Author Topic: Styrodur as a modelling material?  (Read 3184 times)

dfacto

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Styrodur as a modelling material?
« on: May 17, 2008, 07:16:42 PM »
Hello everyone, first post here with a possibly odd question.

I signed up for a sculpting course at the local college for architecture and design and I have access to styrofoam, styrodur, wood, saws and a styrofoam cutter.  It's not very structured or anything so I can do basically whatever I like and I was thinking of using the styrodur to create a spaceship model of some sort.

(In case someone doesn't know, Styrodur is a dense insulation foam.  Not sure if it's a common modelling material for most people, though I've heard of some people using it to create landscapes.)

What I'd like to know is if Styrodur would be a suitable material for creating something boxy like the Sulaco for example http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/SULACO%20MAIN.jpg or if there are drawbacks to using the material (warps over time, adheres poorly, etc)

Also, I'd like to know if there's a way to stiffen the end results.  I figure that whatever I do will have a solid styrofoam or wood core so that it doesn't collapse when you grab it, but I'd also like to make the outside hard and workable so that I can sand and paint it.  Is there any resin or other material that would be relatively cheap and easy to apply to the styrodur after the model is complete?


Btw love the site.  Really great models and the WIP shots and explanations are great. :)

dfacto

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 12:46:50 PM »
Well ok, I already sort of dived into it, so I guess I'll update the question.  I concepted out a pretty blocky design which I should be able to carve out of styrodur fairly easily, and started working on it.  I also got a tip from a guy at the workshop on where to buy styrene for a decent price (previously the only place I'd found it at sold little strips for exorbitant prices).

Consequently I think I'll make the base from styrodur and then plate it with styrene and milliput, which should lead to a much stronger end product.  Only question is, what glue would be ideal for bonding styrene to styrofoam?

AnatoleFarmond

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 04:30:02 PM »
This stuff is Styrofoam?
I got a tip from a guy that builds aircraft to use stucco on insulating Styrofoam to create prototypes for resin casting, you could give that a try.
"No matter how good you get, there will always be someone better than yourself." ~ Char Aznable

dfacto

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 05:28:39 PM »
Yeah, it's a type of styrofoam, just much denser than the general packing kind, and without the grains.  It's probably got a different name in the US though.  Styrene is called something completely different here in Germany too, since whoever I asked about it had no idea what I was talking about, even though I asked in pretty large hobby shops with knowledgeable staff.

Thanks for the reply Anatole.  If it works with stucco then it would most likely work with something like Plastiform as well, which can be sanded, drilled, etc.  Sorry if this is just some German name as well.  :unsure:

Anything in terms of glue though?  I know that certain modelling glues and putties work by melting both plastic surfaces, and I'm afraid that the wrong glue might melt the styrofoam much more than the plastic, possibly ruining the model.

AnatoleFarmond

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2008, 10:31:02 PM »
Not only that but Styrofoam is very toxic, and adding plastic cement or CA may release some nasty fumes. Maybe something like Sobo or Tacky glue, but that's more for paper. You might want to test some out in a well ventilated area and see the effects it has. I would take some CA, some Nontoxic Super glue, and some plastic cement and glue a tiny piece of styrene to them and let them sit outside or in a spray booth.

Also, stucco is really cheap stuff if I remember correctly, but another thing to seal it would be some Poly-Acrylics, that stuff solidifies nice and even, and clear. (Not to mention has some neat effects when you soak paper in it and paste it onto the kit) I plan to use that on the diorama I'm working on, so I can get you some picture sometime next week depending on if my father-in-law can get me some.

And about the German-ness, I got what you where saying, I mean, call it what you want, Styrofoam is Styrofoam.
"No matter how good you get, there will always be someone better than yourself." ~ Char Aznable

dfacto

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 02:35:31 PM »
Quote
Not only that but Styrofoam is very toxic, and adding plastic cement or CA may release some nasty fumes.

It is?  I'm assuming cutting it in an enclosed workshop with a hot wire cutter isn't such a good idea then?

chaos_theory

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2008, 03:50:47 PM »
Nah cutting and breaking is ok. Just test out some different glues on some scraps to find out what works for it. CA/superglue will most definately melt it, as will most spray can paints. This is one your just gonna have ta test out lots of products on it.
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makalaka

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2008, 08:55:38 AM »
There's a foam compatible CA made from a company called E-flite that might work.
http://www.redrockethobbies.com/E_Flite_Foam_CA_p/efla208.htm

AnatoleFarmond

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Re: Styrodur as a modelling material?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2008, 06:49:01 AM »
What a horrible name for a company...

And awesome find, that could come in very handy in the future.
"No matter how good you get, there will always be someone better than yourself." ~ Char Aznable