"stretched sprue antenna"

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"stretched sprue antenna"

  • I keep seeing references to using "stretched sprue" for antenna, rigging wires, etc. I think I am familiar with what stretched sprue is, but how do you make it into usable items?
    Thanks for all the help.
    "Shoot low boys, they're riding Shetland Ponies!" - Lewis Grizzard, revered Southern humorist
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  • The idea behind stretching sprue is so that you can get a long and rigid thread of plastic that can be used then to make antenna / rigging / etc. Personally, I don't use sprue for antenna, I use a whisker from a vinyl paint brush, one paint brush lasts a life time and involves far less work.
    Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • There is a knack to it. But take a section of sprue and heat it up over a candle flame. Not too fast and not too slow. You want to try and heat it evenly. I turn mine over a couple of times. I hold each end and keep some tension of the length of sprue as I do this. It happens quick but you will see the sprue go glossy and get soft in the area that is being heated. At this point remove it from above the flame and With even pressure, separate your hands and it will draw out the thread of plastic. Speed will determine length and diameter.

    I have used this method for making piping, hoses and various sized rivets (with some filing and cutting it like baloney). For antennae I just use wire. Its easier. Roberts tip of using a nylon brush bristle is great as it will not permanently bend if brushed up against or mishandled.

    Mike
    Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • We have a modeler that uses his wifes nylons, of course he unwinds them first and then he has a life time supply also. The really neat thing is that you can touch his antennas and they just pop back into a straight line and they will not droop over time like my wifes hair does... It was worth a try.
    Tally ho
    Rosie
  • I use a spring steal wire form Lowes to make my anttenas. It comes in precut lenths and just springs back. It comes in several small diameters as it is used for musical stuff. They also have a nice selection of brass stock.
  • Thanks for info...I think I will try some of these other ideas for antenna. All of them sound like a lot less work to get them right, and will last a lot longer on the models in question.
    "Shoot low boys, they're riding Shetland Ponies!" - Lewis Grizzard, revered Southern humorist
  • Stretched sprue is extremely versatile when you get the knack of drawing it out to different diameters, and it's free! I don't know what you are modelling Carl, but I use sprue for the aerial wires running from "mast" to tail on aircraft. A good tip is to use the clear sprue, because the eye is drawn to a reflected highlight running the length of the filiament it looks even thinner than it actually is.
    Whilst I have your attention, how much is a dime? We had the USS Harry Truman and USS Winston Churchill locally a while back on their way home from Iraq. It seems that a dime is the same sort of size as a five pence piece and I keep getting them in my change!
    Would you believe I saw the USS Winston Churchill into harbour before the war, complete with Spitfire flypast AND DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA.
  • My plastic crack dealer showed me a new way to do stretched sprue today. (he comes up with little things like this to keep the junkies happy, focused, and amused)

    Take two sections of sprue and melt them over a candle. Get em all soft and on fire. Blow the burning plastic out and quickly mash the two melted, gooey, ends together. Then with a steady and even stroke, pull them apart. You will get a string of sprue about hair thick and will make a nice a/c radio antenae.

    Personaly I was sold on the idea of corona wire (from laser printers or xerox machines) and will not go back to sprue for this application.

    BTW. For all those that care.....I do not reccomend this. It is fire and as Frankenstein's monster said... fire bad. Melting plastic gives off noxious fumes and is not healthy. Do not try this at home kids and not without adult supervision. Adequate ventilation should be used, do not do this near flamable 'splody stuff. Do not use around pets or children. Discard containers in appropriate disposal receptacle.
    (Think that covers all the disclaimers for our litigacious readers?)

    Mike
    Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • hi , different plastics melt and give different results on how thin you can pull it , an other use is as a filler in gaps , if you use a contrasting colour ie green against the grey of a kit you can sand when dry and know you will not take off too much of the kit, if you use the tapered end it is great for filling gaps give it a go cheers ian