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The Future Is Now!

Article by Paul Nortness

In previous articles, I have made mention of "Future Floor Wax". In this article, I will discuss this wonderful product more in depth and share some of the great things you can do with it to enhance your model kits.

Future can be found in stores like Wal-Mart and is currently sold under the name "Pledge with Future Shine" in the US. For some reason, they like to change the name from time to time but the bottle stays the same. Future Floor Wax is made by S.C. Johnson. It is a acrylic based floor coating that you apply to linoleum flooring. To be blunt, this product is a gift from the modeling Gods. It is water soluble so clean up is a breeze and it has a nice smell to it (which is a refreshing change from some of the other products modelers use). Future is self leveling, so you can apply it with a brush. Or you can thin it with ammonia based Windex and air brush it.


As I have mentioned in earlier writings, I used Future on instrument panels to simulate the appearance of glass on dial faces . Simply add a drop of Future to each dial on the model's instrument panel with a bamboo skewer and let it dry. This also works on navigation lights. I like to paint the light silver, then add Tamiya Clear Green (Or red if it's on the starboard side), then add a drop of Future over the paint for the light "lens".

Another great use of Future is canopies. Much like the first caveman who discovered fire, we do not know who discovered the amazing properties of Future nor do we know how it came about. Whoever it was, modelers around the globe are forever in their debt. When applied to clear parts Future makes the part look thinner and clearer, giving it a more realistic look. The other great thing about Future is it can be used on clear parts to cover scratches. This is significant because newer molding techniques often leave a mold line down the center of the canopy. With Future on your workbench, this is very easily addressed.

cockpit 1

Using a sanding stick, sand off the mold line. This will leave the plane's canopy with a hazy look, but don't worry. Continue lightly buffing the canopy surface until you have it nice and smooth to the touch. Once you have finished this, the canopy should be completely opaque. Find a clean container big enough to fit the entire canopy in and fill it with Future. Slowly dip your canopy into the Future and leave it for a minute or two. Now, fold a paper towel into fours and put it somewhere it will not be disturbed. Remove the canopy from the Future and place it on the paper towel.

cockpit 2

I like to put a cottage cheese container over the canopy to keep any foreign objects like dust off it while it dries. The next day, lift up the container and you should see an amazingly clear canopy! Always leave 48 hours after application before you mask and paint. You can also dip clear parts like HUD lens, nav light covers, etc.

Another cool trick with clear parts is tinting. You can tint Future with food coloring or clear paints. For example, if you are modeling an EA-6B, you can dip your canopies in yellow tinted Future to simulate the gold tint in the canopies. You can also use Tamiya "Smoke" to tint as well as giving clear parts a dark look.. low riders anyone?

Future is also handy for model kit decal work. Before you apply your decals, coat the entire model with Future. As mentioned before, you can apply it with a brush or with your airbrush using Windex as a thinning agent. This coat will provide a glossy surface for the decals to adhere to which also helps prevent the decals from "silvering". Silvering is where the clear part of the decal appears silver rather than clear and occurs most often on a matte surface. Some people even go as far as using Future as a decal setting solution by lightly brushing Future over the decal after it has been applied. Once you have completed the decal process, apply another full coat of Future. This second coat will protect the decals during the weathering process. If you mess up with Future, it can be fixed by spraying Windex over it and wiped off. Be careful though, if you used acrylic paints Windex might remove that as well.

Have fun and Happy modeling!

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