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Repairing foam warbirds

Old 08-02-2008, 07:10 AM
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gene465
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Default Repairing foam warbirds

Heya new to planes and I was wondering what is the best way to repair the foam warbirds. I sheared off about and inch or so on the wing tips of a Sea Fury 400 when I maidened it. I had the aerilons reversed! Anywho it has been glued back together again and flys well and I would like to repair it. I see people using spackle to fill in low spots and such but what do you do to repair wing tips and such. Thanks Gene
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:27 AM
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Gene,

Foam repairs are fairly simple. You can epoxy a small block in place of the damaged wing tip and quickly carve the block to a rough ready shape for final sanding. It's quite easy.

Paul
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Old 08-02-2008, 02:33 PM
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baz49exe
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Gene,
A flying buddy of mine totalled his art tech P-51. He carefully collected up all bits of foam and slowly reconstructed it using white wood glue. It looks like new. Amazing stuff foam!
Barry
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:16 PM
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gene465
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Paul, Barry thanks for the tip! Anyone recommend a sandpaper grit and the best tool for carving foam? Thanks again Gene
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:16 PM
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Larry G
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Originally Posted by gene465 View Post
Paul, Barry thanks for the tip! Anyone recommend a sandpaper grit and the best tool for carving foam? Thanks again Gene
I was using 80 grit for real rough shaping, then 120 when I got closer, and finished up with 240. Some types of foam seem to sand better than others. Parkzone Z foam didn't sand well for me.

The lightweight spackle worked well for me. Needs to be thinned a bit with water to make it more spreadable.

Watch sanding at the glue joint. The glue is much more sandpaper-resistant than foam, and you can end up with a raised hump. I even took my Dremel tool and carefully ground down the glue to get it flat.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:53 PM
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Voyager2lcats
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I will agree with Larry. Rough sanding with coarse sandpapers or even using a razor saw, small hacksaw, etc. are good for cutting and shaping the foam replacement blocks. I have found that it helps to cut with a razor saw along or near a foam edge or surface that has been warped by impact or shipping damage and then Gorilla glue it together and use painter's tape to get it aligned properly. Pull the painter's tape off when it's dry and you can saw any excess glue off with the razor saw. Most of the time, the painter's tape holds the Gorilla glue back and it's pretty much flush with the surface of the adjoining foam. If you get an uneven surface from all that cutting and sanding, then vinyl spackle is your friend- it's very light and you mix it up with water and either paint it on with a foam brush, 1/2" wide paint brush, or use a wooden tongue depresser(!). I have been using 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper and even 600 grit to get a really smooth finish on most foam (EPS and Depron). I have never used Z-foam, so I can't offer any help in that area. I hope this helps.

Bob

Last edited by Voyager2lcats; 08-02-2008 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:11 AM
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Thanks all, almost got it all fixed up! now to find some matching paint! Gene
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