Aussie newbie basic prop making questions

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Nerfenstein, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Nerfenstein

    Nerfenstein Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    I've been a member here for some time, but I'm finally starting to make some things from scratch. I've used the search function to death trying to find specific answers to no avail, so please forgive me if these questions are tucked away in other threads. I've got what I imagine are brain-numbingly stupid questions for most of the users here whose talents are awesome, please bear with me!

    Right I'm in Australia and it seems many of the things used are US based, making it hard for a total newbie like me to trace things that might be of use, any Aussie prop makers kind enough to help me I'd sure appreciate it.. here goes...

    Sintra .. mentioned EVERYWHERE, I assume is the white plastic seen on many props, what is it called in Australia and where do you get it? I've asked in hobby stores and hardware stores, only to be met with blank looks and guffaws. I did find one hobby store that had white plastic sheets but they were $20 for one A4 sheet... does that sound right? It was for model train diorama building apparently and wasn't called Sintra.

    The weird deep / dark red stuff people seem to spread over base props and sand for a nice smooth finish.. someone told me it's called Ren? No idea... help? Essentially I am working with mdf atm and want something I can put over it and sand until it is PERFECTLY smooth for painting and something less noxious / messy than Bog (US - Bondo) would be ideal.

    Any other Aussie based hints and tips for a beginner would be great.
    Thank you so much for your time.

    Angela
    Beginner but trying!
     
  2. KwameDude

    KwameDude New Member

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    Sintra isnt really sold in most stores. And what you saw at your hobby store I am pretty sure thats Styrene, which works great on props, and can be fairly cheap online. I Think the red stuff you are refereeing to is either Primer or bondo spot putty.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bondo spot putty indeed
     
  4. Nerfenstein

    Nerfenstein Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    anyone know what the equivalent of Bondo Spot Putty is here in Australia?
     
  5. jonnald

    jonnald New Member

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    Just have a look at super cheap auto or auto-barn. Any automotive shop that sells bog will definitely have similiar spot putty products.

    I'm too curious however, where we can get sintra. I've done some research and it seems like you can only buy it in rediculous bulk orders from sign companies.
    I'd love to know a place that sells it online and ships internationally, and DOESNT require me to buy a few hundred square metres of the stuff.
     
  6. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If it helps, Bondo is a brand name, although it is kind of a generic term which big companies hate. Technically it is body filler.
    3M Body Filler L/Weight, 500g

    I see a lot of recommendations to go to home improvement stores and buy "For Sale" signs since they are usually made out of sintra, but I would not be able to tell if it was sintra or not since I have never handled the stuff. And that is in the U.S., no telling what they are made of where you are.

    I did a quick search and "sintra" is a brand name for pvc sheets. Another brand is "Komacel". Again, no idea if they sell it down under.
     
  7. CynderBloc

    CynderBloc Active Member

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    I'm from the UK, and had some similar problems when I started reading about other people's builds. They tend to name brands rather than what the product actually is, so here is a glossary and the brands I use

    Bondo - Two-part polyester body filler. One part is white, one part is red, which is what gives it the pinkish look. It's mainly used for car body work, so check automotive suppliers (I'm using HDV50 as the online store where I get the rest of my stuff stocks it)

    Sintra/Plasticard/Perspex - Plastic sheet. Sintra is PVC if I'm not mistaken, Plasticard is styrene and Perspex is acrylic

    Smooth-cast - Liquid Casting Resin/Plastic (I use Polytek Easyflo)

    Rebound - Silicone rubber for making moulds (I use Polycraft products)

    Hope that helps, if you're lucky like me you'll find a supplier that will stock body fillers, casting resin, silicone, fibreglass and everything else you could ever need

    EDIT: Oh by the way, I would guess that the white sheet you saw in the model store was Plasticard. $20 for an A4 sheet is ridiculously expensive. I think the last pack I bought was 10 1.5mm A4 sheets for about £10. Try eBay, there are usually a lot of modelling shops that sell on it
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  8. Weaselhammer

    Weaselhammer Sr Member

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    You can get Sintra or identical product of a different brand name at sign shops. Pretty much anyplace that makes signs and graphics should have it in stock. They may even have scraps or mis-printed signs that you could get at a discount. I agree with Kwamedude that what you saw in the hobby store was styrene, which can also be very useful in scratchbuilds. The "for sale" signs in stores are typically made from Something like styrene, but is not like sintra.
     
