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Paul Wilsford
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Modeling on the cheap

January 7, 2016 · in How-to · · 11 · 1.1K

I have always been looking to get hobby and modeling supplies with out paying out the nose with internet prices being what they are so I thought I would share some of the things that I buy and use exclusively.
You may recognize some of them and I doubt that our friends from over seas may have such things available to them but maybe they have it by a different name.

One of the many products that we all use at one time or another is good ole Extra thin cement. This comes in a 40ml bottle and usually runs from 4 to 7 dollars depending on where you are. This is a mixture of MEK, TCE and other chemicals of which I can not remember right now. Now here is a product that has the same chemicals (solvents) that is in the Tamiya product but at 118 ml and $2.00 a bottle is a better bargain all around. Beauty secrets fingernail polish thinner. The operative word here is thinner and not remover.

This stuff goes into the empty Tamiya bottle and you have about three times the use from one bottle that you have with the Tamiya product. The only time I buy the Tamiya stuff is when I need a new applicator brush.

The next product is something a watch maker friend of mine turned me on too last year and I find it a grand substitute for Tenax and Plas-T-Weld.

This stuff comes in all sizes and viscosities. It is just as hot as Tenax and the other but with a 4 oz. can you get almost forever use out of. Scigrip Weld-On #3 very fast set and I mean very fast set. Mine came with an applicator bottle but that bottle is for more of an industrial application.

I took Same said friends advice and bought a better set of tweezers of which I paid about $15.00 shipped from eBay. They are the surgical and jewelers type and came in a nifty storage case.

It has all kinds of uses here.

The next item are sanding sticks. I get mine from the same beauty supply store that I buy my "Xtra Thin" from and they run about one to two dollars less than model designated sanding sticks.

These come in all kinds of grit sizes from real coarse to extra fine and you can even get some chamois buffing ones that I use for polishing canopies. I understand that there may be a need to get into fine and small areas so I just get the mini sanding sticks from Flex-i-file or Alpha Abrasives.

I needed a new set of saw blades that I can use for any resin so RB productions had this set at Sprue Brothers at a good price. The only reason I don't cut up those nail boards is because I have no safe way to do so but I am content to buy from other souses.
The saw blades fit in a small Xacto handle or you can buy a set of pe handles that are proprietary to the saw blades.

There you have it. All in a nut shell. If you have any things that you use to cut the cost of the hobby bill or anything that may be a handy item please share, we would be grateful to hear of it.

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11 responses

  1. Great info, Paul!

    For sanding, you can also wrap various grits of sandpaper around popsicle sticks or small dowels to get into tight areas. Sanding blocks can be made from pieces of 1/2 inch thick pine board cut to whatever size you need.

  2. I agree, gret info. But if you dont mind, I'd add some more items to your list:
    Toilet paper - for cleaning brushes etc.
    CA glue instead of putty. (sandable to perfection after 15 minutes after applying)
    Small drillbits

  3. Disposable shot glasses for mixing your paint in (Acrylic only)

  4. ...and while you're in that "beauty supply" store, pick up a set of those white cotton gloves - great for handling NMF applications as well as keeping those oily fingerprints off your work.

  5. I also get my Q-tips there and even the pointy ones there are also makeup sponges and the like. The girl at the counter calls the store "Sally's beauty and model supply" I am not the only one that goes there for that stuff.
    I send a lot of people there too.

  6. Yeah, while you guys are hanging around ladies cosmetic shops, supposedly saving money, some of us are at home making models, and keeping the model companies in business! Just another point of view...

  7. Paul, thanks for the tips. Every little bit helps, and hobby shops are getting to be avia raris a lot of places.

  8. So, where do you get the Scigrip Weld On 3?

    Thanks for some good information, particularly the Scigrip and the nail polish thinner.

  9. you can get the weldon through eBay or a local plastics supplier and the thinner through Sally's beauty supply, Tom.

  10. Are you sure about the chemistry of Tamiya Extra thin? My bottle says it contains acetone and butyl acetate. No MEK or TCE. The MSDS sheet confirms this.

  11. I like the way you think Paul. Oh the goodies I have found at the 99 cent store. Warning to Men!. Do not use your wife's bowls for mixing anything. ... Ever! That said. Thanks for the great modeling tips.
    California Steve

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