Paper to Styrene- Inspired by CJTK1701

Discussion in 'Extended Mediums' started by Soaring, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    Sometimes....sign1 ....sometimes.....
    Anyways, time to start out small! Sadly, I haven't officialy marked this as styrene model the entire day. I think most of the rest of my day I will definitely, but I have to leave some time for "Mai Tyme"

    Start small! - Quote by....Who knows....:idea:

    Oops, forgot the picture :cry:

    Attached Files:

  2. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    Start small, move forward, keep on trekkin and don't let ANYBODY stop you!:cool:
  3. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    Ok, so I tested some horrible watercolors, which did not work...Now I have one more test to go. Filling the grooves with White glue O.O

    Attached Files:

  4. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    Don't let things get you down. I'll get on that tut for you after I build up your demo parts. Sorry, just been real busy trying to get caught up with stuff and fixing my computers.
  5. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    Ah, no problem, I know what it's like fixing computers =)
  6. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    How's this coming Soaring? I'm going to be printing up your leg today and if I can get to it I'll do the tutorial with it to show how to cut the styrene to make your parts.:mrgreen:
  7. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    How's it coming....Hmmm.....Not so good :) I did practice cutting styrene last night, I pasted it onto my Cromwell Tank for reinforcment. I think what I really will do is not make any fold lines :/ I guess I'll have to cut up one piece into several parts and paste them with Super Glue! :D Oh yeah..

    Excellent! On both accounts! I can't wait :p
    Just a helpful tip, if you want an old looking rusty tank for any diorama, dip the model in water, dry it with a tissue,and viola, you get a tank that looks like it's been in mold.
  8. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    Cool, maybe when I get done with the leg and tut it'll make more sense.

  9. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    Thank you mother! Over the weekend I recieved 6 ink pairs, 4 glue bottles, 400 Cardsotck pages, and an addition 200 sheets of Styrene! Not to mention a better X-acto knife. Thank goodness, my new Fiskar knife cuts through Styrene like a charm, I guess I won't have anymore problems :0
  10. CJTK1701

    CJTK1701 Banned

    Glad you got some new supplies, sounds like you made a haul. I should caution you though about using scissors on styrene. Depending on the thickness of what you are using, styrene wise, you could dull up a really nice pair of scissors. I don't suggest using scissors on styrene. I've been through this before on another forum and I don't suggest scissors on styrene.

    You can use and exacto, or utility knife on styrene and with a little practice you can score and snap styrene just as accurately as you can cut cardstock!

    I don't advise the use of scissors on styrene.:mrgreen:
  11. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    You mind if I offer some friendly advice to make your paper-to-plastic scratchbuilding easier? :)

    1: Don't just scribe and bend it like you would paper. That's actually a technique called the "scribe'n'pop" method, which is designed to make it easier to cut and which will cause the parts to separate. Also, if you go strictly by the shape of the paper template your part will be distorted slightly, because the template assumes a thickness of zero since it's designed to be used with paper, and styrene is a lot thicker. You need to find some really thin liquid cement(the 'hot' kind that glues via molecular bonding), and use a file to get the edges you're trying to mate to a 45 degree angle or so, and that way the shape you're trying to make will not be distorted. Then dip a paintbrush in the glue and spread it on the inside of the joint, holding it together for about thirty seconds to a minute. Then you can begin work on the other pieces.

    2: When you're capping a box or other structure, I'd make a plug for the end that fits just inside the end very snugly, and then glue that to some thin styrene(say 0.020"). After that's set, take your Exacto and scribe a line around it that is a little farther from the edge than then box's walls are thick. This creates a lip around the part that keeps it from slipping down the inside of the box. Then pop it free and glue it to the box.

    3: Always use some sort of glue that actually melts the styrene and not just superglue. Superglue is great for when you're bonding parts that have nothing in common molecularly, like metal and plastic(such as photoetch parts, more on that later), but for building the basic structure you'll need to use 'hot' glues that bond the styrene on the molecular level. When that happens, the parts literally become one, and it will be very hard to get them apart shy of tossing them off a building. :D Good thing this type of glue takes a little while to set completely, so you can make fine adjustments while it's setting. This glue is also very thin, so it will flow into the gap between the parts easily. Another good thing about this glue is you can sand down styrene to a fine powder and mix it with this glue to make a type of putty for filling gaps, and since this putty is the same stuff as your building materials it will sand completely smooth relatively easily. Try to resist the urge to sand before the putty is set, though, as this will actually pull molten plastic out of the joint and make a large hole. Good glues of this type are Plastruct Plastic Welder and Ambroid Pro-Weld. They are commonly available at any hobby shop. Avoid tube glues like the plague, because they produce inferior welds and are over-priced.

