Cheap Styrene

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strikehawk
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Cheap Styrene

Post by strikehawk » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:51 pm

I looked through this board and didn't find it so here's my tip for a cheap source of styrene. When I am doing a project and need to laminate a part or build up say a vehicle side I get a few For Sale signs at Walmart. For less than half the price for bag of Evergreen plastic sheets I have all I need and then some. While the sheets are not as precise in thickness as name brand they are close enough and the larger the item the thicker the plastic as a rule. Since I use CA to put the layers together I'm not concerned about the paint on the sign side, one caution I learned the hard way. If you use something like Zip-kicker beware of heat. I ruined an hours work one day when I hit two sheets about .05 thick each with accelerator, warped like I put a match to them. Hope this helps some one on a budget.

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Post by Stu Pidasso » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:45 am

If you want to go even cheaper on the for sale signs, my local Dollar Store has them for 2 for a buck.
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Post by Kylwell » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:16 am

Or you just go ahead and find a plastics supplier and 4x8 foot sheet for about $20.
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Post by ajmadison » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:37 am

With the scales I've been building in lately, I need to know and find a specific sheet thickness quickly, if only to avoid wasting the most precious commodity, time. (At the smaller scales, a panel detail made with 10 thou sheet versus 20 thou is a big deal.) I now keep a set of plastic "feeler gauges." Basically, I have some scrap pieces half the size of an index card, with the thickness written on them with a sharpie. I take my scraps, and compare them to the various "For Sale" signs until I find the thickness I want.

BTW, the very largest signs can be a real bargain compared to Evergreen, I picked up a big piece of 60 thou sheet for $5. Most LHS, don't even stock it.

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Thom
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Post by Thom » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:26 pm

Thanks for the tip. There are no stores selling Evergreen where I am, unless I drive an hour away and then its luck of the draw. But there is a plastic shop just in town that sells good sized scrap pieces for cents on the foot! :D

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Post by USSARCADIA » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:04 pm

Thom wrote:Thanks for the tip. There are no stores selling Evergreen where I am, unless I drive an hour away and then its luck of the draw. But there is a plastic shop just in town that sells good sized scrap pieces for cents on the foot! :D
That's how I get my styrene, the old remnants bin at the local plastic supplier. Plus Weld-on #3 cheap too.
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Post by strikehawk » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:20 am

You guys are lucky, there are no plastic suppliers where I live and the two oldest hobby shops, one had been open since 1956, that I went to since I was about 13 or 14 closed up between 2005-2007. The nearest shops now are in the Los Angeles area and of the two hobby shops remaining in town, both focus on RC and one is run by a guy that has no customer skills at all. He once told me that all County Employees were lazy and overpaid and should be laid off, I guess he didn't notice my County ID badge. I walked out of that store leaving close to 200 dollars in kits on the counter. That was in 93,never set foot in there again.

I usually make a couple of trips a year to the stores in So Cal and stock up on scratch supplies. One nice benefit of working in a hospital is that a lot of surgical packs come in vacuformed plastic trays. Lots of interesting shapes and in hobby quality white or light blue styrene. Anything that out dates comes through my department and I have to remove and destroy the sharps and other hazardous materials. But I get to keep the plastic and gauze pads.

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Post by Mr. Badwrench » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:06 am

I get mine from Professional Plastics. As Kylwell said, 4x8 foot sheets for $15 to $30, depending on thickness. Unless you are building something incredibly gi-normous, a 4x8 foot sheet will last a while. (And if you are building something gi-normous, 4x8 foot sheets are pretty much required). At those prices, it is easy to buy two or three sheets in various thicknesses. Not entirely sure where you live, but you say you travel to SoCal every so often. There are Professional Plastics distributorships in Fullerton, San Jose, Sacremento, and San Diego, and judging from their map, other places in California as well.
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Post by USSARCADIA » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:49 am

Strikehawk what area do you live in? Next time down be sure to pop into The Whistle Stop railroad store in Pasadena. Loads of Plastruct, Evergreen, etc plus the giant wall of parts.
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Post by strikehawk » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:42 am

Bakersfield, I normally hit Allied Trains, Brookhurst, Smith Brothers and the War House. Haven't been to Red Star in Culver City in a few years and since they aren't on the web don't even know if they are still open. The Two places I did business with were B&F Hobbies, a smaller version of Allied but they had all you needed for scratch building and Riverview Hobby. That place I lived in for the last 9 years it was open, a friend had bought it and at the end of each week I got to take home something from inventory as "payment" for helping with things around the shop.

I did most of the gaming scenery for the WH40K tables at Riverview, when they closed the last owner took all my stuff that I had left. At least all my gaming pieces were at my house by then. Hate to have lost almost 500 bucks worth of converted 40K vehicles.

