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Silly putty masking

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  • Member since
    August, 2012
Silly putty masking
Posted by JMorgan on Monday, August 07, 2017 3:14 PM

I know you can use this for irregular camo masking, but is it effective around raised structures where you have to cut the putty to conform?

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 9:49 AM

I don't use silly putty, per se, I use that sticky tack stuff that looks like pre-chewed gum and what teachers use to put posters up in their classrooms at school.


That being said, I've found the sticky tack to conform really well.  You just have to make sure you press it into recesses really well or you will get overspray.

  • Member since
    August, 2012
Posted by JMorgan on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 10:46 AM

I do have some of that poster putty but have not used it for masking though. Thank you for your experience and input.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 11:32 AM

Sometimes when you're removing the stick tack, you'll get little bits that stay stuck to the surface, all you have to do is use a bigger ball of the stuff and stick it to the leftovers and pull off, rinse and repeat as necessary. That should get all the rest.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, August 10, 2017 2:32 AM

Silly putty is different in composition from blue tak or white tak and I feel it is superior to them. They are kind of sticky. Silly putty is a flexibe plastic so not sticky and easy to remove comared to the others. I use it on armor and aircraft when I need it and it does well anywhere you use it. Look for you tube videos on it and practice using it. When you get a feel for it you will see why I and lots of others prefer it  and use it a lot.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, August 11, 2017 8:47 AM


 I have used Silly - Putty since I was a very young modeler . I learned this use by accident . My silly putty had been left out by Little Bro . He had set it on my Large Revell Mosquito bomber wing.

    He was going to bomb something then his attention was directed somewhere else . He never actually played with any of my models . Anyway , next day after school it was paint time .What a neat pattern . I left it painted that way , and then was very surprised at the results .

 Instant convert to Silly - Putty Masking !

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Friday, August 11, 2017 10:31 AM

Seems I might have to try silly putty

  • Member since
    March, 2014
Posted by BarrettDuke on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:47 AM

Hey, JMorgan. I use Silly Putty for a lot of masking, especially when irregular lines are needed, like some forms of camouflage. It works great. I agree with an earlier commenter that you have to make sure you have it pushed down everywhere, or you will get some overspray under it. It will conform really well to raised objects, but you do need to make sure you get it all up when you remove it. Sometimes, little pieces can get left behind as you are pulling it off. One really important factor to keep in mind is that you do not want to use Silly Putty if you are using oil-based enamels. The sovent in them will liquify the Silly Putty and make a serious mess. Stick to using water-based acrylics that use alcohol as the solvent and you'll be fine. That also means you don't want to use canned spray paints, not even Tamiya's spray cans. The solvent in the Tamiya spray cans is different than the solvent in their bottled paints. Either that, or the propellant is the problem. All I know is don't do it! :-) Someone here may know of some spray cans that work with Silly Putty. Maybe they'll provide some further guidance. I just stay away from all of them when using Silly Putty.

  • Member since
    August, 2012
Posted by JMorgan on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:02 PM

You just saved me some serious headaches since you told me about the oil-based enamels causing problems with Silly Putty! I was about to mask for airbrushing an enamel. Whew, looks like I'll get that car I am building finished in time for my brother's 50th birthday! Many thanks!

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:49 PM

I've used poster tack, too, 3M's brand.  You can find it almost anywhere stationery is sold, even at many grocery stores.  I keep it around for holding models in place when transporting them, or to make ad hoc holders for pinned parts when painting-I can stick it in a convenient open space on the bench.  But I've used it for masking RAF camo patterns, and it worked pretty well.  There was a little underspray in some spots, where the roll at the edge of the mask stood a little too proud of the surface.  It occurs to me now that the next time I use it to mask, I will roll the putty into a thin sheet and cut the form out.  I do this already with 2-part epoxies that I use for sculpting.  I have a piece of heavy plate glass salvaged from an old copier, and I use an old wine bottle for the rolling pin.  I think I can get some better edges that way.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, August 11, 2017 6:28 PM

I've used silly putty with airbrushed  Model Master and Humbrol enamels with no ill effects. But I did not leave it on too long. I use Testors Universal Enamel Thinner when airbrushing enamels. For hard edges on compound curve surfaces, it is probably my favorite masking medium yet used.


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, August 11, 2017 7:07 PM


I have an old Revell DC-9 kit with recessed identations for the windows, that I have been pondering how best to paint.  I may give either Silly Putty or the poster tak stuff a try and see how it turns out.



  • Member since
    March, 2014
Posted by BarrettDuke on Friday, August 11, 2017 7:41 PM

Stik, I believe you about the Model Master and Humbrol enamels with Silly Putty. I may very well have just had an unusual bad experience with airbrushing enamels on Silly Putty. I think if you don't lay down heavy coats of paint, you can probably get away with it. And if you pull up the Silly Putty quickly, that woud help, too. I know for sure that there is no way to use the spray cans with it, though. Perhaps the problem is primarily with the propellant in the spray cans, but I'm not sure. Barrett


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