how to make styrofoam kinda melty looking....

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by hydin, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    still working on a small diorama (since i have tons of free time, go economy!), and i was curious...

    i wanna give a styrofoam (floral green) this sorta half melted completely destroyed look. i have some of that water putty left over, and i think a knife and some sculpting could work, but i was wondering if theres a chemical or a process TO melt it, and let it dry, then cover it with the putty.

    i know it sounds weird, but i think the chemical melting would look more "natural/normal" than the knife sculpting.

    lemme know any ideas, and many thanks
    chris
     
  2. Matsuo

    Matsuo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I cant say for shure with the green foam. But any oil based spray enamel will meltify it...and if you really want mega meltification spray some carb cleaner on it!
    But as I said I cannot say for shure, as I have never used the green foam.

    Heres an "If I were to do that" scenario.

    I would load my airbrush with laquer thinner and spray it on. Lightly at first to see what kind of reaction you get. Then increase the flow based on how deep you want to go. That way, you can control the pressure and flow until you get the effect you need.
    Using spray cans ...the same deal...go lightly at first then work your way up to the effect you want.

    Good Luck!

    Matt
     
  3. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ive got tons of spray paint and whatnot here.

    my question to that answer is this - will it ever dry?

    if so, i can nail it with some flat black or something (i think i even have some denatured alchohol, that may work), and let the meltifying begin, and then just let it dry out, then add in the water putty and paint it [​IMG]

    chris
     
  4. Matsuo

    Matsuo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Unless you use a really oily substance like WD-40 or any spray lube...It "should" dry. BTW if you do go for some carb cleaner...the cheaper the better..the expensive STP stuff has additives and lubricants, you dont want that, you want the .99cent cheapo stuff. which is almost straight laquer thinner. When sprayed on white foam the results are instantanious...Like using gasoline on styrofoam, but then you got something not at all unlike Napalm...[​IMG]...[​IMG]
    You prolly dont want that either, but what do I know [​IMG]

    Matt
     
  5. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ill give it a run this weekend. worse comes to worse ill just have one very very stinky apartment.

    ill try denatured alchohol and spray paint on diff types of foam. i have the floral green stuff, and the thick/stiff floral foam stuff too.

    thanks for the help!
    chris
     
  6. Stormleader

    Stormleader Well-Known Member

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    Why not a lacquer clear coat? Lacquer will melt that stuff, and it's clear.

    Gasoline will also work, I found that out on accident once. [​IMG]
     
  7. Pygar

    Pygar New Member

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    Acetone. Many fingernail polishes have this in them, but you want to make sure it isn't the cheap stuff that is stretched with oils etc.

    In general, if it is a solvent that eats paint, stinks and is very bad to breathe, it should do.
     
  8. rayra

    rayra Well-Known Member

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    Pygar beat me to it. Acetone. Maybe mist it on with a spray bottle, 'cause it'll go through styrofoam (and other like products) like a hot knife through butter.
    IIRC, it's how they produced the 'Alien' acid-blood-melting-through-decks scene
     
  9. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    yea, i know acetone will work wonders, but i dont know where to buy it, and i wanted to use what i had on hand. no spending excess $$$.

    im going for a half melty half "eroded by time" look to it too.

    chris
     
  10. Stormleader

    Stormleader Well-Known Member

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    You can get acetone in 32 oz cans at Home Depot- I think they're around 6-7 bucks.
     
  11. rayra

    rayra Well-Known Member

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    acetone is right next to all the other thinners and solvents, at any hardware store. It's cheap.

    You want 'household' items, try a test with Oven Cleaner, Carburator Cleaner, or Brake Parts Cleaner.
    Pretty much anything with a '-tone' or '-thane' on the end of it will do.
     
  12. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    Do you have Styrofoam or green floral foam (oasis)?

