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polystyrene

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  • rleonard@magma.ca
    Is there any archived discussion on this site about using polystyrene as a layout base? Where can I find it? Does anyone have any suggestions for someone
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Is there any archived discussion on this site about using polystyrene
      as a layout base?
      Where can I find it? Does anyone have any suggestions for someone
      considering using it on a first time layout?
      Appreciate any help
      Jack Leonard
    • jmac_han@hotmail.com
      Hello Jack, There has been quite a discussion on the subject of extruded polystyrene foam as a layout base. Most, if not all of us use it. See message #1786
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 1, 2001
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        Hello Jack,

        There has been quite a discussion on the subject of extruded
        polystyrene foam as a layout base. Most, if not all of us use it.
        See message #1786 for one of my postings on the subject. I
        personally recommend it to everyone, beginners to veterans. It is
        used as insulation panelling for industrial and residential
        construction. I don't know where you reside so I can't give you any
        specific source for the stuff. In North America, it is available at
        every home building supply store imaginable. Known as Extruded
        polystyrene insulation, blue insulation board, pink insulation board,
        it is dense and normally comes in thicknesses of 1", 2" and 3" in
        sheets 2 feet wide by 8 feet long.

        Also, please feel free to use the "search" function in the message
        archive to look up subjects of interest. I used the key
        word "extruded" to find a long list of references to foam
        insulation. I could have used "polystyrene" and gotten a similar
        result.

        Cheers,
        Jeffrey


        --- In z_scale@y..., rleonard@m... wrote:
        > Is there any archived discussion on this site about using
        polystyrene
        > as a layout base?
        > Where can I find it? Does anyone have any suggestions for someone
        > considering using it on a first time layout?
        > Appreciate any help
        > Jack Leonard
      • Andy Hunting
        Greetings, Jack ... polystyrene ... If you mean polystyrene foam, you ve come to the right place :-) . Use the search feature to look for the words foam ,
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 1, 2001
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          Greetings, Jack

          > Is there any archived discussion on this site about using
          polystyrene
          > as a layout base?

          If you mean polystyrene foam, you've come to the right place :-) .
          Use the search feature to look for the words "foam", "styrofoam", and
          "extruded" in addition to the word "polystyrene". I think I've listed
          those four words in order of how often they appear in the archives;
          the word "polystyrene" is probably used the least frequently.

          > Where can I find it?

          It's sold as insulation at hardware stores and lumberyards. I've only
          seen it in big 4-by-8-foot sheets (the same size as a sheet of
          plywood), which are either one inch or two inches thick. Both
          thicknesses are handy for building layouts. If you score it, it snaps
          into sections fairly cleanly.

          > Does anyone have any suggestions for someone
          > considering using it on a first time layout?

          Suggestion one is to read everything you can find on the subject here
          in the z_scale archives. I'm building my first layout, and after
          extensive archive-reading and asking a few questions, I decided to go
          with foam.

          Suggestion two is to take a look at Jeffery MacHan's series on
          building foam scenery in ZTrack magazine. The relevant back issues
          can be purchased from www.ztrack.com. Better still, think about a
          subscription; it's a good resource. You'll find a portion of one
          article in the archives.

          Suggestion three is to go to a train shop and take a look at Woodland
          Scenics' foam layout system (I forget what their trade name for this
          product is). It includes long wedge-shaped pieces for ascending and
          descending grades. You can make your own version of their stuff
          yourself with your big sheets of foam (I did), but it might be
          informative to see how their system fits together (or maybe
          incorporate parts of it).

          Suggestion four is to consider whether you want to cover the foam
          with some hard-shell substance, or whether you want to carve and
          paint the foam directly. I decided just to work with the foam, but in
          the archives you'll read about a variety of other approaches that Z
          veterans have taken.

          Overall, it's pretty versatile stuff (I'm even building bridges out
          of it, and I carved a pink foam valentine for my sweetie this year
          :-) ) and if you make mistakes or change your mind about something,
          you can chop this out and glue that in to fix it.

          Good luck, and have fun!

          -- Andy Hunting
        • Daniel Baechtold
          Hi z gang I used to use polystyrene as layout base material. I thought that was a good idea as it s easy to cut with a heat-cutter (some tool with a thin wire
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
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            Hi z gang

            I used to use polystyrene as layout base material. I thought that was a good
            idea as it's easy to cut with a heat-cutter (some tool with a thin wire
            which gets hot and you can cut polystyrene with), you can from almost perfectly
            hills, mountains and whatever; the material is not heavy.

