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ship69

What is the best solvent/cement to paint onto HIPS styrene for a really good, smooth finish?

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Hello

 

If you paint a solvent/cement onto your styrene (HIPS/Plasticard) model, it briefly dissolves the outer surface and when it evapourates it leaves a nice smooth finish.

 

Do you have any tips about how to do this?

I have tried Slaters MEK-PAK but it's pretty agressive and doesn't smooth itselve out very well as it dries. I also tried Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, but that seems almost weak and doesn't do a particularly good job of smoothing. I tried pure acetone but rather surprisingly, as I was led to believe that it was the strongest solvent out there, but that doesn't dissolvethe styrene at all!

Cheers

 

J

 

 

PS Also what happens if you paint your solvent/cement onto your styrene model TWICE? It seems that the new deposit of smooth styrene that forms after the solvent evapourates is slightly different from the original, virgin styrene. For one thing it seems to be slightly harder than the virgin styrene when you are sanding it. Also, one of my test samples seems to have formed an outside layer that then cracked and ended up looking like a surface of old paint(!). I've not been able to replicate this, so I don't quite know how that happened...

 

 

Edited by ship69

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Hi, J - my recommendation would be to tread very carefully.  It is much less dangerous (to the model as well as you) to use wet and dry paper and primer to sort out the finish.  Solvents will work variably depending on the plastic and can cause a lot of damage.  MEK is also a very unpleasant solvent to use.  The only time I use it - with good ventilation, a respirator and in small amounts - is to attach polystyrene to ABS.  

Regards

Tim

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I don't think you'll get any glue that will give you a smooth and perfect, paint ready finish. Glue is just the start of the process. Sanding and filling will smooth and level the surface ready for paint, not glue alone..

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I'm not sure you folks understand. The thing is that by sloshing a LOT of solvent over the top of a model all the roughness of a piece of sanded styrene disappears and you end up with a nice shiny finish. When you have a larger surface area to work on, working your way through all the gradeds of sandpaper can take 'forever'. Whereas painting with a solvent is a quick and dirty way to create a smooth finish.

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No it isn't. Glue is designed to glue. Period. You have absolutely no control over it when you brush it and the risk of destroying the model is significant. The styrene that gets hit by too much glue will melt and change "structure" becoming brittle at some point and then you can toss the model into the bin. Also you'll be destroying the surface detail because on each brush stroke you'll probably "pull" rivets away and flood panel lines with surrounding plastic.

Also all cements/solvents that are capable of melting styrene are very toxic and are designed to be used in small amounts. I'm very used to powerful smells (working with lacquers almost daily) but I would never try to use that much solvent without an incredibly good ventilation. 

Judging by your questions/topics I'm going to take a wild guess and say you're a beginner in the model making hobby? I remember the eagerness I myself had in the beginning, but trust me, this isn't a hobby that you make quick progress in.

If you have bad seams with gaps they need putty/filler and that needs to dry properly before sanding. Best tip is to apply it in the evening and let it dry overnight. 

If you have bad seams because you used too much glue and it "oozed out" you let it dry and then you sand it.

After all the sanding is done you use primer. After the primer is dry you use sanding paper/sticks/whatever. 

Rushing everything will either get you into more trouble having to fix problems either  giving you a very poor model in the end.

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15 hours ago, ship69 said:

 

 

Hello

 

If you paint a solvent/cement onto your styrene (HIPS/Plasticard) model, it briefly dissolves the outer surface and when it evapourates it leaves a nice smooth finish.

 

Do you have any tips about how to do this?

I have tried Slaters MEK-PAK but it's pretty agressive and doesn't smooth itselve out very well as it dries. I also tried Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, but that seems almost weak and doesn't do a particularly good job of smoothing. I tried pure acetone but rather surprisingly, as I was led to believe that it was the strongest solvent out there, but that doesn't dissolvethe styrene at all!

Cheers

 

J

 

 

PS Also what happens if you paint your solvent/cement onto your styrene model TWICE? It seems that the new deposit of smooth styrene that forms after the solvent evapourates is slightly different from the original, virgin styrene. For one thing it seems to be slightly harder than the virgin styrene when you are sanding it. Also, one of my test samples seems to have formed an outside layer that then cracked and ended up looking like a surface of old paint(!). I've not been able to replicate this, so I don't quite know how that happened...

 

 

 

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