Dress up your Foam Jet, Quick and Easy!

Foam, foam, foam…it’s everywhere today. Foam jets, foam airplanes, foam sailplanes, RTF’s, ARF’s, receiver ready, bind n fly….etc., etc., etc.

Over the years, I have tried many methods to make my ducted fan jet foamies look a bit better than the rest of the bunch at the flying field.

Most of the traditional methods (fiberglass, epoxies, primers and fillers etc.) are very time consuming and add weight to the finished product. A quick and easy method was suggested to me by a long time customer, friend, and fellow modeler in Colony, Texas. You should try his suggestion on your next foamie.

Step 1: go to Home Depot, Lowe’s, or your local hardware store.  Purchase an 8 oz can of Minwax Polycrylic water based clear satin and a couple of disposable 1” foam brushes. That’s all you need!  About 5 bucks!

This process works best if you start with a new foam jet, such as Hobby Lobby’s SU-34, F-35 Lightning, Eurofighter or the new F/A 18E, and apply the Minwax before you assemble the model.

Step 2: Take all of the foam parts out of the box, dip the foam brush lightly in the Minwax Polycrylic, and apply with the 1” foam brush.  It is important to apply as thin a coat of the Polycrylic as possible. Use the foam brush to “wipe on” this finish and set each part aside to dry thoroughly for an hour or so. Avoid application to tabs or foam parts that will be glued together when you assemble your jet. If your foamie has waterslide decals, just apply this coating right over the decals (the Polycrylic will seal and protect them) If your model has vinyl stickers or vinyl decals, apply the coating only up to the edge of the decal or sticker.

When all parts are thoroughly dry, apply a second coat.  I personally like to apply 3 coats (some folks even use 4 coats)……you will like the results.

Now assemble your model as normal. The Polycrylic coating makes colors more vibrant, enhances molded in details, and makes the foam more resistant to “hangar rash”.  This coating works especially well on EPS foam models (like Styrofoam) that have lots of details molded in to the foam.  Some of your fellow modelers may even accuse you of fiber-glassing your new jet.

Stay tuned for 2 more quick steps to add even more detail with very little expense!

Happy Flying!

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3 Responses to Dress up your Foam Jet, Quick and Easy!

  1. Tesonics says:

    This sounds great! Certainly worth trying out.. I am residing in China, so most of the things described in the states might be hard to find here. However, I checked out Minwax Polycrylic and they have it!! It is called “shuijingbaohu”, or if you browser can show Chinese characters “水晶保护”, which means Crystal Protection.
    I wonder if this thing can also provide rigidity to the airframe against minor dents or contact with sharper edged things.. Epoxy seems to do that..
    Thanks for the tip

  2. dingo says:

    Have you tried StyroSpray 1000 from Industrial Polymers Corporation in Houston Texas? Check out their website http://www.industrialpolymers.com. This is a solvent free brush on coating for all types of styrofoam (EPS). It creates a flexible yet hard and durable finish that is actually “structual” and can be painted with any type of paint. They will send “free” cured samples on EPS foam for evlauation!

  3. asylum56 says:

    Sounds like a great idea. Could you air brush the Polycrylic on? or is it to thick and would need to be thinned.

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