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Tim Chambers

Farewell Foam Underlay?

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Sorry if this has received notice before - was very surprised to hear on a recent visit to the Peco shop that they have ceased production of their Foam Underlay.I'm sure that there will be those on this site that give three hearty cheers,but not me-I've used it for many years with no deterioration at all and whilst it's perhaps not as realistic looking as the proper stuff,it's quicker and cleaner and don't look too bad! Shame.

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I had a Peco servicing cradle which, after many years, had deteriorated into a sticky mess. Foam underlay may not be made fo the same stuff but all the same, I’m glad I never used it. I wonder what the foam packaging used in some loco boxes will be like in a few decades.

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Woodland Scenics do a foam underlay.  Strip and sheet form.  Available from Hattons.  I've been using it in place of cork sheet.

 

John

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I had a Peco servicing cradle which, after many years, had deteriorated into a sticky mess. Foam underlay may not be made fo the same stuff but all the same, I’m glad I never used it. I wonder what the foam packaging used in some loco boxes will be like in a few decades.

I had a loco (Italian make?) stored in the original foam. When I took it out this year (probably over 50 years old) the foam had disintegrated muchly and was sticking to some of the metal parts like wheels and railings.

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Peco foam underlay is of the open-cell type which does disintergrate over time. Other types of foam, such as the Woodland Scenics product, are of the closed-cell type and does not break down. I have used both the WS version, and also sheets of Plastazote foam which is similar to the WS product but very much cheaper in 2mx1m sheets. No problems at all. 

Edited by RFS

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I have used it over many years and it has never broken down. Perhaps I’ve just had the right environmental conditions.

 

Gaugemaster’s ballast underlay is great though. Never need Peco stuff nowadays. Fill the gaps between the lines with loose matching ballast and weather it and it’s very realistic looking

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Progress from Peco - they obviously thought there was no future in it. Sales have probably significantly declined over the years. You very rarely see layouts using it at exhibitions or in magazines these days.

 

At least there is a whole host of alternative ballasting materials and methods still available, so it's not like, as modellers, we've been left in the lurch.

 

G

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I had a loco (Italian make?) stored in the original foam. When I took it out this year (probably over 50 years old) the foam had disintegrated muchly and was sticking to some of the metal parts like wheels and railings.

If you store models in foam lined boxes it's always worth making sure that the models are wrapped in something to protect them from the foam. I see quite a few brass models being sold way below what they should be worth because of foam damage.

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I used it once in N Scale, back about 1990, as at 8ft long I knew I'd never get around to ballasting the layout using the 'usual' methods.

Yes it was quick & clean, but not only were some foam pieces different shades, it raised the track level up higher than I wanted, & was far too neat & tidy for an American branch line.

 

Never again. :nono: ;)

 

Edit: the layout didn't last long enough anyway to find out if the underlay perished after time, but I have seen it on other layouts, occasionally.

Edited by F-UnitMad

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Good riddance! The World has moved on with far superior products.

 

 

I thought Gaugemaster underlay was foam.

 

Are they discontinuing their products as well?

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Good riddance! The World has moved on with far superior products.

Which non-loose, ready shaped product might this be? (Since loose ballast pre-dates foam, though nearly always looked better).

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I thought Gaugemaster underlay was foam.

 

Are they discontinuing their products as well?

It is foam coated in ballast granules so looks much better than Peco. The ballast used on the foam matches their loose packeted stuff too. With weathering and painting the track it gives a pleasing look in a fraction of the time. Don’t think it’s available in turnout pieces though; only straight.

 

Attached photo shows it alongside some traditional Peco foam for comparison. Ignore the low standard of modelling lol.

post-34390-0-98109800-1529935483_thumb.jpeg

Edited by ianmacc
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and how many Peco N gauge wagons have been ruined by the foam in their boxes? I lost a few.

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and how many Peco N gauge wagons have been ruined by the foam in their boxes? I lost a few.

Careless. Have you not yet found them? ;-)

 

I tend to remove the wagon from its packaging and place it on the track/layout. Then throw away the foam insert and use the nice little plastic box for storing items (like track pins and/or coupling springs). Although isn't the new Peco wagon packaging quite different?

 

G

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About time too, this stuff has caused us a lot of hassle over the years mainly due to the stuff breaking down and getting into the mechs of locos over the years

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About time too, this stuff has caused us a lot of hassle over the years mainly due to the stuff breaking down and getting into the mechs of locos over the years

Very sorry to hear this I have used it for many years. It seems to last 15+ years and is easy to replace if you want to keep the track in the same place. I now spray it with Magicote textured paint so that it looks similar to, but in my opinion, better than Gaugemaster. It also seems to extend the life and is clean and easy to use, also reduces the sound of running.

 

Roger

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Very sorry to hear this I have used it for many years. It seems to last 15+ years and is easy to replace if you want to keep the track in the same place. I now spray it with Magicote textured paint so that it looks similar to, but in my opinion, better than Gaugemaster. It also seems to extend the life and is clean and easy to use, also reduces the sound of running.

 

Roger

Be interested to see a photo of magicoated underlay.

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