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"Hmmm, Got the Foam. Now What???" Topic

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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 8:36 p.m. PST

So, I was able to locate some of the EVA Foam at the local Joann's, and it was on sale, which was nice.

Not sure it is the same type of foam I've seen others use for their models. Their foam appears a bit grainier, and comes in a variety of colors, including blue, etc..

I want to build some larger spacecraft for 15mm games, at least to start. Perhaps for 25mm – 32mm figs too, eventually, if things work out okay.

For some applications, the Extruded Polystyrene Foam may be best, since it is harder – may work better in the Proxxon as far as cutting goes.

Definitely need/want a Proxxon cutter, but until/if I can afford that, I'll have to make do with traditional methods. So, thinking about making a smaller shuttle to see how that works out. Probably going to go with an 8" long fuselage, about 4" wide, and 40mm thick (sheets are sold in 10mm, 5mm, and 2mm thicknesses).

Then, will add some sort of wing to the rear, like in the Traveller drawings you may have seen for a space shuttle – look up Traveller Starport, and Shuttle in Google Images.

Need to find a decent glue for the foam, that preferably remains somewhat, if not entirely flexible, with a "hardness" similar to the foam, in case I need/want to trim the glued layers after they've dried, for a smoother hull.

Rubber cement seems like one option, and I've seen others mentioned too. The tiny bottles though, with a little brush applicator is just not going to work for doing the larger models, when I want to scale things up. Gonna need at least a 3" – 4" wide brush for that, I suspect, otherwise the glue will dry before I can get even half of it "painted" on.

Any other good glue choices to consider for something like this?

I want a secure bond which I don't have to worry about down the road.

I've seen superglue mentioned as well, but suspect that may not work, since it seems to get so hard and brittle, so not conducive to cutting/trimming, later.

Gorilla Glue probably won't work either, since supposedly it foams and expands, and I would like to avoid that.

Also, any ideas on creating thin, hard shells for the hull, once it is finished?

Don't think PVA will work, since it may crack, and I suspect the liquid rubber stuff may be too thick.

I've read Smooth-On may have some options, so need to check those out. Supposedly they self-level, and harden nicely, without the need to apply PVA first.

Want something that is thin and hard, but won't cover up panel lines and other surface details, if I decide to add those.

Codsticker13 Aug 2019 10:00 p.m. PST

I think you will have a hard time finding a glue that is both easy to cut and works on xps foam. Generally I use Gorilla glue; and, yes, you have to be careful with it due to expansion. I have also used a craft glue gun on low and it works fine. Neither of those meet the easy to cut requirement though.

Codsticker13 Aug 2019 10:02 p.m. PST

I just had s thought: what about expanding foam, the kind that comes in an aerosol can. I am pretty sure it will stick to xps and it will be relatively easy to cut.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 10:46 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info, and suggestions.

I was wondering about some sort of liquid foam, or foam-like gel, but preferably, non-expanding.

I think rubber cement might work well, but don't know how strong it will be.

There was also an Aleene's glue (can't recall which one right now, since they make a number of them) which looks like it might work as well for the foam, and unlike Gorilla Glue, it claims to be non-expanding.

I'm not sure, but think perhaps the foam the other guy used for his spacecraft, made out of a rougher-looking, blue foam material, that is easily cut, even with scissors, may have just used white glue. It may be more flexible than the EVA foam, but I'm not sure. There's a shot of layers of the foam he used and a white colored, glue sandwiched between them, and oozing out a bit.

Not sure what type of foam it is, but I think it is different than the EVA.

Looks like it may be the same as the foam used for swimming pool noodles, and other stuff. They also sell sheet's of very thin foam at the store 2mm thick, which looks similar, and comes in a variety of colors. Sadly, on the material itself, and even on some websites, it doesn't explicitly state what kind of foam it is. It looks like this type of foam comes in a rainbow of bright colors.

TamsinP14 Aug 2019 1:09 a.m. PST

If you are intent on using EVA foam, the best source of information for cutting and gluing is going to be CosPlay or LARP sites as they use it a lot for making armour and weapons.

I'm pretty sure that the 2mm foam in a variety of colours is EVA. It's very flexible, so won't be any good for making models (other than adding small bits as surface details).

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 5:28 a.m. PST

I use hot glue on EVA foam for costuming. Not terribly good for tiny things but it hold really well. Watch your fingers, the stuff burns.

Walking Sailor14 Aug 2019 8:34 a.m. PST

Gorilla Glue does foam and expand. It expands into the grain of wood to create a mechanical bond and MUST BE CLAMPED. It foams onto the surface. It is easy to scrape off wood but that is a hard surface.
I don't know how well it will stick to a sealed surface. (e.g. closed cell foam)

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 7:11 p.m. PST

Look into the glues at the DIY stores that are used to attach foam boards to wood risers. They are usually in the same aisle as caulking materials. I've seen the glues in both small applicators and in the same type of tubes as caulking. I know Liquid Nails makes a specific glue for this application and have used it before in making layered hills.

White glue, Arleens Tacky glue, and others need air to cure properly and will not fully cure when sandwiched in between foam layers. You need to make sure the glue you use is made for extruded foam. As for rubber cement, try it on a small piece first as it may contain a solvent that will dissolve the foam.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2019 10:27 p.m. PST

Thanks for the tips.

Am thinking perhaps wetsuit glue might work. It's strong, and fairly flexible.

Will have to experiment a little.

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