Using Polystyrene for modelling.

When you buy something that’s fragile or needs to be protected from knocks and bumps there is every chance that there will be a considerable amount of polystyrene packaging left over.  In the past most of this would have gone in the bin as you desperately tried to not break the stuff. If you did you could be sure to find small white pellets for the next three months or you would turn your front room into the scene of a mini snowstorm. This could be considered fine if it was Christmas but not if you’d just had a washing machine delivered in July.  Help in the field of polystyrene recycling is now at hand as companies like https://www.printwaste.co.uk/business-recycling-solutions/polystyrene-recycling/ can sort all of that out for us and reuse it. However, before it hits the bin, there are some other uses that you can find for the stuff. One of those that we shall look at is the use of it in modelling.

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My youth was spent watching with interest whenever a big or small parcel came to the house. I knew that there was a very good chance that there would be a sizeable bit of polystyrene packaging that I could soon use to my modelling advantage. The great thing about polystyrene in modelling is that is extremely practical and versatile.  Whist it is difficult to cut cleanly, a hot wire cutter is the best method, the resulting rough edges make for great ruined scenery and rubble.

For example, the creating of a broken marble/stone  column can easily be achieved by gluing sheets of card to the outside of the polystyrene and a rough cut end once painted gives the impression of the column being broken either by conflict or time. The card gives an impression of smoothness but if the polystyrene is given a suitable acrylic undercoat with additional layers of grey shaded paint it can create an authentic stone wall.

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If the piece of polystyrene is large and thick whole pieces can be used to create bases for troops or hangers for planes. As they are usually cut with rounded ends they lend themselves well to military bunkers and buildings. Sometimes the structure itself can be used in its entirety to create some futuristic cityscape. Large pieces can also be cut to create structures as well but as stated before a hot wire cutter is the best tool for this.

Smaller flatter parts can be struck together to make hills. Again, an undercoat of white followed by green paint and an addition of modelling hills and grass is extremely effective. So don’t chuck it get creative!