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Is there anyway to play on polystyrene and it wont brake? is there something I should put on it? should i cover it with glue? I have not done polystyrene but when i do wont it brake?
I'm assuming by white polystyrene you are talking about the white foam stuff that looks like its made of a bunch of little balls pressed together? It's expanded polystyrene, called styrofoam in the US.
First suggestion is don't use it for scenery. As you pointed out it breaks too easily. It does come in cool shapes, though, that work well for buildings, bunkers, and such. Avoid the sheets for making terrain and hills. Instead, use the extruded polystyrene. It's the sheets of pink or blue insulation material available in most DIY or hardware stores.
However, if you're already stuck using it, the best way to protect it is coat it with a hard candy shell . Get some white house primer; cheap latex housepaint. Use it full strength and paint on a couple of thick coats. Then, when you flock, sand, or paint with textured paint, whatever you put on the outside, paint on a thick coat of white glue to attach the flock. You can also mix white glue into the paint to make it harder. That way you get a good shell. However, if you lean on it or otherwise put a lot of pressure on the terrain, it will still break though with enough force. Not much you can do about that.
If your terrain is already painted/finished all you can do is spray on a few coats of clear polyurethane to try and protect it better. Use the cheap store brand cans, they work fine. DO NOT let the spray contact the foam or it will each away the plastic. (that effect can be used to make some cool rocky areas or craters).
First off I try sticking to the blue foam as it is better. Although if your dead set on using the white stuff because of the cool designs it can come in here's what I do. Before you paint it, paint a coat of regular elmers glue on top of it. Then let it dry and it's ready for painting. It should come out almost as strong as the blue or pink stuff. It's a real good trick I learned from a GW scenary maker when I used to own my own shop. They had terrain rep's that would come out and help build terrain, and that's the trick he taught us.
Ok first of all...
*looks with intelligent eyes at the Archangel*
What do you mean that it won't brake?
Isn't it good that the terrain doesn't brake apart when you play on it?
But anyway... avoid using to much of that type polystyrene, in my opinion it's not good to make stuff of.
Try getting a more compact type, it's better to work with and it is toughter.
first of all, you can't make the stuff unbrakeble.
what you kan do is enstrengthen it so it wont break as easy as before.
you could use plaster, some times a single layer is enough but you could use more if you want.
this will protect you styrofoam but wil not make it unbrakeble, on the other hand, after plastering it you could use normal paint whitout your project melting away after painting.
im afraid the guys are right unless you flash burn the polystyrene first
now this is dangerous as it involves using a compressed gas and a flaming taper but once you use it a few times you'll get the hang of it and it does strengthen the expanded ploy but you still have to cover it with sealant before painting
ps you can get some great looking effects with the flash burning technique and you could use a cooking blow torch just dont get too close to the sheet
WARMASTER of the SCHOLA PROGENIUM Alnwick Chapter (soon to be the world)
Sorry for asking but woulden't burning the thing be a little drastic?
Sure it'll make the surface tougher... but then again, flame blasting the surface??
I say go for a layer of plaster on the surface before you paint it.
You know decado there is a safer way of burning polystyrene...
It involves cologn.
during my many years as an aspiring pyrotechnician I spent quite a good deal of time experimenting with the way things burn and I noticed one cool thing that makes for great special effects, cologn and how it burns. The liquid itself doesn't burn but it is a volitile liquid so the gasses that it releases do burn...
first before doing this I'd suggest a test, since not all cologns use the same amount of alcohol in the mix, take a small amount and rub it on a non-flamable surface such as concrete, and light it on fire, it should leave a small cushion of air under the flame that is hot but does not touch the surface, if it doesn't work try another type that will.
the following types are ones that do work, but the formulas may have changed so I'd suggest that it be tested anyway.
Obsession (keep a fire extinguisher handy for this one as the flames spread very very quickly, it's the only cologn I've found that will ignite with a spark)
Old Spice (the cologn in a bottle not the deodorant)
Also if it doesn't burn hot enough you can add rubbing alcohol to the mix to allow it to burn longer and a bit hotter.
I've made some pretty nice stuff with this mix, made a flamethrower once with a 15' range out of a simple spray bottle.
As for instructions here's how it goes, make a small bucket of the stuff (about a pint or two) and get a paint brush.
Make a 1'x1' square of the stuff, and light, be prepared to get your hand out of there pretty damn quick it can ignite at any time, it's kind of unreliable when it comes onto a porous surface.
If you want to make something a bit more reliable here's another, it's not as safe, so should be done in an area that is well ventilated, preferably outside.
Get your polystyrene out, and get some single ply toilet paper, the cheap stuff.
make the tp damp with rubbing alcohol, or if you want lighter fluid.
do not soak the tp in it, use the same method as above or it'll torch your house and probably you.
make 1x1 squares and do it in sections.
once finished remove the cinders, and you'll have a hard plastic surface (not really plastic but it'll feel like it)
Now for all of these I suggest in fact before you try I demand you have a fire extinguisher with you, simply because I don't want to hear on the news that some schmuck set himself on fire and have gaming get even more of a bad rap than it already does.
If you want a much safer, but more time consuming process that doesn't involve flame at all here's what you do...
go to your local science store and ask for a condenser lense if they ask, just tell them you're going to burn some ants...
It works like a magnifying glass only it gets the highly focused portion to about the size of a "laser pointer" at point blank range, and can make wood catch fire if properly magnified...
Now you've got to be fast and pay close attention.
Take your polystyrene out into the yard or balcony (if it's concrete)
get out your condenser lense and keep shifting until you've focused the light and you start to see the polystyrene "melt" keep moving the lense so you've melted the entire sheet of polystyrene.
It can be time consuming, but it's much safer. Just try to keep the condensed light away for your clothes or skin, remember it's a poor mans laser so it will hurt pretty damn bad if you leave it on your skin for more than a few seconds.
You can't move the furniture anymore
And I'm not gonna trip and fall
Going for the door
Fuzz - Helen Keller
can i just point out something....ITS SPELT BREAK...anyway, ive used white foam for all my boards, hills and such, and it has never broken...it might be the type that i use. The way to do it is to use spak filler, used to coat holes in masonite walls, to harden it and protect it from aerosol cans... there we go...no problem...
if i had a penny for everytime some one sed something bad happened to their polystyrene....rich rich man...
The ideal material is Pink foam insulation board [Blue for you guys over the pond]
But expanded foam works too.
You can cover with dry wall spackle [Mud], plaster, modelling clay, or just textured paint and white [PVA] glue.
The white foams work just fine, it is just so much nicer working with the harder pink and blue foams. [It doesn't hurt to say you can walk on the harder pink and blue foams without destroying them]
Here is a pic of a gargant made out of pink foam insulation board.
But white foam could have worked just as well.
"Da Orks is da best cuz we ar ded ard an killy, mean, green, krumpin machines, hav da most dakka, da stompiest dreads, da shootiest gunz, da biggest bosses, an we uze choppas...WAAAGH!"