the 1:1 technique at 1:35.
I find that I get the best results using this method. It requires some pressure to make the epoxy layer thin enough to be accurate so I like to do the most of this work before construction. That way I dont have to worry about breaking anything. I use a pencil to mark the areas covered by tool brackets and other fixtures and apply the putty around them. In the event that I forget to mark something, or change plans, the zimmerit can be removed fairly easily and leaves no trace on the plastic. Damage can also be simulated accurately using this technique. The zimmerit pattern in the photos is particular to the Panther but the basic principles and tools can be used for any zimmerit pattern.
1. The tools: 1) Xacto handle used to roll the putty thin and smooth. 2) Spatula used to spread the putty. 3) Pointed trowel for scoring lines in wet putty. 4) Roller made with scrap sprue and watch winding crown and stem.
2. Two part hand moldable epoxy: There are many different brands. The epoxy in these photos, made by Elmers is no longer produced but Tamiya makes a very similar putty in two variations with quick or normal drying times ["Tamiya Epoxy Putty" Item 387051-400 (quick type) or 87020-300 (normal)]. I hear good things about Aves Apoxiesculpt but have not tried it. I like to use something that begins to set in about 40 minutes and hardens slowly for revisions if necessary. In any case this sort of putty is not corrosive to plastic and can be pried or chipped off without too much trouble.
3. The putty is applied to the plastic by hand.
4. The putty is spread out by dragging and pressing it with the spatula.
5. The putty is flattened and smoothed by rolling to a uniform depth of about .5 mm or less with the Xacto handle. Excess putty can be trimmed from the edges after rolling with a blade.
6. This part of the process should be easier now that AFV Club sells a custom made roller (AC35003 Zimmerit coating applicator). This is my 1999 vintage version.
7. The vertical ridges.
8. Scoring the horizontal break lines.
9. Scoring the diagonal break lines.
10. Its important to wet the epoxy surface and tools with water throughout the process.
11. This is a little sloppier than my usual results, sort of a hurry job for the photos.
I hope this technique works for you.
great work..and you've done an excellent job explaining how to accomplish this daunting technique that,to the many of us, often try to aviod at all costs..but you have eased the fear of "zimmerit-osis" somewhat!!..
maybe a bit more info on different types of zimmerit and we can post it in the articles section?...