Help support TMP


"How Creative Have You Gotten With Foam Cutters?" Topic


41 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Tools of the Hobby Message Board

Back to the Terrain and Scenics Message Board

Back to the Modern What-If Message Board

Back to the Dungeoncrawls Message Board

Back to the Victorian SF Message Board

Back to the Zombies Message Board

Back to the Pulp Gaming Message Board

Back to the Fantasy Discussion Message Board

Back to the 15mm Fantasy Message Board

Back to the Dioramas Message Board

Back to the 15mm Sci-Fi Message Board



5,707 hits since 13 Apr 2014
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2014 3:11 p.m. PST

Has anyone come up with ways to cut things like these angled stone or concrete corridor walls and supports?

picture

link

How about you? How creative have you gotten with your foam cutting? Do you make and use your own templates for shapes?

Thanks,

Dan
TMP link
TMP link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2014 3:28 p.m. PST

Making these crenelations, with a template made of a row of popsicle sticks taped to the foam, is about as creative as I've been able to get with a foam cutter:

link

Dan

Porkmann13 Apr 2014 4:34 p.m. PST

Yes I do use templates. Today I made the master for Flandern Stellung bunker 😃

Redroom13 Apr 2014 4:36 p.m. PST

I am pretty much "non-handy" and could probably only produce something that looked like melted foam core. Curious to see what others have done too.

chironex Inactive Member13 Apr 2014 5:50 p.m. PST

I only use it for natarul terrain. I couldn't cut straight enough with mine. Tip: did you know they can cut spray foam?

Lion in the Stars13 Apr 2014 6:25 p.m. PST

How creative? Uhh, helped make an airplane with a monster one, probably could handle a 6' long cut. No, I don't mean an RC plane, I mean a Rutan Long-EZ. Tiny little bird, the outboard wings are about 5' long.

You needed to print out the shape template in paper and then glue that to some thin aluminum, then cut the whole mess down to the right shape. You'd then pin (and glue, IIRC) the template to the side of a large foam block (think you needed 6" thick…) and both templates needed to be leveled. Once all that was done, you could make the cut for one wing panel.

With smaller pieces and cutting tools, I'd use heavy cardstock for the templates.

DyeHard13 Apr 2014 6:27 p.m. PST

Take a look at the video from this fellow:
"Fear Da Alien"
YouTube link

Especially the ones in the sewer sequence.
YouTube link

He uses a very good foam cutter by Proxxon:
Like this:
link
<not an endorsement of this vendor> <But it is a good price!>
link

This with card templates and practice allows for acurate mass production.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2014 7:16 p.m. PST

Used a foam cutter to make a representation of MacPherson's Ridge at Gettysburg for a convention game one time. I've made other hills an ridges for creating various random gaming scenarios, too.

War Monkey13 Apr 2014 8:14 p.m. PST

@CC
Nice idea, I like the picture above, you can make an MDF template and run with it

Booked marked Proxxon's home page, that's something I will have to look into at a later date.

Borathan13 Apr 2014 8:40 p.m. PST

@war monkey
Looks like it would probably be easier to do by just starting with one of the metal housing gutters and go from there.

tshryock14 Apr 2014 5:32 a.m. PST

I also use the Proxxon cutter for my work (seen here: link

I haven't had it that long and am still learning how to use it.

To the original question: I think you would have to start with a rectangle and cut two angles out of one side to match the angle of the walls. Once you got that, you could freehand the notch out of the other side that faces the interior of the corridor. With one done, you could use that as the master for the rest.
Though you could probably take a long rectangular piece and make your angled cuts all at once along the length of the entire piece, then slice them to the thickness you wanted, then do the notch. This would make all the angles the same.

