Working With Styrene Sheet

 

Styrene is a highly versatile material. With its smooth finish it requires little finishing, and is thus ideal for constructing elements that were made of metal on the original ship.  Heat deforms styrene sheet: so be careful when using a high-speed drill to make holes (slow or hand drills are best). Curved surfaces can be made by gently heating up the styrene sheet in hot water and forming it to shape.


Straight cuts are best made by lightly scoring the surface with a scalpel held against a metal edge. Bend the plastic, supported by your fingers, and you'll find the parts will separate along the scored line. For curved edges, it is best to cut outside the line required and lightly sand the edge to shape.


All Linkspan Models ferry kits are supplied with the required parts on the styrene sheets pre-cut by means of a laser.  This ensures accuracy and consistency when building.  The edges of the parts will still need a little work with some wet-or-dry paper (360 grit) to remove the raised ‘burr’ left from the laser cutting process.


To assemble components out of styrene sheet it is best to lightly tape together parts before gluing. Check these for accuracy and adjust if needed. Dab a little liquid polystyrene cement onto each of the internal joints. This glue will run by capillary action along the joints. It works by dissolving the plastic in a solvent - once the solvent has evaporated, a 'weld' of plastic holds the parts together.

 

Squadron Putty is ideal for filling small gaps if required. Once completed, styrene parts can be gently keyed with fine wet-or-dry paper to provide a perfect surface for paint.