What do you use for hand made zimm?

In October the Great Ones campaign starts. I will have to make zimm. The last time I made zimm was a looong tome ago and used Green Stuff putty. I watched Nightshifts video on making zimm and he used Tamiyia’s quick epoxy. It gave him 30 minutes to an hour work time and could be spread thin. Interestingly Tamiya USA does not import it for sale.

What do you use? Is there a special technique using the product you recommend? Work time? size of area to work at one time?

Molak Stucco Putty or Tamiya Basic Gray Putty thinned with Testor’s Liquid Cement

Tamiya Zimmerit tools

Basic mix is half a tube of putty in half full bottle of liquid cement. This brushes nice but will quickly develop a film on top. One wants to see the film and let it firm up slightly before raking with the tool.

Practice on sheet styrene first until confident.

Use Testor’s Liquid Cement to thin putty so that it is like thick paint. Brush on small area for Zimmerit. Dampen Tamiya tool with liquid cement. Use as scraper pulling to make pattern. Jog everry 3mm or 4mm.

Don’t like pattern, wet area with Testor’s Liquid Cement and smooth with brush and redo. Can do this once.

Minute or so for small area. Work in small areas.

[quote]Size of area to work at one time?

Max of 1 inch square.

This technique can go as thin as paint for good scale appearance. Needs excellent ventilation due to a fair amount of liquid cement is used. Having two or three #1 hobby knife handles available is handy. I never use the biggest scraper usually do most of it with the medium sized one and touch ups with the small one.

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Molak Stucco Putty & Tamiya Basic Gray are both nitrocellulose based and can be reactivated after drying with liquid cement. This can be handy doing touch ups with smaller tool.

It probably sounds mess and complicated but it pretty straight forward.



I use green Milliput and a popsicle stick carved to shape for the trowel. It is not toxic, does not smell, gives over an hour of work time, thins with water, and dries as hard as a rock. It can also be chipped away in a very realistic way. However, it is harder to achieve thin layers than the method suggested by Wade. Using water too liberally makes it difficult for the putty to grab the surface and often results in lifting. Roughing up the surface a little before applying the putty helps with adhesion.

Make sure to look at photographs of the pattern you want to copy and practice making it as Wade suggests. It is a simple matter to carve and sand a popsicle stick to a shape that can achieve any pattern desired. If you are in doubt about where zimmerit should go, find pictures of a zimmerit set on Scalemates for the model you are making and use that as a guide. Sometimes after market people get it wrong but it is better than nothing.

Regardless of the putty used, it is a very artistic process and takes significant time to apply. Do not fight it and try to rush. Put on some pleasant background noise and indulge your inner artist.


Doug, makes many excellent points!

With Milliput the SuperFine White always seemed to cooperate better with getting into thin layers than the gray. A little talcum powder sprinkled on rolling surface and putty surface can help.

I like 5/64’s & 3/32 inch thin flat head screw drivers for texturing Milliput.

First try with SuperFine using 1/8 screw driver (too big) long ago.


To apply zimmeritt, I have this excellent set, I believe made by Trumpeter, with 5 different pattern wheels and stamps that screw on the handle. This is a fantastic tool but I think it’s OOP. Others make similar tools if you Google.

For the paste, I have 2 options, both inexpensive and available at Home Depot.


DAP Premium Wood Filler. Water Based. Smooth over with water and do-over if you screw up. Work in 2 inch areas. Excellent adhesion.


DAP Kwik Seal Kitchen and Bath Adhesive Caulk. Long working time. Just smooth over and re-do if needed. Work in two inch areas. Even better adhesion.