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Techniques and Uses for Milliput putty

Milliput putty scratch built bag 1:35 scale Milliput has been used to create this sack which is tied onto a grab handle on the side of the AFV.  Military vehicles are frequently seen covered in miscellaneous stowage. It is possible to buy ‘ready made’ stowage but creating your own from scratch is satisfying and makes your model unique.


The article ‘All About Fillers’ gave a general description of the wide range of filling materials available to modellers.  This article will take a detailed look at one of these – Milliput epoxy putty.  Although the article is specifically directed at Milliput, the techniques described apply to other similar products such as Apoxy Sculpt.

Milliput comes in a variety of grades, but for modelling I always use ‘Superfine White’ which is the finest grade available.

Milliput putty scratch built bag 2 The bed roll on this tank was made from Milliput rolled flat into a sheet then rolled up and shaped.  The ties are made from fuse wire.  By making it from scratch it is possible to have it hang realistically over the smoke dischargers.

General Description

Milliput is a two-part epoxy putty.  Like epoxy glue, one part is a hardener and the other part is a resin.  These two parts come in two separate rolls with the consistency of plastercine or clay.  Whilst these two parts are kept separate they can be stored for a long time (although not indefinately) but when mixed they begin to harden.

The hardening process is very gradual and normally there will be 30 mins to an hour where the product is very easy to use, but it will gradually become harder until it is very difficult to mold it.  After this point, any further shaping has to be done by cutting and scraping rather than molding.  The speed of hardening increases with temperature, so you will have a shorter working time on a hot day.

Milliput makes an excellent gap filler, but it is very versatile and can has many other purposes.  With a little practice it is possible to make a variety of accessories to enhance a model or diorama.  Making items from scratch is very satisfying and will allow you to create a model that is unique and stands out.  Milliput is also very useful when figure modelling as it allows the pose of figures to be altered so that they more naturally blend into a model or diorama.

The rest of the article will give a general description of how to use Milliput followed by specific examples of use.

Using Milliput

Milliput putty package Milliput comes as two rolls of clay-like material each contained in a plastic bag.  To use Milliput take each roll out of it’s bag and cut off an equal length.  It is best to keep an old knife blade for this as Milliput will stick to the blade and is difficult to remove.

Cut only as much Milliput as you can use in about 30 minutes because after this time it will start to harden and become difficult to use.  It is generally better to mix small amounts because it is always possible to add more later.

It is now necessary to thoroughly mix together the two pieces that have been cut.  The best way to do this is to press the two parts together and then roll them out into a long sausage shape.  Fold this over in half, then roll it out again.  Do this over and over until there is a uniform colour.  The Milliput will start off fairly hard, but will become much softer and easier to work with as it is mixed and warmed in the hands.  The Milliput is now ready for use.  You may find that your hands are now sticky with residual Milliput and it is best to wash this off with soapy water before going any further.  If you have sensitive skin, then consider wearing dispoable plastic or latex gloves.

tools-probes Various probes and sculpting tools


If you are using Milliput just for gap filling then all that is needed is something to press the Milliput into the gap and then scrape or smooth off the excess.  An old knife blade is ideal for this – perhaps the same one used for cutting off the Milliput from the rolls.

However, if you plan to do some scuplting then you will need a few more tools.  Stainless steel scribes (like dentist’s use) are very useful and can be bought cheaply from modelling suppliers, either singly or in sets.  The same can be said for scupting tools.  Another place where you can get a variety of wooden and metal sculpting tools are pottery suppliers as sculpting clay and Milliput require exactly the same tools.

If you are only going to need to do sculpting occasionally then it is possible to improvise with tools and household objects that are readily available.  Cocktail sticks, the ends of old paintbrushes, glue spreaders, and stiff wire (bent as needed) can all be useful in sculpting.


Example 1: Gap Filling

Milliput 12

This is a situation you will rarely find on models produced recently but this Alien figure dates back several decades.  There is a large gap at the wrist and also a significant step between the palm of the hand and the wrist.  There is also a smaller gap between the two halves of the forearm.  In this photo a knife has already been used to reduce the step between the palm and the wrist but there is a limit to how much this can be done before there is no plastic left to pare away.

Milliput putty tool application

Millliput is pressed as far into the gaps as can be done.  The more Milliput that can be put into the gap the more likely it is that it will stay in place.  Milliput does not shrink or react with the plastic so you can apply as much as you like.  With conventional putties that soften plastic it would be necessary to fill a gap this size in at least two stages.

Gap filled with Milliput putty

When the Milliput has been pressed into the gaps it can be smoothed out.  It is quite hard to sand away when dry so to avoid unnecessary work as much excess Milliput should be removed as possible.  It can be smoothed over with a wet finger but since further work will need to be done when it has set there is not much point doing this in this case.