Since thos two places closed I have had to be very creative in acquiring materials for my projects. Thanks for the tip about Whistle Stop, last time I was there was in the mid 80's.

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Re: Cheap Styrene

Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:25 am

strikehawk wrote:I looked through this board and didn't find it so here's my tip for a cheap source of styrene. When I am doing a project and need to laminate a part or build up say a vehicle side I get a few For Sale signs at Walmart. For less than half the price for bag of Evergreen plastic sheets I have all I need and then some...
For about 50$ I can get 1000 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of styrene from comic book supply online, they sell sheets for comic book storage dividers! I saw ththis stuff in a comic shop and ask the guy there where I could get some, he told me he sold them for 20 cent a piece! after talking with him for a time, he told me to go online for them... a whole ream for 50 bucks! that is incredible, I built five projects so far and still have not made a dent in the stack!
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Re: Cheap Styrene

Post by Shizman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:19 am

AbsoluteSciFi wrote:
strikehawk wrote:I looked through this board and didn't find it so here's my tip for a cheap source of styrene. When I am doing a project and need to laminate a part or build up say a vehicle side I get a few For Sale signs at Walmart. For less than half the price for bag of Evergreen plastic sheets I have all I need and then some...
For about 50$ I can get 1000 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of styrene from comic book supply online, they sell sheets for comic book storage dividers! I saw ththis stuff in a comic shop and ask the guy there where I could get some, he told me he sold them for 20 cent a piece! after talking with him for a time, he told me to go online for them... a whole ream for 50 bucks! that is incredible, I built five projects so far and still have not made a dent in the stack!
may I ask where you got them? Inquiring minds want to know...

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Post by macfrank » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:52 am

strikehawk wrote:Haven't been to Red Star in Culver City in a few years and since they aren't on the web don't even know if they are still open.
Red Star closed about 6 years ago; the owner was tired of retail and decided not to sell the store to Michael, who wanted to keep it open. All the other stores on the Westside closed within a year or two - The Hobby Place went out of business because they couldn't be bothered to cater to the hobbyists willing to spend money in their store. The Hobby People store - useless as they were 80% of the time - closed as well.

If you want plastics, Hastings Plastic has styrene as well as expanded PVC .

Or you can just order it online from other places and save yourself the gas and almost 10% sales tax....

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Post by Paul_Mather » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:58 am

In the UK...

This seems like the right stuff

http://www.plasticstockist.com/index.cf ... dIRzEwODA=
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Post by Shizman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:00 am

Anyone know of a Canadian supplier?

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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:48 pm

BCW Supplies has gone up in prices! ya! They now cost a lot more, I bought mine about 5 years ago, and the cost has nearly tripled and they no longer sell in reams... go figure.

http://www.bcwsupplies.com/products/Com ... viders.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Comic Book DividersSKU: 1-CD Brand: BCW
The BCW Comic Dividers are made from a full 28 point white high density Polyethylene Plastic (archival quality), with write- on index tab, and are precision cut to size.

- Fits fully into comic boxes
- Write- on index tab
- Archival Quality
- Acid Free
- Includes 1 bonus printed Index Divider

Dimensions
- Divider 7 1/4 X 10 3/4


25 Divider(s) per Pack @ 9.98 if you buy 12 or more packs.
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Post by Kylwell » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:14 pm

HDPE is a far cry from the styrene we all know & love and can be problematic when gluing or painting.
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Post by jeffrowse » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:51 am

strikehawk wrote: ...and one is run by a guy that has no customer skills at all. He once told me that all County Employees were lazy and overpaid and should be laid off, I guess he didn't notice my County ID badge.
Maybe he had noticed it and was trying to make a joke?
Many times I've caused offence because someone has taken me seriously when I'm trying to be funny. I'm quite lucky - I know that I have a strange sense of humour and so most people won't find all the same things funny that I do - there was a tv progamme over here (Merry Olde England) where it was suggested that one fo the characters should put his hand on his head so his mates knew he was telling a joke since his delivery/sense of humour was so bad - it's something I have to do regularly, even with my wife who's known me for nearly 20 years...

