Ordinary Items for Hobby Use V


Get little glass jars like this from craft stores or dollar stores.  They are perfect for mixing tiny batches of custom paint.  I needed a particular shade of orange but only a small amount of it.  So using an eye dropper, I added a couple drops of red, and a couple drops of orange, and some clear orange to create the perfect shade of paint with about ten drops.  It was enough to paint about twenty figures in HO scale.  The tiny jar means the paint sits deep in the jar and stays liquid, rather than be too shallow and dry out.


This is a pancake syrup jar about three inches tall that a local restaurant chain uses.  It is perfect for decanting spray paint.  Spray the paint into the jar and the gas vents outward rather than splashing into a shorter jar.  And it's free.  I even have a couple friends who save them for me.

Use plastic gloves on your hands and keep your face away from the jar when decanting spray paint.  Keep the jar lid tight and it will last for months.  Perfect when you want to touch up a spot you missed on a model you sprayed.

jar yellow tape

Take some blue tape and put it on the jar so you can write down what spray paint it contains.

blue tape

The blue tape is great because you can remove it without damaging most surfaces.  And you can write on it.  And it's sold almost everywhere. 


I got a whole stack of these plastic trays at a dollar store.  It's only about 1x1 inch square, but it's perfect for keeping little model bits corralled until you can put them together.  Cut a machine gun or a hatch off the sprue and rather than leave it on the desk, put it in a tray to keep from losing it.


Cotton swaps, I buy the 750 pack, off-brand and they last for years.  I use them to remove wet paint that may have been applied in error, or even as a paint brush depending on the effect I want.  Wet them with water and use them to gently move decals around before they set up.


My wife saves our old toothbrushes for hobby use.  Run them through the dishwasher and they are nice and clean and fresh.  Then use them as brushes to clean models.  I use them mostly for brushing off loose paint when I am paint stripping a model to repaint.

One of the nice things about many of these products is that they are repurposing items that would otherwise get thrown away.  They get a new life and they are free.

More hobby tips coming soon.

Thanks for reading.

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Mike Bunkermeister Creek

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