Review: Citadel Liquid Green Stuff
When Games Workshop released Liquid Green Stuff it seemed to be as an answer to the problems they were having with the quality control of their Finecast line of models. Because of that it seems that many modelers have taken an active dislike to it without even finding out if it's any good or at least worth having on the workbench. Since I'm always interested in trying new things I decided to give it a try. Here's what I've discovered about this oft-maligned product.
Liquid Green Stuff (LGS) is poorly named. It isn't literally a liquid form of the 2 part epoxy putty. It appears to be a thick acrylic paint with some form of filler in it. You would never try to use it for sculpting - it's really just a filler putty. It's for dropping into cracks, crevices, and pin holes to fill them in before final paint. You can do this with regular old green-stuff too, but it can be harder to work with for filling tiny errors - like the kinds of pinholes you find with miscast resin models. Also, LGS dries a lot faster than ordinary GS.
I started using LGS pretty much the day it came out. I didn't expect much from it, but it turns out that it fills a niche - both literally and figuratively - very well. To use it, you apply it similarly to the way you would apply paint - with a brush straight from the bottle, or from a palette. You can thin it with water like you would paint if you need it to fill a tiny crack or hole, or you can leave it thick and goopy in order to fill a larger one. Once it dries you can file or sand it to make it conform with the surface of the model - if needed. It will stick pretty well to bare plastic - less well to bare resin. You may want to consider a primer coat before using it but it isn't strictly necessary to do so. Depending on how thin you have it will determine how long it takes to dry. If you think of it as just being like their paints you'll have a good sense of how long it should take. LGS is pretty versatile. Similar products I've used in the past have had a tendency to shrink quite a bit which meant that multiple applications might be needed even on small gaps. LGS does shrink but not as much as I was expecting.
In the old days I used Squadron Green Putty, which is a solvent-based filler that's been around forever and is pretty much the go-to putty for modelers. For miniature work I think that I prefer LGS. It's water-based - so you don't need nasty chemicals around to thin it and I find it much easier to work with - especially when working around complex curves. One of my first reactions to LGS was that I wished that it came in a tube like the Squadron putty. After applying it from the bottle a few times I decided that the bottle was just fine. It does allow it the potential to dry out quickly, but as often as I use it I don't see that actually being a problem. My bottle should probably be empty before it dries out.
Downsides? There's certainly a limit to what it can do. There's a point at which a gap is just too much for this stuff and you should go to an epoxy putty or something with a little more bulk to it. That's okay, because this isn't a cure-all. You also don't have as much control in its application as you do with an epoxy putty, but I'm finding that with a little practice I'm figuring out all kinds of ways to get it where I want it to be. Since it behaves in many ways like paint your brush skills will actually come in handy when using LGS.
It's a shame that GW didn't release this stuff on its own as opposed to a way to change the conversation about their QC problems with the Finecast miniatures. I think that under normal circumstances this product would have received a lot of praise from the miniature painting community. I just hope that people will over time, give this worthy addition to the toolbox a shot.