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Tip O' The Day

Internal Bracing For Vacuform Models




Submitted By:

John Klein


Vacuform models need some sort of internal support to hold their shape and make handling easier. Once built, they can be filled with plaster or expanding foam, but plaster is quite heavy and expanding foam can burst a glue seam. Filling the model after it is built doesn't help you when it comes to trying to add rigidity to sub-assemblies or individual parts during build-up. I found the best way to add rigidity to individual parts is to create "ribs" and a "spine" inside the part. Start by glueing a few ribs (go easy on the liquid glue or you'll melt the thin vacuform plastic) of strip styrene to the inside of the part. If you continue the strips past the gluing edge of the part, you can use them as allingment keys and glueing strips. Then press in a ribbon of milliput epoxy putty to connect the ribs and act as a rigid spine along then centre of the part. The milliput dries rock hard and sticks to anything; It can also be drilled or built up to act as a solid support for a stand. The parts will now exhibit no flex and will be easier to allign, handle and sand.

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Tips database last updated 21 July 2014

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