Is all styrene the same?

I've noticed when working with silver/aluminum color styrene that it often
has different characteristics than other colored styrene,
like splintering when cutting off sprue, more fragile, etc...
It may just be my imagination, sitting in a paint and thinner vapor
filled room....
do all model manufacturers work from the same basic recipe or what.
silver just seems to act different from the rest....
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I've noticed that same thing over the years. You didn't mention the manufacturer, however I have always felt that way about Auroroa's silver-molded plastic. The plastic in the Curtiss Helldiver (biplane) was always much more brittle than the plastic from later kits. I stumbled on a small horde of Aurora kits a number of years ago and, for the most part, built them up. They were ~all~ a lot more brittle than more recent kits, but the silver kits were the worst. At the time I attributed it to age, but am probably wrong in that matter.
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The Old Timer
In some cases color, or lack thereof (see clear) styrene will affect the hardness. In most cases the degree of hardness is determined by the injecting company and how much rubber they add to the styrene. "Pure polystyrene" is a hard brittle plastic, most kits are molded from an "alloy" of polystyrene and rubber these days to make it less brittle.
The Old Timer wrote:
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Just from experience, I have found there to be a wide range of styrenes, from the very soft (Mach 2 and Pegasus) to the very hard (Skybirds 86, Modelist, early MPM.) The really high quality stuff like Tamiya is middle of the road for hardness. I also had one Pavla kit where the plastic tried to delaminate like string cheese, and I've noticed that clear parts are much more brittle than most of the opaque parts. I have some old Aurora bits, some of which have a metallic tinge to the plastic; those parts in particular are harder to sand, and perhaps more brittle. Perhaps the metallizer is affecting the texture.
Mark Schynert
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Mark Schynert
That explains then, why clear plastic is the most brittle of all, and sometimes the stretched sprue just gets lumpy and stringy (Monogram sprue is like this) Kim M
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