A Baker's Dozen Working With Styrene Tips

These tips for working with styrene and other plastics first appeared on the site Sherwood Models Online. I have added what I have learned from my own projects to bring the list up to a Baker's Dozen.

1. Your first step in painting plastic model parts is to paint them before removing them from the sprue.

2. When cutting parts from a sprue use side cutters or nail clippers rather than a knife. Once removed sand the injection 'pip' until it blends into the model.

3. If a craft knife or side cutters are used to remove a sprue or projection, do not cut adjacent to the part as damage may be caused.

4. If the injection pip is removed by a knife be careful not to cut into the part required. Sanding is usually more successful.

5. Use a craft knife with a blade perpendicular to your work to scrape edges and prevent damage to the model.

6. When cutting plastic sheets or strips if the plastic is too thick to cut in one stroke, score the surface deeply and then fold at the line to break.

7. A useful filler can be made using super glue and finely ground up sprue

8. Small windows can be made using clear drying high quality PVA adhesive. Simply place the PVA into the window frame allowing a thin film to cover the window. This will dry clear like glass.

9. Damage results and textures can be made on plastic sheeting by scoring the surface with a craft knife blade.

10. Use liquid adhesives for neat joints. Tube adhesives should only be used to reinforce joints. Beware of the glue string from tube adhesives.

11. When using super glue never apply the glue direct to the part. Always place the glue onto a waste piece and apply with a small tool to avoid excessive amounts covering the kit.

12. Keep the knife blade vertical when cutting plastic card to produce neat joints.

13. When building box structures from plastic card, always make a ventilation hole to allow the adhesive gas to escape. Failure to do so may result in distortion to the model.

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