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Found 8 results

  1. New Ultimate Sanders Ultimate Products You might be getting a bit of déjà vu here, but I can assure you that you are reading a whole new review, as Ultimate have revised their sanders a tad, now adding the word waterproof into the description, and colour coding them, which would be useful if I had any form of memory. There are two shapes – the thinny sanders have a long narrow section that is very useful for detail sanding, with a shorter handle that is approximately three times the width, and allows sanding of larger areas without having to change sticks. The others have a roughly rhomboid form factor, and I say roughly because one side has sharp angles, while the other is gently curved. One of the sharp ends are rounded and the other is square, so you have plenty of different shapes to play with. They are easy to use, and flexible enough to allow you some degree of latitude when handling them. The thinnies have a tapered tip, which means you can get into even smaller places, and with their now documented waterproof nature, you can wet-sand with impunity. I have used the older ones wet, and they stand up pretty well, although occasionally some of the abrasive would peel away under prolonged use. This shouldn't be a problem now, even though it was only a little one. The thinnies come in packs of 6 and the thickies(?) are sold in packs of 3, with the thinnies having the same grit on both sides and the standard ones having two grits per stick. The samples arrived weeks ago, but because of the lack of modelling time I've had, they had to wait until I'd had time to use them before I could get the review done. They've been my primary finishing sticks now since they arrived, and have been useful as well as capable. When they clog during dry sanding (I was sanding resin at the time) they can be washed clean, which extends their lifespan, so they should last well. Now I just need a set of waterproof coarser sticks to complete the set. Thinny Sticks 800 & 400 (6 packs) 800 grit x 6 400 grit x 4 Sanding Sticks 400/800 x 3 Review sample courtesy of
  2. Customisable Sanding Sheets (240, 400, 80 & 1200 grits) Ultimate Modelling Products Sanding products are pretty much a necessity for us modellers, and finding better ways to accomplish tricky tasks is one of those things that we all find different ways of doing. Ultimate are always looking for new products that will help modellers do better, or at least do it easier, which is why they've released these new sanding sheets in a variety of grits. There are five packs available, four of which carry three of a single grit, the fifth contains four sheets, one of each grade, and is predictably known as the variety pack. They arrive in a small clear bag with the Ultimate branding and their product details on the front, plus a few brief lines of instruction on the rear sticker. To access the contents you need to cut open the bag, as they're non-resealable. Making those bags resealable would be useful IMHO, as it would allow you to keep your sheets together, however the backing plastic colour is also a key to the grit sizes, and as you'd expect the smaller the grit number, the more coarse the abrasive is. 240 grit = White 400 grit = Yellow 800 grit = Orange 1200 grit = Black It's easy to understand the variety of grits aspect, but what might not be apparent from first look is that these sheets aren't just pieces of wet'n'dry or something similar. They're sheets of abrasive that have been bonded to a 1mm substrate of styrene sheet, which makes then rather useful. You can use them as a firm, slightly flexible sanding sheet if you wish, but that's kind of missing the real point. Because they're on a styrene backing, you can cut them to any shape you want with either a pair of scissors or a sharp blade with a few passes on the abrasive side. Once cut, you can use them as you would a sanding stick, but without the bulk and at a size and shape that will be more useful. You can cut a triangular shape that will give you three points to use for confined areas, cut a sheet into strips that would be very useful for getting right into corners and in-between delicate parts such as landing gear legs, with only 1mm plus the thickness of the paper needed to allow you access. This is the task I'll be putting at least some of these to, as I can't abide leaving any moulding seams on such parts, and this can get quite time consuming when you have to make your own sanding tools. Now I will just grab the required grit for the task at hand, slice a chunk off and get to work. Awesome! I've been using a knife blade to keep the styrene nice and thin, but if you don't want to blunt your blade on the abrasive, you can just as easily use a pair of scissors and follow a pencil line to keep it from wandering off. The thinner you cut the sheet, the more flexible it will get, but compared to my thinnest sanding stick, there's very little difference there, so it's not exactly a downside. Any abrasive will clog eventually, even if you're using water with it, but that's not a problem because you can just snip off the clogged section and carry on until it's too short to hold properly. As to delamination, I've cut a few chunks off with a knife and scissors, used them and abused them a bit with and without water, and so far nothing has come unglued, which is great. You get a cleaner cut edge with a knife blade of course, but scissors might well be more convenient or cost-effective as their blades are more resilient when it comes to this sort of abuse. Conclusion A very useful tool to add to the arsenal of any modeller, whether you've stumbled across a difficult area to sand or not. Your time will come, and these sheets will come in so handy. Review sample courtesy of