  9. Skyler101

    Skyler101 Sr Member

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    I did a heap of searching for Sintra in Oz, and the only source I found called it Foam-X! The price was way to of my league at the time, so I just got some samples and left it at that. They wanted something like $60 for a 2 meter sheet.

    That was back in 2006... May have changed now, but I have never seen it in printing stores, and i always ask. Would defeat the purpose if using sintra if its not easily available.

    Hope that helps...

    -Skyler101
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  10. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    Hard to find anything in Oz, I'm an hour south in Northern NSW and struggling to find materials, I am tonight drawing up a rough plan for a vac-former bed but the only thing stopping building is finding somewhere to find thermo-formable cheap plastic sheets everything is so over priced, if you find somewhere on GC that's selling cheap PETG or Perspex please post it. :) Oh and my step-dad is a hot rod restorer and swears by spray putty to fill those pesky holes in bondo/bog builds and then wet-sand it mirror smooth.
     
  11. Womble

    Womble Member

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    (Nerfenstein is downplaying her abilities a little; she's not a total newbie. She's been producing some very neat nerf paint jobs for quite some time! Her work is well worth checking out!)


    BONDO

    Anyway... Nerfenstein, as already mentioned, you should head to SuperCheapAuto. They sell a product that is pretty much identical to Bondo. It's SCA Light Body Filler, and it comes in a tub (with a tube of hardener) for about $10. That tub will go a looong way.

    You will also find that blade/spot putty is very handy. It's basically a one-part Bondo in a tube. (It air dries, and very quickly.) SCA sell 3M's blade putty, and I highly recommend using it. It's much quicker and easier to use than Bondo, for quick edge filling and small details.

    You can also buy Builder's Bog from Bunnings.

    (With body filler and spot putty, you should be able to get your piece to a finish where it will sand perfectly smooth. Start with 80 grit or whatever, then work your way up to wet sanding, at which point the Bondo will be super-smooth. Keep in mind that our Australian grits are an ISO standard, unlike the American sandpaper grits. At 80grit or so they're identical, but the higher you go, the more the difference. A 1000 grit ISO paper is MUCH more refined than that used in the US.)


    PAINTS

    Another good value at SCA is the Export range of (enamel) spray paints. They have them for the cheapest price I've seen anywhere in Australia. Recently, I think they had them on sale for $2.50 a can, which is a total bargain. But more normally, you should be able to pick them for $3 a can.

    (The grey Export primer in particular is very good for the price. It's no Tamiya, but then it's a fraction of the price. You can also buy Export from Cheap-As-Chips, Browse-n-Save or any of those other crap-dollar stores.)

    Unfortunately, it's VERY hard to find Krylon Fusion paints for plastic here in Australia. At least not cheaply. Bunnings are selling the White Knight brand, which include a grey primer for about $4. Not bad, but doesn't seem to go far.


    PLASTICS

    It's really hard to find cheap Styrene sheeting in Oz. The cheapest place I've seen for Evergreen Styrene sheets is HobbyMania.

    However, if you just want some ultra-cheap thin styrene/plastic to build stuff up or mod some guns, just head to your supermarket and buy packs of disposable plastic picnic plates. There's a certain type stocked by Coles, Woollies, etc. that bonds really well (particularly with stuff like Tamiya Thin liquid Cement.) I've been remodelling water pistols in to ray guns with the help of these plastic plates, for a tiny fraction of the cost of Evergreen styrene sheets.


    FOAM

    You can get sheets of impact foam (think Mass Effect armour) very cheaply from Kmart, Bunnings, etc. This is the stuff that people put on floors. It carves up very nicely, and can be moulded. Good for "rubber" or soft parts of weapons and armour.

    You can also buy expanding foam from Bunnings, though it's a bit pricey.


    BTW, you can find some useful hobby/craft items at Spotlight. Stuff like Rub 'n Buff, and even some Krylon Gloss, as well as some decent metallic acrylic paints. However, Spotlight's prices are crazy-stupid.



