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In-Box Review
InstaMorph
InstaMorph Moldable Plastic 12oz / 340g
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by: Dan Stern [ SNEAKYPETE ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

While perusing Amazon for some putties and clays InstaMorph came up as a suggested product. I clicked on it and read about the product including a customer using it to repair a missing tooth. It looked like an intriguing product so I ordered a 12oz jar to see if it would help in the model building and craft world.

Review

What a neat product!! It is a non-toxic polyester thermoplastic according to their official website. The pellets are white and about 1/8 inch diameter and the 12oz jar is just under 4 inches tall. They feel almost wax-like to me in texture. The instructions are on the back of the jar as heat, pour, wait, remove, shape and create. InstaMorph melts at 140 degrees Fahrenheit; water from a Keurig coffee maker makes quick work of it. Heat guns or lighters will also get it to “bonding” temperature. When the pellets get clear that means they are ready to be shaped or bonded. The hotter you get it the more products it will stick to so keeping it about 140 F is sufficient. It does not melt to a pourable form it has a viscosity of clay really. Once the pellets are clear fish them out of your water with a tool and squeeze the water out of the clump and begin working to your desired shape. It will harden in less than 5 minutes but if you are not satisfied reheat and keep at it. Any excess you trim off just toss back in the jar and use it later.

I experimented with the tools that I have on hand to see the limitations of this wonder product. I rolled it flat to about 1/16th inch. I pressed it into a pair of pliers like a mold; it does hold finger prints as well. I glued it to other InstaMorph with Testors liquid cement. I used it as the base structure for a sculpture using Squadron Green putty and Green Stuff which adhered nicely. I was able to reheat the InstaMorph base and peel it away to leave the dried Green Stuff like a mask. I tried stretching it into thread, not too successfully at first but it did work out later. The trick was to get the pellets completely clear and bond them together or it comes out bumpy not a smooth thread. I tried sanding and using files to smooth it without much success. I do not have a motor tool with me to try to carve or grind it. You can cut into it with a normal hobby knife. I also do not have access to paint right now but I am confident that since the putty stuck to it that paint will too.

The future in the hobby world is bright for this little plastic pellet because of its many uses. Figure makers can use it to make the base structure and add your putties and clays to it. Vacu-form builders can use it to quickly shore-up the hollow bodies. Scratch builders and others use it to prototype up something or push it into your molds to have a part in minutes not waiting for the resin to dry.

Conclusion

All in all I recommend this product to have on the hobby bench and the tool box too. The website showed a variety of uses such as replacement parts to ear buds to nuts and bolts. Despite the replacement tooth on the Amazon review it has not been certified by the FDA as food safe according to their website. Also available are pasta rollers to make your own sheets and pigments to change it from white to any color you want to mix. At less than $20 for a 12oz jar it is an amazing and handy tool to have around. Go order a jar or two today.

Picture Legend

01: Jar of InstaMorph
02: Pellets of InstaMorph
03: On the ruler for scale
04: Clear and melted ready to form
05: Reheated and pulled from the “Green Stuff” mask
06: Pulled into a thread
07: Glued to M-41 “cloud tank”. The left side is glued to Aves putty
SUMMARY
Highs: Easy to use. No odor. Holds its shape well. Reusable. Bonds to other materials, but not sticky.
Lows: No sanding or filing smooth.
Verdict: Recommended to have on the hobby bench and the tool box as well.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: N/A
  Suggested Retail:  $16.99 12oz
  Related Link: Manufacturers product page
  PUBLISHED: Jan 14, 2014
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

About Dan Stern (sneakypete)
FROM: ARMED FORCES PACIFIC, UNITED STATES

Former Tanker M-60A3 and M-1IP. Former Cav Scout, M-1025. Current UH-60 driver.

Copyright ©2019 text by Dan Stern [ SNEAKYPETE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

I hope this isn't the same or similar to Woodland Scenics crappy water-making pellets!
JAN 15, 2014 - 05:00 AM
Thanks Mario for this review - your write-up is very good and describes a unique material very well - I don't post here often but I did want to chime in here to add my personal experience of this kind of material. I have had a sample of this stuff (branded as polymorph and bought from Maplins in the UK about 8 years ago) and as a modelling putty/plastic I have to say it's pretty useless. When cooled it is similar to polythene (meaning it doesn't glue or take paint well if at all). It is quite flexible but not enough that you could make decent casting moulds from it. When workable (about 50-60degrees Celcius) it has a consistency similar to Blu-tac, but isn't the best to work with as its generally wet (hot water being the best way to bring it to temperature) and is quite elastic - stringing and deforming greatly before tearing. When cooled it doesn't saw easily and isn't nice to cut. I have to say the 300gr pot I bought ended up being used to make tools such as replacement handles (quite good to make a unique tool handle perfectly fitting your fingers - just squeeze when warmed!), making paint palletes, and a few small scale DIY/repair jobs - but none of it ended up as part of a successful modelling project. Sorry to be a bit down in this, but I'm not sure it really has a place within our hobby... John
JAN 16, 2014 - 10:40 AM
Thanks for the review. I bought some of this from ebay a few years ago just out of curiosity. As you say, its not the easiest stuff to work with. I ended up using it to build up the groundwork on dioramas.
JAN 16, 2014 - 02:04 PM
   

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