Need some advice...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by sgtcarl, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    I have read, and enjoyed this forum for awhile, and I know one of you can answer my questions.
    What kind of foam do most of you use, and where can I find it? I've tried every craft and hobby shop within 100 miles of where I live, and the only thing I can find is green foam, (which is very hard, and seems to be quite brittle.) It is sold in relatively small chunks, and is way too expensive. Any suggestions? BTW, none of the home improvement stores stock anything but the thinner stuff, like maybe 3/8 inch thick. Thanks, guys and gals.

    The other "engineer."
  2. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Thats a pretty simple answer. Butyou need to decide. You can special order from pretty much any large home improvement store or building supply center like Lowes, Menards, Home Depot, etc. But at the same time, how thick do you need it? If you arent carving out big scenes it doesnt need to be real thick. I have a relitively flat layout other than my river scene, where I stacked and glued layers to make it thicker.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Our local Home Depot stocks large sheets of foam. They are 2 ft wide by 8 ft long and 2" thick. The blue, pink or green foam all work well. The white foam is way too brittle. I recall that the cost wasn't bad, around $10-12 per sheet.

    I recently tinkered with 1-2 smaller layouts and, overall, was pleased with the sheet of green foam that I bought. It's fairly tough and, best of all, very light weight.

    HTH, Rob
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You should be able to find the white beaded stuff at almost any home center. At my local Home Depot it is near the other insulation products. It seems that in locations that don't have basements, the blue or pink foam is a bit hard to find. I know people have had difficulty finding it in southern and southwestern states. Here in AZ, I can find blue foam in 1" thick sheets only. My track is layed on plywood, byt my landforms will be built by stacking up the 1" foam. The white beaded stuff will work, but it makes much more of a mess, and is not as strong, meaning it needs to be supported better with a wood frame.

  5. Dave1905

    Dave1905 Member

    Look for insulation contractors and people who pour concrete basement foundation walls (in some areas they put foam next to the concrete before its backfilled). They might be able to give you leads on where to get it. You might have to go to a building supply store that caters more toward contractors than DIY'ers.

    Dave H.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    And it might help if you let them know that the product for which you're searching is called extruded polystyrene foam insulation board. As Dave says, an insulating contractor may be your best bet.

  7. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    You don't want the white "styrofoam" stuff -- that stuff is a pain. You want the pink or blue extruded polystyrene foam, used for sheathing. I expect the brittle green foam you found in the craft store is something for making flower arrangements. No good.
    I got lucky - my local home improvement store had a bunch of foam pieces that were dirty and had cracked edges and such in a pile. They told me to just take it! I have also had good luck with contractors working on houses locally. They often have cutoff pieces that they don't want.
  8. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    SGT, actually, I found that hard green foam from the craft store just right for my purpose. I used the 12"x36"x2" sheets in both green and white. It's about ten bucks a sheet. My whole setup used about a hundred dollars worth of the stuff. They glue easily to a plywood base using a water based glue and can be cut and shaped nicely using an electric hot wire or loop. It's easy to hollow out rivers and lakes with this stuff. The edges between the sheets can be filled in using a water based laytex filler from Woodland Scenics. It's very strong and there is no mess when working with it. It also takes water based laytex paints very well. I tried the building material stuff and it was terrible to work with. What a mess that was. To each his own, I guess. Bob

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