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Fixing Warped PP Plastics

Fixing Warped PP Plastics

So, last week saw the release of the 2-player Starter Box, which is chock full of plastic-y goodness.
For the 0.1% who haven’t heard about the box it contains two roughly 20 point armies for Khador and Protectorate of Menoth.  Khador adds a full unit of Man-O-War Shocktroopers to their standard Battlebox, landing at an even 20 points.

The Protectorate, however, swaps out the Revenger Light ‘jack Arcnode for a second heavy with the Vanquisher.  To counter the Shocktroopers, Menoth sends a squad of Cinerators, with some equally as impressive shields.  The Protectorate side adds up to 21 points.

I was very excited to support my local store with an immediate purchase, and my local players were equally as eager to check out the contents, namely the miniature Rulebook!
When I got the models home, I tore open the plastic bags to quickly inspect the set for any missing pieces,  or anything irreparable which I would need to get replaced.  Luckily, I was in the clear.  Until…

A Cinerator Sword
Sorscha's Frostfang

 

Sorscha’s Frostfang shaft is not much thicker than 0.7 pencil lead.  It’s pretty small.  The Cinerator swords are pretty thin too, and since each Cinerator is in its own little baggie, the swords bounce around with the huge bulks of the medium based model.  Not good for the sword.
So, with nothing to loose, I tried something.
I got out a really old pot, topped it off with water, and tossed it onto the stove.  I put in a meat thermometer so I could monitor the temperature of the water.  I also grabbed my $2 strainer – the same one I use to avoid dropping small parts down the drain while stripping paint off models.

Turning the stove to about 4 of 10 saw the temp rise to about 160 – 170.  (When researching Instant Mold, going above 180 is highly discouraged because it can permanently damage the plastic molecules, so I used that as a benchmark).  Once at my target temperature (with just a little bit of visible steam coming off), the number 2 setting kept my pot under 180, at the 170 mark on my thermometer.

Using the strainer, I dropped a test piece into the water – the Juggernaut’s Axe.  The Axe shaft was one of the thickest parts I needed to fix, so if this part could be fixed, then I shouldn’t have an issue with the rest.

...just a little bent out of alignment
The strainer will aid in retrieving the warmed up part!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I let it sit in the water for about 2 minutes, and pulled it out.  I was very happy to see the part completely pliant.  I was very wiggly!  It had also straightened itself out!

On I went with the rest of the pieces, each getting about a minute and a half in the 170 degree water.
The end result?

Perfectly straight everything!

Also, the parts don’t soak up enough heat to leave finger prints, and they aren’t too hot to touch, either.  You only get about 5-10 seconds of time after you pull them out to check that everything looks good, but when a re-do is as easy as putting it back in the hot water, what could be easier?
I don’t know what the melting temperature of PP plastic is, so don’t leave your part in there too long.  I actually saw one sword straighten out after only 30 seconds, so you may not even need the full 2 minutes.  Also, if you end up melting a part, it’s not my fault!  You were warned!  :p

So, in short, if you can make instant Mac ‘n’ Cheese, you can fix any warped PP plastic part.
Huzzah!

View Comments (7)
  • I'll have to try this with my Wraithengine as one of the tubes from the side piece to the main body is warped pretty badly.

      

  • You can also just use a hair dryer, it worked wonders for the plastic Sorcha I got second hand. It was already put together, and her weapon was bent worse than yours. Some quick work with the hair dryer and some cold water to ‘shock’ the plastic back into hardness, and it was perfect.

      

    • I was able to toss some assembled parts into the water and it worked as well. A hairdryer would certainly be the quicker route – it takes about 5 minutes for me to heat water sufficiently…

        

  • All this time later, any updates to your method? Finally going to tackle TFG pikes, Cinerator swords, maybe a Revenger halberd, and thought I’d drop a line since I reread to prepare.

    Of particular note, did you ever use the pot for food purposes? Or anything else? I’m reluctant to sacrifice a pot to straighten some bits out.

      

    • No updates to the process, it works pretty well. 160 Degrees F for about a minute and then run it under cold when it’s done. I dedicated an old pot to this, but if you cleaned the parts of mold release before doing this, I see no reason why you couldn’t re-purpose the pot back to food after a wash.

        

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