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Author Topic: Plastic paper for banners and flags  (Read 445 times)

Offline Nordic1980s

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Plastic paper for banners and flags
« on: July 02, 2018, 02:32:59 PM »
Tamiya's plastic paper PLA-Paper, manufactured in two thicknesses of 0,1 and 0,2 mm, is excellent material for miniature flags and banners. It can be cut easily with scissors and be heated for permanent curls and twists. Bullet holes can be poked in with a hot needle-like metal tool.

Due to thinness of the sheets, a liquid superglue is recommended instead of the usual plastic glue. The latter would melt the thin sheets, resulting in rather Nurglesque or Skavenish banners. If folded into a sharp angle, the plastic paper will break (just as paper can do if folded repeatedly). Attaching plastic paper to metal miniature banner poles is accomplished with super glue, as seen in the attached photographs (0,2mm thick PLA-Paper).

I prefer to have glossy porcelain-like finish for gaming models, so that any grime and dust can be easily cleaned with a bit of liquid soap under a running tap water. With the traditional method of paper flags glued with woodwork glue, one needs to carefully seal the paper banner and avoid using hot water, as it could re-melt the woodwork glue. Over the years I tried to make miniature banners by heat-bending thin plasticard sheets, clear blister pack plastics and projector sheets, to no avail. Thus Tamiya's PLA-Paper is a gift from heaven (Japan) to my needs. In Europe the material is available from Axel's Modellbau Shop and Wayland Games. The sheets are very large, so a single pack containing several sheets will make tens and tens of miniature flags or banners, or could alternatively be divided between several model makers to save money.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 02:49:16 PM by Nordic1980s »

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Plastic paper for banners and flags
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 03:46:26 PM »
It certainly sounds nice and workable for those using paper right now.

But for banners, I've used the metal from tin cans for many years. It can be bent into waving/curling shapes by folding it over pencils, brush handles or even thinner round objects, and can be glued to banner poles with superglue as well.

One has to take care to file round the edges of the flags before using them as they'll otherwise be razorsharp, and they need to be thoroughly sanded before undercoating lest the paint chip off, but otherwise it's great. Also; it's virtually free and dozens of flags can be cut from a single can.

Still; I like the thought of the material and I can see quite a few other uses. The first thing that comes to my mind is to use it as surface detail on X-Wing scaled SW miniatures; those always have bazillions of small rectangular shapes on their hulls and are a right pain to emulate at this diminutive scale (1/275 and 1/350).

I'm using 0.5mm plasticard right now, but it's too thick (except for the largest of ships), or aluminum tape, which is great, but has problems sticking, so needs to be superglued, despite the adhesive backing. And sanding/filing down the 0.5mm plasticard to half its thickness is both mindnumbingly dull and prone to mistakes.

So I might well get me some of this material when the occasion presents itself... :)

Nice flag btw... ;)

'He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who sticks out in darkness is...fluorescent'

Painting Goal for 2018: 100 miniatures - Tally per 12-11-2018: 89

Offline Nordic1980s

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Re: Plastic paper for banners and flags
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 10:25:18 PM »
Thanks for the tips and comments Daeothar! Lately I received by mail order a bottle of Gator's Grip Glue and confirmed by own experiments the much touted positive attributes of the superglue replacement. Please see more here. For making banners of plastic paper and tin can metal, this Gator glue could be superior to traditional superglue as it would allow for some repositioning after applying - whereas superglue dries almost instantly. Moreover, any extruding glue can be immediately wiped off safely, first with wet brush (to remove glue) and then with a brush that has been wiped onto a towel (to remove moisture). The attachment strength is like superglue, far superior to ordinary household woodwork glue.

Upon testing the GSI Creos's Mr.METAL PRIMER-R (more about it here), I guess I could use it for the metal flags made of tin cans, too!

Finally, I learned lately that Tamiya is not the sole Japanese supplier of plastic paper. A manufacturer called Wave sells them too, as sold internationally by shop called 1999.co.jp here and here (an European reseller here and here).
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:28:48 PM by Nordic1980s »

Offline Brandlin

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Re: Plastic paper for banners and flags
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2018, 10:19:40 PM »
i have always used the metal from old tubes of toothpaste, glue, tomato puree etc
Brandlin - where inspired wargaming and modeling projects come to procrastinate.

Offline waitwhat

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Re: Plastic paper for banners and flags
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 05:58:50 PM »
i have always used the metal from old tubes of toothpaste, glue, tomato puree etc

Seconded. Tin cans? that's a bit hardcore

Offline PhilB

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Re: Plastic paper for banners and flags
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 09:32:05 AM »
I've found that once I've printed a banner on ordinary photocopy paper, carefully trimmed and wrapped it round a wire spearshaft, put a nice curl or two or three in it by wrapping it round a round object like a wooden dowel, all I have to do to get a permanently wavy and fixed banner is drip some liquid superglue on it until the fibres of the paper are gorged with the stuff.

After drying, it does feel like "plastic paper", and I understand that the polymerization process is like plastic.