Updated sources/prices of specific materials

I’m always finding new suppliers I hadn’t considered before and potentially better deals, so this list is a continual work-in-progress. The date at the beginning of each price entry indicates the last time the info was updated. I always adjust prices to include VAT unless otherwise stated. Materials are listed in alphabetical order rather than grouped according to use/function, so it helps if you know roughly what you’re looking for.


This foamboard is special because the covering paper can be easily peeled away and the polyurethane foam underneath is a versatile form-making or surfacing material. Kapa-line will cost more than the more common polystyrene-filled foamboard. The standard board size is 1000x700mm (larger than A1), thicknesses 3, 5 and 10mm. See my detailed article Creating surfaces with Kapa-line foamboard under ‘surfacing’ in the Materials section for an account of what can be done with this material.

4D Modelshop London E1 8EU www.modelshop.co.uk

11/06/2015 Available in 700x1000mm or 700x500mm sheets. Prices for 700x1000mm are; 3mm thickness £8.45, 5mm thickness £9.55, 10mm thickness £11.80. There are no discounts for large quantities, though 4D do offer a 10% discount on all products for students. 4D’s prices for Kapa-line foamboard remain amongst the best as far as I know, in fact there is only one supplier providing significantly cheaper (in bulk) below. Do not rely 100% on it being on the shelves if you go to 4D, as they do run out occasionally! It would be wise to phone them first.

purelypaper www.purelypaper.co.uk

27/10/2014 Only in boxes which vary (according to material thickness) from 12 to 40 sheets a time. Search site for ‘Kapa line’ without the hyphen. Prices are for 700x1000mm sheets unless otherwise indicated: 3mm thickness £170.99 for 40 sheets a.k.a £4.27 per sheet; 5mm thickness £109.31 for 24 sheets a.k.a £4.55 per sheet; 10mm thickness £167.87 for 12 (1016x1524mm) sheets a.k.a c. £6.90 per 700x1000mm sheet. Free delivery for orders over £75 before VAT.

greatart www.greatart.co.uk

27/10/2014 There is a minimum order of 5 sheets of the same type .. so unfortunately it’s not even possible to combine 2 sheets of one thickness and 3 of another for example! Prices have actually gone down a bit over the past year! These for 700x1000mm, per sheet, are; 3mm thickness £7.30, 5mm thickness £8.25, 10mm thickness £10.20. Prices for boxes are; 3mm thickness £145.85 for 40 700x500mm sheets, 5mm thickness £98.60 for 24 700x500mm sheets, 10mm thickness £122.10 for 12 700x1000mm sheets.

London Graphic Centre produce and market their own polyurethane-core foamboard which they call Premier Polyboard. The paper peels off fairly easily and similar (though not identical) things can be done with the foam. The 3.5mm and 5mm versions are cheaper than Kapa-line, but the 10mm version more expensive. The cost of an A1 sheet (November 2014) is £6.50 for 5mm thickness and £4.99 for 3.5mm thickness, inclusive of VAT. See my article Creating surfaces with Kapa-line foamboard for notes on working with Polyboard as an alternative.


There are a number of brands of foamed Pvc plastic, all excellent for model construction, but Palight is the easiest to work with that I’ve found so far .. it’s just as rigid but much softer to cut. ‘Palfoam’ manufactured by the same international company Palram is almost identical to Palight but a little softer still and is supposed to be a little more ‘cost-efficient’ as they put it. Very often though, when I’ve ordered ‘Palight’ I’ve received ‘Palfoam’ .. rather naughty of the supplier I think! .. but for small-scale making purposes it hardly matters. Often I haven’t even noticed.

For more information on what can be done with Palight and more advice about getting it in other countries see the end of my article ‘Palight’ brand foamed Pvc under ‘constructing’ in the Materials section.

Bay Plastics www.plasticstockist.com

11/06/2015 On website under ‘Sign and Display’ plastics. Sold in standard 2440x1220mm (8ft x 4ft) sheets. Prices have remained the same for the past couple of years. Prices on website are before VAT but adjusted here, and are for ‘white matt’ type: 1mm thickness £11.75, 2mm thickness £11.47, 3mm thickness £17.18, 5mm thickness £28.64, 6mm thickness £34.37,10mm thickness £57.26, 19mm thickness £127.13. In the many years I have been buying from Bay Plastics the service has been faultless .. easy ordering/processing and extremely quick delivery! The delivered sheets are very well protected .. a bonus if you want a lot of cardboard for other things, but maybe not if you don’t! The standard UK delivery charge is £14.

