Scratch building with styrene

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by James Schultz, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. James Schultz

    James Schultz Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I want to start making some buildings for a layout I'm planning on doing in the somewhat near future. I'd like to build in styrene and am looking for ideas on what pieces I should keep on hand. What materials do you keep on hand?

  2. Lighter

    Lighter Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Styrene is going to accumulate based on what you are building. It's easiest to advise based on a project. BUT, this is internet modeling and we all have answers.

    Sheet, 0.020 and 0.040 to start. Strip: 1x4, 2x4, 4x4, 1x6, 2x6, 4x6 and 6x6 will do common trim jobs. For bracing I use 1/8 X 1/4". (As well as triangles snapped from sheet and stiffener strips snapped from sheet.)

    Get a quart of MEK from your paint store. A decent #1 round paint brush that will hold a point to apply the MEK. You may need CA for those times you are doing styrene to other material joints. With MEK the joint will set as fast as you cut and fit parts. With styrene sheet and strip you can be a bit sloppy with the MEK since it doesn't craze the surface. Not so with injection and cast parts. Those require neatness.

    Single edge razor blades for cutting. X-Acto knife is great as long as you keep the blade sharp or toss a dull blade. Styrene dulls blades quickly. Steel ruler for a cutting edge. I mostly score and snap. When I cut clear through I work on a scrap of smooth Formica.

    Before buying any of this I'd choose a project and see what that project needs.
  3. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    For the record, some people balk at those who build with plastic. I don't. I respect fabrication using whatever works. I hope you post many pics of your work.

    Hey Christian, good advice! This kind of knowledge is wonderful! :)