Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Modeling Material

As Dan August suggested and Lasgunpacker correctly identified I managed to get my hands on a sample for foamed PVC. This is definitely an interesting material and after a little internet searching I found a number of sites that recommend the material.

So that let to the search for US sources. Again I managed to find quite a bit in Europe before I finally found some US suppliers. This particular piece came from TAP Plastics and measures about 4" x 4" and 1/8" thick. Its relatively light (heavier than foam core and carvable foams like the blue and pink insulation foam or Damp's favorite green foam) and when I opened the box I admit to being a bit skeptical regardless of what I had found on the web. Still after messing around with it a bit it seems to be living up to its reputation as an excellent material for modeling. Its rigid, but has some flex to it so it should hold up fine to even rough game play. It accepts a pencil line so its easy to draw on. It can be scored easily and with the same tools I would use on wood. It can be embossed and cuts very easily, much easier than styrene. I suspect that it will dull blades pretty quickly though, so I better lay in a good stock of those. Superglue seems to be the best adhesive to hold things together.

The smallest thickness I can get from TAP Plastics is 1/8th" which is fine for use with the both exterior and interior walls. I found some thinner stock measuring 1mm and 2mm in thickness available through a couple of different sources so I can do some fancy inlay work if I want to. I can get 10 sheets of 1/8th thick foamed PVC measuring 11"x 17" for $30 plus $12 shipping. Its actually sign material so you can likely find scraps of it at sign printers as well or from discarded signs. That should appeal to the more frugal among you.

Here are some bad pictures:

Straight from the box

Experimenting with some wood plank and grain detail. Easy enought!

Takes a pencil line without a problem

That was easy to cut. A few strokes down each line and I was good to go

Trying to show the clean edge from the cut. Note that it does leave a ridge like styrene. It sands quite nicely.


  1. Looking forward to seeing what you can do with this!

    And PVC glue would surely be the best glue?

    1. It might be the best glue, I hadn't thought about that.

  2. I have done far too much sprinkler repair... PVC glue is on my mind.

    1. That doesn't sound like a good thing!

    2. Unfortunately yes, we have clay soil, a couple old trees, and the prior system was done with PE flexipipe of some sort so every year I dig up something and fix it.

      At this point it would have been easier to put in a whole new system...

    3. This is exactly why I have avoided having a sprinkler system installed! I would prefer to water by hand, well I have boys for that.