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MODELLING MATERIALS - 2

V. Ryan 2008

 

Balsa wood is a traditional model making material. It is ideal for reproductions of wood based projects. Although classified as a hardwood it is very soft and easy to cut and shape. However, it is easily broken or snapped and therefore great care is needed when cutting and shaping.
It can be painted with water based paints and even varnished.

 
   

MDF is a cheap option for model making. It is supplied in a range of thicknesses and can be cut and shaped quite easily. It can be painted with water based and spirit based paints. It is recommended that MDF is sealed before spraying with spirit based paints. this can be done cheaply by using diluted PVA.

   

High Density Polystyrene also known as compressed polystyrene is ideal for model making due to its properties. It can be cut and shaped quite easily with fretsaws and even by hand tools. It is supplied in a range of colours, shades and thicknesses.
This type of materials is used for vacuum forming although it is suitable for model making.

Perspex is a good quality plastic material. It is supplied in a range of sections. shapes and sizes. Some of the sections and tubes are expensive to buy although it is suitable for model making. Perspex is supplied in opaque, transparent and translucent form.

 

Styrofoam is an excellent model making material. It is very light and easy to cut and shape using a hot wire cutter. It can also be shaped with hand tools and files. It can be painted using water based paints (emulsion paints) giving a really good finish.
Using styrofoam requires patience as it can ‘crumble’ at the edges if care is not taken.

     
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