    This is a pretty important part. Styrofoam is a styrene based product and almost any type of solevent will melt it. there are two types of what can be called "floral foam" the most common is oasis, which is NOT styrene based and not a good choice for modeling. The other type IS styrofoam, usually cut into sheets and wreaths. (they just dye it green to blend with the floral arrangement)

    I think everyone covered what melts it, everything! Spray paint will melt it not because of the paint, but because of the solivent being sprayed through the can with the paint. Even Hair spray will melt it. (just think what it does to your hair)

    and one last note while I am at it: If you really want a "melted" look, try expanded styrene. It is the "Puffed" styrene beads that form an ice chest. Rather than just an open cell foam, like standard styrofoam, the tiny styrene beads are puffed (expanded) and when THEY disolve, they effect is more dramatic. it is sold in sheets too.
     
  13. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i have both types, actually.

    the squishy floral foam (the kind you can poke and it sorta goes CCHHHZZZ and leaves a indention) and the official green foam thats just dyed green. thats in a big sheet, the other stuff (the soft stuff) is in blocks.

    the big sheet is what i was hoping to dissolve though. i figured between dissolving, a coating of water putty, and then rubber cement in certain areas, itll look pretty cool and "melty".

    any ideas on how to melt the fragile flower style foam is great too. i was thinking "fire", but then thought "i dont really wanna burn plastic in my kitchen, nor do i wanna set anything on fire in my house". chemicals would work fine for that.

    thanks for the tips guys!
    chris
     
  14. thedap

    thedap New Member

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    indirect heat works too ,using a butane torch (the little soldering types ) and just quickly heating an area will cause it to melt away - just use a spray bottle full of water to quickly freeze it before it melts too far ,just practice a bit ......also heating a piece of metal in the rough shape you want the finished product to look like will work too ,iv'e used one inch square tubing to cut rectangles and squares out of foam in boat hulls (not my fault if it don't float anymore) just don't heat it too much and let the tube or rod do the work.... if it starts to slow down ,reheat it (otherwise it may stick to the foam and tear away some material) just holding heated metal over the foam will cause it to melt ,you don't even need to actually touch the foam ,and its a bit more controllable than a flame. practice a bit first and keep that water handy! (you can try using a brass water elbow placed over the end of a propane torch , works best on a triggered type of torch...the flame heats the elbow and shoots out the end AWAY from the foam (radiant heat from the brass does the work then)just don,t get the elbow too hot ,just click it on and off from time to time....good luck and don't burn down the homestead! (thats why I goof with this stuff at work)
     
  15. Gra30

    Gra30 New Member

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    The best thing to use is Humbrol(or other brand) liquid cement.
    This is the clear water like cement used for melting together the plastic or rather polystyrene in model kits.
    Its cheap and I used to use it for melting ploystyrene as a kid for my SW figures-great battle damage.
    Its smell of peardrops too.
    Best wishes Gra
     
  16. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    just picked up some new battery clamps for my truck, and snagged a big bottle o acetone [​IMG]

    i love it when a plan comes together.
    chris
     
  17. rayra

    rayra Well-Known Member

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    ...14 weeks later! [​IMG]
     
  18. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    admittedly it came together earlier, but suffered greatly when a nasty drop shattered it like so many dreams upon the tiled floor of my old apartment. it wouldnt have been so bad if it hadnt had tapped the stuff on the dresser it fell next to (this was about 4' long and about 2' wide). having a big bottle of water fall on it didnt help much.

    im back in the saddle though. even if acetone doesnt melt wet foam [​IMG]

    chris
     
  19. leetninja

    leetninja New Member

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    Well now I know what to do for Halloween this year.
     
  20. LMFAOSchwarz

    LMFAOSchwarz Sr Member

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    I'm more or less in thedap's camp, using heat. In my case, a soldering gun worked very well. I was making a section of miniature landscape, and I was able to custom-sculpt with the gun quite nicely. It was a lot of fun, actually.
     
  21. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Necropost of the year!!! I mean,9 year old thread revived ?!
     
  22. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey, at least people are using the search function :lol

    Chris
     

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