Using Household Products for Model Building
After 50 years of model building I have learned about household products that can be used for hobby purposes.  Here's a bit of a list:
    Gauze is good for camouflage netting.
  • Oven cleaner removes paint from plastic models, test a spot first!
  • MinWax wood stain is a good sealant for army men, painted or not.
  • Dixie Cups are good for mixing paints and glues and such.
  • Makeup brushes are good for dusting off dusty models.
  • BBQ skewers are good for mixing and applying paint and glue, as are toothpicks.
  • Plastic bags can hold troops and model parts.
  • Plastic boxes are good for troop storage, get them at the dollar store or even as take home food containers from restaurants.
  • A nut cracker can be used to open jars of paint that are stuck.
  • Cotton balls can be used as smoke or fire in a wargame.
  • Fabric dye can be used to dye cotton balls or gauze; cotton balls red for fire, black for burning vehicles; gauze green for camouflage nets.
  • Aluminum foil can be used to protect surfaces and to mix epoxy glue.
  • Guitar strings can be used to pin together figure parts when making conversions.
  • Used tooth brushes can be run through the dishwasher and then used to clean model parts.
  • Dental tools are great for poking holes in soft plastic and scribing  plastic.
  • Wax paper can be used to protect work surfaces from paint and oven cleaner.
  • Fingernail clippers can cut model parts off the sprue.
  • Fingernail files and sanding sticks can be used to file and sand model parts.
  • White glue is good for holding turf flocking down on a base.
  • Cutting mats sold in fabric shops for cutting fabric make great cutting boards for model building.
  • Us a nylon parts cleaning brush and make radio antennas; cut each individual bristle out and use them for radio antennas on vehicles.
  • Cake decorations can make columns on buildings.
  • Place a blank price sticker on the tops of paint jars and write the name and stock number of the top.
  • Lead fishing sinkers can be glued into the nose of airplanes to hold the single front landing gear on the ground.

    Eye protection is essential whenever you are cutting, sanding or using nasty chemicals.  Read all product directions and be careful with sharp pointy things.  Many times the hobby version of these items is the same as the home version, and often the hobby version is more expensive. 

  • Next time you visit you local dollar store or supermarket you can slip a few hobby products into the shopping cart without fear from she who shall be obeyed!

  • Mike Bunkermeister Creek
  • Household products for modellingModel building

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