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INSPIRED THINKING- Cheap Tips for Frugal Modelers


62rebel
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just wanted to say I really like the truck and trailer

Thank you, but I can't take credit for the truck, it is a NewRay 1/32 scale diecast! ;) I just wanted something pretty to pull the AMT reefer kit.

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For detailing small to large parts, I find sometimes using toothpicks and Q-tips work as backup incase yer almost out of brushes. For example: using toothpicks for black window tirm, emblems and badges, interior tirm and etc. And using Q-tips for applying future, for use of emergaency brush painting matraial, ans more.

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Pam cooking spray also works good for a cheap mold release agent. I think I picked a can of the Walmart brand cooking spray for maybe a dollar or two.

One more cheap trick from my file, aluminum foil and a spray on glue works nicely for cheap BMF, especially if you are doing large areas like I did on the side and roof of this trailer.

HPIM1580.jpg

Here's the glue I used for it.

HPIM1578.jpg

The nice thing with using aluminum foil, especially in this case, is you have a choice of two finishes, I used the shiny side for the side walls and the dull side for the roof. I did learn, since that was my first attempt using aluminum foil, make sure to coat the foil evenly with the glue, I didn't do that on the roof and sprayed it a little too thin, and the foil bubbled where I didn't have enough glue sprayed on it. WHOOPS!!! ;)

HPIM1576.jpg

WOW! That trailer looks good!! That trick looks like a good alternitive to buying 10 packs of BMF to foil a large aera. Guess I should give the craft bond stuff a try next time I stop at Michaels, along with packing up a huge dollar pack of foil at the supermarket.

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only cheap trick that comes to my mind would be using plastic packagin material (from a box or grapes or batteries or you name it) to replicate glass

i've never tried polishing it out but im sure a little polish and maybe some future will make it look good as new

applied straight frim the box it looks like lexan

HPIM0023.jpg

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Ok, heres MY cheap tip......go to the hardware store, Ace, Home Depot, Menards.....whatever you got, and get a 3/8"X2" stovebolt, a washer, and a nut. About $1.00 total. Put a tire on the stovebolt, then the washer, then the nut, finger tight. Chuck this up in a 3/8" drill and you have a dandy little tire sanding tool. The taper of the stovebolt centers the tire. Some tires are too big, but this works on most of them.

imag0002-10.jpg

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i made a tire sander from some all thread, a couple of nuts and washers and tape wrapped around the all thread. it's cheap and crude but it's very effective :lol: i think it was Envious8420? that posted that tip? chucked into my drill press it makes sanding tires fun and easy.

I think you're right, Dave; it was envious8420 who posted it. I agree the drill press is the best way, as it's one less thing to hold while doing the job....much easier and lots safer to boot.

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For masking, I have many times found that Scotch Magic Tape works really well. Apply it to curved or rounded areas and cut with a sharp Xacto knife - the paint build up at the edges of the tape is next to nothing and usually, even in 1/24 1/25 scale, it is something that can be lived with. For masking irregular surfaces such as vertical lines on a semi trailer, it doesn't work too well but as long as the surfaces are basically smooth, it does the job. I even use it when painting 1:1 vehicles for painting on stripes or masking things where you can not have a paint build up on the edges. I have used it to replicate factory stripes that were obliterated in the accident and you couldn't tell the difference from what I applied and the striping that remained on the vehicle. Regular masking tape is too thick for some jobs but the scotch tape is very thin and works wonders, especially if you need straight, crisp edges and lines.

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I think you're right, Dave; it was envious8420 who posted it. I agree the drill press is the best way, as it's one less thing to hold while doing the job....much easier and lots safer to boot.

yes and I use a small very fine mill file instead of sanding paper unless i want a dirt look but a bit of chalk dust sanded from colored chalk stick and brushed on the tire tread

will do as much weathering as you need white chalk for white gravel is a bit bright till i rub it in with my finger the oil in the tire darkens it fast.

