tip: improve strength + water-proof

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by rapierdragon, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    Cool trick I use.

    + Relatively cheap.
    + Great for areas where you don't have room to hot-glue or provide internal support.
    + Great for "thickening" areas or even producing windows.
    + Provides a good amount of "water-proofing" against accidental spills (of glass-cleaner or whatever)
    + Allows use of a damp cloth for cleaning dust from model in future
    + Gives model a nice "plastic-like" sheen to model

    -can certainly take a lot of time to do
    -reflects light, can cause blurring and "bright spot reflections" when trying to take pictures of model afterward its built


    Buy the 2-inch wide super-strength clear tape from a place like Zellers and "coat" one or both sides of all parts with tape after printing but before cutting/scoring.

    MAKE SURE the tape is the "clear" or "ultra-clear" type and not that cheaper crud that results in a slightly yellow off-colorization of white, otherwise you'll have to re-balance the colors of your prints since that slightly-yellow tape will tend to make blues turn slightly green and reds slightly pink. HOW TO TELL: view the roll of tape from the side (as if looking through the spool). If the tape is relatively clear then it has no color to it, but if its yellow or yellowish then it'll cause a very-slight color-change to anything you tape over.

    If piece is over 2-inches wide place one length of tape then use a second strip with minimal overlap at the edge (1/8th-inch is good). As long as the tape has no color to it then it won't really be noticeable. Try to do overlaps along folds or other areas where it won't be too noticeable.

    Then continue with normal scoring of the folds with a rular prior to cutting and folding. You may find a few areas need scoring more than once depending on how many layers of tape is present.
  2. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Interesting. Do you have a picture of a model you prepared this way? I'll bet it would give a nice gloss. Do you have a problem with bubbles under the tape? I spray all my model sheets with Krylon super clear acrylic spray paint. It does the same thing but mine are not as waterproof as yours!
  3. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Member

    yeah, here's one

    other pictures can be found in with the models here:
    Free file hosting by Savefile.com

    These are ships based on ships from the online sci-fi trading/piracy game "Dark Pirates" (DarkPirates is the game site)

    I don't use tabs in my work for gluing as I use clear tape...

    Once I get used to posting pic's here I should put up my nice shelf of Star Trek Enterprises. I downloaded various ones (NX-01, 1701, thru 1701-E) and then worked out how to print them all to the same relative scale... Its really cool cause it really gives an idea of how two different ships would be when next to each other... they all hang suspended (several lines of thin fishing wire) from this long wood shelf in my room

    NX01 is like 5.5 inches long
    and the Ent 1701-E is like 16 inches long by comparison!

    I did build a non-scale Ent 1701-J from jaybat's (I think) page, but it's not to scale... if it was it would be over 3 ft long

    I do admit I sometimes cheat though and use plexi. I buy this thin (1/24" or 1/32") plexiglass from a local home-depot and sometimes use it to line the inside of larger shapes to keep them flat, and often had to run a thin horizontal piece between the rear ends of the warp nacelles on startrek ships to keep them even (then there's a small vertical piece which connects to another horizontal piece which either comes out of or attaches to the lower-rear hull to provide support.)

    Best example of a cheat is on my paper ncc1701 Enterprise (which is bout 6" long... see picture's s6300135 and s6300140... shelf is 5/8" thick for size comparison) ... those thin paper pylons (talking like 1" long by 3/16" wide by 1/10" thick) bend so easily, and the thin hull doesn't provide enough support to really keep them in place no matter how much paper and tape and glue you use. Even putting plexi inside the pylons and then using plexi to help support the internal structure wasn't enough ....

    Attached Files:

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