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I have some pieces of the white stryofoam that's made up of tinier balls of foam. I want to use this for terrian, but obviously when you cut it it starts falling apart, very messy. What can I do to use this, yet make it not fall apart and hopefully make it have a straight side to it, rather then the bumpy, sphereical surface.

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The only way to get a smooth surface on that is to cover it up with plaster or spackling, or something of that sort. You can't cut that type of foam cleanly (or, it's at least really really hard). It still works well to get the basic shape down, but you need something else flat to cover it, or you'll have bumps in the ground.

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I used some of this type for my SPider Centaur conversion. I found that if you use a hot wire foam cutter (ware the fumes though!! Very nasty stink!) you can get a fairly straight edge on it. I used it for cliff faces, and found it much easier to "scuplt/cut" the texture on than the pink stuff.

 

I rubbed my fingers over it to crumble the balls into a cliff-like surface, then used the hot wire cutter to "zig-zag" (first horizontally, then vertically) all along the edges. The result was a fairly decent looking cliff face IMO. The pink stuff came out looking more like the jagged "GW-Style" cliff. (A little more comic bookish to my eye). For a nice smooth surface though, pink foam is the best, no doubt about it.

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I've learned the hard way that that particular foam is rather "icky" for making terrain in that it doesn't cut well with a knife, or a hotwire cutter and it's texture either needs to be sealed up with a spackle or plaster or it gives you a weird strange finished texture (which could be cool in some situations) The hot wire cutter sometimes caues it to collapse in around the cut site and you can end up at times with a thicker more jagged cut then you wanted.

 

What you'll want to find is high density insulation foam - which you can get fairly inexpensively at a hardware store - or usually you can pick it up free from construction sites (particularly in plazas and buildings, more than houses) as they use a ton of it, and often just toss the scraps - they are usually pretty willing to give you a huge bag of broken pieces.

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Blue or Pink extruded poly foam. works better and is more durable than the beadboard stuff.

 

but beadboard can be cut with a hotwire.

 

cover in wall mud (texture, spackle, joint compound, etc.) if you want beadboard to last and not flake apart on you or if you need a smooth finish.

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The other issue to using this type of foam for terrain is how well it stands up to game play. If you have gamers that tend to lean over the board and place a hand on your terrain they will leave behind a nice imprint of their hand on anything made with beadboard type foam. The blue and pink high density are far more durable for game play.

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The other issue to using this type of foam for terrain is how well it stands up to game play. If you have gamers that tend to lean over the board and place a hand on your terrain they will leave behind a nice imprint of their hand on anything made with beadboard type foam. The blue and pink high density are far more durable for game play.

I never thought about the leaning problem. I bet demo tables get beat up pretty quickly.

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Cool, thanks for the tips.

To clarify, the only reason I am planning on using it rather then the pink stuff is that I have this foam laying around doing nothing. I'd rather use it up then waste it.

Pour nail polish remover on it. That is always fun. Just don't do it over a drain unless you really want to replace the trap.

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Matt, many moons ago we used that stuff for spacers in concrete forms then would spray it with diesel to get rid of it after the concrete was poured and set. Cannot do that now. Disposing of the acetone/styrene glop is bad - industrially, we would have to put it in a haz-mat disposal.

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