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Choice of Materials

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  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Choice of Materials
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, August 4, 2019 8:16 AM

Hello There!

         Today we'll talk about a subject we all know well. Choice of materials for a project. How many of you prefer wood? How many Sheet Styrene? See, there is a consensus out there that if we use plastic it's a toy. Why is this? Polystyrene sheets( Embossed or Not ) and Strip gives a lot of choices during the build. Same with wood. Wood now, requires a little bit more finess, but it was the standard Long before plastic was ever heard of!

      Okay, how about found materials? This can be anything from a Cat's whisker.( Don't get from the source,Wait for one to drop ! )to an old film canister. What's a film canister? Do you really have to ask? Anyway, found material ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime, Really ! I mean, Old panty Hose for vent covers ,to Wire from that old radio for specific tubing detail on a small part.

      Now here's one I love to work with. Sheet Acrylic in all thicknesses. Yes, You can get Rod and Tube too. What started me on the Acrylic was purely accidental. I was walking through an old house and they had a half wall between the kitchen and dining area. The house was scheduled for demo, so I asked if I could take anything I found another use for . On the half wall was square Acrylic Rod ( about 3/4") twisted for the length like a Twizzler. First thing I thought of. Rods for ship stands and Airplanes too!

 Well, the workability of the stuff got me hooked. What I like most is I can drill and tap a hole for a bolt or screw and bolt and screw, as well glue, Acrylic together in high stress areas too. It takes All types of paint including " Hot " automotive paint !

 Think about your choice of materials and how you came to choose them . Let's hear from you on your choices and why. Tanker - Builder


  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Sunday, August 4, 2019 5:22 PM

This might fit into here, it was written about 30yrs ago for a model clubs bi monthly news letter, it's still viable even today.




  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Sunday, August 4, 2019 5:27 PM

Suppose this should fit into here as well ----- 








  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, August 5, 2019 8:55 AM

I'm a multi-media guy.  I use whatever is best.  I will say I do use a lot of wood.  Glues nicely, easy to shape, and inexpensive.  I learned a long time ago when I built a car for the Fisher Body contest.  I used balsa wood- a big mistake and I had been warned.  But lots of auto body primer and 60 coats of auto lacquer gave me a decent gloss.

I now use basswood, God's gift to model builders and carvers.  It fills so much easier!  On large ship models like my Great Lakes freighters, I use aspen or poplar, a lot cheaper- almost as easy to carve and to fill as basswood which can be a bit expensive for large pieces.

I believe I help keep K&S metals in business.  I have learned to keep a stock on hand of many sizes of their tubing and sheet stock.  Brass solders so easily.  I bought a roll of roof flashing aluminum several years ago- cheap way to buy aluminum!

And I am a big user of both styrene strips, rods, tubes and sheets from the hobby shop. I keep a stock of that stuff on hand too.



Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:53 PM


 I guess we both were brought up the same way. Sure seems like it !

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:32 PM

Beer cans. Tin foil. Cheap ball point pens. Wine bottle capsules.

About the only stuff I don't use is anything edible, like rice, pasta or seeds. Too attractive to mice.


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