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Re: polystyrene

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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!
                >
                >
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                >
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