Friday, 23 October 2015

So, where do you get your plastic card from?

I regularly get asked; "So where do you get your plastic card from?"

And usually reply, from second hand sources or ex-display material. In this post I thought I would be a little more specific.

Yesterday I picked up a large piece of 5mm thick plastic card from a DIY superstore in Droitwich. The plastic card was used as display material in the garden centre and was being thrown away.

I asked an assistant if I could have it - explaining that I would use it for model making and was told that I could have it for free.

In these images I have cut the large single panel into three 500mm x 400mm smaller panels.

This plastic card has a green surface covering which is part of the material, sometimes this outer covering is 'sticky-back' plastic and can be removed, in this case it is a fixed feature. I think it is painted onto the surface.

Plastic card comes in various firmness - the surface can be quite soft, medium strength of full strength/hard. I usually define this strength of toughness by pressing my finger nail into the surface. The softer material can be easily marked with your fingernail and is ideal for carving and indenting the surface (I use a rough stone, but you can use rolled up silver foil), you can also flex the panel, a bit like thick card. The medium strength plastic card, can also be carved, but takes indents less than the softer variety. The third type is very strong and has no flex. This is ideal for stronger structures or layering - building up a thicker structure and then carving and/or sanding to shape.

These panels are of the stronger type and will be used as bases for larger pieces of terrain.

I hope that this post helps others to both identify the different types of plastic card and give ideas as to where to get it from.



Heisler said...

I have a friend that prints banners and signs and most of the stock I use comes from here. They actually use large pieces of sheet styrene as separators for some of the materials he uses. Other sources are a bit harder to find. Most of them use something akin to plastic cardboad. While it has a thin outer skin for the printing the interior is corrugated and of less use. Makes for very light signs but not particularly useful for modeling.

Tony said...

I have also bought and been given plastic card from a local printer. Another great source of materials.