Welcome to Colorado Model Structures - About our Kits
All of our buildings and accessories are injection molded from high impact polystyrene(styrene). Styrene has excellent properties for this application, but certain precautions must be taken to assure long life both indoors and out. The styrene raw material has some basic UV protection and the pigment that we add in the molding process gives it more UV protection, but long term exposure to UV rays will deteriorate the styrene. To get the most out of you kit we recommend the following:
It is necessary that some type of solvent based adhesive be used so that a mechanical bond is formed between the pieces being joined(Testor's and other manufacturers styrene adhesives are good choices). Super glue is not recommended as it sometimes dries too quickly to form a good mechanical bond. Other "hi-tech" adhesives have the same problem. If in doubt, join two of the "runner" pieces that hold the doors and windows as a set with your adhesive, let dry completely, and then pull apart. If the parts do not separate cleanly, then it is probably a good adhesive. If they separate cleanly, then there is no mechanical bond and the adhesive is probably not a good choice. It is also necessary that the kit be supported on the inside to withstand any outdoor enviroment. Many of our customers are supporting the inside corners, roof sections, long walls, and other joints of the buildings with plastic or wood strips and reporting no problems after more than 5 years outside in the heat of Florida and the California desert sun as well as the cold of the New England winters. Wood strips should be attached with silicon adhesive. Plastic strips should be styrene and glued in with, again, a good styrene adhesive. Our customers are also using full sheets plexiglass or lexan sheet from home supply houses cut to fit the inside of each wall to both make their buildings critter proof and to provide additional support.
We spray paint all of our show buildings with Krylon Fusion Paints. It is an excellent outdoor enamel that will help protect the building from the elements. If you wish to keep your buildings outside, it is necessary that the buildings be painted with some similar type of outdoor enamel that has UV inhibitors. Whether it is brushed or sprayed make no difference as long as coverage is complete.
Whether the buildings are kept indoors or out, they should be periodically inspected for damage and deterioration. At periodic intervals, the joints should be inspected to make sure they are still joined. If some joints are loose, they should be reglued. At the same time, all painted surfaces should be inspected for peeling and other signs of deterioration. Any surface that show peeling, crazing, or other signs of wear should be sanded and repainted. Special attention should be payed to the inside of the building to make sure that sunlight coming through a window or door opening is not damaging an unpainted interior area.
The manufacturers published heat distortion temperature of styrene is between 140 and 160 degress fahrenheit. If you are getting unusual wear or you suspect a hot spot in your outdoor area, place a thermometer at that location. If you are getting to within 90% of the heat distortion temperature, consider shading or relocating your building. Although our tests show no significant warpage in the wall sections until 185 degrees fahrenheit, we recommend that the manufacturer's tolerances be adhered to.
Do not clean the kit parts with paint thinner or any other solvent. Use only a mild soapy solution and rinse thoroughly. Not all plastics are the same. Check materials to be used for inside support with the adhesion test suggested above. Some plastics are resistant to the adhesion solvent used in virtually all glues and should not be used.