Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scratchbuilding tutorial part 2: Chemicals and material

And here is the second part of my beginner tutorial on scratchbuilding. This will mostly deal with the types of glue, modelling clays/fillers and materials that I use when creating my models.

    • Super glue - Cyanoacrylate or super glue as it is more commonly known is a must. I can't recommend using it for an entire build but it is very good for strengthening the bond of something you've first glued with plastic cement. Medium viscosity super glue is the most common and is probably the easiest to use.
    • Super glue accelerator - While super glue hardens quickly if used correctly, sometimes that just isn't fast enough or the parts to be glued do not get a good grip on each other. This is where the accelerator comes in. Even a small burst of accelerator will speed up the curing process considerably to the point that it almost feel instantaneous. However, accelerator fluid is rather unhealthy, particularly the vapours, so use it with caution.
    • Milliput and liquid Green Stuff - For sculpting, filling holes and removing small marks and imperfections I use a combination of standard Milliput, superfine Milliput and liquid Green Stuff. Milliput is a two-part epoxy putty similar to Green Stuff that comes in many varieties. I use the standard Milliput for sculpting and large scale filler/repair while the superfine version is mostly used as filler. The best part of Milliput is that it doesn't shrink, which cannot be said of liquid Green Stuff. GWs contribution is still useful but only as a second stage filler when the imperfections has become so small that the shrinking isn't much of a problem.
    •  Epoxy glue - I do not often use Epoxy glue but it's very good to have around for the few situations that I really need it for.
    • Magnets - Neodymium magnets are all the rage amongst modellers nowadays and with good reason. While strictly not necessary to complete a scratchbuild, they do present a number of additional options for a builder that wants to go the extra mile. I myself have used them to good effect in a number of builds, making arms and weapons changeable.
    • Piano wire - Stiff wire of some sort is very useful for pinning parts into place. It doesn't have to be piano wire specifically but it is easy to find and readily available on most good hobby stores. I use 1mm and 0.5mm piano wire for all kinds of projects as the extra strength it lends parts is often invaluable.
    • Plasticard - Yes, you are going to need plasticard, that much should be obvious. I couldn't possibly tell you what you need, that all depends on what you are building. I will however say that I find 0.75mm plasticard perhaps the most versatile as it is thick enough to hold up well in most situations, yet thin enough to cut and sand down fairly easily. 0.25mm on the other hand is what I mostly use for decoration. Evergreen Scale Models make most of the plasticard I have but there are several manufacturers and makes so it can really pay off to have a look around.
    • Leftover box - It is nigh impossible to use a sheet of plasticard completely. You will be stuck with a fair amount of leftovers and sometimes failed components, no matter what you do. However do no throw away this, it is a valuable treasure for future builds so keep it in a box where you can easily search through it.
    • Bits - There is one truth above all others when building miniatures for wargames and that is to never throw away anything! The lack of a well stocked bits box can make or break an entire build. The one shown above is really just one of several I have collected over the years and will likely just become more in the future.
    And that's the second part! Stay tuned for the third and most likely final part, how to actually build.


    1. seems im gonna have to raid my local hobby store for plasticard!

      1. The third part and final part is up. Just thought you like to know. :)