Ship construction, how is the foam method done?

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by jyduchene, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

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    I have been followng, at least the photo's, of the ships that have been built and are under construction on the Polish and German sites.(http://www.kartonwork.pl and http://www.kartonbau.de)

    It appears that several of the master builders are filling the egg crate structure with foam and then shaping the hull and applying a gel coat rather then using the paper plating.

    I would be interested in knowing if one of our bilingal members could give us a tutorial or translation of how this construction is done. I am have a couple of ship kits and would like to try the technique but I can not quite grasp the subtleties of the build.

    Anyone else share the curiosity and have any insight?

    John
  2. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    John, I intend to use that technique on the King George V build for the large ship contest. I'm not sure what technique the German/Polish builders are using, but what I intend doing is building the eggcrate, then cut blocks of styrofoam to fit the open bays in the frame (helps greatly if one has a mitre box handy). I'm going to use good old white glue to fix the foam blocks in place. I then am going to carve the hull roughly to shape, and then use sandpaper to get to the final hull shape. The hull formers should give a great visual clue to the proper hull shape, and be very easily distinguished, since I am using dark green florist's foam....the white cardboard formers should show up readily against that as a background. I may change things as I go, but I was figuring on "painting" the hull with a couple of layers of thinned white glue to seal up the foam, then paint the hull with water-based paint to the approximate color of the hull skins (that way I shouldn't have to worry about using colored joining strips). With all that done, I will apply the paper hull skin pieces, essentially laminating them to the outside hull surfaces. Once that is done, I figure on spraying the hull with matte fixative to give it some protection against stray moisture. (Living in a climate where anything over 30% humidity is oppressively damp, moisture protection of paper models is not a big problem.)

    I've used this technigue successfully with control-line airplanes, and had the finished products hold up well against fuel/caster oil residues (albeit they were skinned with 1/32 sheet balsa rather than cardstock), so expect it to work effectively on cardmodels as well.