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HOWTO: ABS raw edge mod, how to turn a raw edge and give it a return


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Saw this on the C-E boards - what a fantastic technique!!




stukatrooper said:
Hi all here is my little pointer and contribution to the clone and plastic community .


Hope this helps to make our armour better and bring a great thick looking suit.




To create the return and give the raw edge a more thick look i used a modeling iron.You should be able to get one of these from any good model shop or the net for a few trooper tokens.




Now keeping the cloth on the iron to stop it from sticking to the ABS,find a starting point and with a little presure and back and forth movement heat up the ABS.Put the temperature to high or max it out.




It takes a little time to get heat into the ABS at the start but once you get going the heat spreads along alot faster.I kept the iron at about 60 to 80 angle to the edge and maintained the presure.




Only the area around the iron gets hot so you have full control of what you are doing ,and hay if i can do it my guess is you guys can.

Now just work you way alone the edge of what ever you want to bend,top of thigh ETC.Work from the outside and bend the plastic in.




Now as my RT-MOD is not painted ABS i sandend it with wet and dry and then used NOVUS polish to fully blend it in and job was done.






here is the final result about one hour.






Im sure that this can be used for all sorts of aplications one being when you seperate the lower back and butt plate.hope this helps?

Edited by gmrhodes13
link not working, removed gmrhodes13 2020
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Thanks for putting the link up paul.I was going to add a few more pictures to show the angles of attack.


Guys i must stress try it on some scrap first to get your hand in,and DO use the cloth over the iron !IF YOU DO NOT it will melt burn and stick to your ABS.

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HTH Peter - this is obviously one hot technique and you're helping out a huge number of folks - also moving it to HOWTO area.

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I'm a big guy, so I have the FX armor. I wonder how the FX would look doing that? I hate the thighs... ANY improvement would be nice.

I'm a smaller guy with heavily trimmed FX armor. This is a much needed mod. Thanks :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

This mod is great. I trimmed the bottom of my FX chest plate to make it look and fit a little better. I was able to add the return or lip. You can also use the iron to add the swoop to the shoulder bells. :)

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now that is a cool tip to know. thanks 4 posting! being an owner of sds armor, most of the edges on my set already return in like that, but there are areas I've considered trimming and now I know just how to get the look back. tnks

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  • 4 months later...
This mod is great. I trimmed the bottom of my FX chest plate to make it look and fit a little better. I was able to add the return or lip. You can also use the iron to add the swoop to the shoulder bells. :)


Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I saw this while reviewing TK-6908's "FX chest plate mod" thread. Has anyone actually tried the shoulder bell mod yet, and if so do you have any pictures? I'm always looking for ways to improve my FX and I'd definitely like to improve the look of the FX shoulder bells, hopefully without sacrificing the width I need for my shoulders.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry, I may be making this more complicated than it should be, but I could use some help with this mod. I'm building an AP and all the ABS scraps I try this on turn out like rubbish. I'm using the monokote iron with the cloth accessory. The area that I'm trying to bend is looking more warped than bent and the finish on the surface in that area is looking like its contracted leprosy! I have some questions...


- What temp setting do you use and do you ever change it throughout the process?

- What areas of the iron surface actually makes contact with the armor? Just toward the tip?

- How wide of an area of ABS should be in contact with the iron at a time?

- Do you point the tip of the iron toward the outer edge of the armor piece or toward the center?

- How much pressure do you apply during heat up and bending and is it constant pressure or do you apply more/less once the ABS is hot?

- Do you constantly keep the iron moving or does it ever rest in one place at any time?

- What direction do you move the iron? Up and down against the edge or side to side with the edge?

- Should the ABS surface in the bent area have the same smooth finish as it did before or is it expected to have some melty/rough/leprosy type stuff going on that requires sanding afterward?


Any advice would be so greatly appreciated! And if you have photos or can point me to some that depict iron placement on the ABS and angles and all that it would also be super rad. Thank you!

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I haven´t done this mod yet (still waiting on the new iron), but at least ABS melts at around 225 celsius if I remember correctly.


I would definately follow the edge as opposed to working up an down it. I would also keep the iron moving constantly to get a smoother edge all the way around. If you do one spot at a time, you might end up with a lot of bumps from spot to spot.


When it comes to melted ABS and the finish, it has at least kept the shine when I´ve done similar thing with a heatgun.

On that note, I think this mod might be able to do with a heatgun as well.


Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks for yur PM,


Answer time,No secret as far as the heat setting just have it on max.


I always try to get as much of the ABS in contact with the iron as posible.


The point of the iron normaly faces in.


never add to much presure just the weight of the iron, but keep it moving. As the ABS starts to heat and bend add a little more weight and rock it to get the curve.Press it to get a 45 degree angle.


keep the iron moving side to side and up and down.You need to decide your direction you want to bend and head that way.


The cloth will leave ats weave patten on the ABS,so once you are finished sand with wet and dry paper and then buff back the shine with NOVAS or T-cut polish.I have found that the AP plastic can buff back from a very bad finish.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Ok, so I purchased the hobby iron, set it to high, and tested it on some spare abs from my FX kit. The cloth practically burned off, bunched up under the iron, and when I started to rub it over the edge it seemed to give it a more raw straight angled cut look. I thought this would be a lot simpler than it turned out. Any ideas before I go and ruin my FX suit. :)

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  • 2 years later...
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  • 4 years later...

Hey, this thread seems pretty old and I'm not sure that anyone will reply, but the craft iron I have didn't come with a cloth accessory of any kind. Any idea about where I can buy one or how I can improvise one? I made the mistake of using a bare craft iron on ABS a little while ago and I wasn't sure what I needed.

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