Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by RikWood, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. RikWood

    RikWood New Member


    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on waterproofing paper/card models. I am not thinking of making them totally water tight, just capable of staying in one piece if they got caught out in a slight shower.

    I am thinking of building some Star Trek equipment for a New Years fancy dress, but don't want them to fall apart on the walk there if it rains a little.

    I have had two thoughts;

    Laminate the parts before assembly, but this would potentially affect some dimensions possibly causing some assembly issues. It would also require a different adhesive, PVA probably won't stick. (Anybody know what will stick laminate?)

    Give the whole model a coat of slightly diluted PVA after assembly. There may be an issue with colour fastness, and possible warp/distortion from the moisture in the PVA.

    Anyone got any experience doing any of the or know of other methods. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Vince

    Vince Member

    I have no useful input about waterproofing, but I was wondering what kind of New Year's fancy party dress requires Star Trek equipment? A costume party?
  3. One one hand, lamination would seem to be about the best protection from water, but on the other hand, construction would probably not quite be possible as intended. You'd have layers of plastic on both sides of the stock, so you'd have to use a glue that works well on the lamination plastic. You'd also have to deal with the additional thickness. The edge bends may not come out the way they are supposed to due to the thickness.

    Pretty much every time I've tried to coat a paper construction with a water based coating it's warped beyond acceptability. You might try several light coats of spray varnish. Test the idea on a small/simple model first.

    No matter what, I would think it would be a good idea to reinforce any internal expanses of paper with something like foam board-- or corrugated cardboard, at least. A hollow box could be made solid with a stack of corrugated pieces, for instance. You could even cut scraps of foam blocks to fill hollows and reinforce it.
  4. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    You may want to try a clear coat spray paint, like "Krylon" (for cars or outdoor furniture). Like PH said, try it on another model first to see if you like the results.
    Please let us know what you have tried and what the results are and good luck with it.
  5. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    Vince, the party is fancy dress. My sister-in-law holds one every year with a different theme. Last year it was Mexican, the year before it was Super Heros. This year it's cult tv and movies. So I thought a few long sleeve tops of the correct colour, some printed sticky badges and some papercraft equipment and we have a whole family sorted with Star Trek TOS outfits, on a pretty tight budget.
  6. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    That's what I thought, maybe on laminate large surfaces where the additional thickness and bend issues could be less significant

    Yes spray varnish may be better especially if it does not soak in too much,

    I was planning to reinforce throughout, as you describe, as these will be models intended to be handled, not just looked at. Even though the only have to last the night the will need to be fairly strong.

    I will have a play with a few of your ideas and how I get on. Thanks for the help.
  7. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    Thanks for he info, i have not heard of that before, is it available. The UK?
  8. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    I do not know if the brand "KRYLON" is available it the UK, but I am certain if you go to your local hardware store you will be able to find something like it there.

    If nothing else, you can always go to your local hobby shop and ask for clear coat spray paint and apply several thin coats of it. That might do the trick as well.

    Good luck with it.
  9. That's not a bad idea to do with most paper models, actually. I've always tried to spray some sort of protective coating on mine. Most inkjet inks are pretty water soluble.
  10. arkon

    arkon Member

    if you cant find krylon try hairspray, pretty much the same stuff.
  11. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    I have used hairspray as a fixative for loose modeling materials and for chalk and pastel art work (Applied after the work has been completed) with varying degrees of sucess, but i did not realise that it had waterproofing/repelant properties. I will have a play with my wife's when she is out at work (That sounds a bit rude when you read it back :twisted:)
  12. vbsargent

    vbsargent Member

    Another thought is decoupage paste. But then again, depending on the manufacturer, it is really only thickened PVA. I have successfully used decoupage paste on inkjet printed paper. This might work well if you use a heavy card stock, then reinforce with an added layer of card stock cut slightly smaller than the printed pieces (and lacking any glue tabs). I would also take paper hollywood's advice and use internal formers and layers to beef up the inside.

    @Vince- I believe that where RikWood lives "fancy dress party" refers to what we in America call a "costume party." :mrgreen:
  13. Firestreak

    Firestreak New Member

    Hi RikWood, check my post out, titled "paper stiffener" Ive made boats which floated with it, and NO leaks!
  14. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Actually, if you printer uses Dye based Ink, then Yes, it is water soluble. If our printer uses Pigment Based Ink, like most Epsons, then it is not water soluble.

    Contrary to most believe, the are not interchangeable. That is primarily why I by Epsons, though the heads are prone to clogging, but I have this whole cleaning procedure down to 10 minutes. This happens if the printer sits for a couple of weeks, the ink hardens on the nozzles.

    Best ink prices:

    www.inkproducts.com O.E.M. Epson ink at a fraction of the price, Made in America.

  15. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    Sorry Vince, and thanks Vbsargent, I did not make that clear. You are correct a fancy dress party is indeed a costume party. You will have to forgive me I am not fully up on the Anglo-US translations. I will need to keep it in mind that the majority of members on this site are US based and may not always understand some of our terminology.
  16. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    That explains a lot thanks Zathros. I had a really nice Epson inkjet with document feeder, scanner, multi paper trays etc. Eventually I had to scrap it when the heads blocked (used a whole set of cartridges trying to clean them). In the end gave up and contacted Epson for the price of a new set of heads. The repair was uneconomical so replaced with a HP.

    I now have a HP in my office and a basic Epson in my kids room. Does this mean that I should print my card models to the kids Epson and keep using it regularly to stop the heads blocking? It would make sense as the ink is 1/4 of the price.
  17. RikWood

    RikWood New Member

    Well I finally got round to finishing my Star Trek props for tonights costume party.

    In the end I gave the models a coat of thinned down PVA. The distortion it caused on the phaser was not too bad (little more than that caused by my poor modeling skills). On the tricorder the distortion was significant, but a lot of it was down to lack of reinforcement (its a long story, and I don't come out of it too well due to a lot of silly mistakes on my part) and possible overly thin card. However, for a costume party prop they will be absolutly fine but certainly not display quality.

    I will be off to the party soon, and don't expect any of the props to survive the night, so here are some photos while they are still in one piece.

    Happy new year to you allballoon6

    Attached Files:

  18. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    If you go to www.inkproducts.com they sell what is called an Epson Ink Refill Station. Go to their website, get their phone number. That kit comes with all the instructions for cleaning the heads in place (no dis-assembly required). Tell them you want pigment ink. They sell Epson "O.E.M." Ink from the same manufacturer that Epson gets it from, (a wholesaler in Massachusetts, who gets it from Dupont). They sell you two sets of cartridges already filled, and enough ink to print 100's of models. You will never use the Epson cleaning ritual again. They give you two sets of cartridges so that you can have one set filled, ready to go. It just so happened my Epson Workforce 1100 13" x 19" wide format printer) and my Epson NX410 used the same cartridges, two for the price of one!!

    At inkproducts .com, you talk to them on the phone, then they tell you what to write in on the online order form. If there are any questions, they call you. These people are great. I do not like CISS set ups as I do not want another system to maintain. They do sell those too though. If you start using these guys, check to see if they have anything for your H.P.. I will tell you if you use their syringe and head cleaner solution, and hot water, you will probably stop using your HP printer, as the Epson will come back to life. I have lann'd my printers into my routers so my sons computer and my other two desktops all can access the printers through the router. It's the best way to go. :)
  19. Experimental Designs

    Experimental Designs Papercraft Visionary

    This is why I paint my models then seal it with acrylic liner.

    I never use ink nor are any of my models "print outs" in that order.

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