Now if anyone can tell me how to make a four-sided peaked roof (elongated pyramid) for my castle towers, please let me know. It seems simple, but I can't get it to come out right.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2014 9:33 a.m. PST

picture

I'm thinking now … for 15mm:

For Wall Sections
Use two sheets of 3/4 expanded polystyrene (pink stuff), one for bottom layer and another for the one above it;
Cut bottom angled sheet at 60(?) degrees;
Cut second sheet at 90 degrees;
Glue both layers together; and
Cut into sections to match the width between columns (2"?)

For Columns
Use a single sheet of 3/4 expanded polystyrene (pink stuff), and cut into 1.5" strips (total column height);
NOTE: Not sure how to proceed from there yet … Cut sections of the strip at 75 degrees? Insert upright between wall sections? Cut a small "lip" about 1/2" from bottom?

Is 1.5" too tall for 15mm?

Thoughts?

Dan

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2014 9:55 a.m. PST

Haven't played much with it, but I've a little table cutter. Advantage is you can set an angle, and with a bar to guide, you can push the EPS through and get a fairly even cut.

Alas, it angles parallel to the backstop; if it were perpendicular, you can cut REALLY long pieces.

Also, I could fulfill my dream of really big, stepped, nesting hills…

Doug

Lion in the Stars14 Apr 2014 10:04 a.m. PST

To the original question: I think you would have to start with a rectangle and cut two angles out of one side to match the angle of the walls. Once you got that, you could freehand the notch out of the other side that faces the interior of the corridor. With one done, you could use that as the master for the rest.
No, you'd risk melting the edges of the master and changing it's size and shape. You have to use a non-plastic material for your cutting templates if you want them all the same size and shape.

You can't even pause in your pushing, because a spot you stop at will have a 'gouge' melted into the foam.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 1:57 a.m. PST

This looks cool:

picture

picture

link

Dan

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 4:14 a.m. PST

While I haven't done much in recent years, when I still had my custom terrain business, Space Junk Enterprises, I found that I could make darn near anything out of foam using a hot wire cutter. With a little experimentation and imagination it is amazing what is possible.

tshryock15 Apr 2014 5:37 a.m. PST

"No, you'd risk melting the edges of the master and changing it's size and shape. You have to use a non-plastic material for your cutting templates if you want them all the same size and shape.
You can't even pause in your pushing, because a spot you stop at will have a 'gouge' melted into the foam."

Agreed -- partially -- in that you would have to take the foam master and use it as a pattern to make a master out of something else (cardboard/whatever), though I still think you could probably make the general shape (minus the notch)in one long piece, then slice it like a loaf of bread.
And if you are using the Proxxon with the heat set correctly, you won't melt anything. The adjustable heat setting allows you to avoid -- for the most part -- heat gouges like you describe.

Mad Mecha Guy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 6:45 a.m. PST

if anyone wants or needs a template(s) cutting out of MDF , I am happy to oblige, won't be free obviously…

regards

MMG

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 6:51 a.m. PST

I really like the crenellations that Neldoreth did for Umbar. What would it cost to make a 28mm template for that?

Mad Mecha Guy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 7:47 a.m. PST

Any idea how big they are?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 9:52 a.m. PST

Each merlon seems to be about an inch tall, based on the pics here:

link

Looks like he really lines up 2 such templates, for the hand-held cutter to be able to make straight cuts.

Dan

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2014 1:07 p.m. PST

PS. That's if what you have in mind is related to 28mm gaming. Reduce them to half an inch if done for 15mm.

By the way, a while back someone gave me one of these Uchida foam cutters. I think it's time I gave it a try:

picture

link

I hope I can end up with something somewhat similar to the picture in the first post.

Dan

Thomas Nissvik17 Apr 2014 5:27 a.m. PST

Dan, I looked at one of the videos from TerranScapes (suggested above) and found this:
YouTube link
That should allow you to make all the fancy corridors and support beams you could ever want!

McWong7317 Apr 2014 7:16 a.m. PST

Having made a lot of hill and causeway terrain with hot wire cutters, I think hot knife cutters are better. If anyone has experience with both I'd be grateful to know their preference.

