Materials

Posted: December 24, 2010 in Scenery

These are the materials that I have been using for my various scenery project, along with some ideas I have for how they can be used.

For large structures I have been using plasterboard. It is just the kind used to make house interior walls but at 9.5mm it is the thinnest that I could find. I think standard stuff is 12.5mm or something which may be too thick for some things. Plasterboard is easy to cut, just mark out the pieces you need then score on the line 2 or 3 times. The board can then be cracked along the cut just by tapping it lightly. The cut is not always clean or entirely straight on the z-axis (i.e. into the board) but you can sand it down easily, cutting the original parts a little large to start with if required. Plasterboard is also very easy to sand and gaps, breaks or joins can easily be filled with standard wall plaster or anything similar you can get your hands on. It can get quite messy though and create a lot of dust so make sure you cover things and do not do it near anything a wife / mother could get annoyed about.

To stick the sections together I use “No More Nails” because it is good, designed for things like plasterboard and quite cheap. This 300ml or so tube cost me just £2 although I had to borrow the gun thing from my dad.

No More Nails

I bought some wire mesh originally to make wire fencing but it can be used for all kinds of things from flooring to razor-wire. It is easy to cut with scissors and with holes approximately 1mm by 2mm diamonds it is great for 28mm scale. I bought a big roll as it worked out cheaper although you can get A4 sheets at big hardware stores like Halfords for a couple of pounds each. The only tricky thing with this stuff is the edges stick to everything like your fingers, fabric, itself. To make razor-wire just cut long lengths of it about 3mm or 1 and a bit diamonds then wrap it round a pen or pencil tightly but not overlapping. When you take it off the pencil it opens up a little and the edges look good and spiky.

Wire Mesh

As a standard materials for all kinds of uses I like plastic card. It is easy to work with, quite cheap and comes in all kinds of thicknesses. I bought in a supply of 0.25mm, 0.75mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and some 3mm although that is a little harder to cut with just a knife. By cutting the right shapes and using different layers you can construct all kinds of things.

Plastic Card

You also get transparant plastic card. The picture below shows it with its protective sheet on all but one corner, but it is transparant. The edges when cut also have a kind of layered effect which makes it look like broken glass so it is great for glass topped walls or broken windows.

Transparant Plastic Card

You get plastic in various other forms as well like square, round or hexagonal ended rods. The plastic sheets also are available from some hobby stores (particularly the model railroad kind) with textures on them. I bought several sheets of industrial tread plate, the anti-slip surface you get on metal floors. This is great for Necromunda and other sci-fi scenery. It is however a lot more expensive than plain plastic card. The photo below shows the card zoomed in, there are probably over a hundred of the little bumps on each square inch so it is quite fine. You do get bigger stuff but this right for 28mm scale.

Kick Plate

My Necromunda Scenery is going to have a modular design with sections connected via magnetics. For this I bought sheets of magnetic strip (like an A4 fridge magnet that can be cut up). I also bought some ferrous sheet which is about the same thickness except that instead of being magnetic it contains lots of metal which the magnet is attracted to and holds very well. Like the tread plate however this stuff is a bit more expensive, coming in at a couple of pounds per sheet. I do not need that much of it though as it is only for certain edges.

Magnetic Sheet

Since my usual Citadel paints would not cover the area required I went looking for other paint. What I found were emulsion paint testers. There are many brands of these, the ones I found had the colours I wanted at the best value were the Crown Ultimate ones. They come in 75ml pots (some of the others were 40ml or less) and cost £1.30 each. I got a light and dark grey to do rocks ane concrete buildings as well as 2 shades of beige to do my Ork huts. I will likely get a couple more for my Necromunda and Gorkamorka surfaces.

Crown Ultimate Paint

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Comments
  1. Great site, I like the magnetic scenery idea.

    Where do you get your magnetic sheet from? I’ve not found it in any of my ‘usual’ materials shops (Antics, Antenociti’s Workshop and Hobby’s)

    For that matter, where do you buy all your materials from? If it’s somewhere I’ve not found it may be cheaper!

  2. shadowbadger says:

    Hi,

    Thanks,

    I think I got the magnetic sheet from a seller on Amazon UK although I cannot remember it being as much as £2.40 per sheet. In any case it is readily available at that price on ebay or amazon. The ferrous sheet definitely was not the £3.60 per sheet I see it at now. The problem with using magnet on magnet is that the sheet contains strips of magnetic poles which can be a couple of mm apart. This means they will want to snap in line when you put them together.

    The stuff is not nearly as strong as say neodymium magnets that you would pin with but it only needs to stop lateral movement, no vertical pull as that is supported by structure. I did find this link for magnet but I have not used the store myself

    http://www.craftsuperstore.co.uk/Crafts/Embellishments/Metal-and-Wire/sc1089/p14356.aspx?

    Other materials, the plasticard comes from wherever is cheapest at the time, usually ebay. The mesh came from an amazon seller as well, I ended up buying a roll because the only other stuff I could find was £2 per A4 sheet or similar.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Special-Effects-Aluminium-Wire-Modelling/dp/B004RC63NA/ref=sr_1_9?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1304018750&sr=1-9

    I cannot remember where I got the treadplate. It was some kind of model railroad shop I think, I will try and find out as someone else was asking as well.

    Paints and glue came from B&Q although the No More Nails was half price in there at the time.

    I should get onto some Necromunda Scenery soon, I am just finishing up my Gorkamorka stuff which is what my friends and I are going to be playing first after a lengthy hiatus.

    Let me know if you find anything cheaper.

    Oh, I was just on Antics when I read this, looking at plastruct stuff. The other shop (Antenociti’s) I have not seen before so thanks for the tip 🙂

  3. Thanks very much for your advice! I write for a gaming blog (A Year Of Frugal Gaming, ayearoffrugalgaing.com) and I was wondering if you’d mind me using some of your suggestions about materials soources on there? I’m trying to collect a list of useful shops and sources as a reference for fellow modellers – it seems to me that these hobby shops can be very difficult to find!

  4. shadowbadger says:

    No problem,

    Feel free to use any/all suggestions as well as any photos etc.

    Will be interested to see what all you managed to pull together.

    I (and some friends) have also just finished making a desert board with cracked mud effect surface and all kinds of hills/rock formations and we did not spend all that much. Will be posting an fairly big entry on it as soon as I can.

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