Sponsor Spotlight : Hot Wire Foam Factory

Welcome to our next sponsor spotlight for the upcoming War Kings GTHot Wire Foam Factory


As prep for the upcoming War Kings GT, I've been making more terrain so that everyone has interesting and great looking tables to play on.  A key tool for this is a hot wire foam cutter - and the best I have found comes from our sponsor this time - How Wire Foam Factory.

HWFF has generously given us a fantastic prize pack for one lucky winner, consisting of their hot wire basic sculpting tool (with power supply), a tensioner for it, six wires and their styrogoo glue for styrofoam.

basic sculpting tool / power supply
Tensioner
Replacement wires
Styrogoo glue
This is all you need to get started making your own terrain or other styrofoam projects.

I've had other hot wire tools before - the first one was simply two D batteries in a cardboard tube, with a large wire bent armature and the wire itself.  It had good depth, but was pretty cheap and didn't last.  I also tried some hot knives I found at a local craft store - but they quickly broke and weren't worth the $15 they cost.

I picked up a HWFF sculpting tool at Gencon a few years back, but hadn't needed it use it until much more recently (needing to create some 20 hills does that).  I was having some problems with it because I wasn't able to tighten the connecting bolts down tight enough to keep the arms from moving, resulting in the wire being slack.  I muddled through, often trying to hold the arms open.  I actually thought to myself - I can make something that will fit between these arms to keep them apart, and thus the wire tight.

For some reason, it occurred to me that they might want to sponsor our event (and they DID!), so I went to their website looking for contact information.  And that is where I found that they had exactly what I was looking for already - a tensioner for their sculpting tool.  It was then I realized that arms being able to move was a feature - there are times you may want the loose wire.  You then put on this extra item when you want a tight wire.

I wish I had found this YEARS before
It was just a few days later and it was here, and it worked great.  So much easier - especially because so much of the foam I was cutting had previously been used (making large (like 3' x 2' ) lava flows (this the black painted sand and the orange lines you might have seen in pictures of unpainted hills) so they had the layer of glued on sand that was more resistant than the straight foam.  The tensioner now kept the arms straight, and much cleaner cuts.

The square holes where where dice were embedded in the board
However, while I was on the site I went ahead and picked up a 3" foam knife to give theirs a try.  Much better quality than the ones I had gotten before (noting that it did not break within a few minutes like the cheap ones did before).  The knife is a great tool for making large cuts - it doesn't have anything to keep it to a certain size (like the sculpting tool does - which is more intended for shaping pieces of foam instead of cutting them out).  Plus I couldn't help but play with it a little - it allows for completely free form cutting if you want to get artistic.

Their smallest (3") crafter knife.
cutting a free from curve - like a hot knife through . . .
The knife allowed me to cut off much larger chunks - twice the width that the sculpting tool would have allowed.
5 more hills (one more was made the next night, but I had to glue more pieces together)
The proper tools make the work easy.  And someone is walking away with a brand new starter set.

Because it is all fun and games . . .