I have just added more up-to-date information to my list of recommended suppliers for specific materials featured on this site, which can be found in the Suppliers section below the main list. This survey compares size/quantity options, prices and delivery, and so far includes the following specialist materials ..
Kapa-line foamboard, Palight foamed Pvc, polyurethane foam sheet, styrofoam (XPS) sheet and oiled manilla stencil card.
I have also linked these entries to my main articles about them in the Materials section where I have added what I have been able to gather so far (with the help of comments posted) about getting these materials in other countries.
For example, I’ve been half-expecting the general availability of Kapa-line foamboard to improve .. but no .. I haven’t been able to add to my suppliers list. 4D modelshop remains the best source and price, especially for small amounts. I have discovered though that London Graphic Centre’s Premier Polyboard is surprisingly similar, also having a polyurethane core .. it’s been around for many years and I never realized! See my updated article Creating surfaces with Kapa-line foamboard under ‘surfacing’ in the Materials section for my notes on using this as an alternative.
I have also added to my notes there on sources of Kapa-line foamboard outside Europe .. at least, I’ve been able to confirm that there aren’t any unfortunately so don’t waste your time looking! I’ve advised that the best solution is to find a similar polyurethane-core foamboard, as I’m pretty confident that it will have similar properties. I’m hopeful that they can be found in other countries, and I’m waiting for more information.
As for Palight foamed Pvc, 4D modelshop continues to provide the service of offering small portions of 1mm and 2mm, but now in addition if you want handier-size amounts of 3mm and 5mm you should look at what Acrylic Online is offering. For larger amounts in any thickness Bay Plastics continue to offer these at the best prices with very efficient delivery! In my article ‘Palight’ brand foamed Pvc under ‘constructing’ in the Materials section, I have now included a clearer distinction between ‘Palight’ and it’s cheaper alternative ‘Palfoam’ and some more information about their manufacturer Palram.
Because Palram is a global company it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate suppliers wherever you are. For example, I’ve noted some useful information I’ve received recently on obtaining Palight in Australia and New Zealand.
I’ve also found additional sources of oiled manilla stencil card. As before, the gilding/restoration specialist Wrights of Lymm is still offering it at a price far below anywhere else but now A.S. Handover in London, a similar business that started as a brushmaker, is almost matching that. With the help of comments posted in, I’ve included a lead as to the UK manufacturer (information which is impossible to get from the retail suppliers) and a little about what keeps stencil going as a product .. i.e. what it’s manufactured for outside the relatively small art/craft market and the names it goes by.
This will help in sourcing stencil card outside the UK. For example in the US one will have a lot more luck finding it using the search terms ‘oil board’ or ‘stencil board’ although there is more than one type there.
My survey of sources for styrofoam is largely unchanged but in my article Shaping styrofoam under ‘shaping’ in the Materials section I’ve been able to include more about the manufacturer, Dow Chemical Company, and its competitor Owens Corning. Both are US companies with global reach .. so it’s odd that the blue extruded polystyrene (XPS) we correctly term ‘styrofoam’ here in the UK is not all over the place in the US! So far I’ve more frequently found the Owens Corning version. Searching is hindered by the mistake .. yes, I’m very sorry, but it is a mistake .. many in the US make in calling the regular white expanded polystyrene (EPS) ‘styrofoam’. It’s hard enough, trying not to confuse ‘XPS’ and ‘EPS’ all of the time!