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Nail acrylic question

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:02 am
by MadManMUC
Happy Saturday chaps,

I'm just getting ready to order some nail acrylic powder and monomer on Amazon for both my Reliant-537 and Voyager-677 kits. I'm a little unclear (no pun intented!) about if I should get clear or white powder. To be honest, I don't want to be able to see through my windows, and I'll also be using it on other various areas, like RCS thrusters on Reliant.

Is the clear powder sufficiently transluscent as to not really allow being able to view the inside of the kit with it? Is the white powder too opaque to allow for a nice light-up/glow?


Re: Nail acrylic question

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:04 pm
by trekriffic
In my experience with nail acrylic resin the clear powder will be very clear, especially if the window panes are thin. When I built my Leif Ericson I ended up painting the backside of the windows white or black (for unlit windows) so as not to be able to see inside the model. The white powder should work fine giving off a nice even glow.

Re: Nail acrylic question

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:17 pm
by MSgtUSAFRet

Trekriffic’s assessment is spot on!

I would only add a couple of consideration points:

The clear powder is more translucent than the white. It is not glass clear but near enough that you may have to be careful about hot spots (seeing inside the ship to the naked LED/SMD). If you are familiar with using the materials, you should end up with a “relatively” bubble free mix or part; there’s always porosity in every mix, it’s just very tiny.

Another point is the thickness of the acrylic. The white, if thin enough, will glow, as trekriffic says. But if you have a pretty thick part, it may block more light than it allows making your windows appear dim. If you are using it for windows, you should be fine.

I used clear acrylic on my Protector build for the Command Module here

On this lighting scheme, I put a thin piece of styrene over the LED to help defuse the light.

Just wanted to clarify.


Re: Nail acrylic question

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:42 am
by MadManMUC
Cheers, lads!

I ended up ordering a set containing both clear and white powders (pink, too ... obviously that won't see much use on starships :mrgreen: ).

In the end, I'll need to experiment, I think. I ordered a few sheets of 0.25 mm styrene from Evergreen, which I plan to use for re-building the fins aft of Reliant's nacelles (along with a 2 mm sheet for their cores), so that I can cut out RCS thrusters from them. Along with gauging the opacities/translucencies of both clear and white relative to the thickness of the card, I'll do a third test where I mix both the white and clear powders together, to see if that does the trick.

For windows on both ships, I'll just have to play around; maybe it will end up again with a mix of both powders.

Re: Nail acrylic question

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:04 pm
by trekriffic
Sounds like you have a handle on things. Experimentation is always a good idea when you are trying something new.

Regarding light diffusion for LEDs, if you have any empty dispensers of Glide dental floss on hand, pop them open and scavenge the little cylinders that the floss wraps around. They are made of a frosted plastic and work perfectly with 3mm LEDs or smaller. Just glue them over the top of your LED and they will give you a nice even glow in all directions. I liken this trick to placing a lampshade over a bulb. You'd still have a hot spot coming out the open end of course so just be sure not to point the LED directly at a row of windows.

Re: Nail acrylic question

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:54 pm
by MadManMUC
So I got my acrylic kit this weekend, and — for the size of RCS ports, and the thickness of the styrene card they're cut into (0.25 mm) — looks like white is going to be the way to go, provided I get sufficiently bright light piping through a 1 or 1.5 mm fibre optic end-point strand behind it.

That monomer, though ... ugh, that smells proper vile!