Questions about styrene

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Littlefoot14

Active Member
Hey guys,

Ive got a few projects and im needing some styrene.

Whats a good overall/general thickness to order styrene in? Its relatively cheap so i dont mind buying multiple thicknesses, but id like to keep it to 2 or 3 thicknesses if i could.

Does the color matter? Evergreen sells it in White, Black, and Clear. Maybe the clear is for windows or whatever, but does black or white make a difference?

Will regular elmers glue be fine for gluing styrene?

Any other tips ou guys can share would be really appreciated. I plan on doing simple stuff, nothing elaborate, mostly some kitbashes of HO vehicles.

Thanks :D
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
Thickness depends to some extent on what you are building. For a small house or trackside structure, 0.040 to 0.060 is about right, perhaps down to 0.030 in N-scale.

Don't forget that styrene sheet is available with molded texture, such as clapboards and brick, which can be useful. These are often applied over an underlayer of flat styrene sheet.

I've always used white styrene, but if I knew my finished structure was going to be a very dark color, I might try the black.

Elmer's Glue is not a good choice for styrene. You'll want a plastic welding glue, such as Testors, Ambroid Pro Weld, Tenax, and others. These are all thin liquid glues that actually melt the edges of the joined parts for a solid bond.

- Jeff
 

Littlefoot14

Active Member
Jeff- Thanks for the help !

I did a couple of searches on walthers for the welding glue, the Tenax and Ambriod were sold out and all i could find from Testors was plastic cement, would that work as a substitute?

Thanks again !
 
Sure. Styrene is the same stuff model airplanes and model cars are made of. Do not use too much. A thin film is all that is needed for quickest bond. Super glue (CA glue) will work quickest, but may cloud the styrene.
 

Littlefoot14

Active Member
aviserated- Thanks for the help !

Jeff- Thanks for those links, are any of those considered better than the rest? I have the testors in the link on my shopping cart on walthers right now, but if one of the others is any better than its no problem to switch them out. Thanks again !
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
I'm not qualified to judge which is best. I have heard Tenax and Ambroid specifically recommended by others.

I've been using Testors, and I am pleased with it. I have the Tenax "kit" which includes various applicators, but I have not yet used it.

- Jeff
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
Matt - I've been building models of all sorts for 50 years and the Testor's in the black applicator works great. The Wal-marts and such sell it with a plastic tip. Hobby Shops have a version with a needle nose that works better, but either will do. While your at Wal-mart (or Menards or other big box) pick up some 'For Sale' signs Doesn't matter what they say on them, your getting a thin sheet of styrene for under a buck.
The black styrene sheets are a nice starting point for roads. Do be aware that they have a lot of static to them so attract dust and stuff that will screw up painting it.
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
Personally, I would never use Super Glue or any CA type glue on plastic. Sure, it will work, but it will not be as strong as a proper glue for plastic, and you will have the usual CA problems of gluing yourself to the parts and gluing the parts to your work surface.

I use CA glues a lot, but not for plastic.

- Jeff
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
I have bought 4x6 sheets (that's 4 ft by 6 ft) of stryene from plastics dealers, two sheets of .040 or .060 for less than $20. You can also look at sign manufacturers. Some people buy styrene at Walmart in the sign section, a foot square for sale sign is about 1/3 the cost of Evergreen. This is not to disparage Evergreen, I buy a lot of that. About 7 years ago I when I was building some steel mill buildings I owned every sheet of Evergreen corrugated plastic for a 75 mile radius. If you are going to build a lot of stuf out of sheet styrene, consider buying a bulkk sheet from a plastics dealer.

I build a lot of buildings with a sheet styrene core, covered with Evergreen sheet or brick texture. I also use the sheet as roof base and as dividers and internal supports.

Normally I use Testors cement.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sd50f

Member
Save yourself a lot of money as others here have suggested and buy the sheets from a plastic supplier. Evergreen and Plastruct cost a lot when you consider how much material you're getting and what you're paying per square foot for them.

As well, buying those little bottles of cement can become expensive. Go to Lowe's, Home Depot, or any other hardware store and buy a can of lacquer thinner. Same stuff, but a lot cheaper. And one can should last a lifetime. Pour some into a small glass jar (baby food size) and keep the rest in the can. Use it with adequate ventilation, though...any of these solvents in high enough concentrations and you'll start sacrificing brain cells while building models. We don't want that...

Timothy Dineen
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
I would just go and get a 1 pint can of MEK. I just finished emptying one can that lasted since 1993. Get it at Lowes, HD, Menards, etc. It would be in the paint section.

Pour it into small paint bottles, with screw on lids, for use.
 




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