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Thread: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

  1. #1

    FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    Hey guys, havent been active here for quite awhile! I am finally getting ready to make a 1/5 scale model using 1/2" thick sheets of Extruded Polystyrene all sandwiched together. I have a stack of 80 sheets of coverstock with each rib already printed out to scale sitting on my desk. I will trim each piece down and tack them to pieces of foam. This weekend I hopefully will be constructing a table top hotwire so I can relatively easily cut out each piece and stack them up.

    I do have a few questions for you guys though. I have looked around on the internet for answers but its hard to get a definate answer.

    One, I wanted to use bondo to cover the foam once I got it smoothed out. Because the model is small, I feel that drywall mud would be too thin and not be sturdy at all to pick up and move. From what I understand this will melt the foam underneath and not let it bond. I have read that a layer of latex acryllic paint over the foam will give the bondo something to attach to and provide a barrier between the foam and the bondo. Do you guys have any experience with this? Do you know of any other relatively strong material that wont react with the foam?

    Secondly, what is the best way to bond these sheets together at this scale? Spray adhesive on each side and sit something heavy on it?

    Thanks guys! Hopefully within the next few weeks I will be able to post some pictures up. I really hope it turns out the way I hope.

  2. #2

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    Keep in mind that I am not going to be pulling anything off of this as its just a scale model, so it doesnt have to be super strong, I just would like it to be strong enough that if I package it up it can be shipped without it being destroyed.

  3. #3

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    I used a 3M spray glue to bond together all the styro panels in my model, this is what gave me better result, I also tried a "cold silicone" specially used for styrofoam, but it took more time to dry, but also with a nice result.
    I made the mistake to use PU foam to bond some parts, but it added like 2 or 3mm to each union, at the end ]I had to remove one slice to balance the lenght of the model. take a look at my build diary, you can read some of my mistakes there, so you can avoid them.
    About sealing the styrofoam, you can use acrylic sealer, like the one used to seal the concrete walls before painting, or latex painting, but be sure to add a good layer of paint, because I added a thin layer, and the bondo melted like 5mm of the styrofoam, and after a few days, it started to crack.
    If I can be of any help, please email or pm me. I{ll be glad to help you.

    Best regards


  4. #4

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    I tried a spray glue I found around the house and it decided to melt the foam. I did buy an epoxy glue, which apparently will hold the pieces together quite well.

    Acrylic? Ok, if I can find less than a gallon of it, I will definately do that. I was told to thin out the epoxy that I used to glue the pieces together to create a seal. I will probably do multiple layers on my model just to be safe. Thanks for the help! I have about 10 pieces cut so far, only 60 more to go!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Goldie's Avatar
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    Sep 2008

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    if you have a look on ebay you will find a poly spray that wont eat away at it

    Craft glue aswell

  6. #6

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    I'm in the middle of a project too. I cut the ribs of cardboard and made a skeleton. At the beginning I didn't know how to fill the gaps, I wanted to use putty or some other construction material, but at the end I admitted, polystyrene is the best material for this job. I had easy job glueing the polystyrenes to the cardboard, I got some special glue from a printing factory. This glue is used to bond paper to plastic vinyl, so theoretically this is the best for paper-polystyrene too. Any silicone glue should do it, but those have a longer cure time.

    Anyway, finalising the project is a big issue for me too, mainly because of the compatibility of materials. That's why I haven't work on this projects for months. I want to make molds of the car, but I can't apply fiberglass because the whole model would melt in less than 30 seconds!!! So I decided to make molds using some construction material, sorry I don't know how it's called (this material is applied on the walls to make it smooth before painting).

    Here you can see the project: (navigate trough the pages on the left side, from "stage 1" to "stage 8")

  7. #7

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    Jelpspeed, I didnt realize who you were until I looked at your build diary! I have been reading your thread everyday. You are moving along quite quick!

    Goldie, I would prefer a spray over having to mix an epoxy.

    Wow di48lo, you have made quite a few models on there! I hope mine turns out as well as yours did! Try coating your model with what was mentioned earlier, an acrylic sealer or an epoxy sealer should strengthen and seal the model from what I understand.

  8. #8

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    please post some pictures of your project

  9. #9

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    I will upload some after work. I ran out of foam last night. Finally used a full sheet. Only about 1/3 of the way done though! I dont think you can see too many details yet... Maybe after another 4x8 sheet!

  10. #10

    Re: FINALLY Building a scale model. (Need some help first)

    Well, as promised here are some progress pictures I have so far. It doesnt look like much right now, especially if you dont know what you are looking at. On the first 2 pictures the car is facing to the left. If you look really closely you can see the window outline on the sides. Hopefully once I glue this whole thing together and start sanding it will clear up much better!

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