  3. 3D Printed Modelling Accessories Ultimate Products We have probably all seen the rise of the 3D printing in our hobby as well as a host of other uses in recent years, and Ultimate have now leapt onto the bandwagon with some new modelling tools 3D printed in tough, hard-wearing PLA, which is a little more ecologically sound as it isn't an oil based plastic, and biodegrades in nature once disposed of. This first batch of items is designed for keeping your various modelling fluids safe from tips and spills. Tamiya Glue Bottle Holders We've probably all spilled a bottle of glue of whatever brand over the years, ruining table tops, cutting mats, or in the worst case that I've ever experienced, a keyboard or mouse. My tally is two keyboards and one mouse so far, mainly before I standardised on Tamiya Extra Thin cement and had to buy extra gear. It has a fairly wide square bottle, which helps keep it stable, but this set of bases will keep it very much more stable, so that even I would struggle to topple it. As you might know, there are a number of different glues from Tamiya in addition to the ubiquitous Extra Thin, such as Limonene, which is derived from citrus such as lemons and oranges, and has an orange cap, plus ordinary Liquid Cement, which has a white cap. It seems there are even two shades of green used for Extra Thin caps, which was news to me, but Ultimate have you covered if you'd like to match your base to your glue pot. They even have a few additional colours of translucent blue and green in the drop-down on their site. If you're working to a particular theme however, you can even order custom colours by emailing them, with options such as Gold, silver, grey, translucent red, yellow, light yellow, black, blue, sky blue, natural, fire red and white on offer. The bases are light, having been printed with a light-weight matrix inside to reduce usage of materials, and they fit very snugly around the bottles, with enough "slop" to remove and insert them easily, but not enough that they can tip out without catching the side and gaining that extra base area. The increase in effective area is substantial, and is increased further by the diagonal corners that extend the footprint even further, which makes it even harder to knock over. Can't be bad! Choose your colour, or buy the full-set, which contains four bases in light green, dark green, orange and white, as shown in the picture above. Ultimate Decal Solution Holder (Microsol/Set) Decaling is a time-consuming process, and it is so much easier in modern times thanks to the introduction of such wondrous things as decal softeners, which aid the decals in settling into the contours and panel lines of your models. MicroSol was one of the early ones, and their Set and Sol solutions are a boon, while their Liquid Decal Film is useful for adding an extra layer of carrier film over old or crazed decals that time hasn't been kind to. The "bullion bar" as it's known internally at Ultimate is a 3D printed gold-coloured PLA block that has three holes in the top, one for each of MicroSol, MicroSet and Liquid Decal Film, with a few additional holes for paintbrushes or cocktail sticks thrown in for good measure. As a bonus, I found that you could also fit Humbrol acrylic tins while I was mucking about, so it's got even more uses! You'll have to try pretty hard to knock it over, and apart from the standard gold, you can also speak to them directly to order other colours such as Silver, grey, yellow, light yellow, black, blue, sky blue, natural, green, light green, orange, translucent green, translucent blue, translucent red, fire red and white. I seem to have hidden my MicroSol bottles far too well to find in order to show them in the holder, but I'm sure you can work it out. If you simply must see it with bottles in, Ultimate have a few pics on their site, which you can see by clicking on the button below Review sample courtesy of
  4. Ultimate Acrylic Primer - Black, Grey & White Ultimate Products Primers are an important step in isolating your model's materials from the coming paint, and also play a part in producing a harmonious base on which to build your painting work, preventing peeling, the patina of the model underneath showing through, and improving adhesion. There are lacquer primers out there, but they suffer from pretty nasty smells with chemical properties to match, rendering them difficult to use without a spray booth or an empty house. Acrylic primers have been available for some time now, with various manufacturers producing them, and with varying degrees of success. This new one from Ultimate was developed by American airbrush company Badger using a name that I can't properly pronounce, but is so good that Ultimate have re-bottled it and are selling it as the ultimate in primers (note the lower case ultimate). It is available in three shades as mentioned in the title, and can be purchased in either 60 or 120ml polyvinyl chloride bottled with a flip-top dispenser cap. On first use you unscrew the cap and remove the protective foil lid to allow the paint to exit the dispensing nozzle when you need it, then close and shake the bottle thoroughly to evenly