I’m always on the lookout for new building materials, particularly if they are suitable for electric models (i.e. lightweight, strong, easy to work with).

When looking through the many models and videos on Flite Test I I had naturally assumed that they primarily used Depron as a building material. It was only when they started talking about sealing the surface, painting and peeling away paper that I dug a little deeper. Turns out they use something called “foam board”.

At first I thought this was something available in the USA as a replacement for Depron but a quick Google search brought up suppliers right here in Australia.

This description is taken from FoamBoards.com.au:

Foam board or Foam core board is a strong and lightweight material that is easily cut with a sharp craft knife or picture framing mat cutter.

It is commonly used for the mounting of prints and photographs and as backing in picture frames.

Foamboard is easily formed into shapes that can be used for interior design and architectural models.

Foamboard usually consists of three layers, an inner layer of polystyrene or polyurethane foam that is clad with an outer facing on each side of either a white clay coated paper, cotton archival paper or common brown Kraft paper.

It appears that whilst the paper coating adds a small amount of weight, the finished product is slightly stronger and more resilient than Depron. From a supply point of view, Foam Board is available in a much wider range of sizes at around 50% the price of Depron.

There will still be a use for both materials I think. Depron more so for lighter indoor models and this new board for models needing to cope with the elements.

Anyway, the two Australian suppliers I have been looking at are:

http://www.foamboards.com.au/

http://www.draftex.com.au/

Of the two, it appears that Foam Boards is slightly cheaper by the sheet. I am also thinking that a trip to the local printers or framers might also be in order…