Depron Plastic Foam

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by David H, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. David H

    David H Member

    I confess I love t build a ship's hull just about the most of any card modelling tasks and just cannot wait to get started. I received a beast of a kit a couple of weeks ago which calls for 2mm thick material to construct the framework.

    Well, I thought, that's going to take some cutting! So my thoughts turned to finding an alternative to 2mm thick laminated card and thus the subject of this post.

    I had known about Depron Foam from my balsa based free flight building days but had only limited experience. It always appeared very expensive for a sheet of A4 in a given thickness (I am, after all, very mean, thus the attraction of card modelling).

    While browsing the local radio controlled model shop on Friday lunch I came across their stock of Depron. It was available in various grades including 2mm. It cost £2.50 ($5.00) for a huge sheet say A1 but maybe a bit larger! I was sold.

    This morning cut it in to A4 sheets and stuck the scanned ship's formers on with 3M Spray Mount. THe cutting out and dry fitting went like a breeze. Much quicker than card.

    Depron is very easy to cut in two passes but it does blunt the blade very quickly. None the less the cuts where sharp and accurate. I would liken it to shovelling "good" snow!

    Anyway the attached illustrate the work in progress.



    What's the general feeling about using such materials? And do you think Gorilla Filler, expanding foam filler will work with Depron? I'll let you know about that soon as I make a test piece...

  2. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    I don't see anything "wrong" with it myself.
    Whatever works for you, is what is most important.

    I do know this though, I will be on the lookout for it here as I want to give it a try myself.:mrgreen:
    I have the Arizona from Digital Navy that my wife bought me for my Birthday about 9 months ago.
    She is wondering why I haven't built it yet so I need to get it going soon.
    This looks like a pleasant alternative to gluing and pressing my own card to get 2mm material.
    Not to mention saving the labor of cutting card that thick, especially when you have a bunch of formers to cut out.

    I'm looking forward to giving it a try!:thumb:

  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Multimedia Material Science


    To begin with, this is an unbelievable travesty to a paper purist, to someone that wants to build models it's beautiful. Only problem that I see is keeping the edges pristine till you're able to cover it with paper strips. I guess 3M spray mount uses a foam friendly formulation now...,

  4. David H

    David H Member

    Thanks for the opinions,

    I realise that the card modelling world will be in turmoil that a practitioner would dare to declare support for such an un-gentlemanly material let alone publish pictures of it in use! Anathema! Over to our reporter on the scene...

    Gill, I sprayed the paper not the foam. I think I will cap the bare edges with thin paper (50gsm) as soon as I can, this should help protect against dings and damage during handling / building. Stem an stern will be filled with blue insulation foam asap as I find this is tough and has excellent carving characteristics for those complex curves.

    I have concerns as to the long term stability of the whole hull, will UHU - Ultra be OK? Will card and Depron components stay attached to each other in 10 years time? But we got to try new things - right?

    Russell - you got it in one. Two or three layers of card with glue between to make 2mm or more, that's a bear to cut and a nightmare to slot. Before this there is the chore of collecting enough card and preparing it. Did I say chore? Perhaps I mean fun... By comparison Depron should be 100% repeatable and easy to acquire.

    Thanks to Russell my thoughts are turning to 1:200 battle wagons.... and Fiddlers Green aircraft printed on A1 or A2 sized stock...

  5. David H

    David H Member

    I built a test section out of foam and filled it with Gorilla Filler expanding foam.

    This sample of Depron and batch of foam filler seem to get on together just fine, it did not turn to mush... or distort... or bust in to flames.

    So modern materials get the thumbs up this time, now dare I do a really big hull...


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