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Author Topic: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question  (Read 7415 times)

warspite

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To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« on: August 28, 2006, 10:41:08 PM »

Is it wise to build solely in plastic card?

I want to scratch build at some time in the future and was wondering if solely using the placky stuff instead was a good move, i have tried a card board prototype which i will eventually get round to finishing, and i am not keen on wood, mainly due to the lack of resources to fabricate.

I remember seeing a club member build a deep hulled schooner but i do not know wether this faired well eventually, i have this itch to build the USNS Bob Hope but it will take a lot of research before i start.
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White Ensign

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 11:01:38 AM »

Warspite, I just can talk about my experience (which will be oppositional to others), but I don`t fancy plasticard. I have found out, that i.e. superstructure made in 0,2mm brass or 0,3mm aluminium plate is more stable and easier to be made. You can solder it and you don`t have thermical problems when on the pond on a hot sunny day. No matter which glue used, after two or three years of service the edges start to crackle, sides became weak and being deformed by the temperature.
Then I made some tests and a 0,3mm brassplate has the same weight as a 1,0mm plasticard. 0,3mm sounds very small, but good enough for smaller superstructures. For bigger boats, where you don`t have to care too much about the topweight and you need to make bigger superstructures 0,5mm or 0,7mm will do a perfect and stable job anyway.

Hope this was out of any help,
Jörg
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flybobby

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 11:22:56 AM »

I would have thought that brass or alu plate was quite difficult to work with, but I am often wrong ::)
Any tips for working with this matirial as I am facing a scratch built superstructure in the future, and am currently leaning towards plasticard, tho am open to conversion ;)
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ambernblu

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 11:31:13 AM »


... I feel the same about it i.e. what would I do without plasticard? But Jorg has gained a considerable amount of valuable experience with brass and aluminium plate building trucks and locos (especially) I guess - I take my hat of to 'im to be honest!  ;)
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White Ensign

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 11:48:41 AM »

Well, it sounds more difficult as it is. Brass can be soldered with a standard soldering iron with about 60 Watt power upwards and tin-solder for electronical uses. Just clean the surface with a sand paper, fix the items with a clamb, heat up the stuff and add the tin-solder. It needs not too much experience and the advantage is, you may fill any gaps with the tin. When finished, clean it with white spirit or Aceton and that`s it! Brass can be glued with 2-K Epoxy as well and you have another advantage: Tubes for masts can be made in scale diameters. Due to the conductance you may use the superstructure as one pole as well- just pull one wire to the lamp.
Aluminium can be soldered (with some special agents) but I`d prefer it to glue with superglue or 2-K Epoxy mould. The only thing you really have to care ist, that it is oxyd and fat-free before solder/glue or painting it.

I think it is worth a try if you start by doing some boxes on deck and collect experience.

The often claimed topweight can be eliminated by using smaller thickness. 0,3mm for brass is good enough and (even if I repeat myself) gives more strength.

Jörg
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boatmadman

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2006, 12:32:06 PM »

ok, so whats the cleanest and easiest way to accurately cut thin brass?

Ian
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ambernblu

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 12:34:42 PM »


... and can I add - how do you obtain a nice clean finished joint...???
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White Ensign

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2006, 01:00:46 PM »

The best way is a plumbers-scissor- or, if you have the possibility, use a cutting machine like they use to have in offices to cut papers. Some of them will be sold cheap in supermarkets and a thickness of 0,3mm will not harm the edge anyway. Another possibility to "cut" aluminium or brassplate is, to use a right-angled tool and scratch with a sharp needle , then fold it two or three times over a block and it will break on the scratched line.
A joint can be soldered or glue it with superglue or 2-k Epoxy.
There is no big secret behind that- it just took a little experience and the will to try something different.
Just as easy as doing plasticard.....- in my opinion.  ::) .... but I was a plumber, about 25 years ago- I have to submit....  :D

Jörg
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cbr900

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2006, 01:55:50 PM »

My mate here in Tasmania builds all his boats scratch style and uses two types of material, brass and tin, the brass in sheet form is not overly expensive and solders easily, the tin is the large type for fruit and the like for large hotels, cuts with scissors and also solders easily, his latest build is a Sverdlov Class Cruiser, the entire hull is fruit tins and the superstructure is a combination of both, and the finish is as good as any finish I have ever seen, I was that impressed with it I am going to have a go myself..

