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Mike

Buffer & Thinny Buffer Sanding Sticks

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Buffer & Thinny Buffer Sanding Sticks

Ultimate Modelling Products

 

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Sanding sticks are a modelling staple, and Ultimate have had an excellent range that we have reviewed in the past, here and here, which has now been widened by the addition of these useful buffers.

 

What's a buffer?  It's a sanding stick with fine abrasives that lets you put the finishing touches to your model, and can be used to create a shine on the surface, or to restore the shine of (for example) a canopy that has been damaged or needed a seamline removing.  The blue/grey 3000 grit side is the first step to clarity and has a fine abrasive that will smooth your model or give a canopy a transparent "fogged" look, after which the white 12000 grit side will restore the part to clarity.  They are incredibly effective in use, and the white side is almost magical in its ability to make paint and plastic shine.  Don't treat them as the only sticks you need though, because as with all things, the foundations of a good finish begin earlier in the preparation.  Working up through the various grades using finer grits will ensure that your buffers have no deep scratches to cope with, but when you get to that stage you'll find them very effective.

 

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The buffers are constructed in a similar way to most modern sticks, with a flexible plastic core that has foam layers on both sides.  The sanding surfaces are laid down on top of the foam to give the stick the flexibility to conform to and around surfaces, which results in a better finish.  Whilst having good quality inflexible sanding sticks is useful for constructional sanding, foam is excellent for finishing without having to be too fastidious about catching raised detail.  As well as buffing clear parts, they have many uses, one of which is for buffing back primer after it has been sprayed.  I use the blue/grey side to finish my primer before painting, as it cuts back the "dust" from the finish without being too aggressive, or obliterating raised details.  I have also used them to polish gloss black primer to a mirror finish, which gives a very realistic finish for those of you scared (me included) of modelling the modern RAF Hawks in their all-black schemes.

 

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Two sizes are available, although once you open the Thinny sticks you'll see that there are actually three sizes.  The buffers are there for general use and cover a good area quickly, while the thinny sticks are great for working on the details.  Even better though are the super-thinny sticks, which have less of the foam layer, so have a lower 2.7mm profile that allows them to get to places that normal foam-based sticks can't manage.  This will be particularly useful in wing-roots where the edges of the larger sticks can cause scuffing to the fuselage or wing root, depending on where you are sanding. 

 

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The big Buffer pack contains three sticks that should last you for a while, providing you don't get too carried away and catch the abrasive on sharp angles, which can tear it away from the foam.  That's not a fault of the sander, just general physics and in my case at least, clumsiness.

 

The Thinny Stick pack has six sticks inside, with two being of the super-Thinny variety.  I suspect the super-Thinny sticks will be my favourite of the pack, so perhaps we can implore Lee and the guys to release a pack of those as a stand-alone item?  We can but hope.

 

Conclusion

I've long been a fan of this type of stick, and have in the past (badly) cut buffers to use on smaller areas, so am very pleased to see the Thinny Sticks becoming available.  With careful use they will last ages, and their usefulness is without question.

 

Very highly recommended.

Buffers
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Thinny Buffers

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Review sample courtesy of

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Good review Mike :smile: and these should be ideal for small models, such as 1:144 scale etc., as well as tight areas on larger kits.

 

Mike

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Indeed - they're an excellent product, and I was so pleased (some might say "unreasonably excited") to see the super-thinny sticks in the pack.  They're going to be very useful indeed ^_^

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Thanks Mike - excellent review - your enthusiasm shone through.

 

Just what I need and just ordered.  

 

Beginning to run out of the sanding sticks I got from my Granddaughters make up bag (brushes still useful though)

 

Dennis

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