But then, my outlook on life is never to assume malice where ignorance or stupidity are possible instead...
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Re: Cheap Styrene

Post by modelnut » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:12 am

Shizman wrote:
AbsoluteSciFi wrote:
strikehawk wrote:I looked through this board and didn't find it so here's my tip for a cheap source of styrene. When I am doing a project and need to laminate a part or build up say a vehicle side I get a few For Sale signs at Walmart. For less than half the price for bag of Evergreen plastic sheets I have all I need and then some...
For about 50$ I can get 1000 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of styrene from comic book supply online, they sell sheets for comic book storage dividers! I saw ththis stuff in a comic shop and ask the guy there where I could get some, he told me he sold them for 20 cent a piece! after talking with him for a time, he told me to go online for them... a whole ream for 50 bucks! that is incredible, I built five projects so far and still have not made a dent in the stack!
may I ask where you got them? Inquiring minds want to know...
I want to know as well! :shock:

I have used Walmart FOR SALE signs for years. But it such a pain sanding the print off of them. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
I prefer bare plastic. It's better for the glue and the paint. Besides, the dust from the sanding gets everywhere. :evil:

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Post by modelnut » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:24 am

HEY!

I just found the comic book dividers on eBay! :shock:

They come in magazine size too!

- Leelan
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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:26 pm

modelnut wrote:HEY!

I just found the comic book dividers on eBay! :shock:

They come in magazine size too!

- Leelan
Thank-you Leelan, I didn't want to have to outright spell it... and somehow I feel ashamed that I didn't now... I just did a search on Yahoo, Google and Bing, they all gave me about 10 good choices for comicbook dividers- and I bet your local Comics store might have them too, if they are a worthy shop.

When vendors at craft stores and hobby shops are charging 4.99 for a 4"x10" sheet of styrene, comic book dividers are a steal!
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Post by modelnut » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:57 pm

S'OK. I don't mind being obvious.

The local comic shop closed last Thanksgiving. My only source now is WalMart or go online.

A friend just emailed me to check out US Plastics. But I don't know what thickness is best for scratchbuilding. Maybe someone here can pipe up and give us a hint.

- Leelan
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Post by Mark Yungblut » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:34 pm

Kylwell wrote:Or you just go ahead and find a plastics supplier and 4x8 foot sheet for about $20.
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Post by Kylwell » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:44 pm

modelnut wrote:S'OK. I don't mind being obvious.

The local comic shop closed last Thanksgiving. My only source now is WalMart or go online.

A friend just emailed me to check out US Plastics. But I don't know what thickness is best for scratchbuilding. Maybe someone here can pipe up and give us a hint.

- Leelan
Frames are best out of .060 or .080, skinning done with the thinner sheets.
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Post by modelnut » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:44 pm

Thanks, Kywell!

Now I can shop.

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Post by Kylwell » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:02 pm

ANd while sheet styrene is best bought from a major supplier, I have an amazing amount of Evergreen strip and shapes. While cutting strips of styrene isn't difficult, it gets tricky to get them precise (hence why I just go and buy the damned things instead of stressing over cutting the strips correctly).
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Post by scratchy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:27 pm

I go straight to the manufacturer, and I agree with this qoute,
Kylwell wrote:Or you just go ahead and find a plastics supplier and 4x8 foot sheet for about $20.
I purchased a .060" sheet for $20.00cdn.

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Post by ajmadison » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:09 pm

Kylwell wrote:
modelnut wrote:S'OK. I don't mind being obvious.

The local comic shop closed last Thanksgiving. My only source now is WalMart or go online.

A friend just emailed me to check out US Plastics. But I don't know what thickness is best for scratchbuilding. Maybe someone here can pipe up and give us a hint.

- Leelan
Frames are best out of .060 or .080, skinning done with the thinner sheets.
Individual frames at 60 thou are okay, but pretty rough on the no. 11 blades. I pretty much build monocoque style hulls. So the skin is also stressed. I start with a .040" center profile. Then add .020" bulkheads that are at right angles to the center profile at 1" (or 2cm) or smaller intervals. For the majority of the skinning, I use .015" sheet. If the radius I'm trying to wrap is extra tight, I'll use .010" sheet, BUT it doesn't tolerate very much sanding, so use it only if you can get precision butt joints to the neighboring skins. If I need extra strength, I'll jump up .020" for a skin panel.

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Post by TazMan2000 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:02 pm

scratchy wrote:I go straight to the manufacturer, and I agree with this qoute,
Kylwell wrote:Or you just go ahead and find a plastics supplier and 4x8 foot sheet for about $20.
I purchased a .060" sheet for $20.00cdn.
Do you mind if I ask the source scratchy?

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Post by modelnut » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:21 pm

scratchy wrote:I go straight to the manufacturer, and I agree with this qoute,
Kylwell wrote:Or you just go ahead and find a plastics supplier and 4x8 foot sheet for about $20.
I purchased a .060" sheet for $20.00cdn.
My local source for FOR SALE signs is going to that cheap super thin plastic. Way too flimsy IMHO. So I need to buy a sheet in the very near future.

Is .060 what you would recommend for basic scratchbuilding? I can always laminate and make it thicker. But if plastic is too thin it is useless to me.

- Leelan
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