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Author Topic: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?  (Read 1022 times)

Offline cram

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PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« on: June 03, 2018, 04:19:01 PM »
Anyone on here tried using PVC foamboard (foamex) for terrain boards?

I'm looking at creating a new wargames table. I've recently picked up some good solid folding picnic tables cheap at a shop closing down sale. 2 tables at 2.5 x 6ft and 4 smaller tables at 2.5 x 1.5ft . I plan to lay out all these tables and then lay a series of boards on top to create a playing surface of 6ft by 11ft, which is the max size I can get in my garage with room to walk around. obviously there will be several 1ft gaps under the boards between these tables to create a playing area of this size.

I was thinking of not using the traditional method of MDF, but instead using 10mm thick PVC foamboards. I've heard this stuff is very tough and doesn't warp, it is also lightweight, and not too expensive.

Any thoughts on this please?

Offline ork56

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 06:08:33 PM »
It's good stuff and mould resistant. Main issue is finding adhesive which will glue the stuff together, most 'normal' glues don't hold

Offline robh

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 06:37:52 PM »
You will need to tack it to the tables (double sided tape or wraps of duct tape) as the stuff is so light and smooth that the slightest knock will cause seismic shifts of the game surface.
Also make sure it does not overhang the table edge as any downward pressure on one end will flip up the opposite. Again, a result of its rigidity but very light weight.

Offline cram

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 08:24:05 PM »
It'll be sand on one side for desert (Sudan) and grassed on the other, hopefully the sand will weight it down a bit if I put a good bit on! I'll look at some method of lightly clamping it in place too.

What if the gap between tables was 2 feet, would the board at 10mm thick be robust enough to hold the weight of figures on it or would it bow down without support under it? I'm looking at having the length 6ft of table then a 2ft gap then 3ft of table with the smaller tables if that makes sense!

Offline Smokeyrone

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 07:56:38 AM »
I use 4x8 blue foam (1"thick) sheets.

i built a outside frame of 1x4s, 10 feet long by 4 feet.

The sheets drop in, securing them and making it a stable, heavy table top  (it is set on two 4 foot high dressers  which hold terrain and stuff.

I also tried a 4x8, FOUR inch thick board of beaded white foam.  it is heavy enough to be used without outside wood frame.
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Online Captain Blood

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 09:34:55 AM »
I work with foamex quite a lot on signage. I would say, even at 10mm thickness, it would be too smooth and flexible to provide a suitable base for terrain. Although in small tiles it might work. But not in big sheets. Whatever aggregate surface you apply would just flake off.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 02:54:11 PM »
I would fully expect serious warpage.  Unless you had some sort of rigid framing.  If you want light weight, you could use insulating foam.  Or, maybe build it as a "box" with a base, walls - including interior walls, and a top, all of the same board type.  That might work and would allow for terrain depth with a little creativity.

Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2018, 04:32:42 PM »
Don't use foamex, not even for small bases. It's OK as a construction material for buildings but not for basing. As Richard says, any glue you use, with the exception of solvents, will peel off and unless what you are sticking to it is acrylic, plastic or the same material.

You can use superglue with it but it will crack after time due to the flex the material has.

I mainly use it for mould boxes.

Offline SABOT

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 11:57:55 PM »
Celotex is my choice . Very strong. Easy to work with. Comes in big sheets too so you can build an entire table with one piece.
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Offline cram

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 07:14:10 PM »
Thanks for all the info. I'll check out the celotex.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 07:40:21 PM by cram »

Offline SotF

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 04:26:36 AM »
Personally, I wouldn't use foamboard for terrain boards on their own. I've used foamcore and foamboard for terrain tables after mounting them on other stuff to add more rigidity because they warp quite easily on their own...and can snap very easily with larger sections. They do, however, texture up easily and make for a great base piece for the work on top...

Offline SABOT

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 08:08:31 PM »
Celotex doesnít. Itís available in a range of thickness sizes and is easily worked.

Offline anton ryzbak

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2018, 06:24:00 PM »
I have had considerable success making terrain (and loads of other stuff) out of 2" blueboard
Follow this link to see my efforts https://antonswargame.blogspot.com/p/adventures-in-blue-board-and-foamcore.html

like this

Take some 60 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the surface before using standard woodglue

Offline SABOT

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2018, 06:20:18 PM »
That is truly splendid. Blue board is becoming hard to get now as it has been moved out of the building regs and no longer used into the hobby world with a sacking increase in price. If you find it buy it!

Offline Brandlin

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Re: PVC foamboard for terrain boards?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2018, 11:30:08 AM »
That is truly splendid. Blue board is becoming hard to get now as it has been moved out of the building regs and no longer used into the hobby world with a sacking increase in price. If you find it buy it!

I'm interested in what the difference is between 'blue board' and so many of the other foam insulation boards still available cheaply?
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