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Ok, heres MY cheap tip......go to the hardware store, Ace, Home Depot, Menards.....whatever you got, and get a 3/8"X2" stovebolt, a washer, and a nut. About $1.00 total. Put a tire on the stovebolt, then the washer, then the nut, finger tight. Chuck this up in a 3/8" drill and you have a dandy little tire sanding tool. The taper of the stovebolt centers the tire. Some tires are too big, but this works on most of them.

imag0002-10.jpg

B)

simple...

therefore....

brilliant...

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  • 4 months later...

i bought four of those cheap led yard lights from Wally World a couple of weeks back from their clearance bins, only to find that they throw just about enough light to imitate a lightning bug in it's death throes.... well; these were the red and white striped ones with cylindrical blue tops. the tube on each pops loose easily and measures 11/16ths OD, 1/2" ID, and 7" long. they fit snugly into Monogram Nascar tires and might fit a multitude of requirements for scratchbuilding.

as a bonus, there's a mighty formidable looking spike that comes with each one. they cost about a buck and a half each and might be less on clearance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

well; color me wrong yet again.... i tried to cement some of this stuff to some styrene and apparently it's some unidentifiable polymer that won't react to MEK or CA glue...... you'd have to mechanically connect this junk to whatever to make it work.

anyways; in my search for round plastic i hit the coin tubes in the LHS.... they're made of styrene and cement easily using tube glue, MEK, or CA, and can be cut with normal scribing method or razor saw, and they sand easily. the only drawback to them is that they're only a couple of inches long each. if you need longer tubes i suppose Evergreen is the only source.

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Another idea, if you've got some laying around (god knows I do, especially for the multitude of migraines I get), but the little bottles of equate brand acetaminophen (500mg 10tab tube) makes for some good tubing as well- just cut below the screw cap and above the rounded off bottom and you've got yourself a nice little 2" long 3/4" diameter tube that's about... I'd like to say 0.4 gauge thick? I don't have a way to measure the gauge exactly but I've used this method for the dio I'm working on.

Of course, I wouldn't go out buying tons of these little mini bottles just for parts use, but if you've got 'em lying around...

Also, medicine bottles work wonders in a pinch.

-Rob

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  • 3 years later...
  • 7 months later...

While getting a good deal seems like a good idea, it is also contributes to the shutting down of your LHS.  As a small business owner I prefer to support other small businesses VS big box stores

While i understand your perspective concerning the tone of the OP's post; i believe the heart of the thread is aimed at re-purposing otherwise under-utilized, unused or throwaway consumables and materials that may not even have a commercially-available equivalent, or may work BETTER THAN what is available down at the LHS, For that, kudos to all of you for your ingenuity. i think for most, and definitely for me, it is a time-honored tradition of model building in general to pack-rat away this or that because it looks like it may be useful one day, or to look at something in the cosmetics aisle of your grocer or in the adhesives aisle of the hardware store and say to yourself " I wonder if that would work for....x?".        

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While getting a good deal seems like a good idea, it is also contributes to the shutting down of your LHS.  As a small business owner I prefer to support other small businesses VS big box stores

It's not the fault of the customers who "don't support the LHS". I'm sick of that kind of thinking. How much does the LHS sell 1/2 oz bottles of Testors enamel paint for? $3.99 is about the going rate in my area. I pay $5.49 for 8oz of Rustoleum. 

Testors per OZ= $7.98

Rustoleum per OZ= $0.69

Here's another,

Testors thinner and brush cleaner 1.75 oz= $3.98 or $2.27 per oz

Typical hardware store low odor mineral spirits 1 gal=  $9.92 or $0.08 per oz

These are only 2 tiny examples of the multitude of overpriced hobby specific items. And are true apples to apples comparisons. But in my opinion the Rustoleum brand is superior in every way to Testors. Rustoleum dries much faster. the plain mineral spirits also work better than Testors thinner and brush cleaner, in any of the forms testors markets it.

