layout weight on foam

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ceebeenq, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. ceebeenq

    ceebeenq Member

    hi y'all......since last posting many moons ago, I found a nice basement train area with a house over it so I bought it. :D

    I've read through some archives and am very close to buying hollow core doors and 1" foam for layout base. HO layout will possibly occupy most of a 29x12 foot room.

    Question- If I go with mountains and higher elevations scenes (which I really want to) ..........will the foam hold up or start to compress over time? Hard for me to estimate the weight of hills, tunnels, mtns etc, .....I've never done more than a simple oval on a 4x8 before.
    Of course it will depend on material-- I have some hydrocal, will use also some layered foam and/or ceiling tiles, or other materials. I'm open to suggestions
    also occurred to me that 1/8 inch hardboard/masonite over the foam where heaviest scenery is to be would be a solid foundation.
    well, that's about where I'm at..........

    thanks in advance for comments, suggestions, etc. I may not be back to check the board again for 12-24 hours.
  2. CN1

    CN1 Active Member


    For scenery, tunnels, hills and mountains I use cardboard and foam (the high density pink stuff). I cover it with plaster. The stuff for making joint on gypsum.

    No sinking whatsoever. :p

    I have no plan to use the full 25 pounds of plaster in one small area:D It's been over 1 1/2 years now and there's no deformation or compression of any kind. The scenery is rock solid and will withstand years of abuse;) :D :p
  3. ceebeenq

    ceebeenq Member

    CN1- thanks.
    If I had to guess I would have supposed the dense pink foam (or blue dense kind, either of which I am planning to use) would hold up pretty well. And I guess the hills, mtns above would have to be pretty dern heavy to compress the 1 inch layer badly. I just experimented a little with some 1 inch pink scrap and a 20 lb dumbbell. I'll never have anything that heavy or dense on the layout.......I think:D :D :p
  4. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    The rigidity of the hollow-core door will also add to the strength of the foam and thus should eliminate any of your concerns.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have some older foam that's been lying around that seems to have developed a warp. Has anybody else noticed this? Is it the way I store it?
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    foam is plastic and like most plastics, will warp in time if not stored flat. I've had large (4 x 8) sheets of plastic warp in a matter of days and some, like acrylic, that won't ever warp. Once it has warped, it is tough to get flat again since it always seems to remember its warped state, but never its flat state.:rolleyes: :cry: If it's not warped too badly, it might be OK if it is glued to a flat surface, otherwise, cut it up in smaller pieces first.:thumb:

  7. ceebeenq

    ceebeenq Member

    foam warping

    FWIW, the pink/blue foam seems to be prone to warping (isn't that a funny word? WARP.....say it 15 times to your dog :D ) when it is 1" thick or smaller. I rescued a 2" thick piece of blue that had been left as scrap on a construction site. It was the base for my first crude HO layout. Still flat and true after several years and being stored in a hot building one summer. 1.5" material seems to hold pretty true as well......... but the one inch and smaller can be just like plywood- if you don't have it flat or stored with pressure it can go any which way. :eek:
    Is this yet another reason rail fans are called foamers? :D :thumb: :rolleyes:

Share This Page