    4: Always reinforce your builds with a small strip of styrene behind the joint. I know the joint is really hard to break once it's set, but this takes a few days to accomplish, and to keep it from breaking or deforming until then, glue some small strips to the inside.

    5: If you want to avoid spending days on the details, a good way to circumvent it is to buy cheap warship, tank, car, and airplane kits for details. This is called kitbashing. Warships are good for tiny bits and guns, tanks(especially ones made by Dragon. They're no more than thirty dollars but come with hundreds, sometimes thousands of parts!) are good for wheels and armor and small-scale tools and weapons, cars are good for tubes, wires, and cylinders, and airplanes are good for flaps and actuators. Also, you need to get some styrene strip, which comes in a great variety of sizes, shapes, and thicknesses. Get a medicine bottle or a small box with a snap-on lid and squarely chop the styrene into lots of little bits. It takes a lot of time, but the payoff is that you can detail your build as you imagine it, without having to take time chopping up the styrene and risk losing the image or second-guessing yourself.

    6: Be extra-careful when gluing clear styrene. Superglue is to be avoided when gluing in a window because it will cause the styrene to 'craze' and an acrid, white powder will form on the inside. Solvent-based 'hot' glues will do a similar thing, except not as 'crazy' and they won't produce the white powder. White glue is good to use, because it'll keep it in place, it won't interfere with the transparency of the window, and you can remove it later with warm water in case you need to repair or modify the inside.

    7: I mentioned Dragon kits earlier. Some of these will contain a sheet of parts known as 'Photoetch.' Photoetch is a sheet of thin brass or copper(usually brass) that has parts that are etched into it's surface chemically. The reason they are there at all is to provide incredible detail that would be difficult or impossible in styrene, such as ultra-thin armor panels, small-scale riveted plates, and railing for 1:700 scale warships. To use photoetch, simply snip it from the sheet(called a 'fret') and use superglue to attach it. Have some superglue debonder handy to remove the part in case you mess up. Occasionally photoetch parts are produced in a way that is similar to paper models, making small boxes, frameworks, and other thin, detailed parts. Other than using pliers to bend them along the etched seams and superglue to assemble them, they are just like paper models.

    8: Avoid watercolors for painting a plastic model(you've probably guessed that by now, though :wink: ). The two best choices are enamels and acrylics, which have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Enamels are my favorites for the base-coat, because they are extremely resilient and don't damage easily, and they come in spray-bomb form, unlike acrylics, which makes them useful for base-coats. The disadvantages are that they are hard to clean up and have an odor, and the solvents used to thin them for brush-cleaning are incredibly acrid and irritating to your nasal passages. Acrylics are quite good for detail work because they are typically thinner than enamels and cleanup is a breeze because you can use water on them. The disadvantages are that they are a lot more fragile than enamels and are not available in spray-bombs. You wouldn't want to coat an entire model in them, in other words.

    9: Decals really make the model come alive and replicate designs that you couldn't paint without tremendous time and effort invested in tedious masking and painting. To apply them, coat an area on the model where they will be applied with a coat of Future floor wax, a type of acrylic coating that is self-leveling and extremely thin, wait for it to set about an hour, and then apply your decal over it by setting it in warm water to loosen the glue(should take about ten to twenty seconds, depending on the size of the decal), set the paper on top of the model, then slide the paper out from underneath, leaving the decal in it's place. Don't try to do more than a few at a time, because you will run the risk of touching the decal before it's dry. After the decal is set on the model, brush a little Future over it, being careful not to disturb it, and let that set overnight. Yeah, it'll take weeks to decal a model that needs a lot of them, but it'll be the difference between a good model and a fantastic one. When the Future is set, spray a coat of clear matte, satin, or gloss over the model(mask off windows before you do this!!) to even out the Future and non-Future areas.

    I sure hope this helps! You already seem to have a handle on how to build properly. :thumb:
  12. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Brilliant advice MF. I find that what you've replied is very accurate. I only wish that I could do such things. How is the Star Wars modeling going?

Share This Page