disperse the components. I find adding a steel or glass ball bearing assists greatly with this. The paint itself looks quite thick in the bottle, and pours slowly into your paint cup, but is intended to be used neat, without any diluent. A 0.3mm needle at 20psi or higher is also recommended, but I have carried out my tests with a 0.2mm needle in my Infinity, so it's a fair bet it'll work in any 0.2mm or larger needle too. Ensure the area is at a reasonably comfortable temperature, and that the paint is warm too, or it will spray thickly and a little orange-peel might initially show up, although in my test this disappeared during curing, which is nice. At a more realistic temperature (my workshop was cold at the time), the paint sprays much thinner, and the process is quick and easy, resulting in a nice thin coat that thins further while drying. If you experience spitting or a ragged edge to your work, then you should warm up your environment a little and try again. That's not the paint's fault, but more of a symptom of my terrible temperature regulation and general poor health. The instructions state that you can paint over the primer within 30 minutes, which is great news if you're impatient like me. It also accepts Tamiya masking tape that has been burnished down, lifting without any damage or pulling, which is pretty good for a fairly fresh coat of paint of any sort. You can scrape the paint off with the edge of your fingernail with a bit of practice, but as you can do that with just about any other modelling paint after 20-30 minutes, it's hardly of note. The finished primed surface is exceptional, with even the early tests having a nice thin finished coat, despite the thickness of the initial application. I'd have held the initial tests up as a way not to spray primer if it hadn't sorted itself out during curing, so it appears to be pretty bomb-proof as far as the occasional goof might be concerned. Ultimate recommend leaving the primer to fully cure for 24 hours if you plan on sanding or buffing it back, so I will leave this sample the requisite time and reconvene with a piece of fine grit paper to put that hypothesis to the test. 24 hours later, and the test is passed with flying colours. The rough sanding test section shows the paint and styrene being ripped through by the abrasive together, while the medium grit illustrates that the paint has been worn through as you would expect with any non-acrylic primer, leaving feathered edges that could be easily blended. The polishing grade test patch shows that the paint has been smoothed to a glossy finish without any surface damage or tearing that can be associated with other acrylic primers. I also did a quick test on fresh paint that had been down 30 minutes, and although it was still soft, it was capable of withstanding light polishing. Adhesion is clearly excellent, although I did take the precaution of cleaning the surface with IPA beforehand to ensure that finger oils didn't interfere with the test. However, I eventually sprayed an additional two wing surfaces during the test, and these didn't receive the same preparation, with no apparent difference in finish. Update I have now used the primer in the field (well - the workshop actually), and am updating the review to reflect my experiences. I used the black to prepare my recent Nebelwerfer 42 for paint (you can see the end result here), and found it very easy to use and resilient to handling. Adhesion was excellent, as it had to cope with brass tube, PE, resin and styrene all in one small area. The finish was perfect for immediate painting, and resulted in a very smooth final coat that stands up to close inspection. I added a little white from above to give a little bit of pre-lighting to the primer, which has been lost to an extent due to the camo splotches, but I know it's there Conclusion This is a very capable acrylic primer, which does everything that I would ask of a primer. It goes down well under sometimes less than ideal circumstances and shrinks back to a thin layer when dry. You can overcoat it in 30 minutes, sand or polish it after 24 hours without fear of the paint rolling up off the surface, which speaks of excellent adhesion. The finished primer coat is also robust, standing up to handling and even light scratching before the plastic is exposed, which is all you can ask of any primer. Add together all those aspects of performance that you would expect from a primer and you already have a good reason to use it. When you then take into account easy clean-up with water/Ultimate Airbrush Cleaner, plus a distinct lack of smell during and after spraying, easy removal in the event of a mistake or model strip, then it starts to look compelling. Black 120ml Black 60ml Grey 120ml Grey 60ml White 120ml White 60ml Review sample courtesy of
