EVA Foam Question - PLEASE HELP

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SofaKing01

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Gang,

As many of you know I am building a 1:1 scale replica of the Millennium Falcon Cockpit. After many many years I have FINALLY reached the point where I have added the exterior skin using a material called Fiberglass Reinforced Panels (RFP). The RFP is great! On one side it's textured and sealed. The backside is a unfinished smooth plastic surface - that's the surface I'm working with. I did NOT adhere the panels to the actual cockpit frame. They are resting in place by plastic trim pieces that allow the panels to slide in and out of position. The basic shape of the cockpit is a tube. So, if I remove a panel it will naturally go back to its original flat position.

For those who haven't seen the build click the link to the page with the FRP skin

I have a question re: EVA Foam. I want to permanently adhere 1/4" foam sheets (cut to fit) to the FRP that will resemble the Millennium Falcon's armor plating. 1) The material is very light weight and 2) I can easily paint and weather the foam. QUESTION: Will the foam hold up and stay adhered to the panel if I need/have to remove the FRP from its curved position and the panel lays flat? I know someone here has all the answers, concerns, pros, cons, etc!

See the below photo for an example of the armor plating.

Can anybody help me? : )
 

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Snow Builder

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
SK, while I'm far from an expert, I have worked with EVA foam for several years. If you use rubber cement (Barge) I think the EVA will stay adhered long after the rest of the pieces of the Falcon start to fall off. If you apply it while the panels are in place, it should help the pieces keep their curve.

A dumb question though -why do you want to add the EVA? From my perspective, it will add weight, insulate the heck out of an already warm cockpit, and doesn't necessarily offer additional benefit from paint or weathering than if you worked directly with the RFP.

I'm probably missing a piece of the big picture, but thought it was worth asking.

Can't believe you're in the home stretch -thanks for taking us along for the journey.
 

SofaKing01

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
SK, while I'm far from an expert, I have worked with EVA foam for several years. If you use rubber cement (Barge) I think the EVA will stay adhered long after the rest of the pieces of the Falcon start to fall off. If you apply it while the panels are in place, it should help the pieces keep their curve.

A dumb question though -why do you want to add the EVA? From my perspective, it will add weight, insulate the heck out of an already warm cockpit, and doesn't necessarily offer additional benefit from paint or weathering than if you worked directly with the RFP.

I'm probably missing a piece of the big picture, but thought it was worth asking.

Can't believe you're in the home stretch -thanks for taking us along for the journey.
Hey SB,

Can you believe it? We've come a LONG way. The skin was one of those things I had no idea how to approach considering how many different interations the cockpit has been through. Now that's it on, all I want to do is finish it up. But I have 10 other projects going on at the same time... UGH...

Anywho, I thought about using the EVA foam to mainly save on weight. I didn't even consider the heat you mentioned. HMMMM... MDF wont work - too heavy and wont keep the shape without major fasteners. There really isn't anything "I can think of" that would work for the armor plating. If the entire exterior was made of plywood, fiberglass, etc, and the electronics wasn't an issue, then maybe using a heavier material might work, but I have to be able to remove the panels to get to the wiring.

Also, I know EVA holds paint really well. The foam would cover most of the FRP as the panels are merely a base for the foam to sit. With that being said, we're talking about a HUGE amount of foam in VERY large sheets.

I did think about painting the armor plating on the FRP but I want that same look and feel the full scale prop and the little base I created for the quad laser cannon.

Does any of that make sense? lol

I appreciate your sticking with the project all these years!
 

Snow Builder

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
How about either paper or poster board? Rubber cement will still hold it on and it will be much lighter. The Wall-E I made a few years was almost completely plated in cereal box cardboard....
 

joberg

Master Member
^^
I think Snow Builder in on to something here: a good quality cardboard/poster board would do the trick (there's different thickness).
Since your curve is very wide, the cardboard would not crease (bonus(y))...easy to paint, making sure you're not soaking it with too much paint for the first few coats...and light!
 

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Zinger

Active Member
Painted EVA is prone to cracking. Flattening and rerolling the panels is likely to wreck your paint and weathering.

Sealing the EVA with Plasti Dip and spraying with a quality primer before painting will greatly reduce cracking problems. Do a couple of mist coats of primer then a wet coat for best effect. Do it right and you'll be able to roll and unroll the panels repeatedly without cracking.

The foam will likely still crack if you try to bend it in a compound curve. For example, twisting the panel or trying to bend it into a saddle shape.
 
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SofaKing01

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
How about either paper or poster board? Rubber cement will still hold it on and it will be much lighter. The Wall-E I made a few years was almost completely plated in cereal box cardboard....
hmmmmmm... poster board might work? If I can find 1/16 or 1/8 in thick board that just might do it?
 

SofaKing01

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
^^
I think Snow Builder in on to something here: a good quality cardboard/poster board would do the trick (there's different thickness).
Since your curve is very wide, the cardboard would not crease (bonus(y))...easy to paint, making sure you're not soaking it with too much paint for the first few coats...and light!
I'm leaning toward this idea. I just have to find good quality board.
 

SofaKing01

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Painted EVA is prone to cracking. Flattening and rerolling the panels is likely to wreck your paint and weathering.

Sealing the EVA with Plasti Dip and spraying with a quality primer before painting will greatly reduce cracking problems. Do a couple of mist coats of primer then a wet coat for best effect. Do it right and you'll be able to roll and unroll the panels repeatedly without cracking.

The foam will likely still crack if you try to bend it in a compound curve. For example, twisting the panel or trying to bend it into a saddle shape.
Hey Z,

Thanks for the input! Fortunately, there are no compound curves. The panels are installed on a tube but my fear is that when the panels come off the paint will crack. I thought the foam might work but it looks like it might be too much effort. Time to look for some large poster board.
 

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