Example recent order 16/01/2014 three full sheets of 1mm Palight cost £50.78 including delivery. Total weight 6.43kg

4D Modelshop London E1 8EU www.modelshop.co.uk

11/06/2015 very convenient if you don’t need much or just want to try the material out!Small 300x600mm sheets; 1mm thickness £1.65, 2mm thickness £2.50

Abplas London SW19 1DG http://www.abplas.co.uk

Before I started being ‘particular’ about the brand of foamed Pvc, I regularly bought it at Abplas in Wimbledon, just a short walk from South Wimbledon tube. Sometimes what they had was ‘unbranded’ and sometimes just a little tougher or more brittle than the ‘Palight’ brand I rely upon now. Their prices were good! .. i.e. often about the same as Bay Plastics but without the heavy delivery costs if you pick it up yourself. Make sure to ring them first though, 020 8540 3105, to check what they’ve got in stock if you want it quickly and check with them that it is ‘Palight’. If they haven’t got it they will get it in, and this could take a few days to a week. They were always willing to cut an 8ftx4ft sheet into manageable pieces for carrying.

Acrylic Online http://www.acrylic-online.co.uk

What’s good about the Acrylic Online website is that they make a clearer distinction between ‘Palight’ and ‘Palfoam’, but their prices are not in the same economy league as Bay Plastics above! However, whereas Bay Plastics normally only deliver the full 1220x2440mm sheets, Acrylic Online offer other options, though only for 3mm and 5mm. For example:  3mm thickness, A3 size, pack of 5 sheets £5.24; 5mm thickness, A3 size, pack of 5 sheets £8.55. Packs are A4, A3 and A2 and of 5,10 or 20 sheets.


The foam interior of Kapa-line foamboard is polyurethane, but similar types of rigid polyurethane foam are available without the paper covering. They may be better for shaping/form-making because there are thicker options. They won’t have exactly the same properties as the Kapa-line foam i.e. they’re likely to be slightly tougher, perhaps more brittle.

CFS Fibreglass www.cfsnet.co.uk

27/10/2014 Sheet sizes vary, standard sheet size is 1220x1220mm (4ft x 4ft) but smaller 915x305mm sheets are also available for some thicknesses. Sheets are only available in packs. Prices are; 12mm thickness 4-sheet pack 1220x1220mm £33.79, 5 sheet pack 915×305 £15.67; 25mm thickness 2-sheet pack 1220x1220mm £34.89, 5 sheet pack 920x310mm £32.15; 50mm thickness 2-sheet pack 1220x1220mm £51.43, 2 sheet pack 1220x620mm £27.34. CFS also stocks 75mm and 100mm thicknesses in the same sheet sizes.

East Coast Fibreglass Supplies http://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk

6/05/2016 prices haven’t changed in two years. On their website you’ll find it under ‘Core Materials’ labelled ‘PU Foam Board’ but it is not paper-covered. Available in 12mm, 25mm, 50mm, 76mm and 100mm thicknesses. Larger amounts are available, with price reductions, but I’ll quote only the smaller amounts here. Prices are; 12mm thickness 4-sheet pack 600x600mm £9.00, 2 sheet pack 1220x1220mm £20.34; 25mm thickness 4-sheet pack 600x600mm £16.20, 2 sheet pack 1220x1220mm £34.20; 50mm thickness 4-sheet pack 600x600mm £34.80, 2 sheet pack 1220x1220mm £52.20; 100mm thickness 1-sheet 1220x1220mm £70.80, 2 sheets 1220x1220mm £118.80


East Coast Fibreglass Supplies http://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk

6/05/2016 although EC state that they stock both opaque and transparent polyurethane resins there’s no transparent resin in their product line-up. I’m assuming this has been taken down because of the health issues? They currently offer just one basic PU resin with 2 different working-time options, similar to Tomps. £9.20 per kg (9kg order of F180) represents the cheapest price I know of for good quality PU resin.

