The Hills are alive with Polystyrene.
If you are a model maker you will be well aware that one of the most essential bits of model making kit that you could ever need is that of polystyrene. This is one of the most versatile products that you can use as it can be a variety of things. If you need buildings it can privied that. In some cases the complete unit of packaging from a TV or washing machine can even make an entire structure. However it is the gentle sloping and scoping of the polystyrene sheet that can really help to bring the landscape to life.
There are many uses for polystyrene and model making is one of the great ways to make the most of polystyrene recycling just as a company in the included link can also provide. This is on a much lower scale however the artistic merit that a good model can provide is a great use for polystyrene.
You only have to look at a fantastic model railway set, complete with nice foothills for the rambler to traverse, albeit model ones and for tunnels for the train to emerge from as it makes its way to the local village or small town station. The basis for most of these details are the humble bits of polystyrene that you find left over. They can be painted with a base coat and then the hill colour applied. However this can be difficult as the paint may seep into the gaps of the polystyrene. This is why many modellers cover the polystyrene with card or paper mache. The polystyrene provides a base,
Only the few problems with using polystyrene is how to cut it and shape it. In some case a very sharp knife can be used but this can have the effect of splintering the small plastic pellets that make up the polystyrene. Whilst this is ok if you are going to cover it, it also can make for an excellent ruined building effect, The best way to cut the polystyrene is to use a hot wire cutter. This is a specialist modellers tool that can vary in size and shape. It is as the name describes a simple wire that is heated via an electrical current. This allows for the polystyrene to be cut cleanly and without causing any splintering of the polystyrene which makes it so difficult to model with afterwards.
This is a brilliant material for modellers and it should be used as much as possible. It keeps it away from the environment as well.