So let me get this straight I'm the one trying to get over on my LHS?  I will support my LHS for certain items but not when I know the price is over inflated.

In mass production packaging differences do not come anywhere close to making up the differences in these two examples, and while I understand it isn't the LHS that sets the price these are the products they offer. It's false economy to buy products so grossly over priced.

Edited by dshue76
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I for one appreciate this thread.  great stuff, especially for those of us that have no hobby shops to even go to 

hell I haven't seen a good hobby shop since the late nineties. every body went radio control .

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's not the fault of the customers who "don't support the LHS". I'm sick of that kind of thinking. How much does the LHS sell 1/2 oz bottles of Testors enamel paint for? $3.99 is about the going rate in my area. I pay $5.49 for 8oz of Rustoleum. 

Testors per OZ= $7.98

Rustoleum per OZ= $0.69

Here's another,

Testors thinner and brush cleaner 1.75 oz= $3.98 or $2.27 per oz

Typical hardware store low odor mineral spirits 1 gal=  $9.92 or $0.08 per oz

These are only 2 tiny examples of the multitude of overpriced hobby specific items. And are true apples to apples comparisons. But in my opinion the Rustoleum brand is superior in every way to Testors. Rustoleum dries much faster. the plain mineral spirits also work better than Testors thinner and brush cleaner, in any of the forms testors markets it.

So let me get this straight I'm the one trying to get over on my LHS?  I will support my LHS for certain items but not when I know the price is over inflated.

In mass production packaging differences do not come anywhere close to making up the differences in these two examples, and while I understand it isn't the LHS that sets the price these are the products they offer. It's false economy to buy products so grossly over priced.

I agree with 100% of this post! I putt down to the LHS's for certain kits and paints (the latter mainly Tamiya) no other retailer has. But it is wise to find alternatives modeling paint/tools at the big retailers and hardwares stores, which are cheaper for more quantity and in most cases, provide the same results as the 5x priced speicalty hobby brand that is of lesser quantity. For example, if Tamiya gray primer if near $20 for just ONE 6oz friggin can and Quick and Easy brand primer sold at K-mart is $3.00 for a 12 oz, I could get six cans at the same price for one can of Tamiya primer and not only have more to last than one body but the Q/E is the best primer i've ever used and always lays down smooth. 

Edited by RickRollerLT1
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Funny thing. I have found out that Rustoleum in fact makes Testors enamels...

Actually the parent company, RPM owns both brands (and many more). They most likely are produced in separate factories using totally different formulas.

Here is a list of all the brands they own: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPM_International

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As noted in my thread, http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/114429-lindberg-1934-roadster-wip/ , I repurpose all sorts of items. The referenced link even shows what you can do with a Bic pen cap. 

Quick and easy window tinting can be made using a tiny drop of food coloring in a bit of Future (Pledge Floor Care, clear acrylic coating). Even works to tint chrome. A little more food coloring and you can do your lens colors for tail lights, markers, turn signals.

The cheap craft paints that dry flat and a bit powdery? I mix with Future as well. I can vary the mix slightly to get a semi- or gloss finish, and it doesn't rub off with a finger.  I find it most useful for doing interiors.

Adhesive backed moleskin padding (like you would use in your shoe where it rubs) makes  pretty good carpeted floor mats, I color them with sharpies, easy to cut to fit. Might even work under the hood.

I've used the pantyhose trick, but I got an even better deal from a clearance bin on fabric book covers. I have a few in the parts bin, and one on the bench to experiment with making a ragtop. Based on the fairly good results I got from using paper to make a ragtop for one build, I'm going to try something similar ( using less water) to form and stiffen the fabric into the right shape.

I look for potential in almost everything, to see what detail it can add to a project. 

And while I do support my LHS, there are things they just don't carry. 

 

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