Jump to content
Product Design Forums

Treasurebox
Guest uncy_chris

Blue Foam Models

Recommended Posts

Guest John Fitzsimmons

a cheap and dirty way to finish blue foam is to use the latex granite paint, leaves a pebbly finish. warning, like any latex paint you will have trouble sanding it later. I had some good sized arm rest mock ups that I painted this way and they looked great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest antidesign

What is Blue Foam anyway, the one we all know and love from the Uni workshop?

 

Has anyone ever had to buy it?

 

I have this problem now.

 

I have found a reference to Dow blue foam but this is an insulation product with no indication that it is for model making.

 

Can anyone help?

 

Cheers

 

Dave

 

 

PS. If you just plaster regular household matt paint on to a blue foam model it gives a nice smooth (if fragile) finish after a couple of coats and some sanding. The sanding can be time consuming but I've found it a very cheap and effective method as long as the model doesn't need to be durable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gappie

As far as I know most of the foamblocks are actually for insulation. The ones we use are also cut-up insulation boards.

 

But there are many different types of insulation foam which all have different qualities thus I don't know whether the type of foam you meant is the same. Here at the uni we first had a yellow type of foam of which they found out it could cause cancer when inhaled, thus look out which foam you buy and use!

 

I've also seen several artist shops here in the Netherlands which sell various types of foam, but a bit more expensive because this foam is made especially for modelling purposes.

 

Hope this'll help a little.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest antidesign

Thanks Gappie,

 

At least now I know its probably meant for insulation. But as to where to actually buy the speciafic type is anoter question. Its always just refered to as 'blue foam' by everyone I've known.

 

It does seem to have a finer quality to it than other 'colours' and the dust is soft and not prone to hang in the air or get in your throst.

 

I love blue foam...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some more info on foam. Basically the stuff you want to use is extruded polystyrene, it has a trademarked name styrofoam. Here's a cool document describing the kinds of styrofoam that you can buy and what densities you might need. Blue or pink foam are names that are now obsolete and if you go purely by colour you might end up with something completely different:

http://www.barrule.com/workshop/images/info/foams/index.htm

 

I'm currently looking for a place to buy the typical blue foam used for model making, this page can help with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparantly 3M Super 77 spray glue is really good to glue these styrofoam blocks..

 

Any experienced model makers willing to give their opinion on what materials work best for foam modeling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Duegi

Super 77 is great to use with blue foam but you need to make sure to stay away from the final edge of the work. Any glue that gets to the edge will have a different hardness than the foam and create ridges on the final surface. Those ridges are not easy to fix!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What density would you recommend for something that needs to be relatively thin (car seat)? I hear 32kg/m3 is the norm but I'd rather have something a little denser to be on the safe side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brendan_Rockey

I have done a couple white models with blue foam. My process was bandsaw, hand sander (heavy grit), rough sand, light coat of putty (the fast dry pink stuff), sand down with the grades, white primer to protect the foam from eating away and a flat white spray paint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need to get a really good finish, you can cover your foam in epoxy resin (which doesn't dissolve it), to get a hard shell, and then put either body filler or glazing/spot putty on that to get the final surface. If you put glass microballoons in the epoxy resin, it'll be a bit thicker and easier to apply with a roller, and it will also sand smoothly and easily. If you're patient you can get an immaculate finish with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest jrw

Last time I worked with the blue styrofoam, We used soap together with the sandpaper to get a better finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Bowl of Soup

I especially like the epoxy and filler idea, this will give you probably close to a 50 micron finish. But you can buy hand held hobby hot wires for 40$, the only limitation is the depth of the cut possible. With some practice, the hot wire can look very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Nanstar

i have been using blue foam for a couple of years..in order to avoid the jagged edges, sand it down with a coarse sandpaper than when u achieved the desired shape, sand with a finer sandpaper. you will get a nice surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rjansen

I have used blue foam for years... and agree that band saw, rasp, and different grits of sandpaper are the best...and if im not mistaken i believe gesso for cavans is a good white paint for blue foam...

 

as a side note: there tends to be a grain like quality sometimes in blue foam so by being cautious you can avoid and otherwise pissed off moment..

 

peace!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Austin Brown

There is another kind of foam that comes in yellow and blue hues, but it is not of the polystyrene variety. It is about the same density, but it doesn't "squeeze and squish" like PS. It is more brittle/crisp. I hope I'm explaining this properly. The quality of the finish usually depends upon the density of the foam(same goes for price). The higher the density, the fewer/smaller the holes. This stuff can get to be as dense as hardwood, but I have bought some that was as soft as the dark green, absorbent foam that florists use for arrangements.

 

Sorry, but for the life of me, I can't recall the name of the plastic used to produce this foam - I have a feeling it's polyurethane - but I'm not positive. While the stuff most ID students use tends to disintegrate into little bits and pieces and stick to everything, this stuff turns to fine, lightweight dust and attacks your eyes, nose, throat, etc. It's easier to use, but at the same time, it may be more expensive and (possibly?) more detrimental to your health. That's life in the studio.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-austin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.