  5. Ultimate Burnishing Liquid Ultimate Products Ever since the introduction of aftermarket metal track sets for model AFV's, modellers have tried to obtain that worn and weathered look. Mostly it was done with paints, graphite and other powders, then came some chemical based liquids onto the market, showing the way to get an authentically worn look. Naturally these were quite caustic as it was their job to burnish the metal to give them a natural worn and distressed look, so some care had to be taken when using them. Ultimate Modelling Products have now entered the market with this new product called Ultimate Burnishing Liquid. As with other manufacturers products you will need to wear protective gloves and use in a well ventilated area as it’s still an irritant to the eyes and respiratory system. Once you’ve assembled you track lengths, all you have to do is pour the Burnishing liquid into a suitably sized plastic container along with an equal amount of tap water. Place the previously cleaned tracks into the solution and move around, agitating with a brush until the desired effect is achieved. This can take any amount of time, but usually between seven and thirty minutes is required. With the track suitably weathered remove the tracks from the liquid and run tap water over them to stop the chemical reaction. Dry thoroughly, and then weather the tracks using your preferred powders and paints before running a sanding sponge over the raised areas to give that used look. Then it’s just a matter of fitting the tracks to your model and that’s it, job jobbed. Conclusion Whilst I haven’t had a chance to use this product, mainly due to a lack of modelling mojo, along with prolonged illness, one of our members has used it on one of his latest builds HERE Knowing the way Ultimate product test everything they make and how well their other products work this Burnishing Liquid should be in every AFV modellers arsenal for that used track look. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Ultimate Washes Here we have two new washes from Ultimate Products. The Winter wash is completely new and can be used on both vehicles and groundwork. The liquid has very fine pigments and is quite watery, so will be good for adding a light distemper covering for a more weathered look or increasing the number of coats and giving a newly covered look. For groundwork it would give a good base on which a snow product could be added. The Dark Dirt, although not new has been re-formulated making it quite a bit darker and with a finer pigment. To use this product, the modeller just sprays or brushes the wash onto their model, wait for at least 30 minutes, then wipe of the excess with a damp cloth or paper towel, ensuring you wipe across the like of panel lines so as not to remove the wash from areas you wish to highlight. Conclusion As I haven’t had a chance to try these products out I will revise this review when I have. But from the quick look they do look like they will be very useful to all modellers. Another good point is that they have no smell to them whatsoever, great for those modellers who don’t have a dedicated modelling room.
  7. Ultimate Sanders Ultimate Products Sanding is an inescapable part of modelling unless you're one of the happy band that don't bother, and are probably a lot less stressed as a result! There are many sanding sticks on the market, and many are just re-badged manicure tools, which is fair enough, but sometimes they don't quite address the specific needs of the modeller. Along comes Lee of Ultimate to create something that will be a bit more useful, while keeping the price point sensible. It's not just the grit that's important with a sanding stick – it's the shape, and the fact that sometimes you want a hard backing to your stick in order to change the shape of something, and others you want a flexible backing to do general sanding that influences the whole area, and not just the high points. That's why we have sticks and sponges respectively, and both are very useful, but quite a lot of the time you'll find them too wide to get between raised detail, or too big to see what you're doing. Sanding Sponges Ultimate have a range of four sponges that have a unique shape, with a gentle curve along one side, and two straight edges meeting at a peak on the other. This leaves the sponges with a rounded point at one end, and a squared-off point at the other. The finest sponge is a straight one with rounded ends, and has a light green fine side, and a white super-fine side that is superb to finish a sanding job and check for undulations and scratches by buffing it to a high shine with the white side. It's also handy for bringing canopies back to clarity after seam removal. They're available in the grits noted on the picture above, and in a variety of packs as follows: Starter Pack – One each of 100/180, 220, 240/1200 and buffer sponges. Multi Pack – One each of 100/180, 220 & 240/1200 sponges. Triple Packs – Three of 100/180, 220, 240/1200 or buffer sponges. If you've not used them before, the Starter Pack is ideal to get a feel for the system before you spend a lot. The first time you use the buffer, you're almost guaranteed to get a smile on your face when you see how quickly it brings your subject matter to a shine. Thinny Sticks For those narrow areas, there are three grades of stick and one sponge, in a straight stick that narrows over around two-thirds of its length to approximately 6mm. I find these sticks very handy for small jobs such as sanding intakes and small areas between raised details, with just the right amount of flex to do the job without them buckling. The very tip of each sander is slightly narrower still, giving you that little bit extra flexibility. These are available in packs of six in the grit sizes as noted on the photo above, and a new multi-pack that came out after we received our samples, which allow you to test them out before you spend out on a full set. Conclusion These sticks have been specified by a modeller for modellers and it shows. They will come in very useful, and as already mentioned they're quite reasonably priced (you can see the prices by following the Buy It Now link), and if you're feeling flush there's another new set called the Mega Pack, which contains all of the sticks we've reviewed, saving you some money. