Foam Core Module Set - Build Thread

Built By: Mike Maloney

Description: Foam core based double-wide module. I did this as a test, and because I "salvaged" a bunch of old foam core conference/display signs from the dumpster at work.

This is more of a "How I did it" thread - eventually building a set of 3 doubles out of this 1/2" thick foam core.

The stuff my company was throwing out turned out to be _REALLY_ good stuff! These boards are sandwiched between layers of styrene. Usually the outer layers are made from a resin impregnated paper.

To source some of this stuff, without paying a dime, make friends with the conference and event staff at some of your local hotels where conferences are held. Most of the time, as soon as the conference is over, any signage that's "dated" and unable to be re-used (and there is a LOT of it!) is available for the asking. Be sure to clear it with hotel staff before just walking off! You may get lucky and find some of the stuff we use, or you may find some that's a grade better than what you find at a place like Staples.

Topside. Ignore the colors! (it is an old sign after all)

Underside - I haven't installed corner blocks yet.Cut more foam core for two additional doubles. For these, I rabbeted the side pieces. For the first module base (above photo), I rabbeted the top. For the record, both types seem to be equally strong / ridged at this point. After doing all these, I found it easier to rabbet the top.
2014-09-07%2018.14.17.jpgand a few minutes later (literally!) had these:

I managed to remove the printed sign, which seems to be attached to the foam core with a contact cement. Some brute strength and some effort, and it peeled off. (that membership to Boot Camp at the gym is paying off!)

Track isn't secured yet, but the corner blocks are in and the fascia is painted on all three "no name" doubles. The paint I used was Krylon Camouflage Black (or Charcoal).

And… The journey continues!

Decided for scenic variety to create a couple of off-set modules.


Overall view


close up of module left -Kato 15% (12 3/8") radius turn


close up of module right - small piece from kato assorted track package 1.

All "in-between" track is Atlas Code 80. I also removed the unijoiners, replaced with Atlas rail joiners and soldered all rail.

After building the modules, scenery was fairly conventional.
1" and 2" pink foam insulation hot-glued (yes, I wrote HOT GLUED!) together.

2014-09-15-progress%20entire%20setThen carved and a "phase 1" finish applied. (image taken outside on a nice day - and to aid in drying)
2014-09-20%20-%20sceneryAs of this update (2015-JAN-17) I'm still working on additional detail and finishing.
Like this bridge:
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