Products that were not intended to be used in model making but work anyway

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Active Member
Go to the makeup department and get yourself a set of inexpensive makeup brushes. These are your new dry brushing friends. They’re great: big round soft bristles down to little filberts. As a bonus, the handles come in all kinds of bright colors and might even have glitter! (Ironically hobby companies are now marketing their own dry brush sets that look just like makeup brushes…no glitter, though.)
I also keep a set of these in my "Show kit." I always pack some brushes, CA glue, tweezers, and toothpicks if I'm ever going to a model show. The brushes are great for getting dust off a model for a show.
- Lead roof flashing from a hardware store is great for adding weight to models or bases. You can cut it with scissors.
- Airgun pellets are another good source of weights (Use the lead pellets, not BB's.)
- Magic Erasers can be good when doing washes.
- I keep old decks of cards for paint/epoxy mixing palettes
- Plain white ceramic tiles are awesome as paint palettes, or for cutting masking tape. You can scrape them clean with a razor blade without scratching.
- Paper hole punches are great for cutting holes in sheet material, or punching out little disks. Or, you can get other shapes. Check your local craft store.
- Make a painting stand out of corrugated cardboard and alligator clips. You can get clips already on sticks or use bamboo skewers. Cut strips of cardboard against the "grain," and glue it together.
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Sr Member
Along similar lines the wax pencils used in salons for doing decorations on nails (picking up those little tiny gem stones) work great for small model parts and photo etch placement. No residue left behind.


Active Member
Also great for everything from mixing paint to storing small parts are these Solo cups.

Keep the lids, too, for pallets, or mixing epoxy, or anything else you need.
I will warn you, these are kind of expensive. I only buy them five or six at a time, but they do come with free dipping sauce for the crab rangoons.

Chris Moliere

Active Member
This thread has been really helpful! I’ve found that d-center foam adhesive weather stripping works well as a diy vacuum chamber gasket, if you’re trying to cast model parts. Only around $7 for almost 20ft. of the stuff.

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Pipe screens, available in different diameters and material(stainless or brass). Very fine mesh. Some are preformed w/rim like a small bucket shape.
Almost available everywhere now that the "evil weed"is legit in many places.


Well-Known Member
Plastic concrete footings

The world record flashlight used one

Put this atop it


Great for tanker ships

Platic pallets for sets, big Borg ships

The footings are often conjoined at the bottom with what looks like giant Excelsior nacelle supports. Cut those off the bottom for such purposes.

Tekweld CCS101 CCS106
are two credit card style antibacterial hand sanitizer dispensers from Hauppauge NY 11788 that would make 1/2500 carriers and greebles
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Sr Member
I think I mentioned my old rock tumbler for mixing paint and resin bottles before, but today I employed it for mixing tiny Testors bottles. I’m planning an Alien-inspired dual watch band and will be painting leather fluorescent orange. These paints haven’t been touched since the 90’s so they needed some mixing…

I threw some mock up photos of the watches as well. I think I’ll get a second of either one because they are not the same size… I cut a piece of 1/4” tubing for the “link” between them, with a relief on the underside to get the spring bars out.


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Active Member
Oil filter wrenches, the kind with a rubber strap, are great for getting the tops off paint bottles. They don't damage the plastic caps on Tamiya paints, and you can really torque off caps that have been stuck on with paint.


Sr Member
I have an entire drawer dedicated to hammers in my tool box.

“Paint caps do not concern me. I want that paint- not excuses.”


Well-Known Member
The large plastic pails have lids that have the Enterprise saucer edge bevel to them though.

Lately you see 18 wheelers with plastic or metal 22.5 inch hubcaps or aerodynamic wheel cover kits as they are called. has RM-250S-1 for $20.69.

United Pacific Chrome Moon front axle cover….Flow Below aero wheel cover panels and kits…Economy wheel cover brushed aluminum dome for 19.75 from has bike wheel covers for 16” wheels…plastic spare wheel covers if you want to take a chance on

These have a wide slit like opening towards the edge for a Federation secondary hull pylon to slide into.

Bicycle wheel covers and paint lids can allow 1/537 Refit Enterprise saucers to be widened.


Well-Known Member
Big Lots has some interesting things…so does Dollar Tree. They get a lot of cheap GREENBRIER offerings. Today I got:
All star sports. SPORTS DISC 2PC
ROBOT changer
Crafter’s Square chalkboard tags

Cell phone stickers

Use them as pop up turrets for saucer domes


DRONE KHARN comes with a greeble….but the COVERT OPS — ALPHA TEAM 1 dragon drone looks like a FASA space station. Lots of greebles.
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