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Thrifty Modellers


Tentacles
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I'm sure I'm not the only Britmodeller with short arms & deep pockets. What are your thrifty modelling hacks? Mine:

- blunt no.11 blades: superglue applicators

- shiny packaging cardboard: glue pallette

- plastic containers for soft cheese and such: thick plasticard for reinforcing unseen areas... and of course storage for sub-assemblies

 

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I've got an old No. 11 Xacto blade with a broken tip that I use for superglue. I put a drop on the blade and using an old sewing needle with the eye cut mostly off, I apply small drop of CA to where I need it. After the CA has set hard on the blade, I use another old blade to scrape the glue off for reuse later.

 

 

 

Chris

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I'm currently recycling plastic shot glasses, which I use for mixing paint/thinners, either leaving them to dry, then using them again regardless of what was in them, or giving them a good clean with IPA 99%.  Mostly because they seem to be stupidly overpriced online or just not available in my usual places (Tesco) at the moment.  Not something I'm willing to go hunting around town centre shops for either...

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2 hours ago, RobL said:

I'm currently recycling plastic shot glasses, which I use for mixing paint/thinners,

Be careful - plastics vary. I recently had placed some Mr Hobby self levelling thinner in a robust looking plastic tub. All seemed well, and I left it overnight (with a cover). Next morning I found it had eaten through the plastic and leaked onto the workbench. Fortunately no other serious damage.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

8 hours ago, dogsbody said:

After the CA has set hard on the blade, I use another old blade to scrape the glue off for reuse later.

 

 

I use a lighter to burn it off

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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Not sure what you call them, but pills are packaged in a flexible plastic container housing the tablet under a foil lid. After pulling the foil off, the plastic bit makes an ideal palette with small chambers for mixing paints and thinners. Ideal for oils for figure painting or washes for weathering.

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29 minutes ago, ckw said:

Be careful - plastics vary. I recently had placed some Mr Hobby self levelling thinner in a robust looking plastic tub. All seemed well, and I left it overnight (with a cover). Next morning I found it had eaten through the plastic and leaked onto the workbench. Fortunately no other serious damage.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

I use a lighter to burn it off

 

Cheers

 

Colin

 

 

Yeah I don't use lacquer thinners in them, not for long at least.  Had exactly what happened to you happen once myself, although I left it outside so it wasn't an issue.  The shot glass was a shrivelled up melted mess.

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My favourite bargain is a plastic box of cotton buds - usually 50p or less from the supermarket.

 

Of course the cotton buds themselves have many uses, but in addition, the plastic used for the box does not react with superglue ... I use the lid to pour out a small pool from the Pound store tubes, and it remains viable for a considerable time. You can use it for other glues and paints as well. And the box itself is a handy size for putting things in. Perhaps the most value for money in modelling!

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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Ocado spice jars (and many others no doubt) have a hinged lid that reveals a cap with round holes in.

Ideal when empty for standing paint brushes in whatever fluid you desire.

 

I find one with a brush or cotton bud inserted in airbrush cleaner is handy for nozzle/needle tip cleaning.

 

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A few that I've used over the years:

 

Rigid sanding sticks using wet'n'dry glued to lolly sticks. Just sand the sticks flat first.

 

Micro chisels made from cheap and nasty jewellers' screwdrivers. Grind to shape using a Dremel (or similar) and a cut-off disc.

 

Glue and paint mixing palettes using old plastic milk or fruit juice bottle caps. Pringles lids can be useful for mixing  or decanting glue too and being flexible, it's easy to remove the dried glue for reuse.

 

Plastic takeaway containers are useful for the storage of parts, tools and decals. Just make sure you've thoroughly removed any traces of the vindaloo that previously inhabited it!

 

Spice jars for the storage of thinners and cleaning solutions for immediate use.

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The blister packaging that contact lenses come in. Perfect for when a small drop of paint is needed for detail painting.

 

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Also the cases that are used to store and clean contact lenses overnight are good for storage of small parts, or for paints.

 

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5 hours ago, ckw said:

I use a lighter to burn it off

I'm not a chemist, but isn't there a danger that you could liberate cyanide?

 

As for thrifty tips, the plastic inserts from boxes of chocolates make great paint palettes. As do the plastic bits from any small blister packs.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Macsporran said:

Not sure what you call them, but pills are packaged in a flexible plastic container housing the tablet under a foil lid. After pulling the foil off, the plastic bit makes an ideal palette with small chambers for mixing paints and thinners. Ideal for oils for figure painting or washes for weathering.

Yes!  Me too!  Ideal for a little puddle of superglue and a small amount of talcum powder, perfect for mixing as a filler. 

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The lids of margarine tubs ('scrape' as my dad used to call the stuff) is very useful if you have a homemade (or bought, I suppose, but that wouldn't be thrifty) vac forming codge up like I made. The lids vac form very nicely and are ideal, at least I find, for , undercarriage doors and the like. Less good for clear parts of course but THAT'S where clear plastic boxes that Christmas cards often come in, as well as sundry other things. Not all clear plastic works, and the results can be a bit thin, for better or worse. 

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7 hours ago, Mr Bowcat said:

The blister packaging that contact lenses come in. Perfect for when a small drop of paint is needed for detail painting.

 

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Have a pile of those as mrs fatfingers is a contacts user. As you say they are perfect for small amounts of paint 👍

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Some of the items I've saved from the trash over the years.

 

50007040956_2b54bd45aa_c.jpg

 

On the left is a small glass. I have no idea of it's original use. It was in a box of stuff the wife wanted tossed. I saw and saved.

Next, the lower cup is the cover off some spritzer bottle one of my daughters uses. Something make-uppy, I think.

Acove that, I have no idea now.

Nest are three small thin jar-like items and their screw-on covers. Again, something make-uppy from my youngest daughter ( I have 3 girls ).

 

These are great for mixing paint.

 

 

 

Chris

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Another vote for the pill packaging (sure sign of our demographic) for small reservoirs of thinner grades of superglue… Pop them back out with the end of a paintbrush and attach with double sided tape to a card base…

best,

M.

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54 minutes ago, cmatthewbacon said:

(sure sign of our demographic)

😆 Probably something to do with all the vodka shots & pies we've obviously been having. I'm sure I remember reading on here about someone doing something clever with metal sheet sourced from a beer can....

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31 minutes ago, Tentacles said:

😆 Probably something to do with all the vodka shots & pies we've obviously been having. I'm sure I remember reading on here about someone doing something clever with metal sheet sourced from a beer can....

You need to burn or sand off the coating on the inside; it shrugs off paint !

best,

M.

😜

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Caps from plastic bottles are excellent for mixing/thinning water-soluble acrylics. Also for small batches of epoxy.

 

The vacuum lids from coffee cans are an excellent building material source. 6 mils, easily cut, hold their shape.

JRP-slats15.jpg

The raw material is shown above with slats for my 1/48 Lysander

 

I use some stainless steel cups from the art store for mixing solvent paints; they clean readily. I use one the bottom of an upside-down cup for CA; scrape or burn hardened CA to clear.

 

Popsicle, a.k.a., craft sticks, make good painting fixtures. Wrap some masking tape around the stick with the sticky side out and attach flat parts to the tape. Peel the tape when done. You can also drill holes in the wood for items with shafts.


Carry-out food trays and their lids are used for holding small parts and assemblies. 

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