Posted 13 June 2009 - 12:17 PM
In the UK try John Burn Ltd.
The foam to use is polyurethane based. Ridgid boards by Sika and Ciba Geigy and flexable foams from Plastazote.
Use a VERY sharp knife... VERY SHARP
typical knifes to use are simple and cheap utility knife with a carbon steel blade with a 10 -12 cm blade about 2.5cm wide and 2mm thick
Sharpen the new supposedly sharp knife on a 600 grit diamond based whetstine, these can be bought quite cheap nowadays.
Then between working sharpen you knife about every 30 mins of working, for this iin between sharpening I use a plank of 18mm plywood 2 inches wide and have glued with thin and even film evostick contact adhesive a pice of 600 grit carborundum paper to one side and 1200 grit to the other.
your knife edge should look like chrome electroplating.
On average it take about two to three months to get a knife sharp using it about 4 hours a day, thats a good 5 minuet sharpening every half hour 8 times a day, five days a week for about 10 weeks.... then its sharp.
Such a knife can with practice be used to "chop" off large lumps with a "new knife" for rough shape, a month old knife used to "peel" strips of foam for rough shaping and a 3 month old knife for "shaving" to near net shape.
use old (two or three years old) knives that have been sharpend down to pencil width for shaing small holes and such like (you can grind down a new one if you dont have old ones)
Final finishing before paint can be done with 240/320 grit garnet paper.
Prime with a Tekaloid (Alkyd based) filler primer and leave to dry for at least 3 days (sooner and your sand paper will clog up rapidly) repeat theis process untill you are happy you have zero defects, note, use wet or dry paper with warm water and a tad of washing up liquid, rinse regularly.
undercoat the paint again with alky based undercoat chosen to suit your top coat, eg, blue shade use a blue undercoat, greenshades, green undercoat, light coulors such as white, silver, yellow, use a white undercoat, dark colour such as grey black, brown, use grey undercoat, and reds, use red... simples
Wet sand with wet or dry paper, again use soap and warm water, rinse regularly.
then final coat with a top coat, you can ask the paint supplier to make the paint to your chosen colour RAL, BS, Pantone etc, and you can also specify the amount of gloss.
I would recomend using a nairbrush for all but the largest models,
I plan on making some tutorials and posting them on my blog or perhaps a jamoola site.
I'll post to let you know about them if there is any interest