    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  12. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    Oh for good EVA foam pricey but good Clarks Rubber is a good place to check I got heaps of good stuff from there, my local store closed but I think there is one at Southport which should be close to you Nerf :)

    Why everything in Australia is so expensive baffles me when I see what overseas people are paying :(
     
  13. Womble

    Womble Member

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    I think it's just the size of the market, and the distances involved.

    21 million people vs 300 million, means the US has a huge economy of scale advantage.

    Also, it's more expensive to ship certain items here in Oz. Stuff like spray paints and certain solvents and glues have to be transported specially, at higher cost, for safety reasons.

    Oh well, the upside is that it forces us to be cleverer with our money, and to scrounge and recycle. I quite like the challenge of adapting existing materials to the hobby, for cheap.
     
  14. Vitriol

    Vitriol Member

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    Hopefully this helps. As a US import living in Australia Bondo is known as 3m body filler as someone mentioned and is widely available at Super Cheap Auto.
    I also used Selley's "Kneadit" for small work.

    Polyester resin can be found at bunnings hardware.

    As for plastic try "cut to size plastic" I found them on google. There's at least in QLD.

    Alternatively if you need anything major for screen accurate works there is a place near me in a Sydney suburb or Newtown called "Barnes" or Barnes of Newtown. They should be able to help you. Their website can be found here Barnes Products Pty Ltd

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I know about shipping costs, Performix (aka Plastidip) is soooo cost prohibitive to ship from Melbourne to me :(
     
  16. Nerfenstein

    Nerfenstein Active Member

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    Wow, just wanted to say thanks so much for all the help guys, really appreciate it. I got a few things today and they seem to be working quite well on my Halo Magnum build, so I guess I'll see how that goes :)

    Womble ... your reply made me LOL, I have been making props from scratch for about 2 weeks, I've made 3 things so far haha BEGINNER ;p This stuff is a lot harder than just painting something, I mean you need to make it first! Thanks for all your tips matey, appreciate it, I got the blade putty and a few other things. I'll maybe pop back with an update once I finish this new Magnum :)

    Thanks everyone!!
    xxxx
     
  17. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    Subtract is just a brand name for expandable PVC. Any PVC plastic will NOT work--it has to be expandable. This means that it is pliable after slightly heating.
    Styrene is too thin. It will work for some things, but it depends on what you intend to use it for.

    If you could be more specific on what you're trying to build, the rest of us can recommend suitable materials.
     
  18. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    Ok , here in Perth I can get large sheets of styrene /ABS for about $70. 3 sheets woulddo a complete stormtrooper armor and bucket and still have change. When you start to get onto larger projects the stuff gets cheaper. If you need silicon for molds then Ultrasil by Barnes is the go. For smaller or one off jobs use pinksil also by barnes. Their resins are pretty good also. As mentioned before super cheap auto for your bog/ putty needs and urathane expanding foam can also be sourced from Barnes . Anything else send me a pm and I'll try help you out.

    Simon.
     
  19. Laser Brain

    Laser Brain Sr Member

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    Wow. The prices that Barnes charges for Silicone!?! 22kg of Silicone for $990.00?!?! WTF?!?! That is almost 3x UK prices!!..and our stuff is imported too. Wow.

    Does anyone have an idea who supplies your film industry?
     
  20. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    If anyone can recommend a place on Gold Coast that sells Plastidip (Performix) please let me know so I can buy some on one of my visits north (can be up to $30 extra on shipping as it's classed hazardous material :S).
    Also Nefr if you do find any cheap materials suppliers please let me know I am always looking for suppliers, if my vac former turns out well I may even be able to do pulls for you :)
     
  21. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    I haven't shopped for any in years, so maybe I'm out of date, but part of the reason is I bought so many 3x6 foot sheets of different thicknesses a decade or so ago that I've still not run out. Cheap as chips!

    Don't buy it from hobby shops, they just get the same large sheets from industrial suppliers, cut them up, put an outrageous price tag on it then fleece the unwitting.

    Just go to Mulford Plastics or someone like that, they're all over the place.

