Melting polystyrene?

Raven Morpheus

Gang Hero
Nov 19, 2017
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Hey all

So, normally we all try to avoid melting polystyrene (bead foam to our US cousins)...

However, planning ahead for some slightly warmer, drier, less breezy days, I'd like to make some stuff that involves slightly melting polystyrene.

I know CA glue and some other adhesives (like Evostik) will do it, "back in the day" I made craters for 40k that way, but it's too aggressive and rather an expensive way of doing it.

I know spray paint will do it, because of the propellent/carrier.


So, I'm wondering, is there a spray paint (or other spray medium) easily/cheaply obtainable from places like Halfords/B&Q etc. that members here use that they know mildly melts polystyrene enough to pit and deform it but not dissolve it so much that there's little to nothing left?



Thanks in advance, any tips on this are welcome.
 
i used a spoon heated over a candle or blowtorch to gently distort polystyrene.
wear thick gloves though it gets hot all of a sudden (and ruins the spoon , which are cheap from a charity shop)
its more controlable than a spray and works on jablite (the new version of poly)
put up some photos when your done:)
 
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Heat is usually pretty good at that. I've used an soldering iron, electric heat gun and butane kitchen torch.

Are you just trying to style it ("pit and deform it") and not bend or shape it?

I've heard boiling water can work too, though I've never tried it.
 
In my experience, nail polish with acetone in it. Failing that, pure acetone. I heard that is relatively cheap to buy at pharmacies, but I would not know, I used to need it for lab work and got it for cheap from a shop near me catering to the massive university clinic in the heart of Vienna.

Please stand upwind.
 
Heat is usually pretty good at that. I've used an soldering iron, electric heat gun and butane kitchen torch.

I've seen people do this with cigarette lighters too, though only on XPS. I assume we're talking expanded (white, bobbly) polystyrene here, but it would probably work the same. Might not be good to breathe though.
 
I've seen people do this with cigarette lighters too, though only on XPS. I assume we're talking expanded (white, bobbly) polystyrene here, but it would probably work the same. Might not be good to breathe though.

I use the heat gun more frequently than I thought, although still not that frequently. It's great for repositioning gray plastic arms and whatnot.
 
I've used a propane soldering torch - it's meant for soldering together copper pipes in plumbing installations. The propane canisters are very cheap (~$10 in my area), and the torch (< $20) just screws on to the end of the canister. It allows for very fine control of the flame, and by varying the distance held from the polystyrene, you can achieve pretty good results. A more expensive option is a heat gun - essentially a Goliath's version of a blow dryer. Both the of these options are available in pretty much any hardware store (at least in the US). The bonus for using the propane torch is the fuel canister can also be used for camp stoves, propane lanterns, etc.