Changing elevation around curves with foam board Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 8, 2004 3:49 PM I am considering the foam board techniques described by Bill Darnaby in MR, and can see how it would be easy to incorporate grades on a straight run along the wall. The best advice I can give (apart from the points above) is to spend a little time getting acquainted just with what it feels like to press the scalpel blade firmly against a metal edge and move along evenly. There’s nothing that transmits an impression of carelessness more than a lot of bashed corners! Cutting Ceilings are a bit of a ‘grey area’ (i.e. It’s possible to create precise, strong, curved shapes with foam board using nothing but foam board and masking tape and then covering with paper maché. As I’ve said 1:50 (or 1:48) is the most practical scale and the master ground-plans are often drawn in this scale. Another plastic, styrene, is also available in sheet form but much thinner (down to 0.25mm) and is also often more suitable than card for slender cut-outs but is denser and harder to cut than the foamed Pvc. Strong Pva (a.k.a wood glue, such as ‘Evo-stik wood’) invariably gives stronger and cleaner joins and a good quality Pva can be surprisingly quick. You will be able to tell if a knife is genuinely sharp or not when it comes to foam board because a sharp knife can slice through the whole thing in one smooth cut. and it maidened at 10 oz. More about what’s achievable with oiled manilla can be found in Working with stencil card which is under ‘constructing’ in the Materials section. This should remain within reason ..for example, it is easy enough to half-way cut through card to make a working door but it would be unreasonable to expect a working roller-blind! Just make a … Foam boards that are designed for insulation have a different look to it than a regular sheet of foam board does. But the elevations (meaning the vertical faces of walls, structures etc.) If this groundplan is properly done, then (sometimes overlooked) elements such as scenery seen through windows will be automatically accounted for in the model. Polyurethane foam .. often referred to as ‘PU foam’ .. is usually found in white or beige, and is often a harder, denser rigid sheet foam than the others. Although the film/tv production designer is free to use a wide variety of visual means in developing and recording a set design concept, including rough or ‘sketch’ models during the early stages, the so-called ‘white card model’ produced for the final stages conforms to very specific requirements. I’m going to answer all of the questions I had when I started researching so I hope this isn’t a beat down of info. Be sure to select boards with fairly straight grain and no knots so they can bend without breaking. However if the foamboard is warped (and the cheaper polystyrene core foamboards often are) this must be first corrected by firm bracing on the underside. Don't waste your money on it, it's extremely slow. Another example of the illustrative quality of white card models from Edwina Camm, also showing the importance of including the ceiling in this context. I would suggest you use it sparingly until you’ve mastered how to achieve perfectly clean, straight cuts. Our window was 35″ wide. This common ‘expanded polystyrene’ is often shortened to ‘EPS’ whereas styrofoam is officially ‘XPS’ meaning extruded polystyrene. While you can use anything that has a sharp blade on it to cut foam board, some things naturally work better than others. This treatment also gives it a slightly waxy composition, making it easier to cut and ensuring a very sharp edge. ‘Plastic Weld’ (as with other brands of dichloromethane solvent) works best on styrene plastics but in tests I found that it did work on the foamed Pvc though it took longer to set. A third alternative (but only if gluing acetate to another plastic such as styrene) is the thin plastic solvent available for melt-gluing a range of plastics (e.g. Courtesy HBO ‘Boardwalk Empire: Designing an Empire’. This is a flexible foam (halfway between hard foam and ‘cushion’ foam) which is available in many thicknesses, densities and colours. One should, for example, look at how small a figure is (average male actor 1.75m high), how high a door might be (average 2m high), but just as importantly how thick a piece of card is needed to represent 5 or 10cm reasonably accurately. This won’t eliminate all the colour, but most of it, and more importantly it will seal the surface so that once the primer is dry after a few hours, more water-based whitener such as white acrylic or gesso can be applied without the structures warping. The fine teeth will create a fine foam dust that can be vacuumed. For example, a pair of kitchen scissors will cut through it if you don’t care about the edges, and even a hand saw can do the work if the board is too large for scissors to handle. Unfortunately the UHU tube nozzle, the consistency of the glue and the way it comes out, are not designed for really precise control .. such as is needed when trying to apply the glue to a thin edge of card for example. Creating curved shapes with foam board. It serves as a communication to the whole film crew. The best way to keep foamcore from curling is to frame it, but if this is not practical, there are a couple of alternative methods. Heat a wire cutter to cut through the foam. For more on how to shape styrofoam, including concave as well as convex forms, see my article Shaping styrofoam under ‘shaping’ in the Materials section. It is often necessary to make parts of the model removable so that, especially, interiors can be better seen and to take better photos of these parts. Above is an illustrative ‘sample’ of white card model, simply made to convey a few of the typical things mentioned above .. and not outwardly expressing any aesthetic! Strong Pva wood glue should work with all though takes a lot longer to set. Another form of glue which styrofoam seems to accept is spraymount, especially effective if sprayed lightly on both surfaces like a contact adhesive. The model can even be sprayed, as long as this doesn’t obscure the definition of the drawings. If the foam edge is uneven this can be gently sanded using a sanding block. The following aims to serve as an introduction to the purposes of the so-called ‘white card model’ in film/tv design work, what it should include, and the materials one can choose to make it. Gluing of plastic together. Model in preparation for the build of the Sarang moon-station for the film ‘Moon’ 2009 on Shepperton Studios K-Stage. Because of the board's excellent thermal properties, you can use thinner foam boards in place of thicker foam boards made of polystyrene and polyurethane. Usually the minimum quantity one can order is an 8x4ft sheet (1220x2440mm) which can be quickly delivered, but if one accepts this the price of 1mm or 2mm Palight can work out cheaper than most forms of cardboard. Some brands of this type of foam glue very readily with superglue. Most people with some experience of working with scales would not have to think that long to arrive at ‘half-size’, or ‘50% reduction’ when thinking of the conversion from 1:25 to 1:50 .. it seems obvious. 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