Roy
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Colin Bishop

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2006, 02:01:38 PM »

I prefer the very thin birch plywood over a balsa frame myself. Yes, you do have to seal it with sanding sealer or shellac but you can do this and sand it down while in sheet form and then cut it out to your requirements. It will then take a perfectly good paint finish, is thermally stable and you can cut it with an ordinary craft knife. Lovely stuff.
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Doc

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2006, 03:24:19 PM »

What are you most familiar and comfortable using?  Metal, plastic, wood, etc, etc.  Whatever your answer (unless it's concrete), that's what I think I'd use.  All materials have draw-backs of some sort, some easier to 'live' with than others.  Pick what you would find easiest to repare.
 - 'Doc

You also have the option of learning the uses of new materials.
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GOGSAMWE

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2006, 03:50:15 PM »

What are you most familiar and comfortable using?  Metal, plastic, wood, etc, etc.  Whatever your answer (unless it's concrete), that's what I think I'd use.  All materials have draw-backs of some sort, some easier to 'live' with than others.  Pick what you would find easiest to repare.
 - 'Doc

You also have the option of learning the uses of new materials.


Spot on Doc..

Having just built my first timber POB /POF  model, there were parts which I found too difficult to model using the supplied wood.. so I used  plasticard... a material I feel is more "forgiving" than others... ( IMHO)

That said... do try other materials.. even of its for only small sections / detailing..

If you NEVER TRY you will NEVER Know !

Steve 
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2006, 04:23:13 PM »

I got fed up with grain lifting no-mater how well I used sanding-seal paint etc the painted area could have small cracks appear.I have allways been very carfull buying ply (I prob have moor than most Model shops in stock that has been rejected) as there is such a wide difference between it  .. so on my last model I have used Metal, plastic, wood and this product called PRO-skin 0.2mm    http://www.mickreevesmodels.co.uk/  for decks over a lite ply base that seems to work well.after reading post by White Ensign I re-built the rear well deck, part brass and plastic and it looks a lot better, I think.  Peter
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GOGSAMWE

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 05:24:21 PM »

That stuff looks cool Peter ;)

Thanks for the heads up on that web link too ..

Steve
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warspite

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2006, 11:55:02 PM »

If i did finally go to using plasticard as the external skin other than having a wooden internal support structure for rigidity would it be better to plate several thin skins to give a laminated structure for strength or consider making a plug from this and then have a mould made , finally a fibre glass hull again with a wooden internal stiffener. ???
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2006, 12:23:41 AM »

Sorry this is for GOGSAMWE.... I would have sent him a PM but could not figure out how to put a picture in it..  This is the stuff, on the left is 1mm plastic card  on the right is the 0.02 sheet stick it down with a glue they supply which is even sea water proof..Peter
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GOGSAMWE

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2006, 07:23:47 AM »

Thanks Peter...

 ;D Steve
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Roger in France

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2006, 07:42:03 AM »

DOC,

You have got me thinking because you said "....other than concrete...". Not far from me is a firm which makes very large 1:1 yacht hulls in concrete. Now they must not use just common or garden concrete and I guess in large hulls there is plenty of thickness to take re-enforcement, but I wonder? Think I will call in there some day and see if I can get a sample and experiment, modelwise.

Roger in France.
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Doc

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2006, 07:57:32 AM »

Roger,
The only experience I have with concrete is in building foundations for things.  I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about thinking of building models with that stuff.  BUT!  If 'they' give you a sample, and if you do build a boat with it, I very definitely wanna hear how you did it!
 - 'Doc

...hmm.  Wouldn't hurt to repave my driveway.  If he does make that @#$ stuff work, and I can't, instant drive way!  YEAH..  wonder what the shipping cost would be from France...

