Sunday 5 November 2023

Shein products for model making review


I should start this by explaining that my wife owns her own nail salon and has for a number of years ordered the stock to be delivered to our home address rather than her work address to give the best chance of actually receiving the goods when someone is there for delivery. This means that I get to see what she has ordered while she unpacks everything to check that its all there. Its on one of these occasions that I see a number of products designed and sold by Shein for the beauty industry that I realised could be quite useful to model makers. After a brief look at the pricing of these items I immediately opened the laptop and started to create a shopping list of lots of items that I thought could prove useful to me. Well I have received all of these goods and I thought I would write a combined review page of what they are, how much they cost and most importantly how they compare against the products that I have bought from the model making industry that cost significantly more:

X50 pack of detail brushes. Cost £1.50


Yes they are clear with pink sparkly bits! Yes they are designed for nail technicians in nail salons to use for detail work on nail designs. However; lets be honest here. Does that really matter as you don't generally include all of the paints and equipment alongside the model that you made with them! Before purchasing these I used to buy x20 Army painter brand disposable detail brushes for significantly more money that I paid for x50 of these. 

In terms of quality and performance I would say that these are most definitely on par with Army painter and when I eventually use up my supply I will most definitely purchase another packet. Now please don't mis-understand and think that I am describing these brushes to be of the highest possible quality on par with some of the best artist brushes money can buy; they are not! These brushes are useful in the sense that you won't be afraid to throw them directly into the recycling bin once they lose their crisp point. You won't be afraid to use one to blend intricate colour details on a face or uniform and worry about damaging it. You won't be concerned with using one to apply a pinpoint amount of superglue for a photo-etch part thereby ensuring that in 60 seconds time its useless for anything else. As a multi-purpose brush that can satisfy the model maker for the most intricate detail painting or for the most mundane tasks that are normally reserved for a brush that has seen better days; you can't do much better than 50 of them for £1.50. 

100 piece sanding disc set. Cost £4.75

As you have probably deduced from the above images, this set is designed for filing away those hard earned callouses from long days standing on your feet. They are however fantastic for a mini-grinder that so many of us use. The flat face means that we can mount these into the machine and use as a mini sanding disc for those parts that need material removed but you always seem to hand file in a contour that you didn't want to. They are also brilliant as quick sprue cut cleaners from parts and I recently used on some rubber tyres to remove the unsightly seam that runs along the centre. 

The quality of these discs are fantastic and I haven't managed to find a model making supplier that sells the equivalent of something like this. I can however say that I have tested on plastic, resin, rubber and bass/balsa wood and they perform brilliantly. I will also add that I am still using sanding disc number 1 leaving 99 of the set unused so I don't think I'll be needing to purchase another set soon.

x100 Piece mascara wands. Cost £2.75

These on first glance have no real use for model making however I quickly realised that these are outstanding for cleaning the cups of your airbrush both during quick colour changes and also on final clean-ups. I have also used them for giving models a gentle scrub before painting and I have also used them for mixing larger volumes of paint for washes etc. They are stiff enough to "do the job" whilst gentle enough to not damage any of parts/models for the uses that I have already stated. They are also manufactured to a very good standard so you can be assured that you won't experience bristle loss in paint or risk to your airbrush. They clean very easily and stand up to acetone, isopropyl alcohol and other thinners. Once they get a little too dirty the price for the volume that you have ensures that you feel very little guilt in throwing one away into the recycling bin and reaching for a new one. I am constantly finding new uses for this handy little brush while I am model making. The only thing that I can compare this brush to is the airbrush cleaning brush sets that are available from a multitude of manufacturers. I won't state that these are a 100% replacement to these sets as the sets come in a variety of sizes however I have found that the most used size brush from one of these sets is of comparable size to the eyebrow brush from shein. The only difference is that in order to replace the brush from the airbrush cleaning set you have to buy the complete set over again. The pack from Shein removes that annoyance for a very good price!

x300 Sanding bands. Cost £5

I'm sure that you are all familiar with these. They are available in various grades and quantities. I opted for a large pack of the most used grade of sandpaper that I use. Again these are of comparable quality to bands that I have purchased in the past from e-bay, amazon, model shops, hardware stores, etc. What I can also say is that this is the cheapest I have ever payed for so many bands. As a bonus these bands come supplied in a very sturdy storage case which I fully intend on keeping and using to store the multitude of unused model parts that we all seem to collect from kits and then promise ourselves that we will use in a kit bash of some sort. The added bonus with these bands is that they fitted the existing holder that I already have for my mini grinder. Shein also has variety packs available for similar prices as well as some pack coming with the sanding band holder if you don't already own one. 

Nail Push-backs. Cost 75p each

These I have been reliably informed by my wife are used by nail technicians to push-back your cuticles prior to removal and painting your fingernails. Of course I didn't buy these for that reason! I bought two of these to use for sculpting and ground work in dioramas. They are simply brilliant for smoothing, moving materials, etc. They have quickly become one of those tools that always seem to be used because of their versatility. I have cleaned them with everything from water to acetone with no reaction to the material. They are well built and feel good quality in the hand when using. The bonus is the handles are pink so your never going to lose them in with your other tools. They are not a replacement to the silicone shapers you can get from good quality art suppliers as they are made from a much harder material. They do however serve as a useful addition to your model making tools.

Nail Files/Sanding Sticks. Cost (varies per pack but always cheaper than other options)

I haven't included a price for the packs of these sticks as they seem to vary on the web-site but expect to pay anything from £3 to £10 dependant on the volume that you order. These again are manufactured to a very high quality and are available in various grades and most interestingly available as "buffing grade" which is essentially 


There's lots of other options for model making potential from this web-site and I'll keep adding to this review as I order and use them. The only down-side if you want to call it that is the minimum order for free postage however I am lucky in the sense that both my wife and daughter like to order from Shein from time to time so I tend to keep a shopping list of the things that I want and then add to their order to ensure the free postage. The quality is in some instances not comparable to model making suppliers but the cost difference in some cases is significant and outweighs the difference in quality. I use a cheap "clone" airbrush for priming and groundwork use and when that gives up the ghost I also intend on buying one of these from Shein as well. The hobby is getting ever more expensive and if we can save money on consumables then why not? 

I hope that you found this review useful and as always I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with these products.

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