login   |    register
Armor/AFV: Techniques
From Weathering to making tent rolls, discuss it here.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Used Household Plastics
pam123
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 07, 2015
KitMaker: 12 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 07:36 PM UTC
Hello
Can used household plastics ie butter tubs,broken plastic toys,etc be used for modeling or strictly styrene plastic?
Biggles2
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 07:58 PM UTC
Anything that is glue-able, and paint-able is fair game. Vacuum formed bubble packages are great for clear domes, etc. You're only limited by your imagination.
pam123
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 07, 2015
KitMaker: 12 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 08:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Anything that is glue-able, and paint-able is fair game. Vacuum formed bubble packages are great for clear domes, etc. You're only limited by your imagination.



Thanks for a great reply.
srmalloy
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: April 15, 2012
KitMaker: 336 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 08:40 PM UTC
The different types of plastic that you'll encounter will require different glues for some of them, so you'll want to test adhesion with scraps of the household plastic and sprue material before you attempt to glue them onto your project. Finding out that your 'standard' glue eats a particular plastic like a hot knife through butter only when you're trying to mount the piece on your model is conducive to invective.
Biggles2
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
KitMaker: 7,600 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 08:52 PM UTC
There is that, too. Prepare to become proficient with styrene glue, CA, and epoxy glues.
pam123
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 07, 2015
KitMaker: 12 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 09:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

There is that, too. Prepare to become proficient with styrene glue, CA, and epoxy glues.



I have an assortment of glues,Faller,Tamiya,Ambroid,Gorilla,ect,when Super Glue first came out I got a rude awakening just how to use the stuff.
Namabiiru
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Rhode Island, United States
Joined: March 05, 2014
KitMaker: 2,877 posts
AeroScale: 306 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 10:38 PM UTC
I would also add that some of those things--like butter tubs--are pretty soft plastic and won't usually take paints or adhesives very well unless you are using high-end (which frequently means high-toxicity) products. I generally reserve household plastics for re-purposing as containers (for paints, pigments, small parts, etc.) and tools (e.g.: spatulas, scrapers, cutting surfaces, etc.).

Apart from paying for styrene materials (Plastruct, Evergreen, etc.), spare parts and sprues from other kits are the materials of choice for many scratch-builders. I have also had relatively good success with strips cut from beer/soda cans in place of sheet styrene or expensive brass. Just score with a sharp knife and bend back and forth a couple of times to free the piece. It's a bit springier than brass so a bit of a challenge to work with sometimes, but a sungle can will give you an almost unlimited supply of material.

paintMixer
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: October 11, 2014
KitMaker: 71 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 11:08 PM UTC
On my Tamiya Panther a I just made, again, I used some ruined 1.44 mb floppy disk for the side skirts! Easy to cut, and glued quite well with regular styrene glue. And yes, I still use floppy disk now and then! Vintage computing at it's best.
pam123
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: October 07, 2015
KitMaker: 12 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:24 AM UTC
Hello

Aluminum cans,never gave them a thought using them,same with floppy disk(which I have),seems I'll have to keep a better eye out when I throw out the trash.
All great replies.
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
KITMAKER NETWORK
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 6,645 posts
AeroScale: 21 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:43 AM UTC
After a while you will get a feeling in your fingertips for which plastic materials are usable. In some countries (at least here in Sweden) the packaging materials for food are marked with recycling codes (PS or the number 6 in a triangle denotes styrene). When in doubt I do the "glue" test, will my favourite glue/solvent glue this material to styrene or not ...

Metals are easier, if it has a suitable thickness/hardness then it can be used.

Some containers also have usable shapes

/ Robin
retiredyank
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
AeroScale: 79 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 01:08 AM UTC
Gift cards and credit cards provide excellent media. On some, you can shave off the letters and numbers to be used at a later date. Other than that, I tend to agree with Namabiiru.
bbailey_33
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: May 10, 2005
KitMaker: 108 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 01:15 AM UTC
Wife thinks I'm crazy, I sometimes go through the recycle bin looking for plastic stuff I might need 2 years from now.
Glad I'm not the only nut.
GeraldOwens
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Florida, United States
Joined: March 30, 2006
KitMaker: 3,726 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 03:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello
Can used household plastics ie butter tubs,broken plastic toys,etc be used for modeling or strictly styrene plastic?



Some plastic bag materials (i.e. grocery bags, trash bags) are designed to degrade when exposed to ultraviolet light, so you probably won't want to use them on a model, unless they are thoroughly painted. Metal foil or tissue soaked in glue is a better choice for things like air recognition panels or tarps, and rolled tarps are usually best sculpted from epoxy putty.

On the other hand, "For Sale" and "For Rent" signs sold in hardware stores and other shops are usually printed on high quality styrene sheet, if you need some and can't get to the hobby shop. And the brand of razor blades I used to use once came with a really nice clear acrylic insert in the dispenser, useful for periscopes and bullet proof glass.

