Foam Core: Tips for working with it?


Sr Member
Hey guys. I've been working on my firefly flying mule and I've been using foam core. I've been using an exacto number 2 blade to work it but it's not the easiest material i've worked with. Can anyone here share tips on finishing work , cutting etc. Any tips or help would be very much appreciated.


Sr Member
The best tip I can offer is: Don't use it.

Foamcore is suitable for making quick mock-ups or anything that isn't meant to last. The material is weak and it is not dimensionally stable. Because it has a paper outer layer, it can absorb moisture and that means it *will* warp. It's only a matter of time. Plus, it's not a very strong material.

A much better choice is Gatorboard. This also has a foam inner core, but it's a much stronger foam. The outer layers are paper soaked in resin -- many time stronger than Foamcore. Gatorboard is probably more dimensionally stable than plywood. If the outer layer is sealed to protect it from moisture, it should last for a very long time. But, it is very difficult to cut. I typically have it laser-cut.

Commander Max

Sr Member
In architectural work we used it all of the time, and on models that were around for decades. It works real well structurally, takes paint, of course it costs a whole lot less.

My advice is use a straight edge, and change your blades often(you'll need a lot of blades, go to an office supply store(like OfficeMax or Staples) get a box of 100 you'll need them). A dull blade is a real pain when cutting foamcore. Use Elmer's glue, drafter's tape or blue tape to hold parts while they set.

As long as you take care of the finished model, you'll have no problems. A lot of people think you have to do all sorts of fancy things, and spend a lot of money in the modeling world. That's just not true, modeling is up to your own creativity. If you find something works then keep doing it. As long as your happy who cares what other people think.


Well-Known Member
Sintra is actually a foamed version of PVC and does not have a skin. It is more like really thick sheet styrene, but not as dense. The stuff with the plastic skin, like foam core, is called Artcore.

Sintra can be heat formed, to an extent. Artcore can not.

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