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foamboard hull

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david cuthbertson26/12/2012 16:01:03
22 forum posts
14 photos

Has anyone tried building a foamboard hull for an RC ship? Obviously, it would have to be GRP'ed, and some wood for reinforcing critical areas. I wanted to do a largish model with a light hull for easier car roof loading.

wayne quigley26/12/2012 16:16:25
63 forum posts
24 photos

sounds interesting

neil howard-pritchard26/12/2012 18:17:34
2247 forum posts
2706 photos

have a look at this guy on Mayhem.......he builds countless boats using the stuff.....and they are just magic

never uses grp though. neil.


Paul T27/12/2012 06:52:14
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles


I use foam board for building design prototypes as its quicker to shape than plywood and stronger than cardboard.

Foam board does have its drawbacks when used in a working model as it lacks the strength to resist impact damage and even a low speed contact can cause a catastrophic failure that wooden or grp hulls would easily survive.

When incorporating foam board into a working model as a weight saving measure I find that it works well as hull internal partitions and for sections of the superstructure.


ashley needham27/12/2012 20:19:19
7640 forum posts
159 photos

David. are we talking about using styrofoam (blue usually) or expanded polystyrene?? Foamboard as I understand it is two bits of card with a foam layer in between. usually used for making architectural models or similar, mounting pictures on and so forth.


Paul T28/12/2012 08:03:50
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles


I am referring to the 'two bits of card with a foam layer in between' which is usually used for architectural models.

Its not really suitable for building traditional hulls as it doesn't like being formed into a curve but its great for large flat areas especially when you need to save some weight, on the larger models (ie over 6ft) using foamboard in non critical areas does contribute significant weight saving.



Ash I appreciate that this doesn't answer you question but I hope that it makes my mumbling clearer to the membership


Edited By Paul T on 28/12/2012 08:31:43

ashley needham28/12/2012 08:09:58
7640 forum posts
159 photos

But, Paul Paul, was David referring to foamboard or boards of foam??

Where we rehearse is sometimes used by TV companies to do their rehearsals, and on the odd occaisisision they have models of the scene layouts (using foamboard) which are very neat and equisitly done, and you ought to see what their carpenters knock up as props!!


geoffrey yarham11/01/2013 22:54:28
42 forum posts
77 photos

boiler & boats 006a.jpgBuilders 2" insulason used for these models work OK 001 (3).jpg

Edited By geoffrey yarham on 11/01/2013 22:55:42

geoffrey yarham12/01/2013 22:07:59
42 forum posts
77 photos

The photos above show the constrution method I use & a completed model. I use 2" insulating foam board with silver card on each side.

First step remove silver from one side, then make the board the thickness of the spaceing between frame centres. Either adding extra layers or sanding down. Mark out half frames on the remaining silverside one each hand, cut out with a saw, making sure the cut is square. Next cut the profile of the boat from 5mm ply, mark the frame positions both sides. Cut out the middle in one piece, leaving the stem ,keel & stern post, clamp back in position ( one clamp each end at deck level).Start with the largest frame on silver side. Glue to keel and just a spot at the top on the removable middle. Repeat on both sides forward & aft, always with the silver on the largest side of each station. It is then simple to sand the blocks down to the silver. ( I use thixothropic 5 mniute wood glue). I have covered the exterior with car body filler, paper and plates cut from drinks cans, all with good resaults. When the outside is strong enough the interior can be removed ( the clamps removed when the blocks reach them. Geoff


Edited By geoffrey yarham on 12/01/2013 22:10:03

Paul T13/01/2013 07:52:12
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles

To explain the difference for Ashley

This is builders insulation board the most common being 50mm thick, it is made by a company called Kingspan and the 50mm board is called TW50. The product also comes in thicknesses of 75mm, 100mm, 125mm etc.

The silver backing sheets are easily removed and the polyurethane foam core is easily shaped with sandpaper (sanding should be done outside and a minimum of P2 level dust mask must be worn)

50mm kingspan tw50.jpg

This is architects foam board and commonly comes in thicknesses of 3mm and 5mm it is used to make architectural models and for mounting artwork etc.

The paper backing is not removable and the foam core disintegrates when the backing is removed.

5mm foam board.jpg


Edited By Paul T on 13/01/2013 07:56:47

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