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Review of Taskboard Modelling Board

Moldable Board for Curved Model Shapes

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Basswood or lightly bleached taskboard shown adjacent to a piece of basswood craft strip.

Basswood colored taskboard shown next to a section of basswood craft wood.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Taskboard™ is an interesting product for modellers. Neither an illustration board, mat board, or cardboard, taskboard slightly resembles all three, but has the unique ability to be shaped in curves, or impressed when it has been dampened. Designed primarily for building models and structural shapes, Taskboard is sold in two colors, one designed to resemble basswood, sometimes sold as 'natural' taskboard, which makes it easy to insert into craft wood models. Made from non aligned wood fibers, Taskboard has a slightly uneven, pulpy texture reminiscent of old fashioned blotting paper.

Advantages of Taskboard Over Regular Illustration Boards

  • Taskboard in the thinner weights cuts easily with scissors, making it more useable by children than illustration boards or bookboard which need a craft knife.
  • Small pieces of Taskboard can easily be delaminated when damp, to split the taskboard down to thinner sheets if required.
  • Taskboard will take impressions and can be embossed when damp. It works best if spray dampened and then clamped between flat boards with the object to be impressed. (see photo below)
  • Damp Taskboard can be curved and molded over shapes making it useful for making curves, columns and other parts for miniature and model buildings and settings. Wrapping it around dowels will allow you to form basic columns or tubes for example.

As Taskboard is made from wood fibers it is not acid neutral. Care should be taken to seal it properly to protect adjacent materials from acidity. (Why You Should Use Acid Free Materials.) Any impressed areas or curves should be coated with a sealant or paint after they are thoroughly dry, to help hold the impression on the board. If left unsealed, damp conditions may cause the board to delaminate or change shape.

Thicknesses and Types of Taskboard

Basswood taskboard shaped into a tight curve around a small wooden tool handle.

"Basswood" Taskboard curved around the handle of an embossing tool.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Taskboard is sold in several common thicknesses, with thinner boards used for curves while sturdier walls or suports for model buildings can be made from the matching 1/8 inch board. Available in 1/32, 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8 inch thick boards, the boards are sold in various sized pieces similar to matboard. Only the 1/32 and 1/16 thicknesses can be easily shaped. The 1/8 inch material is not reccomended for curves. The finish on the two colors of taskboard is slightly different. The white taskboard has a smoother finish and is recommended for projects with shaped curves. Basswood colored task board can delaminate or 'flake' on tight curves more easily, something I noticed during my testing of the basswood colored sheet I purchased.

Where Can I Find Taskboard?

Taskboard which has been impressed with a design using a scrapbooking embellishment.

A section of taskboard which has been dampened and impressed using a metal scrapbooking embellishment.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

You can find Taskboard at online and local art stores including Dick Blick Buy Direct

Check the size and thickness of the board offered carefully before ordering as the thicker taskboard cannot be easily molded into curves. Prices range from $3 to $10 per sheet depending on thickness and color.

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