Q: I’m using MS first time. How do I mix it in the right way? Is it recommended to take equal amounts of each part?
A: In principle, measure by volume (equal size amounts of MS), not by weight. You’ll get its best suppleness. Mix well until you see a uniform colour. Taking more hardener (greenish slate-grey component) results in a shorter setting time, but once cured it has a higher brittleness. More resin (light grey component) extends setting time. There’s a danger of losing uniform curing (max 70% resin and 30% hardener).
Q: Which temperature does MS stand?
A: Once the product is cured (set firmly overnight; air dries rock hard few days after), it can withstand up to 150°C.
Q: What is the recommended shelf life of MS?
A: Ideally, it should be used as soon as possible. The manufacturer has released a new improved formula with a non-crystallizing resin which states that it “should last a life time”. MS is distributed in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Having an originally sealed kit, there should be no problem to store it for a couple of years. The hardener may lose its pliability only after a couple of months (if you pay attention to the storage advice) and may appear "dry" or stiff. However do not discard it. Heat the hardener up to 40°C; it will soften up – but pay attention to your thermal source.
Q: A brand new MS seems to be more sticky compared to kits opened for longer. Does the putty start to become old?
A: New kits of putty could be a bit sticky, especially the resin. In that condition it adheres very well, but works less to a smooth surface, notably on large scales. Air your kit about 24h; you’ll find it less sticky after that.
Q: Will MS adhere to plastic, e.g. polysterol or styrene?
A: Yes, but you have to ensure a proper bonding, otherwise it will chip off. Sand the area or break the molecular level using a thin coat of plastic cement or PVC glue. Drill capture holes on large surfaces.
Q: Is MS an air dry product?
A: No, it’s a chemical cure. It hardens even under water.
Q: I’ll be working with long stops between project steps, does it adhere?
A: Sure, there’s no problem in applying MS to already cured surfaces. In some cases you should sand the surface, especially on a very smooth one, or you can drill some capture holes to punch in when sculpting.
Q: Is MS suitable for outdoor use?
A: MS is suitable for outdoor exposure. Paint gives protection against UV rays, because epoxy is a polymer resin. MS will not be harmed by exposure to average European temperatures. Once cured, it resists up to 150°C. Frost makes all materials brittle, so keep enough cross-section in your parts.
Q: Can I use MS to repair broken cold cast porcelain objects?
A: Smooth the cracks with a wet finger. You can use it even to hide cracks.
Q: Is it possible to colour MS before mixing?
A: You can use epoxy resin pigments (take powder – no paint or solutions). It works OK depending on the compatibility. You will have to experiment with ratios, but always use less.
Q: Can I make simple moulds using MS?
A: You can make simple kind of moulds or imprints if there are no cuttings avoiding a release from your master. Use talc or mould release spray as agent. For two-part moulds use talc as release agent for MS. Note that the maximum temperature durability of MS while casting is 150C.
Q: Does MS adhere to a primed or painted plastic surface?
A: No, you have to remove the paint. Roughen small areas with sand paper, drill capture holes or soften smooth plastic surfaces with PVC glue – both, MS and PVC glue, are chemical setting instead of air drying products. The glue breaks the molecular level, so MS will bond in it.
Q: Is MS reversible?
A: You can dissolve MS in uncured state with warm water and soap, if need be use Isopropanol (you have to test it on a surface). Once cured, the only way to remove is to chip it away or use a grinding motor tool.
Q: How sticky is MS to my hands? Will it harm my skin? Is it easy to remove?
A: Compared to other epoxy or two-way putties, MS "sticks" to your model only. It doesn’t adhere to finger lines. There is no need to scrub down your hands. If you have sensitive skin, use surgical gloves. Otherwise use warm water and soap to wash your hands.
Q: Is Magic Sculp toxic say compared to other A&B epoxy putties? I wear gloves when I work with such putty but do I need to wear my respirator? Is it toxic to the touch, fume smells, or both?
A: Some people are more sensitive than others. If you are using those protective devices with A&B, it is recommended that you continue to do so with MS. It may cause skin irritation so it is advisable to use latex gloves if you suffer from allergies or eczema.
Q: How soon after applying magic sculp can I prime it?
A: It is best to wait for a day to ensure that it is fully cured.
Q: I would like to make small pieces in fine detail. Is Magic Sculpt suitable for these purposes? I'd probably need only a very small amount to work with at any one time. Approximately how fast will it dry if I mix, say, two marble-sized globs? I would like to paint it using water color. Is this possible? Will the gray background mean that I have to use very thick layers of paints?
A: The smallest piece worked with measured around 2mm diameter (detail items). It can be rolled (with a rolling pin) to almost paper thickness. At room temperature, it will set in about three hours. Humidity has no effect on its curing characteristics as MS will harden even under water. It will hold whatever shape you desire and painting is a breeze. Prime it with your favourite primer. After that, you can paint your figure in whatever medium you choose. You actually do not have to prime MS, but paint adhesion is improved with a primer. You can use an airbrush to apply the primer.
(Magic Sculp Information © courtesy of Wesco Enterprises)