Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Creating 6mm and 28mm styrofoam buildings

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    Avatar photoStug

    I now have a Proxxon wire cutter and I want to use it to create some european buildings during WWII. I am a complete newbie at this. Do you have examples of buildings or maybe a video that show exactly how to build it?

    If it’s possible, I would like to have the possibility to open my buildings so I can hide some soldiers inside.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    This seems like a starting point:

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    I’m not sure styrofoam is the best material for WW2 buildings, though it is quite excellent for making some walls of various types.  My worry is always durability.  Using a very thin piece that detail sculpted onto it ontop of foam core board works a treat though.

    Building a French town diorama with some foam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pbeBOICLt0

    Here’s a “basics” video that might help:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hey7wIJ7gio

    This one is a little different using paper model on top of foam, which is another way to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0IbEbweIwU

    Though not WW2 specific, I hope they help a little.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoCacique Caribe

    wow, impressive!  I need to buy one of those Proxxons.

    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9593487@N07/albums/with/72157710630529376


    wow, impressive! I need to buy one of those Proxxons.

    Buy, don’t think, buy, buy now, come on, do it. jaja

    Avatar photoirishserb

    I’ve always used a band saw, rather than a hot wire to cut the sheets of foam, but yes, it is actually quite easy to build foam buildings with interior access.

    Doors and windows can be located and traced onto the foam.  I made a series of templates out of thin styrene, but posterboard or any sort of cardstock would work. The templates are cut to the wall height of my buildings, and wide enough for the doors or windows to the cut into the template, located them at typical first and second (or higher ) floor heights.  The bottom edge of the template is lned up with the bottom of the foam, and the windows are traced with a ball point pen.  I usually use a cheap Papermate pen as the ink tends to bleed through paint less than most brands, do not use gel inks.  I find that the ball point tears the foam less than a pencil.

    Brick and stone patterns can be drawn directly onto the foam.  The goal isn’t to get a dark ink line, but to etch a depressed line into the foam with maybe a little bit of ink to give slight outline of the pattaern

    For glue, I find that artists matte medium works quite well, pinning the parts together with straight pins until dry.  I also usually paint a layer of acrylic paste onto the the foam after construction to make the foam more durable.  There are products that can be used that give a hard surface when dry, but I prefer the more rubbery, flexible surface, as i find it to be more forgiving than a rigid coating.

    I also tend to give a light coat of Dullcoat after the paste is dry to lock in any ink that might try to bleed through the paint.

    Oh, you can also use one of the scrapbooking scribing tools to etch in the patterns. They have a tiny round nub on the end, sort of like the ball point, but no ink.

    For cutting angles fast, an adjustable metal protracter is very handy allowing you to set any angle and also use it as a cutting edge for shorter cuts up to abut 4-5″ long.

    Another useful tool are the Tuff Grit sanding blocks/sticks.  You don’t need all of them, and I would get ones with the two different grits if possible as the caurse grit removes a lot of foam fast, and the fine grit gives a nice smooth finish.

    Use sharp blades, and expect to discard some rather quickly.  I buy mine in 100 count boxes (much cheaper per blade that way). Worn blades will tear the foam, making it a pain to get nice joints.

    I’ll try to post somepics later that might convey some ideas for use of the foam and construction methods, and show some of the tools.

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