Shallow relief carving

This weeks assignment to recreate a clients product logo in relief. X-Carve running flawlessly today and getting things done in a fraction of the time. Thanks, Inventables.


Looks very nice.


That came out really good! Great job.

what material is that? is it urethane foam?

Yes, it HDU board. I’m going to hit it with auto primer to fill the pores.

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is this modeled or was it an image?

I modeled the skull and cloth but did the wings in easel with cutting layers.

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Im not entirely familiar with HDU, just gave it a google and it looks ideal for sign making. Is this similar to MDF are there any major differences? Is price a major factor? How easy is it to paint? Where do you find it?

High density urethane foam. It’s awesome stuff for model making. It’s like mdf in the sense that it has no grain, however, it’s not as strong at all. Pretty fragile. There is however higher density foam (by the color in the photo at least, it looks like yellow foam…) typically called renshape which is usually red in color and almost as hard as wood. Either is really easy on your cutter so is perfect for milling.

as far as cost, it’s not cheap. yellow foam is less expensive than the reddish brown stuff,

as far as painting, you have to fill the pores before applying paint as JDM said. something I used to do when working with this, is coating it with acrylic modeling paste first with light skim coats. follow that up with some coats of primer and your set to paint. If you don’t fill it’s pores first, it will just eat your paint and even your primer. If just priming, I recommend high build automotive primer.

another note. It goes by weight. the higher the weight = denser = more detail in cuts

the lower weight will look more foamy since the bubbles are bigger. however, this can be remedied with modeling paste to fill it and smooth it. however, the more detail in your design, the more you will want to go with a higher weight/density to avoid compromising your design with sanding errors.

Abear’s got it covered.

Getting close to finishing.



like i mentioned about the acrylic paste. It works really well over hdu and on the ends of mdf for filling pores. The only way i have used it so far is by skim coating with my finger trying to not leave any texture with it. I will be trying to thin it out soon and spray it to see if it gives good results. It saves a lot of prime time. If you were to try that route, do it on a test piece first of course to not mess up that beauty.



what is the white material? polystyrene?

Yes, different thicknesses of sheet styrene.

Ready for paint and assembly.


Holy cow that looks amazing. You said you did the wings in easel? Can you explain how you did that?

Just multiple layers, Frank. I spent a little extra time setting up the file in Illustrator.

So glad not to have to warm up the etch tank and expose a resist for a one-off.


that’s about it for this one. The client wants to paint it. Anyone who has been around wargaming miniatures in the US may have heard of Jennifer Haley. Super great honor to have her paint something I made. Can’t wait to see what she does.