By all means look at everyday stuff inventively, and repurpose things for your modeling. Before the days of aftermarket everything, that was all we modelers had (I used to cruise fabric aisles looking for good qaulity square-pattern mesh for German tank engine decks--now we have photo etch).
okdoky
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: April 30, 2007
KitMaker: 1,597 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 03:47 AM UTC
Using aluminium trays from carry out for sheet and formed channels





The trays are very easy to flatten and also can be embossed and shaped. Accepts super glues to itself and plastics or epoxy to wood.

Very cheap, thin and can be as large as A4 sheet, some roasting trays even slightly larger.

Nige
ziggy1
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: July 21, 2005
KitMaker: 248 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 04:26 AM UTC
the clear, stiff plastic that is used for packaging all kinds of stuff is perfect for broken/shattered glass windows. Just take an sharp hobby knife and cut to shape
-chris
obg153
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: April 07, 2009
KitMaker: 1,060 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 05:25 AM UTC
To add on to what Ziggy1 offered; some of those plastic trays/containers will often have some embossed detail on them, particularly cookies/crackers. These can be made into ornamental windows on cafes, churches, etc. Some are also corrugated and can be used to replicate the sheet metal found on sheds, barns, etc. And as Gerald said, "Look at everyday stuff from a creative viewpoint" and you'll find some cool stuff.
edoardo
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Milano, Italy
Joined: November 30, 2007
KitMaker: 642 posts
AeroScale: 382 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:25 PM UTC
I find that aluminium from mustard tubes works great for many applications.
give it a try!
ciao
Edo
tankmodeler
#417
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Ontario, Canada
Joined: March 01, 2004
KitMaker: 3,123 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 07:17 PM UTC
One thing to beware of is that the most common soft plastic for food and household supplies is polyethylene, in several formulations. The reason this material is used is that it is both flexible and really, really inert. CA glue is kept in it because CA glue really doesn't stick to it, neither will paints or other adhesives such as epoxies.

Most of the soft plastics in your house are made of this stuff and, while there are exceptions, especially if the container is the exact, interesting shape you need, it's usually best to stay away from it for most purposes. It simply doesn't stick to anything.

Again, there are times and places where using polyethylene is something you _need_ to do, but you're seldom going to _want_ to use it as it is too flexible and really hates adhesives and paints.

:)

HTH

Paul
KurtLaughlin
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
KitMaker: 2,399 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 - 12:13 AM UTC
Except for use as containers or palettes and mixing cups I have not found any household plastic items worth the space needed to save them.

KL
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
KITMAKER NETWORK
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
KitMaker: 6,645 posts
AeroScale: 21 posts
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 - 02:00 AM UTC
The original question was not restricted to plastic products used in the household, it also included packaging ...
Some packaging is made of styrene (or polystyrene ...), these can be useful depending on the shape. Many of the are vacuformed so they will have varying thicknesses. The ones I save have thicknesses ranging from almost 1 mm down to less than 0.1 mm. I use these to fill gaps, I measure the thickness until I find a suitably thick part, cut a strip and fill the gap. Some of the larger youghurt containers contain pieces large enough to be used to fill the sponsons Tamiya Shermans and many other uses where the slight variation in thickness is not an issue. Broken CD (music disc) cases contain larger parts of thicker styrene sheet, the insides of older cases have a structured surface which can resemble plastered walls (or with a bit of artistic license even a non-slip surface). The cases also contains various angles. I have used parts of a CD-case to straighten the lower hull sides of Academys LVTP, the sides were angled inward so the top of the lower hull was to narrow.
The really thin parts of the vacuformed containers can be used as shims or to give resin parts a styrene surface to make assemblye easier. Sand off a fraction extra of the resin, CA-glue to a thin shim of styrene, cut of the excess when dry and then use normal styrene cement or solvent to glue the "styrene" part in position. This makes positioning easier (at least compared to working with CA). I used this method to get the supports for the "head" of an M901 (resin conversion set for M113, Verlinden ??) in position on the hull roof. To get them aligned with CA-glue would have required 3 or 4 hands but with a styren shim it became a lot easier. I could do all of the above with plasticard (styrene sheets from the hobbyshop) except for finding the exact thickness (the one in between two standard thicknesses ...)


Polyethylene containers can only be used as containers since "nothing" will stick to them.

/ Robin
Giovanni1508
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Napoli, Italy
Joined: April 17, 2014
KitMaker: 652 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 - 05:54 AM UTC
Hi,


Quoted Text

Wife thinks I'm crazy, I sometimes go through the recycle bin looking for plastic stuff I might need 2 years from now.
Glad I'm not the only nut.



You're not alone
HammerSandwich
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: November 04, 2014
KitMaker: 43 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 - 09:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The original question was not restricted to plastic products will stick to them.

/ Robin



I like your point of view sir...I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
As an OOB builder, I use anything I can get.
I enjoy building & improvising....sure it looks like crap, but it'll improve.
HammerSandwich
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: November 04, 2014
KitMaker: 43 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 - 09:18 AM UTC
All home-made:



(Figures not homemade, vignette yes)