Soda cans? Cereal boxes? Tree trimmings? Styrafoam peanuts?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by LoudMusic, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    Is the metal used to make fizzy beverage cans useful in modeling? What about other waste metals like the cans vegetables come in?

    And as for cardboard, what makes the best manipulatable and structurally sound material? I figure "dense" and "thin" are what's in this season - specifically cereal and mac&cheese, not so much shipping and pizza boxes.

    I'll be needing logs as well - do real oak branches work? What about crate myrtle branches? Any other tree I should be on the lookout for? Is there anything that needs to be done to them in order to preserve them or enhance their scale appearance?

    I have access to virtually unlimited quantities of packing peanuts - though I plan to use expanded insulfoam type materials will I also find use for the packing peanuts? I suppose I also have a pretty good supply of the bead foam board, but having cut some up recently for shipping something I'm fully aware of the rediculous mess it makes.

    Any other free materials I should be keeping an eye out for?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think the biggest problem with using small dead tree limbs for logs is the tendency for the bark to fall off. I think spraying with dull coat will probably help the bark to stay on the branches. Check out "Robin At His Best" in the academy to find out how to build anything out of cereal box card board. I think Robin used corrugated cardboard to strengthen his structures, but used the thin cereal board for the outside siding and for any fine details.
  3. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    Since I model in N Scale, I've found that 14 ounce cans of soup, or whatever, cut in half lengthwise make great quonset huts, as you can kitbash the doors and windows easily.
  4. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    So I guess for O scale I'll be needing the FAMILY SIZE can of refried beans, eh? ;)

    Looks like Robin had a profound impact on this forum and pretty much everyone he encountered. I look forward to learning from him. Thank you for the reference.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I cut some branches off our privet hedge for logs. They have shrunk a bit in drying out, but not too bad; they are more wrinkly. Any stick about the right size should work -- just debug it first.
    With a bit of observation you may find natural tree stems in garden plants. Some roots resemble trees, but you have to pull them out first; maybe in the fall garden cleanup. (need washing)
    Main problem with pizza boxes is remnants of pizza. Robin used both corrugated for structural and thin (cornflakes boxes) for for finishing.
    Don't know about packing peanuts. You might find a use filling in big hollow areas under your scenery before you add the surface.
  6. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    Not unless you have a gas powered railway!sign1
  7. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    Man that joke really stinks.
  8. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    Yeah...I know it was kinda cheesy;)...but I just couldn't resist.
  9. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    Sometimes you just have to let them slip. Know what I mean? Ha ha ha.

    Has anyone used an anolog wristwatch to make a clock tower? A 1" face would be 4' in O scale, which seems about right to me for a tower or city hall or something. The clock face in Back To The Future was like 10' across.
  10. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Maybe this is off topic but what are you guys doing with the spray foam? Doesn't it just come out in blobs. Is it something you can easily cut and form?
  11. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    I've never had any problem with expanded foam, you've just got to adapt your cutting style, sometimes, instead of just slicing into it, you've got to shave off a little at a time. On the same note, I've also had good results with floral foam. My local dollar store sells bricks of the stuff, and I find that once you've got the basic shape you want for your particular bit of landscape, be it a hill or whatever, you can easily smooth it out by lightly sanding it with fine grain sandpaper. Then you can go ahead with your planting of trees or shrubs. It gets messy while you're doing it, but when you're done, you've got a lightweight piece of scenery for your layout.
  12. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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    Isn't floral foam also mallable? Meaning you could essentially shape it with your hands just pushing it around? That would be pretty nice too!
  13. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Knighthawk I've thought about forming some small hills or brick walls with the floral foam but I thought it was just too delicate unless you covered with something.

    When I go to micheals I always see those bricks with finger holes and interesting words etc. :)
  14. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    Yes, you can do that, too... but only to a certain extent. I've learned the hard way that if you push just a little too hard, either a chunk will break off, or the whole thing will implode, and crumble in your hands.
  15. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Oh and loudmusic. I'm not sure if they do recycling in your area...but it makes it easy for me to grab things out of the bin to use. Of course with an idea already in mind. My wife hates it when I pull things out and don't use them.
  16. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

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    Brick walls might be too delicate a structure to make, but as long as you're careful, you can make all the hills and such you need from the floral foam.