Balsa or Foam? - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Mar 01, 2013, 06:25 PM
ReblCowboy RC Racing
FRDodge's Avatar
I say... IF you like balsa.. Fly balsa.. IF you like foam... Fly Foam! If you like both then that's good because MOST ARF planes today have some of both in them!
Totally a personal opinion on this one... and like a certain kind of retentive orifice... everyone has one! GOOD DAY FOLKS!!
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Mar 02, 2013, 05:27 PM
Registered User
I like to built with both materials, depending on type of model. The one problem I had with foam (Depron) in a recent model was that I wanted a real nice finish on it, and after a very frustrating experience, I ended up with a very nice looking but heavy airplane. so I have not mastered the art of finishing a foamie up to balsa standards.

Presently, I am building a balsa .20 sized P-38 that I am incorporating Depron ribs and formers, but none of it will be exposed on an exterior surface.

Last edited by SpadCat2000; Mar 02, 2013 at 07:37 PM.
Mar 02, 2013, 09:12 PM
ReblCowboy RC Racing
FRDodge's Avatar
There is a really easy way to doll up your foam planes and make them a lot tougher. It also works for doing repairs on broken foam. Mix approx. 50/50 white elmers glue and water..(mixture varies slightly with how you like it. Get some either white or colored crepe' paper sheets like they use to wrap gifts in gift bags. using a foam paint brush, brush on your "glue/water" mixture and then lay a layer of crepe paper over the area then another coat of the glue mixture. let it dry and do another layer or 2... I've done up to 5 layers then with extremely fine whet sand paper, lightly sand your plane parts until they are smooth as a baby's butt! You can either paint this covering or use colored crepe paper to change colors. Anyway, experiment with it til' you get it down and you will find it makes foam or balsa planes stronger and easy to paint any color.
Mar 02, 2013, 10:54 PM
Build something.
Nodd's Avatar
I've had success fiber-glassing foam...

Spray the foam with 3M 77 contact cement & tack down some lightweight glass cloth. Then paint or spray with Minwax Polycrylic clear-coat (or your favorite epoxy resin). I like the Polycrylic as it's water based, cleans up easily, drys nice-n-fast & is useable right out of the can. Then water down some Spackling & paint that onto the glass to fill the weave. A little sanding then another coat of Polycrylic to seal the Spackling. You're left with a nice paintable surface that adds some good strength without tons of weight.
Mar 03, 2013, 01:05 AM
Registered User
FRDodge and Nodd....thanks for the info. Now I am looking forward to trying again.

Midwest used to market an all foam kit named the Attacker and also a green gel coating (forgot the name) that worked real well in making a lightweight smooth hardened surface to paint. We used Formula U for a beautiful finish.


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