warping sprue?

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warping sprue?

Post by Guildenstern » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:54 pm

Does anyone know a way to warp sprue? I'm trying to twist something (and have it stay that way) as part of a destroyed doomwheel. I've already tried microwaving a bit of extra sprue and nada. Boiling water didn't seem to do anything either. Stuff's tougher than I thought o.O was wondering if anyone could think of anything else? I really don't want to go with like direct fire If I can't figure it out I guess I'll just attempt something else, but thanks for any help!
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by LordMcAllister » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:34 am

Warping? Like bending it? Perhaps I'm not understanting exactly what effect you want to create.. but can't you just grab it with two pliers and twist it? Or is it such a small piece that you can't apply enough force?
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Munin » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:57 am

The microwave wouldn't work because microwaves create heat by agitating molecules of a specific size - in particular, water molecules. No water molecules, not much happens in a microwave. And while water boils at 212 degrees F, as soon as you take something out of it, it RAPIDLY cools off.

A heat gun (used for shrink-wrap) will probably work. It's more intense than the highest powered hair-dryer and has the advantage of being able to apply just to the area you want to warp/bend.

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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Dez » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:43 am

I'd suggest a heat gun. I've seen done with open flame, but that can create toxic fumes, potential burns, fire and all sorts of other dangers (like spontaneous tap dancing!) so I don't recommend it.
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Epic Duck Mike » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:31 pm

I use Hot Salt Dipping for this:

Take a metal pie plate or casserole or something, and fill it with ordinary table salt.
Put it on your stovetop and turn it to low.
Let it heat up for a few minutes - I haven't thought to actually put a thermometer into the salt until writing this, so I can't say exactly what temperature to use. I've never turned the dial past maybe 2 or 3 on my stove while doing this, though.

What you do next depends on the shape of the bit.

For long thin pieces like swords, whips, etc, just drag it quickly through the hot salt (no more than 2-3 seconds in the salt) and then bend it to shape with your fingers. Don't force it too far, you can drag it through repeatedly to heat it up over and over and bend it slightly each time... if you heat it too long details tend to melt.

For larger, thicker pieces (reshaping Space Marine legs, for example), stick them into the salt and let them sit for maybe 15-20 seconds, leaving enough exposed that you can grab it safely. Pull it out and try to warp it... if it's not pliable enough, leave it in longer. I've had to leave thicker pieces in for up to a minute, but it really depends on how hot your salt is.


Finally turn the stove off, leave the salt to cool down for an hour or two, and then just pour it back into the box or an old margarine tub or something, and keep it for next time ;)
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Kovlovsky » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:56 pm

Epic Duck Mike wrote: For larger, thicker pieces (reshaping Space Marine legs, for example), stick them into the salt and let them sit for maybe 15-20 seconds, leaving enough exposed that you can grab it safely. Pull it out and try to warp it... if it's not pliable enough, leave it in longer. I've had to leave thicker pieces in for up to a minute, but it really depends on how hot your salt is.
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Guildenstern » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:57 pm

wow you guys are amazing! & lordmcallister by warping I mean I want to make a deliberate twist in the materal of the model that will be permanent when I release it. I'm afraid a brute force method would end up just breaking it, or, when it inevitably broke the hold of its glue, it'd just snap back into its original form.

I shall muck about with my spare sprue bit and see how we go. The piece I want to use is pretty thin so I want to be careful not to overstress it.
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by genso6 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:54 pm

Guildenstern, I have personally twisted sprues using just pliers on more than one occasion and it looks great! Once you have about a centimeter of twist you have to be careful extending either end as the sprue is much more prone to twisiting too far then. But, it makes a great corkscrew in a pinch which i hope to incorporate into some gothic terrain soon
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Htedomsa » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:47 am

if it's just common sprue from a model kit I usually use a lighter to heat up the plastic (just slight flame touches so it doesn't catch fire) then you have a small window of time to mold the plastic as you desire. Yes this can be hot but after years of converting I don't notice it. Still if you don't want to deal with burny plastic on your fingers I suggest using pliers. The flat ones work great for quickly pressing the heated plastic into shapes for swords, shields, etc
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Re: warping sprue?

Post by Thabow » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:24 pm

wow that was a lot of suggestions for a really simple answer.

do you have a lighter? use it, and use it in close quick actions, if you do it right, the plastic will bend in any direction and not burn or warp.

I actually just did this last night to bend a power cable from a power fist to the power pack on a marine. really easy to do, bigger pieces would need a different method.

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