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Colin Bishop

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2006, 08:21:45 AM »

Ferro concrete yachts are not all that uncommon although not easy to insure. They are easy to mend though! I rather doubt if you could sucessfully apply the technique to modelmaking however as the strength relies on the internal steel reinforcing rods. The other constraining factor is the scaling down one. On a model, the weight of the hull would be much higher proportionally to the interior volume of the hull than it would be on a full size vessel. So there might not be enough model to keep the hull structure afloat! As a matter of interest, if you go to a Marina you will find that the pontoons are frequently supported by concrete "floats" stuffed with polystyrene.
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White Ensign

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2006, 01:27:06 PM »

... to put it in a short way: Take the best out of alle hints and tips and start to make your own experiences. You can`t recon the heat until you have burnt your fingers.  ;)

Jörg
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warspite

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2006, 06:02:40 PM »

The USN had concrete cargo vessels, most are now 'anchored' to create a breakwater, i suppose the ideal use for concrete may be in subs at least you now it will sink ;D ;D
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warspite

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2006, 08:37:07 PM »

So if i had to use ply, i take it nothing but marine ply would do, obviously you cannot pin the skin to the frame below the water line so what adhesive works best when clamping together, and how thick does the skin need to be, any rule of thumb, i was thinking about 1/4" (6mm) for the internal skin and plate over with 1/8" (3mm) for the surface /outside skin, another though was to plate with plasticard for that steel surface look (no grain).

The other possible project was to create a static mode for having a mould made

any comments?
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boatmadman

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2006, 09:19:53 PM »

IMHO 6mm and 3 mm are way too thick, unless you are building a large model.

I have successfully used 1/16 ply skinned with epoxy for a 40" mtb. The epoxy skin gets away from the grain problem as well as waterproofing and strengthening.

I have used evo stick waterproof wood adhesive, balcotan and epoxy, they all work well for me.

Ian
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martno1fan

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Re: To plastic card or not plastic card that is the question
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2006, 08:43:59 AM »

in my opinion wood is by far the best and easiest to work with,what could be easier to cut than balsa wood? or thin ply?,best thing to seal it with is good old epoxy just warm it up a bit then spread it over the surface ,i use an old credit card or plastic card of some sort.that way you get a thin smooth coating that can be sanded very nice when set.this will never crack and never let in any water.ive used epoxy for coating a balsa skinned sail boat and a ply built deep v and its the best way to seal wood by far.prior to painting you can even coat over some paints to protect the paint if you want a gloss finnish!!.just make sure you use slow setting epoxy the 3 hr stuff gives you 45 mins working time before it becomes unuseable.for the skin i use 1/16 ply ,1/8 is the thickest id even consider using,for balsa skin i uses 1/8 as its nice and strong but light  and bends pretty well also.you can use any ply as long as you seal it inside and out with epoxy.use quick setting epoxy for gluing joints that need to set fast and sometimes zap ca if you need it to hold even faster,then use epoxy on the joint afterwards for strength.the best thing about wood is you can sand it easy and any gaps are easy filled in using zap and a bit of sawdust or just sand the area and the dust will seal it.
 by the way when i was a boat builder i saw a few boats built from concrete and all they used for reienforcement was chicken wire :o dam heavy boats too lol.having said that lighter than steel!!!.and dont forget steel sinks too maybe thats why they use that for subs???lol. also someone said you cant pin wood under the water line? how do you think we build wooden boats full size? as long as like i said you seal it its not a problem,look at this pic of a mates deep v he used zip ties to hold the bow till it set before removing them and filling the holes . i also have a plan of a pea pod sail boat from the 70 s and they used carpet cord as the joint for the two hull sides ,they drilled holes the full length of the keel seam then stitched it up and formed a hull ,then same thing you epoxy inside cut string and fill and seal.so it doesnt matter how you join the wood as long as you seal it after ,nail it pin it stitch it anything you like but just seal it after.
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