Is VSSSD the right stuff to toughen up a foam ship?

LesWilson

Well-Known Member
So the bow of our Little Mermaid ship stays on stage front of curtain the whole show while the rest is added/removed as needed. So I'm putting alot into the design. Before turning it over to the scenic artists, I was thinking it needs to be toughened up. I've done the research here on CB about "foam coating". It seems that @Van 's VSSD is the way to go but I don't have time or budget to experiment and compare with Foamcoat and the others. The ship structure is sturdy and doesn't wiggle but the blue polystyrene foam is soft. I also don't want to lose the planking detail. Is the standard VSSD formula the right one to firm up the foam but let the grooves telegraph through? Also, will it cover the printing on the foam like a good primer will or is another coating required?

IMG_8486.JPG
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Les, If you are worried about losing the detail run a knife through the gap between planks and widen it up a bit. The Dope will cover small gaps. it will also, relatively easily cover the printing. You may find that you want to apply in a couple coats and consult your scenic painters if they would want to use it a little thicker so they could put grain lines into it with a metal comb or just use a finger brush.
The whole idea behind it originally was that I was looking for a primer for blue foam, it wasn't till later that I realized I could vary the mixture and slather it on thicker and use it as a dope.
 

LesWilson

Well-Known Member
Les, If you are worried about losing the detail run a knife through the gap between planks and widen it up a bit. The Dope will cover small gaps. it will also, relatively easily cover the printing. You may find that you want to apply in a couple coats and consult your scenic painters if they would want to use it a little thicker so they could put grain lines into it with a metal comb or just use a finger brush.
The whole idea behind it originally was that I was looking for a primer for blue foam, it wasn't till later that I realized I could vary the mixture and slather it on thicker and use it as a dope.
Ahhh I see. Apply the VSSD and then scribe the plank lines with a knife or something. Can I reduce the joint compound to make it less dope and not fill in the grooves? The Caulk? Or both?
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Yes, you can apply it with a finger brush, or make a cut brush to leave what would be brush strokes in a normal paint but develop into ridges in the vssd. Rather than a knife I'd use something like a Brush Comb though I'd use the kind with rounded ends rather than the sharp ones like shown on that Purdy in the link. You can reduce the amount of caulk but doing so removes rgidity of the cured material. I'd be more inclined to slather it on, add graining texture, then run a putty knife down the grooves or spaces between the boards.
 

LesWilson

Well-Known Member
I went with recipe #2 and a flat sheen paint. I’m very happy with the results so far. A scenic artist came to experiment with VSSD so there was somebody with the chops to make wood grain. :cool: The lines/gaps between planks come through which is what I wanted.

How long does it take to cure to a hard shell?
 

Attachments

  • 4DDB96BF-8613-4CDD-9F5C-6FBFFB47ABA1.jpeg
    4DDB96BF-8613-4CDD-9F5C-6FBFFB47ABA1.jpeg
    657.7 KB · Views: 51
  • A89071A5-D7F8-4B8A-8657-A1BEB719022D.jpeg
    A89071A5-D7F8-4B8A-8657-A1BEB719022D.jpeg
    278.1 KB · Views: 53
  • IMG_8511 copy.jpg
    IMG_8511 copy.jpg
    343.6 KB · Views: 41
Last edited:

LesWilson

Well-Known Member
Epilog: I am very happy with the #2 recipe. I used it on the masts and even some ramboard covered parts. The wood grain wasn't needed as scenic folks did graining with paint. The ship faired well assembling and disassembling between scenes. I had a project at home that used the crumbly white expanded foam and coated it with a variation of VSSD using left overs. It did an amazing job on the EPS. It was basically 3 parts paint, one part joint compound and 1/2 part water putty.
DDM_5903 Ship.jpg
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Les, If you are worried about losing the detail run a knife through the gap between planks and widen it up a bit. The Dope will cover small gaps. it will also, relatively easily cover the printing. You may find that you want to apply in a couple coats and consult your scenic painters if they would want to use it a little thicker so they could put grain lines into it with a metal comb or just use a finger brush.
The whole idea behind it originally was that I was looking for a primer for blue foam, it wasn't till later I realized I could vary the mixture, slather it on thicker, and use it as a dope.
Would VSSD do the deed for Yemen's crumbling oil tanker?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
  • Like
Reactions: Van

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Would VSSD do the deed for Yemen's crumbling oil tanker?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Actually, the original inspiration for VSSD was "Lagging Compound' used on ships to seal cracks in decks and seams on Naval vessels. The OLD stuff was fortified with Asbestos The newer is a flame retardant treated Latex based.

🎶The More you know...🎶
 

jonliles

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Actually, the original inspiration for VSSD was "Lagging Compound' used on ships to seal cracks in decks and seams on Naval vessels. The OLD stuff was fortified with Asbestos The newer is a flame retardant treated Latex based.

🎶The More you know...🎶
I've been exposed to my fair share of the older and newer lagging compound. The stuff stinks to high heaven.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Van

Users who are viewing this thread