    Nope. People tend to accept those arguments from retailers and importers but they're largely bogus. The recent enquiry found that basically we pay high prices because we don't know any better and are willing to be ripped off massively.

    This is changing of course, with the better exchange rate and the spread of internet access. Which is why Gerry Harvey is so scared lately. Ha.

    Look at the cost of cars; we pay something like 1.5-2 times what the US market pays for Asian vehicles despite the fact that they don't have to cross the Pacific to get here. It's not just tax, either. Tax is part of the mix, but it's not the main deal.

    Vitriol, huh? Any relation to Hatred? Just asking. :lol

    $45 a kilo? That's pretty good...used to be more like $55 - prices have come down I think. Sweet!
     
  22. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    I was visiting another member here who lives in Toowoomba, outside Brisbane and he imports his rubber and resin from the US, cheaper than buying it locally.
     
  23. Groucher

    Groucher New Member

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    Wow, this is so handy! I always see the names for these US places and go...ummmm. I get confused :p Now I can hit up some stores and at least pretend to know what I'm talking about.

    @JediMaster: do you know where in Perth I could get some clear hips sheets? I want to make either an EVA or Pilot hemet from halo. I'm guessing there's somewhere in welshpool, but was wondering if you have an reccommendations?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  24. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    It's great to see some fellow Aussies coming out with info!
     
  25. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    I think Martyn mentioned Mulford in osborne park. Also any plastics company should be able to supply you. I have productive plastics near me. They are in wangarra. Shouldn't be hard to find. If you get stuck LMK.

    Simon.
     
  26. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    Contacting a local sign company myself tomorrow just opened up 2 blocks away from where I live, fingers crossed they sell materials :)
     
  27. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Yeh, Perth branch of Mulfords is in Balcatta now I think, but there's always other places around. Checking the Yellow Pages under plastics suppliers usually gets you something.

    Sleepless, didja get your lobsterback yet?

    Rinzler, if they don't, just ask them where they buy! :)
     
  28. Strickler

    Strickler Well-Known Member

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    Alot of this info is very helpful as I for one had no idea where to get anything like this from or what an Australian equivalent was.
     
  29. Shiney

    Shiney New Member

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    Any suggestions on ABS sheets in Victoria, I've found plenty of suppliers but they all want $110-130 for em?
     
  30. Vitriol

    Vitriol Member

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    Yah Barnes is crazy expensive for some of their things. And sadly they don't keep their polyester resin in store for fire code reasons. It's kinda weak actually. Oh well.
    And who supplies the Australian movie industry? What movie industry? There isn't one because it's too dang expensive over here.
     
  31. Shiney

    Shiney New Member

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    Not sure where you're located, in Melbs I grabbed polyester resin only a few months ago at Barnes [Richmond] and at a similar price for size as my usual trade fibreglass store. Can't comment on other product pricing though. Also, agreed that the movie industry is quite reduced, though it's hardly dead, for instance I did some minor acting work for I Frankenstein a month ago and almost weekly I get some kind of work in it, mostly local productions which are live and well.
     
  32. Vitriol

    Vitriol Member

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    I'm located in Sydney. The Barnes here isn't allowed to keep resin and the catalyst together. It's kinda weak. I mean the two of them actually coming in contact with each other is pretty slim. But it is what it is.
     
  33. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You would think they could store it on different ends of the counter and ends of the store room.
     
  34. Vitriol

    Vitriol Member

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    You'd think so. That's how they'd do it at home in Ohio. But this is Australia. Where you have to wear reflective clothing to cross the street.
    Plus they said it was giving them a head ache the poor little lambs. Apparently the answer "you shouldn't huff it" didn't go over so well with the sales person. :facepalm. Oh well.
     
  35. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good to see so many Aussies here.

    OK where do I get "Light Tape" "EL Wire" or any similar products in Australia. I found one comapny that simply won't sell me anything unless the order is $X (and that is a BIG X). All other searches suggest to import and I don't want to if I don't have to.
     
  36. 3phase

    3phase Well-Known Member

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    Hey there mate, been wondering where you got to. I do get my resin from the US at about $130 for approx 7.5 litres and they tint it for me at no extra cost so no stuffing around with pigments. Also I’m still waiting for you to answer that PM I sent about your helmet.
     