            Five years ago I gave it up building layouts with this material: I had built
            a nice looking Layout, with mountains and tunnels. Well, and one day my
            maerklin ICE train derailed in a long tunnel and fell to one side. the
            pantographes of the two locos stuck in the polystyrene of the tunnel side, so I
            couldn't push or pull the train out! There are two results of this story:

            1: I never used my ICE train again, because of the damaged Pantographes (It
            has always been a "difficult vehicle"). I do not use catenary -> so I changed
            to american diesels

            2: I did never use polystyrene again, because I can make layouts with wood,
            which are as heavy as polystyrene ones and the big difference is that I can
            get my trains out of the tunnels from the under side of the layout.

            This accident with the ICE train has perhaps nothing to do with polystyrene
            or not, but it was my first layout and didn't look as good as the ones I'm
            making now (with wood).

            Best wishes, Daniel

            >
            > Message: 2
            > Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 17:53:55 -0000
            > From: rleonard@...
            > Subject: polystyrene
            >
            > Is there any archived discussion on this site about using polystyrene
            > as a layout base?
            > Where can I find it? Does anyone have any suggestions for someone
            > considering using it on a first time layout?
            > Appreciate any help
            > Jack Leonard
            >

            --
            Daniel Baechtold
            Jurastrasse 37
            CH-4242 Laufen
            Switzerland

            http://dbaechtold.gmxhome.de
            d.baechtold@...
            daniel.baechtold@...
          • Ole Rosted
            On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 20:26:40 -0000, you wrote: Hi, ... I only reluctantly go into this discussion again, but foam boards seem to be on topic again.. The blue
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
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              On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 20:26:40 -0000, you wrote:

              Hi,

              > Known as Extruded
              >polystyrene insulation, blue insulation board, pink insulation board,
              >it is dense and normally comes in thicknesses of 1", 2" and 3" in
              >sheets 2 feet wide by 8 feet long.

              I only reluctantly go into this discussion again, but foam boards
              seem to be on topic again..

              The blue and pink insulation boards are *not* polystyrene but
              polyurethane - as far as I know!!(??)

              Polystyrene is the "crumbling stuff" not worth using.

              But I'm not too sure about this. I did manage to get hold on a couple
              of polyurethane boards a couple of years ago. It says polyurethane on
              the receipt and the boards are very easy to cut with a sharp knife - a
              heat-cutting device is not needed.
              No crumbling just a *little* dust. Like someone here said: it's like
              the green stuff used by florists for their flower arrangements.

              I mention this to point the potential users of "the crumbling stuff"
              to a nicer material. Whatever the name is, I may be all wrong.

              regards Ole Rosted
            • ztrack@aol.com
              Daniel, FYI, you can purchase replacement Märklin pantographs. For the ICE, they are item number 265370. Rob Kluz Ztrack Magazine, Ltd. 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
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                Daniel,

                FYI, you can purchase replacement Märklin pantographs. For the ICE, they are
                item number 265370.

                Rob Kluz

                Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                Dublin, OH 43016
                Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                www.ztrack.com
              • jmac_han@hotmail.com
                Hi Ole, There are several kinds of insulation board on the market. The stuff I use and am recommending is a rigid, dense insulation material that does not
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
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                  Hi Ole,

                  There are several kinds of insulation board on the market. The stuff
                  I use and am recommending is a rigid, dense insulation material that
                  does not crumble but is easily cut, carved and shaped with a heat
                  tool. If you score it and bend it until it breaks, it will snap with
                  a loud crack sound.

                  The board that I have is the blue kind which has "extruded
                  polystyrene insulation" stamped on it in black ink by the
                  manufacturer. The important word here is "extruded". It is the same
                  stuff as the bead board that you mentioned with the difference that
                  it is not a bunch of little plastic beads pressure bonded together
                  but actually "extruded" or forced out of a forming machine something
                  like pasta being squirted out of a pasta machine. As a result, the
                  material is consistent and dense without any large air pockets so it
                  is heavier than the white bead board insulation.

