Estes Baby Bertha Build with Aergloss Sealer Replacement

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SCIGS30

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Since Midwest stopped making Aerogloss Sealer, I had to try something else that works as well, CWF and papering is out of the question for my KISS building style. Also Sig Sealer does not work very well. Brodak makes a balsa sealer that I have never tried until know. I bought a small 4oz can to give it a try. I bought a Baby Bertha from HL with my 40 percent coupon for 6 bucks, not bad. I have always liked the Baby Bertha design but now the black color and stick on decal. Any way on with my Brodak experience as a replacement for Aerogloss. The Brodak sealer smell like the old Aerogloss from the 70s and 80s and is much thinner than Aerogloss Sealer. I opened the can and stirred the sealer and began brushing it on my sanded fins. Brodak brushes on much easier than Aerogloss and dries much faster. My first coat was on the lite side, I was brushing it on like Aerogloss. With Aerogloss if the coat is too thick, it takes longer to dry and more sanding. So I let my first coat dry for 20 min and sanded with 320, I can say it sands easy and fast. After sanding I brushed on another coat but more liberal, once again it brushed on great. I did this 3 more times not counting the first lite coat. At first I thought it would be too thin with minimal filler, but I was surprised after sanding how much grain was filled. Of course it is a Dope product so the smell is still there, but I like nostalgia. The next day I decided to paint the rocket and see how well the sealer worked. I am doing my own color and decals so I am using Testors Enamel spray since I am using a flat color. Since it is enamel I first primed the rocket lightly with Testors Lacquer primer. This is not a filler primer so I don't have to sand before spraying my color coat. I was impressed after the primer dried how well the sealer worked on the grain and I hope I have a replacement for Aerogloss. I will be ordering more sealer and will have to see how well it works on my vintage builds. Brodak sells a white primer but it is not a filler like Aergloss filler. I contacted Brodak and they told me it would not work well as a filler and requires wet sanding for a smooth finish, and the primer is better sprayed so I will not be trying it. Brodak sells 16 oz cans of their sealer so I will place an order and transfer the sealer into smaller 4 oz jars.
I also posted a picture of the same Baby Bertha nose that Estes has changed over time. When the rain stops I will finish my Baby Bertha.

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Overeasy123

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Looks like the Brodak Dope is a Big League (Bigly) Success! Glad to hear it!

Your rounded leading edges look impeccable!

I've never seen a Bertha cone with that knob molded at the aft, like #3. It's just a between-parts separator, I'd guess.
 

Todderbert

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I'm wondering why you do no like using CWF? First time using it I found it a breeze. The stuff fills well and sands to a smooth finish easily. No odor and minimal thinning with water required.
 

mwtoelle

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The dope-based sealers add a little strength to the fins, especially 1/16" or 1/32" thick fins. I also get less dust when sanding Aerogloss than with CWF. My experience with CWF is there is no strength added and the water in the filler tends to warp the fins. I was doing a Super Vega (Estes 2036) with CWF at the time. YMMV.
 

TangoJuliet

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I don't really care for the CWF for filling grain either. I guess it does OK for filling spirals, but I'm not even convinced about that.

SCIGS - Where are you buying the Brodak? Many years ago, I was told that if you mixed Talcum Powder into the AeroGloss Balsa Sealer, you'd end up with the same thing as Balsa Filler. I've never tried it, but it seems plausible.
 

Mugs914

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The best place to get Brodak dope products is from Brodak!

https://brodak.com

I have used their products quite a bit on my control line stunters and find it to be great stuff.

The talc in dope works pretty well. There are also more modern powders that can be added to dope to make fillers that are a bit lighter than talc, but probably not worth it for most of our applications.
 

dpower

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Good news about Brodak. My suppply of Aerogloss is dwindling, though my LHS still has a little in stock. I'll have to check with them to see if they can stock Brodak in the future.
 

SCIGS30

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When I got back into building model rockets I tried CWF and was not impressed. Never really fills the grain and makes a mess.
 

dpower

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Good news about Brodak. My suppply of Aerogloss is dwindling, though my LHS still has a little in stock. I'll have to check with them to see if they can stock Brodak in the future.
Well, my LHS is going to carry SIG going forward. IIRC, the SIG sanding sealer doesn't work as well as aero gloss.
 

SCIGS30

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I finished my Baby Bertha, once again a great deal at Hobby Lobby for 6 bucks. This was my first attempt at a replacement for Aerogloss sealer and I will try Brodak on my vintage builds to see how that goes with the older balsa. I sprayed one coat of non filler primer and a coat of Testors enamel spray paint. I followed that with my airbrush for the camo. I used some very old Monogram decals and she is ready for flight. Sorry about the poor pictures, my wife has her camera with her out of town. Sorry, unable to upload pictures but here is the link.
https://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=16505
 

SCIGS30

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I finished my Baby Bertha, once again a great deal at Hobby Lobby for 6 bucks. This was my first attempt at a replacement for Aerogloss sealer and I will try Brodak on my vintage builds to see how that goes with the older balsa. I sprayed one coat of non filler primer and a coat of Testors enamel spray paint. I followed that with my airbrush for the camo. I used some very old Monogram decals and she is ready for flight. Sorry about the poor pictures, my wife has her camera with her out of town.
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