An Unusual Recipe for Soup

Orangeville, ON (James Doan) One of the most versatile materials you will ever use in modelling cannot be bought. It is easy to prepare. This incredible modelling supply is really nothing more than a jar of liquid polystyrene, about the consistency of honey, which you can apply with a paintbrush or simply blob onto the model you are working to convert. The liquid dries reasonably quickly, and you will find that it makes an excellent painting surface.

This stuff truly has ‘a 101 uses’, and with practice you will surely find many more. As a filler it can be used, in slowly built up layers, to fill cracks and sunken areas, and even hide the seams of joints. It can be painted over putty additions, giving the material of the model a consistently textured painting surface. It also can be painted over pieces of paper when you are doing figure conversions which involve, fabricating new uniform additions.

When converting facial detail, it can be used with fine precision to build up hair and beards, and alter facial profiles. You can also thicken limbs, mend breaks, and generally hide any number of imperfections. It is usually referred to as ’soup’.

To make ’soup’, start with a jar of Testors liquid glue. Decant half of the solvent into another jar, Be sure that both jars have air-tight screw lids. The next step is to cut up a handful of polystyrene sprue from old kits, or a small polystyrene sheet. Take the small pieces and add them to the jars of solvent. Fill each jar, then stir the contents. Next, close the lid and give each jar a vigorous shake for a several minutes.

Let the material sit for a while, then stir the contents and shake again. Repeat the stirring and shaking until the scrap is completely dissolved, then add more scrap and start the mixing process again.

Getting enough plastic dissolved will take several hours, but you can work on it in between other projects. It’s best to leave it overnight to see how saturated the solution is. Eventually, you will reach a point where no more plastic will dissolve.

At this point the jars will contain a thick ’soup’ the consistency of thin honey. Tightly closed, this will keep indefinitely. When you need it, dip it out with an old paintbrush.

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