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Ultimate Acrylic Airbrush Thinner & Cleaner Ultimate Products It's a bit of a bold claim to be the ultimate in anything, isn't it? I think that Ultimate have a fair claim in this respect though, as they have created two products that can be used on any acrylic paints without the risk of it turning to jelly or ruining your paint finish. We here in Great Britain are familiar with a wide range of acrylic paint systems, probably around a dozen or so off the top of this modeller's head at least. Well Ultimate have been out and found another couple of dozen lesser known brands that are available throughout the world, and made sure that their products are compatible with those as well. That's what I call dedication above and beyond. The bottles arrive double-wrapped and carefully packaged to reduce the chances of spillage, and under the cap is a bung that you need to remove before first use. You'll find 270ml of the product within a cylindrical polyprop bottle, and the cap has a handy folding dispenser "tube" built into the lid, so that in the unlikely even you tip it over, you'll not lose most of your bottle to the desk. In fact, I just ran a quick test, and even a full(ish) bottle laid flat on its side will not lose any content with the tube deployed and posed at any angle. That has to be a boon for the clumsy modeller like myself. So far it's same-same for both products, but their intended use is different, so here's where we'll diverge. Ultimate Airbrush Thinners By using different mixing percentages that are shown below in a table, you can use this to thin any currently available acrylic paint, so you can dispense with all those different bottles of X20A, Xtracrylix, Gunze etc., that surround you work area. That should save you a little space, and over time, save you some pennies too, as you only need to have one brand of thinners around. I have tried it on several brands of paints that I have on hand, and have found it to be equivalent if not better for all instances. Lifecolor for example, it improves the spraying noticeably, and also makes the finish more robust, resisting handling more than previously. Gunze is pretty much identical to their own Mr Leveling Thinners, except for the fact that it isn't lacquer based, so less harsh on you and the environment. Tamiya is just the same, and Xtracrylix improves the flow and reduces (so far to zero) the drying on the tip that besets this brand. Although the instructions recommend a percentage that varies by quite a margin, I have been using my patented "guesstimation" method, and everything has been fine. You might want to post up a copy of the table next to your spray booth, and I fully intend to do so when I get a minute. My spray booth is also a lot less cluttered as a result, and I'm hooked. I've even used it to thin paint for brushing, and it works very well there too, so bear that in mind when you have some of your own. Ultimate Airbrush Cleaner Airbrush cleaning is one of the bug bears of the new user, and until you evolve a routine of your own, it's a process that can be a bit of a pest. This new cleaner is good to have on hand, and will dissolve paint that has dried in the cup or on the brush while you've been using it. If you've been silly and left paint in the cup for days, it'll still cut through that, but you'll need to leave it to soak a wee while longer. Again, I've tried it with all the above brands, and it just whisks the paint out of the brush, and after a few back-pressure bubbling sessions you're ready to spray the next colour without a strip-down. An interesting side-use that I have found for it is as a brush cleaner. All brushes eventually get a build-up of paint in the shaft of the bristles where they enter the ferrule and are packed tightly. This can be tricky to remove, and can result in a ruined brush. If you decant a puddle onto a resistant surface like Formica or your cutting mat, then dab the brush side-on, being careful not to damage the bristles, you can expel all that dried on paint after a few attempts. I usually use a drop or two, soak the brush, dab it, then wipe away the dirty thinners and repeat a few times until the brush regains its natural bristle colour. I recently used this technique on my dry-brushing brush, and re-discovered its bright orange bristles! If you can clean a dry-brushing brush, you can clean any brush. Conclusion I am so pleased that Lee from Ultimate sent me these two innocuous looking bottles, as not only have I cleared a little space in my spray booth, but I've also had an improvement in my painting experience. I'm also one of those folks that due to my own buying habits and some of the samples we've received over the years happens to have a lot of brands of paint, but I suspect I'm not alone. The products perform as advertised, and the only smell is a faint Isopropyl Alcohol whiff, which Lee freely admits is one of the ingredients. The rest of the recipe is highly secret, and I can understand why it's a product that although calling it a game-changer is too grandiose, it will change the way you paint in acrylics with your airbrush and clean up afterwards for the better. Very highly recommended. Airbrush Thinners Airbrush Cleaner Review sample courtesy of
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