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"Cutting your own acrylic base for ships?" Topic

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taskforce5823 Jul 2019 12:02 p.m. PST

For those who base their 1/2400 or similar scale ships on acrylic bases, has anyone tried cutting their own? I mean, Litko's bases are nice and fine but the cost can add up. Getting a large sheet of clear acrylic and cutting it yourself is a much cheaper option, although the edge won't be as nice as Litko's as theirs are laser-cut.

thosmoss23 Jul 2019 12:06 p.m. PST

Our library has a laser cutter. The process to reserve time and get certified to use it is a few steps, but the tools are fantastic. It seems more and more libraries are offering such devices, and you might ask around …?

The Beast Rampant23 Jul 2019 12:57 p.m. PST

I have tried it in the past, but I have no means of getting the beautifully clean cut Litko's has. So personally, I consider it with the expense.

Bezmozgu7 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jul 2019 5:22 a.m. PST

I use a metal straight edge and an Xacto knife to cut my acrylic bases. You don't need to cut it through completely. With steady pressure the piece will snap apart along the scoring. I use extra fine sand paper to smooth the edges.

Lion in the Stars25 Jul 2019 6:35 p.m. PST

You can actually use heat from a cigarette lighter to flame-polish the edges of cut acrylic.

Though a laser-cutter is naturally 'flame'-polished.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2019 9:27 a.m. PST

I've done this, and it works.

Tried polishing with flame/heat with less success.

I bought long strips, pre-cut by the plastics supplier, to size. Then used a hobby, razor saw in the mitre-box to cut to desired lengths. Works well.

File the corners round, if desired, and sand smooth. Done.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2019 4:41 a.m. PST

The clear acyrlic bases still look like a sheet of glass and have reflection at many angles. Tongue depresser/ice cream bar holder sticks (from craft store) work well and can be painted to match you ocean surface and put a bow/stern waves as well. Do first coat on top with blue oil based paint and bottom with white oil based paint.
Put the name and class of the ship on the underside.

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