Tuesday 27 May 2014

Cheap materials & tricks for modelling


I have decided to start this page as an ongoing record of modelling materials that I have used to enhance or "cheat" effects that would normally cost a small fortune on the after-market scene of this hobby. I envisage that the majority of the materials and ideas that I put on here will be something that I have learned to use myself or something that I have learned from friends who are happy to share with the world. In either case In either case I hope that you find some of these ideas helpful to you:

Figure & parts holders 

To open my page of cheap "get arounds" I thought I would start with the humble crocodile picture clip. I bought a pack of three from Ikea for under £4 and you can get them in loads of different places. They are designed for placing small photographs in the clips and using them on office desks etc. They are basically a crocodile clip with some steel wire clamped onto them and that is in turn set into a clear resin block. They are ideal for holding 1/35 figures securely in place to paint and to place them to one side to allow to dry. if you look at the build log pictures of my various 1/35 dios on this web site, you will see them employed in many of the photos.

The soft drinks can

The humble drinks can is a fantastic source of good quality aluminium sheet that has a variety of uses in modelling. I have used this to various degrees in many of my models. an example of its use is my humvee conversion where I used the foil in making the new roof section as shown in the picture. As far as advice in using soda cans is concerned; flush the can out with clean water a few times before cutting them open. Use a sharp scissors to puncture the can at the top and bottom so that you can cut it length ways up the side and them cut around the top and bottom of the can. This will leave you with a good size aluminium sheet that can be simply flattened out by placing it into an old heavy book and leaving it there for a week or so. its pre painted so a little roughing up of the surface with some emery followed by a coat of primer will give you a fantastic surface to paint onto.

Lazy Susan

This is brilliant for spraying models. Another Ikea purchase at £5.50. because its made from pine you can screw any type of clip or holder to it and then rotate the model to your hearts content to ensure that you get even coverage. I believe the Tamiya equivalent is around the £20 mark and is half the size, made from not very good plastic and the bearings used in it to rotate the disc are not up to much. I'd take the ikea version every time

Ikea Storage boxes

Again another fantastic product from our friends at Ikea. This time its a 3 pack of storage boxes called "Glis" in their product range and can be purchased for £1.50 for a pack of three!!!  I have loads of these things as they are great for storing long term projects or figures to keep them safe from harm or damage. They will comfortably hold a 120mm figure or a smaller 1/35 vehicle complete such as a willys jeep or Kubelwagen. Well worth the purchase price.

More tips n tricks as I find them 

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