                  Do not confuse this material with the green florist's block which do
                  crumble and can generate dust. The extruded polystyrene does not
                  crumble nor make dust unless you use a rasp a saw. ;-)

                  Cheers,
                  Jeffrey

                  --- In z_scale@y..., Ole Rosted <Ole.Rosted@g...> wrote:
                  > On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 20:26:40 -0000, you wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi,
                  >
                  > > Known as Extruded
                  > >polystyrene insulation, blue insulation board, pink insulation
                  board,
                  > >it is dense and normally comes in thicknesses of 1", 2" and 3" in
                  > >sheets 2 feet wide by 8 feet long.
                  >
                  > I only reluctantly go into this discussion again, but foam boards
                  > seem to be on topic again..
                  >
                  > The blue and pink insulation boards are *not* polystyrene but
                  > polyurethane - as far as I know!!(??)
                  >
                  > Polystyrene is the "crumbling stuff" not worth using.
                  >
                  > But I'm not too sure about this. I did manage to get hold on a
                  couple
                  > of polyurethane boards a couple of years ago. It says polyurethane
                  on
                  > the receipt and the boards are very easy to cut with a sharp knife -
                  a
                  > heat-cutting device is not needed.
                  > No crumbling just a *little* dust. Like someone here said: it's like
                  > the green stuff used by florists for their flower arrangements.
                  >
                  > I mention this to point the potential users of "the crumbling stuff"
                  > to a nicer material. Whatever the name is, I may be all wrong.
                  >
                  > regards Ole Rosted
                • Ole Rosted
                  On Fri, 03 Aug 2001 14:31:33 -0000, you wrote: Hi Jeffrey, ... Aha - it s the extruded property that makes the difference. It is correct that the material I
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
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                    On Fri, 03 Aug 2001 14:31:33 -0000, you wrote:

                    Hi Jeffrey,

                    > The important word here is "extruded". It is the same
                    >stuff as the bead board that you mentioned with the difference that
                    >it is not a bunch of little plastic beads pressure bonded together
                    >but actually "extruded"

                    Aha - it's the "extruded" property that makes the difference.
                    It is correct that the material I thought you recommended was the
                    "bead stuff"

                    I'm beginning to wonder if we actually *are* speaking of the same
                    material - despite the name-difference.

                    I wonder even more from where I got the idea that polyurethane is the
                    material to use, and so made me go through a lot of difficulties
                    locating the one and only store in Denmark selling it. (Probably more
                    than one store sells polyurethane boards, but all but one denied that
                    the boards were on stock)

                    >Do not confuse this material with the green florist's block which do
                    >crumble and can generate dust. The extruded polystyrene does not
                    >crumble nor make dust unless you use a rasp a saw. ;-)

                    It was not I who compared it to the green florist stuff, but the
                    comparison sounded reasonable to me at that time.
                    However the board I have, seemingly posesses the qualities you mention
                    except for the color. My board is a pale yellow.

                    One of these days I'm going to post (to our yahoo-group) a pic of my 6
                    ft x 2 ft layout-base and some close-ups (my new CoolPix 950 makes
                    excellent macro shots). Hopefully the list members will help me
                    determine what it is I've got. Just to put my mind at rest :-)

                    regards Ole Rosted




                    >
                    >Cheers,
                    >Jeffrey
                    >
                    >--- In z_scale@y..., Ole Rosted <Ole.Rosted@g...> wrote:
                    >> On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 20:26:40 -0000, you wrote:
                    >>
                    >> Hi,
                    >>
                    >> > Known as Extruded
                    >> >polystyrene insulation, blue insulation board, pink insulation
                    >board,
                    >> >it is dense and normally comes in thicknesses of 1", 2" and 3" in
                    >> >sheets 2 feet wide by 8 feet long.
                    >>
                    >> I only reluctantly go into this discussion again, but foam boards
                    >> seem to be on topic again..
                    >>
                    >> The blue and pink insulation boards are *not* polystyrene but
                    >> polyurethane - as far as I know!!(??)
                    >>
                    >> Polystyrene is the "crumbling stuff" not worth using.
                    >>
                    >> But I'm not too sure about this. I did manage to get hold on a
                    >couple
                    >> of polyurethane boards a couple of years ago. It says polyurethane
                    >on
                    >> the receipt and the boards are very easy to cut with a sharp knife -
                    > a
                    >> heat-cutting device is not needed.
                    >> No crumbling just a *little* dust. Like someone here said: it's like
                    >> the green stuff used by florists for their flower arrangements.
                    >>
                    >> I mention this to point the potential users of "the crumbling stuff"
                    >> to a nicer material. Whatever the name is, I may be all wrong.
                    >>
                    >> regards Ole Rosted
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >"Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                    >
                    >
                    >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
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