Axson F180 FastCast (3min) £21.00 per 1.5kg, £34.80 per 3kg, £82.80 per 9kg; Axson F190 FastCast (9min) £23.94 per 1.5kg, £47.40 per 3kg, £107.40 per 9kg


This is a tough, thin card which can be used as a fine-detail constructional material because it holds its shape and cuts very cleanly. The common sheet size is c 760x500mm (originally 30″x20″) and the standard thickness is c. 370microns (about 1/3 of a millimetre). Occasionally one comes across a thinner version (c. 250microns) which is less suitable.

The best prices would seem to be from specialist gilding, restoration suppliers such as the first two on the list, whereas the regular art shops charge considerably more!

For more of the background i.e. who manufactures it in the UK and more advice about getting it in other countries see the end of my article Working with stencil card under ‘constructing’ in the Materials section.

Wright’s of Lymm http://www.stonehouses.co.uk

27/10/2014 the cheapest source at £1.74 inc.VAT for a 1000x600mm sheet. Code: 0533. A while ago I rang Wright’s to check that this very cheap price was for the standard thickness (c. 375mu) stencil card and they said it was.

Handover http://www.handover.co.uk

27/10/2014 £1.80 inc.VAT (1000x600mm). Code: SCB10C Can be ordered online or go to the shop: A.S.Handover Ltd, 1 Farleigh Place, London N16 7SX

University of the Arts (UAL) college shops

26/10/2014 if you are studying at UAL or doing a Short Course and have access, currently one of the most convenient and inexpensive sources (after Handover) for stencil card in London, selling standard size (760x500mm) sheets for £2.35. Some UAL college shops used to be open to the public, but this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore (exact info is difficult to find on UAL websites).


27/10/2014 Flints is a long-established and well-stocked theatre materials supplier (paints, brushes, scenic materials, theatre hardware etc.) £2.64 inc.VAT (760x500mm)

Regular art/graphics shops

Many of the regular art suppliers stock it, but at a higher price and just the standard 760x500mm sheet size. E.g. Cornelissen, and Cowling & Wilcox £3.95; Fred Aldous, and London Graphic Centre £5.25; 4D modelshop £5.70


This is extruded polystyrene foam (XPS), which is very fine-celled, and known as ‘styrofoam’ in the UK. It is manufactured as an insulation material; the common type is light blue, the standard sheet size is c. 600x1250mm and the most common thicknesses are 25, 50 and 75mm. See Shaping styrofoam under ‘shaping’ in the Materials section.

4D Modelshop London E1 8EU www.modelshop.co.uk

4D offers the advantage of buying very small amounts of a material which is often only available in bulk from other suppliers, also the selection of a wide range of different types. This means it can be a lot cheaper for a ‘pic’n’mix’ but significantly more expensive for ‘bulk’ buying.

25/10/2014 4D has by far the greatest range in terms of sheet thicknesses (from 1mm to 165mm), options for small to large sheet size, and even the full range of other types (green, yellow/pink and white) which differ in their properties from the standard blue. The following prices represent a selection from their blue styrofoam range: 1mm thickness 330x580mm £2.85; 5mm thickness 330x580mm £4.80; 10mm thickness 330x580mm £7.70; 25mm thickness 300x608mm £4.85, 600×1250 £13.50; 50mm thickness 600×1250 £23.50; 75mm thickness 600×1250 £35.45; 165mm thickness 300×300 £19.85

Panel Systems http://shop.panelsystems.co.uk/

26/10/2014 Click on the direct link to the online shop above and scroll down to ‘Craftfoam Blue’. No single sheets, just packs designed for school/college buying .. but substantial saving if one needs large amounts. Most of these packs have a fixed price of £53.50 (£64.20 after VAT) or £89.50 (£107.40 after VAT. Delivery is included to most UK mainland addresses. Range of thicknesses from 3mm-150mm, mostly in sheet size 600x600mm or 600×1200

So for example: 10mm thickness 600×600, pack of 30 sheets £64.20 (giving a single-sheet price of £2.14); 25mm thickness 600×1200, pack of 12 sheets £107.40 (giving a single-sheet price of £8.95)




4 thoughts on “Updated sources/prices of specific materials

  1. Hi David … just to let you know … in some parts of the world oiled manila board is called Diagraph Oilboard (in New Zealand it is lol) …. just thought this might help people find it … Chrissie

    • Thanks for the info! Yes, in my entry on ‘stencil card’ in Materials I think I advise people to search for ‘oil board’ amongst other terms, which hopefully covers it.

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