  37. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    I walked into local plastics shop here in Ballina Northern NSW and asked if they sold HIPS or PETG.....got a vacant stare followed with....we have polycarbonate plastic, come on if you sell plastic be aware of similar products, I've already posted questions about using polycarbonate for heat vac forming and got some advice (since it's the only local option so far at $30AUS for a sheet 900mm x 600mm (size of my vac table). Only positive I came away with was an old fella in shop at time who vac forms model airplanes and boats who told me styrene is good start but basically good luck finding it cheap :S
     
  38. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Whut the? Try Mulfords. You should be able to get sheets bigger than that at much less, depending on thickness.
     
  39. sleepless

    sleepless Well-Known Member

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    I used to buy my styrene from Mulfords in Brisbane, way cheaper than the hobby stores
     
  40. Rinzler

    Rinzler Well-Known Member

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    It's the shipping I'm cautious of it may blow out the cost.
     
  41. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Eh - have them cut it down for you into smaller sheets. If you're going with thin stuff it can be rolled right up without problems and popped in a shipping tube!
     
  42. Jerome

    Jerome Active Member

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    Hey guys, good to see you all here. I had no idea there are so many Aussies on this forum. I normally hang out in fx-sabers where I'm more aware of who the Aussies are over there. I'm from Brisbane myself and more into lightsaber props.

    Anyway its good to see some of the products and brand names being mentioned in this thread, because as you know the US folks will mention certain product names and I'm always trying to figure out what the Australian equivalent is.

    Does anyone know what the equivalent of these two would be over here?:

    - rubberized super glue
    - Novus plastic polish (or is this available here?)

    Cheers
     
  43. Woodlake

    Woodlake Well-Known Member

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  44. Iji

    Iji New Member

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    Ok so instead of bondo and bog you can use gesso as a primer but it will need sanding.
    As resin is really hard to find hear just look for a clear sealand/glaze that is 2 part's so it dosent use oxidisation to dry. i'm using "Craft smart liquid gloss" this can also be mixed with acrylic paints to get a colour so you get a nice finish.
     
  45. Iji

    Iji New Member

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    If you have a Jaycar (electronics) locally i believe you can get it there or possably Jayco (sell's car stuff's) but it can be quite expensive. Other than that Ebay
     
  46. archtk

    archtk New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm from sydney and I thought I would share my two cents on local supply's

    I have also found out that ABS plastic is quite expensive over around 100 per sheet, so I use styrene or they also call is HIPS but I doubt its the same styrene is a bit more fragile and can shatter but for my props is ok. (I am currently making a fett jetpack and gauntlets and this material is quite good for this).

    Anyway I used to buy A1 size sheets from my local hobby store but now I found a plastic supplier pacwestcorp at Wetherill park NSW that sells me 1.5mm 1370 x 760mm sheets for $25, and I also bought .5mm for around $10 a sheet and matter a fact they gave me 5 more sheets that were going yellow for free. so that's cool

    And to glue styrene I use all types of glue, Brown contact shoe glue is great cause you can stick and unstick, tamiya cement, super glue etc.ect.

    and pink car putty to fill in sold for around 10- 15 dollars at car supply shops.

    this is great there are so many aussies here..

    lets share our info and contacts and make this hobby cheaper for us.
     
  47. Troydo

    Troydo New Member

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    just to pipe in on Australian suppliers... the cheapest place i found to buy full sheets (180cm x 120cm from memory) of ABS and HIPS (styrene) was BFS plastics BFS Plastics
     
  48. ReubixKube

    ReubixKube New Member

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    I think it would make more sense if a group of us just made one big bulk order from overseas than distributed it among ourselves. Seems like it would save us all a lot of money.
     
  49. MrTrampoline

    MrTrampoline Member

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    I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but Barnes in woolloongabba in Brisbane has pretty much everything you need for prop making. The woman who runs the store used to be a prop maker for the show "The Pacific"
    Welcome has a lot of there products listed, but you are better off calling in the next time you are in brissy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  50. MrTrampoline

    MrTrampoline Member

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    And jaycar for general electronics.
     

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