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Author Topic: whats best  (Read 1309 times)

Dave43

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whats best
« on: March 03, 2011, 07:43:05 pm »

hi all
  what is the best to work with styrene or good old fashioned wood.
being of the more mature end of the model world I don't know what its like to work with styrene
what and if are the special needs and techniques that would be used with this medium does it shape well, is it easy to cut, how stable is it with regards to
how to brace to stop warping, does it paint well and most of all is it as forgiving as wood.
    suppose I might be best to get some and give it a try, but cant pluck up the courage

Dave
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Colin Bishop

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Re: whats best
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 07:58:05 pm »

It is very much a personal preference. Styrene has a lot of plus points which makes it the material of choice for many kits. You can literally weld it together with the correct adhesive. Very little, if any, preparation is needed to prepare it for painting. To my mind its only real drawback is it's susceptibility to thermal expansion with temperature changes and it's eventual long tem vulberability as a petro chemical product which may lead to long term breakdown although this is likely to be measured in decades. It does need protecting from UV light which can cause it to become brittle if not protected by a paint surface.

That said, my personal preference is for wood which may need a bit more preparatory work before painting but which is likely to last indefinitely as a 'natural' material as evidenced by ancient Egyptian model boats. I must confess that I much prefer workig with birch ply than styrene as it gives greater tactile satisfaction (ooh Matron!). Try both and see what you are most happy with.

Colin
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CGAux26

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Re: whats best
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 09:10:58 pm »

Dave, I am just finishing my Model Slipways Loyal Fleet Tender.  See the build log at

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=27273.0

This boat has a fiberglass hull and is all styrene everywhere else.  This is my first model in styrene, and I love it.  As Colin says it works easily and takes various paints after just a bit of sanding with Scotchbrite or a fine wet or dry.  Some people reinforce edge joints with angle pieces of styrene, as from Plastruct, but I did not and the joints are all strong.  Once painted styrene takes on the appearance of plate steel.

Styrene is easy to cut, just by scoring with a sharp knife for a few strokes, then snapping the pieces apart.  It files and sands to shape very easily.

I have also built a Springer and a barge from bass plywood.  Also good materials.
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Yarpie

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Re: whats best
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 09:24:19 pm »

Dave,

my recommendation would be thus:

If you are working in large scale and don't need to worry too much about topweight, then use plywood. (As per Colin's advice).

If you are building a destroyer (or similar) where topweight is absolutely critical (due to a pencil slim hull shape), then use styrene.

Hope this helps. :-))
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Colin Bishop

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Re: whats best
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 09:31:41 pm »

Further to the previous posts, I find styrene to be significantly heavier than ply for the same degree of strength. I saved a lot of weight on my Deans Medea kit fron using 1/32nd ply in place of the supplied styrene for the main deck.

If you want proof of density - ply floats, styrene doesnt!

Colin
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Peter Fitness

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Re: whats best
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 10:03:45 pm »

I was worried about the possibility of damage to styrene models caused by thermal expansion but, as yet, I've not experienced any problems. Living, as I do, in a sub-tropical climate, we experience quite a big range of temperatures, exacerbated by the fact that my models are stored in a metal clad shed. Temperatures in the shed on a hot day often exceed 40 degrees Celsius, yet my Model Slipway "Sentinel", which has lived in the shed for more than five years, shows no ill effects, so far.

As for which material is better, as Colin said, it's really a matter of personal preference. I normally use ply, but in the case of my Armidale Class patrol boat I used styrene for the superstructure, as I felt it better represented the aluminium of the full size boat.

Peter.
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CGAux26

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Re: whats best
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 11:24:48 pm »

OT, but apropos your subtext:  I always say (big loud voice): I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SHIP!  <*<  (small voice) and I have the Admiral's permission to say so.   %)
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Dave43

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Re: whats best
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2011, 09:09:01 am »

thanks guys
   you have given me plenty to mull over and read through a couple of times,
 looked at the build log which is impressive and of a class standard
will get some this weekend for a try out of  trawler cabin and bridge make them both to fit same boat and see what turns up.
Thanks again,
    Dave
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nemesis

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Re: whats best
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2011, 06:59:46 pm »

Hello, I was talking one day to a modeller who I consider to be one of the best I have seen, he was a chemist in his working life. He told me that styrene has a life of about 20 years. (That tends to go along with Colins statement) He uses wood all the time and gets a perfect surface finish. I have found that if you use styrene, paint the inside of your structure, as you do the outside, paying attention to the seams.
you give it a bit more protection. Example is the cased model in its perspex box when you find the headlamp or some other item lying on the bottom and no one has touched it, plastic!!! degradation, it is the nature of the beast. Nemesis
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