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Ultimate Sanders


Mike
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Ultimate Sanders
Ultimate Products


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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

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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

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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.

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Review sample courtesy of
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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

That they are Mick... I've been using them non-stop (as much as my modelling is non-stop), and they're really handy for narrow areas. You can clear the grit temporarily by banging them hard on the desk too - it dislodges a lot of the accumulated dust in one fell swoop. Just don't do it on a table that someone might beat you to death on when they catch you ;)

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