Gap filled with Milliput putty 2

When the Milliput has hardened it can be scraped and sanded smooth to the level of the plastic.  Care is needed in this case to use a knife blade to shape ridges in the Milliput to match the ridges that go right around the wrist.  This could have been done when the Milliput was soft, but I find it easier to do after it has set.  When painted there should be no sign of the gap.

Example 2: Fine sculpting

Alien buck teeth

The teeth on the front of this Alien figure’s mouth were poorly moulded and suffered from a large gap where the two halves met.  An attempt to resulpt them with a knife was unsuccessful, so I decided to start from scratch and scraped away the tooth detail completely.

Alien buck teeth 1

A small blob of Milliput was pressed into place where the teeth needed to be sculpted.  Only a very small amount was needed and in fact much of what you see in this photograph was removed during the sculpting process.

Alien Buck Teeth 2

The shape of the teeth was marked into the Milliput very lightly with a dental probe.  On the first couple of attempts the teeth did not blend in to the existing teeth at the sides, so they were erased by smoothing out the Milliput and then imprinted again until the result was acceptable.  The impression was then made deeper so the teeth started to look realistic.

Alien Buck Teeth 3

Further shaping and smoothing of the teeth was done with a sculpting tool.  Where there was too much Milliput, the excess was cut away and in a couple of places tiny blobs were added to build it up.

Alien Buck teeth 4

There is a limited amount that can be done when the putty is still soft.  It is diffirult to smooth it out and pressing on one part of the Milliput can move the surrounding putty spoiling work that has been done.  When the teeth were roughly shaped as in the photograph above the model was left for the Milliput to harden.

Alien Buck Teeth 5

 After the Milliput had hardened it was set about with a modelling knife.  A Swann Morton handle with No.15 blade is ideal for this detail work as the blade is small with a fine point.  It was scraped along the teeth to smooth out irregularities.  Also the grooves between the teeth were deepened with the knife.  A corner of fine wet and dry paper also helped to smooth the surface of the teeth.  The final result is shown above.

Example 3: Major Sculpting

Alien Egg 1

The Alien figure has a base to which an Alien egg is attached.  The egg should appear to be part of the base as if it is growing out of it, but as can be seen here there is a considerable gap big enough to insert a cocktail stick.  The aim was not just to fill the gap but ot make the ‘veins’ on the base appear to be growing up the sides of the egg.

Alien Egg 2

Although this job would require a fair amount of Milliput it was mixed in two smaller amounts to give time to use it before it hardened.  The Milliput was rolled into ‘sausages’ that were pressed into the gap and then smoothed out.  Other sausage shapes were rolled out and pressed to the side of the egg where the veins on the base met the egg.

The aim was for everything to appear smooth since it is all of biological origin.  Before the Milliput hardened a fairly stiff brush was dampened and brushed over it to smooth the surface and make sure that the Milliput blended seamlessly with the plastic on the base.

Alien Egg 4

This is the effect when it was completed.  A layer of ‘poly sludge’ was brushed over all of the Milliput to further smooth it out and make it blend with the egg and base.

Alien egg complete On the left is the almost completed alien egg with most of the painting done and it can be seen how the putty around the bottom edge with ‘veins’ up the sides helps to make the egg look like it is part of the base rather than sitting on top of it.

Storing And Buying Milliput

Milliput can be stored a long time but it will not last forever.  It gradually becomes harder even when kept inside the plastic bags and a hard crust can form making it difficult to mix.  Try to buy Milliput from suppliers that have a fairly quick turnaround so that it is less likely to have been kept in their storeroom for a long time.

If you buy Milliput from a store take the rolls out of the box and press your finger gently into the rolls (whilst still in the plastic bags) to check that it is still soft and has not formed a crust.

Make sure that you replace your Milliput in the plastic bags that it comes in and expose it to the air as little as possible.  If it does form a crust then it is best to cut this away and just use the inside which is still fresh.

If you do modelling regularly then this should not be a problem – Milliput is very versatile and you will probably find yourself using it often.  If it does become hard and difficult to sculpt you can still use it for purposes such as reinforcing the inside joints of vehicles or adding weight to the nose of aircraft.

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GRAB YOUR FREE STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO GUIDE !Here you'll find the BEST on the web video tutorial on how to make 1:48 scale WW2 German jet. In our friendly step-by-step video guide we cover topics like: drybrushing, applying washes, applying decals and many more. Do not miss out - WE GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW!!!!New GraphicName: Email: We respect your email privacy