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Finishing balsa?

Quick question, because the internet didn't give me an answer: I just made a model out of balsa wood (for reference, it is not rc, it's a rocket powered glider that is made entirely of balsa). If I don't plan on painting it, can I just leave it raw, or do I need to coat it in something?

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Coating would protect the wood and make it easier to keep clean, and potentially give it some strength. I used to make rockets with balsa fins and usually just painted them. I'm not sure if that would lead to any warping of the wood or not, back then I was too young to notice/care.
I use Krylon Crystal Clear. It dries super fast and doesn't yellow. It smells like airplane dope so use it in good ventilation. Two light coats is enough. Gloss or matte finish, your choice.