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Hobby shops that aren't

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Hobby shops that aren't
Posted by upnorth on Monday, July 7, 2003 10:26 AM
From reading FSM for several years and now the comments on this forum, one thing about us modelers becomes crystal clear: if ever there was a resourceful batch of people, we're it!Cool [8D]

Do any of you find the cost of hobby tools in proper hobby shops to be a bit over the top compared to equivalent tools not marketed specifically to the hobby available in other places?

Sure, you could buy some special little purpose made spring clamp in a hobby shop at say, 1 for 10 dollars, or you could by a bag of clothes pins and a couple of mouse traps at a local department store that could do the job of that clamp at half the cost.

Have you noticed the cost difference between CA glue marketed to the hobby specifically versus what you can get in a hardware store? You can get thin or thick CA and even gel CA usually at a very favourable cost to hobby specific brands and they work just as well.

Sanding tools: why spend five dollars on a hobby specific tri grit sanding stick when you can get a larger one for two bucks in the nail care section of your local drug store?

So many times I've been in a non hobby shop looking for non hobby things, yet still seeing things that I can apply so easily to the hobby that could cut costs and save a trip halfway across town to the hobby shop when all I wanted was a sanding stick or some CA glue.

So, what sort of hobby supplies do you find outside of hobby shops?


Here's just a short list of non hobby shops that serve my hobby.

Electronics shops: wires and solder to replicate plumbing in engines and landing gear, small electronic components that are often a near perfect mimic for a structure on the real thing.

Fishing shops: light guage fishing line is great for wire antennas on WWII aircraft, casting weights come in a wide variety of sizes and are very good aircraft nose weights.

Music shops: piano and guitar strings are perfect for mimicing hoses that have ridged surfaces.

Pet shops: aquarium air line fittings come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used to mimic many structures on real things, plastic aquarium plants can sometimes be used to mimic terestrial plants in dioramas.

Drug stores: the nail care section of a well stocked drug store will carry enough abrasive tools to keep even the best modeler happy.

Hardware stores, department stores and art supply shops: these places are virtual gold mines and the things they can supply that you can apply to the hobby with just a bit of imagination are far too numerous to mention.

So, what non hobby items have you found in non hobby shops and how did you apply them to the hobby.

Maybe we can save ourselves a whole wad of cash with a "bargain shopping" forum here!Big Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: UK
Posted by gregers on Monday, July 7, 2003 11:50 AM
Car accesory shops are good for all sorts of stuff like fillers, fiberglass for dioramas car spray paints isolator primer paint so the celulose in the spray paint wont melt the plastic . car tyre/tire shops have the stick on weights that are ment for aluminum wheels. office supply shops have letraset letters. bulldog and clips card stock and all sorts of other stuff i even bought a fiber tip pen once to use the outer casing as engine cowl for a 1/72 piper enforcer diy shops are good for masking tape, sand/glass paper plaster (for dioramas)...the list goes on and on...happy hunting...Greg
Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 5:54 AM
you are so right most of us are truely the resourceful bunch!!!! i have found that at
after careful testing some of the cheap paint's at discount store's works very well
and cost's about 1 to 2 dollars for a big can and sometimes can paint as many as
3 or 4 kit's or more depending on how big your project is which is a lot better then
1 or 2 kit's for $ 3.50 for a can 1/4 the size. i've taken old dried up paint dug it out of a bottle crushed it up into a fine powder then mixed it up with clean thinner and bingo
recycled paint that is just as good as the store there is so so much much more

thank you
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Cavite, Philippines
Posted by allan on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 10:32 AM
I got a few:

1. The candy store. The foil on some chocolate bars are great for seatbelts, canvass, and what-not;

2. The bookstore. Steel rulers, cutting mats and even knives; and

3. Get ready for this: The dental supply shop. Resin, molds, motor tool bits, and most of the hand tools (spatulas, probes and tweezers) you see in catalogues.

No bucks, no Buck Rogers

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Third rock from the sun.
Posted by Woody on Friday, September 19, 2003 8:38 PM
I have several medical supply catalogs and I have found many of the tools that we have come to think of as plastic model specialty tools are really surgical instruments! My tip of where to look for cheap hobby tools is Big Lots. I bought an 18 X 26 self healing mat for $7.99 and a pack of 10 spring loaded hobby clamps for $2.00 last weekend.Wink [;)]

" I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 19, 2003 9:27 PM
It always seems to me that Hobby Shop merchandise are always WAY overpriced. Why is that?

The only thing I buy at hobby shop is paints. I buy all other stuff from Ebay or hardware stores.

Who would spend $40 for one of those Tamiya drill sets when you can get one for $5 at a hardware store...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 19, 2003 10:02 PM
I like the example "paint" that someone posted the other day.
Can't recall which forum. Anyway, it was something along the lines that a small tin of paint cost about $.$$. If you figured it out ic came to over $500.00 a gallon. LOL!

James Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Foothills of Colorado
Posted by Hoser on Friday, September 19, 2003 10:41 PM
Try Harbor Freight Tools. DA IM airbrush for $15 (got one - works great), home spray booth - $60 (same deal, used it today), eBay; watch it, but there are deals. HTG, I just got 2 Paashe AB Turbo airbrushes for a little over a buck and a half, including shipping.
"Trust no one; even those people you know and trust." - Jack S. Margolis
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Third rock from the sun.
Posted by Woody on Friday, September 19, 2003 10:55 PM
Hoser what is the stock # for the paint booth?

" I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Foothills of Colorado
Posted by Hoser on Saturday, September 20, 2003 12:01 AM
Woods,

Stock or SKU # I have off mine is 44040. No match on the HFT website that I could find. Go to the Ft. Collins, CO outlet. There is one on the shelf. C'mon down. I'll put you up. Big Smile [:D]

P.S. If you really want one, I'll get it for you, just send me the cost + shipping + 110% Big Smile [:D] Kidding. But if you do 1:32 aircraft, they won't fit. But a lot better than Badgers $250 + or Paasche (don't even go there) Let me know.
"Trust no one; even those people you know and trust." - Jack S. Margolis
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Third rock from the sun.
Posted by Woody on Saturday, September 20, 2003 12:26 AM
Yeah I'm going to need something a little bigger than that one. I've been gathering the stuff to build a homemade booth, I guess I'll go that route. I appreciate your offer. By the way I love Colorado, beautiful state.

" I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Foothills of Colorado
Posted by Hoser on Saturday, September 20, 2003 12:45 AM
K, Woods

I used a homemade booth for a lot of years. The main 'box' was an industrial paper box. Had a scrap vegtable can mounted to a 120V motor and a squirrel fan ducted to the outside. Cost me about $30 bux to build. Too loose, so I went for the HFT booth.
"Trust no one; even those people you know and trust." - Jack S. Margolis
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, September 20, 2003 4:24 AM
I found a 4 pack of super glue for $.99 at Big Lots. I use alot of it when building resin kits , and it works just as good as the $4.00 bottle.
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