Here's an incredibly pricey version of what I'm talking about

link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2014 5:09 p.m. PST

Wow. Very cool.

Dan

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2014 4:39 p.m. PST

These are also some of the angles and shapes I would love to make:

picture

picture

Dan
TMP link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2014 8:27 p.m. PST

DELETED

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2014 8:31 p.m. PST

I'm going to start with walls with simple angles like these:

picture

link

picture

link

Maybe I can make a card or thin wood/mdf cutting template for my foam.

Dan

Mad Mecha Guy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2014 10:34 p.m. PST

If someone wants a MDF cutting template happy to do them (for a price of 'curse'), did a template for 28mm crenelation.

Just need rough doodle & dimensions.

Regards

MMG.

Lion in the Stars25 Aug 2014 11:38 a.m. PST

though I still think you could probably make the general shape (minus the notch)in one long piece, then slice it like a loaf of bread.
Yes, that could work, though you'd need to figure out how to make all those 'bread slices' the same thickness. With a tabletop foam cutter, I'd want to use a fence like on a table saw.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2014 1:14 p.m. PST

Since the wire is still somewhat flexible, I wonder if placing the foam sandwiched between two perfectly aligned templates is the way to go.

Dan

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Aug 2014 3:27 p.m. PST

Seems to me it might be best to make one master out of whatever material you choose, e.g. foam, styrene sheeting, wood, clay, other, and then make a mold of it.

Then, cast it in either plaster, or resin, as desired.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2014 8:23 p.m. PST

Weight is an issue with that option. Besides, I want to get the most out if that hot wire cutter platform, now that I've gone ahead and bought it.

Dan

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2014 6:02 a.m. PST

Since the wire is still somewhat flexible,

Sorry for the late comment, but a) most of the platforms can make the wire really taught, and

No, make that TWO late comments. My Two comments are…

b) take care you're not pushing the foam through too fast.

I have a terrible problem with this; the wire should be hot enough the plastic 'melts away'. You aren't cutting with the wire, you're letting the heat 'shrink' the plastic.

Broken too many wires being in too much a hurry.

Doug

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2014 7:57 a.m. PST

So very true!!!

A while back I broke two wires in a battery-powered cutter before I realized the device wasn't meant for real cutting. It it stops melting, then stop applying pressure and switch out the batteries or, better yet, use one with a power cable instead.

Pressure is supposed to be applied very slightly but steadily.

Dan

Xintao Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2014 10:19 a.m. PST

Pressure is supposed to be applied very slightly but steadily.

That's my problem with foam cutters. I think it should be like a Light Sabre through butter. Never works out that way.

Xin

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2014 12:07 p.m. PST

Ah, Padawan Xin. A light saber it is not. And a most improper place for a light saber butter is!

Dan

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2014 12:27 p.m. PST

And I should like to say the word I MEANT was 'taut'.

*blush*

Doug

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2014 11:44 a.m. PST

Lol

Hey, these walls and supports should be fun to make with hot wire, don't you think?

picture

picture

picture

link

Dan

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2014 2:48 a.m. PST

More of the Shatterdome in the "Pacific Rim" film:

picture

link

picture

link

picture

picture

picture

picture

picture

picture

i.imgur.com/L5KAl.png

link

link

Look at all that awesome contoured concrete, just patiently WAITING for you to duplicate with your hot wire!!!

Dan

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2017 8:15 a.m. PST

What if, instead of just stone blocks for castles, this company (Firedragon Games) were to make more sci-fi textures on foam?

TMP link

Dan

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2017 4:17 a.m. PST

Oh, you crazy monkey. How you have been missed…

The thing with those block sheets, they can be used in various scales. You just claim different sizes of blocks.

Your suggestion reminds me a bit of the old Sci-Fi Walls. Alas, they never got the knack of concave moulds; all the details were on the side that was supposed to glue to a flat surface.

Doug

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.