Locally sourced building materials beyond Adams foam board

Flying Monkey fab

Elite member
Yeah, I know I am a long way from maxing out what I can do with foam board, but I don't have a local hobby shop and would like to start branching out into other materials slowly. So my question is, what are some other suitable materials that can be bought locally or in bulk that are not generally associated with hobby shops?
I'll start by saying I've 3D printed some parts and cut some from 1/8 Baltic Birch. I know people use pink insulation foam. Now what else am I missing? Are there things that make good covering material that I can buy locally?


Master member
Most of the craft stores do carry balsa but it's generally a softer grade. Then there's insulation foam in white, pink or blue Up to 4 inches thick. Rutan used it as the base for his EZ series. Walmart and others have many expanded styrene planes which can be used for components, how much foam from insulated shipping boxes do you need? It's everywhere any more.

Have you tried cardboard boxes as a direct sub for foamboard? Wood skewers or music wire for joiners. Triple ply is incredible.

Orange or blue store has poplar, boat places carry 1/16 marine ply. Over in other departments they have all sorts of proper airplane building materials if you have an open mind.

Craft stores carry thermo shrink sticky plastic sheets and tapes, I used to use 3/4oz dacron from a fabric store after washing for a sub on silk and dope covering. Except it heat shrank and thinned housepaint was fuel.proof when dry.

Feel free to add to this list


Site Moderator
Staff member
I've never seen the gutter for fuselage, I'd love to see an example of what.
The ones I have seen are about 3-4 inches square. Sometimes it used as a downspout, sometimes as a post for vinyl fence. Just cut the length of fuse you want, pop in a firewall & some dowels, cut some holes for servos and you are good to go.
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Master member
Speaking of coroplast: what's everyone using for glue? I use silicone seal but there has to be other stuff. Normal glues don't stick.

L Edge

Master member

Back, when younger, when combat was the rage, you built yours with the fuse made of gutter pipe, bought the foam wing and covered it with the sticky shelf material. 3 servos were in the back, along with an OS-25 with a tuned pipe (30% nitro) with the fuel tank and then the battery.
Plane was heavy, but fuel and tuned pipe made it a good weapon. If you got into a flatspin, throttle to 1/2, ride it down and shut off about 2 ft and if lucky, no damage.

I've never seen the gutter for fuselage, I'd love to see an example of what.