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Getting cheap bits for scenery

Discussion in 'Scenery' started by jherazob, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    As repeatedly asked by @Biomckill, here's the thread for cheap bits for terrain! I might as well do it myself, somebody has to :)

    The original thread that started this had some relevant quotes:

    And i suggested two Youtubers that are mad geniuses at this:

    I also gotta add this video:
    And this one:

    Feel free to add ideas :smile::+1:
     
  2. Biomckill

    Biomckill Well-Known Member

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    Lego related. Technic Link Treads. They cost about 1-2 cents per piece and you can purchase them by dozens.

    [​IMG]
    They are soft plastic, not the usual ABS of Lego pieces. If you cut out the attachments in both sides the piece looks great for things like metal plating, holder for pipes or other cylindrical things, even steps for a stairs.

    Also, if you take four and attach them in a loop (i.e., the last piece is attached to the first one) you have a square structure that looks like an antenna. You just need to add some pole in the middle.
     
  3. splayedpaintbrush

    splayedpaintbrush Well-Known Member

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    Used cable ties (both the flat tooth section, and the boxy ratchet end) and uncooked pasta, well spaghetti, make regular appearances in my model bases. These are cheap materials and could easy be of use for scenery too.
    [​IMG]
    If you're interested in the above base there's more about it here.

    You can also make columns out of spaghetti, although I don't have any scenery examples, just bases I'm afraid.
    [​IMG]
    I used to cast my own bases in resin.
    There are more (resin cast) spaghetti columns of various sizes spread amongst my Warmachine gallery.
     
  4. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    The sooner I mention zip ties in another thread...
     
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  5. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    Did someone say zipties ...?

    Ammo feed belt for my old Szally TAG.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Biomckill

    Biomckill Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm... I am tempted to try this one. For short segments the tension is going to be hard to handle. Maybe heating the piece. It works wonders with resin pieces, but those zipties are made of nylon.

    OK, an example of RJ9 and RJ45 conectors being used as joint box:

    [​IMG]
    Scifi machinery

    Forget the GW bits, they are a remnant of lots I purchased when I was doing fantasy. Sometimes the fantasy bits came with lots of that trash. Do not discard anything, because they always come handy.

    As you can see, sprue plastic and PS tube slices to imitate tubing, a couple of plasticard pieces as panels, and voilá.

    Also there, in the bottom, a PC board power connector with a bit of angle.
     
  7. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    They can't handle repeated heat/cool cycles (the nylon zip-ties aren't meant for bundling up high-voltage and current cabling, for example. We used to have them pop and drop bits from the overhead wiring harnesses at work (they carried the power loads for the 240 cu.ft electric induction kilns we had) and I've not tried to heat shape them, it wasn't too difficult to put that ammo belt on. 2 pairs of needle-nose pliers.
    Same for the old Lizard I added it to. Getting the curve done is the hardest part, but once I got it, it would hold the curve unless I left it in the sun to warm up and re-straighten. Once glued into place, there's not enough tension on it to want to break away.

    For piping, though, I bought a few of the old Teknolog "refinery" kits years ago.
    [​IMG]
    There's enough piping corners and connections that still keep me going.
    I do long pipe runs with styrene tubing, using the refinery piping bits for connections and turns (unless the piping needs a "Y" connection, where shaping the tubing to fit just works better.

    Cable runs I just use wiring rigs ripped out of old electronics, including ribbon cable separated into a few 3-5 wire sections.
     
    #7 chromedog, Oct 10, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
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  8. Nolimon

    Nolimon Well-Known Member

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    I´ve made some Cars for a city table from sharpeners.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Koin-Koin

    Koin-Koin Well-Known Member

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    Looks like some old computer mouse could have a similar use.
     
  10. Biomckill

    Biomckill Well-Known Member

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    I have exactly the same one, the small in the background. And it is perfect as cabin for several things, including cars. The brand is Maped, probably available in your nearest stationery shop.

    Another sharpener of that brand, the Igloo, look pretty much as an insectoid cockpit, just google “Igloo maped sharpener” and take a look.
     
    #10 Biomckill, Oct 16, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  11. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

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    Agree with this mindset 100%. Anything can be used or made into what you need with the scales hobbists work with/in. Over the years I've been surprised by the items used to create terrain or parts of models. This thread is one example as sharpeners & CPU mice never came into my thoughts as terrain material. Love to look into threads like these and see what other people have come up with in their years of experience.
     
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  12. kesharq

    kesharq Lucky Dice-Roller

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  13. Biomckill

    Biomckill Well-Known Member

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    Most of the electronic stuff intended for disposal is a great source of bits, and sometimes even materials. I have made entire buildings using cases of discarded UPS and routers. Since most electronics need refrigeration, you can find patterned thick sheets of ABS or PS. If you use a laptop, take a look at the bottom.

    Some examples in this Flickr album.
     
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  14. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    Before i forget again there's another useful thing: Can't link to it because of forum rules, but another competing sci-fi wargame, Maelstrom's Edge, doesn't have official terrain at all in any capacity, what they do is sell a plastic sprue full of bits that can be used to greatly upgrade your usual homemade stuff from cardboard boxes and whatnot into Proper Terrain(tm). So, do a websearch for "Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue", if i recall they sell a couple for 10€ or something like that. It should be VERY useful for cheap terrain.
     
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  15. Errhile

    Errhile A traveller on the Silk Road

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    Has been. Back in 1/2ed, in fact.
     
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  16. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    Singapur currency? ;) Europe is 4, lowered to 3 euros.

    Two sprue models now, the original with mostly big things and new one with a lot of smaller things.
     
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