View Full Version : Useful common objects

31-01-2010, 09:27 PM
Alright, so we know about turning egg cartons into anti-vehicle barricades. They also work well for holding your paint. I have gathered a few common items that I just can't seem to throw away. Perhaps you the community can offer some suggestions on how to use them for modeling, terrain and the like. So here is what I have held on to...

2 Liter Soda Bottles
20 oz. water bottles
egg cartons
cereal boxes

31-01-2010, 09:31 PM
On the same lines as the cereal boxes 12 pack soda boxes are awesome card stock.

31-01-2010, 09:35 PM
I find the dollar store to be really good. Especially around Halloween and Christmas. However, I also find pringles cans to be useful. Two liter pop bottles reallly aren't that useful, though.

31-01-2010, 09:58 PM
I've seen the bottom of a 2l bottle used as a 6 well palette. I also have "rescued" wooden coffee stir sticks from Starbucks.

31-01-2010, 11:55 PM
Corks and paperclips! Corks are perfect for sticking a model on top to give you something to hold onto while you paint while paperclips are just a modeling must when greenstuff is being used

31-01-2010, 11:59 PM
Also, any packaging for electronics is usually square but oddly enough shaped to make an interesting piece of terrain. Depending if it is plastic, styrofoam, or cardboard it may be permanent or temporary.


And if you are feeling suicidal in the winter, a motor for a furnace...


Or how about a heating element and outlet for the dryer?

01-02-2010, 02:38 PM
been building a titan from cardboard before I tackle it with plasticard, entirely from pizzaboxes. god bless dominoes for my modeling needs

01-02-2010, 05:30 PM
Not sure how much use you can get out of those plastic bottles... since they're curve it will be hard to make them into windows/shattered windows (the clear part of CD cases works wonders for this, by the way). You could cut the bottom off each little protrusion of the bottles to make semi-buried mines in a minefield...

Here's what I always end up hoarding away.

Popsicles! You get a treat and a useful terrain material (the stick).

I don't throw away my sprues after all the pieces are off. It's worth cutting them up (I use wire clippers) for use as rubble on larger terrain pieces.

Altoids tins. Very useful things. I use them to hold bits for a certain model, or models... basically an easy way to separate out bits for a project.

Paperclips. The cheapest and easiest material for pinning.

01-02-2010, 09:57 PM
The 2L bottles could be used to make some kind of interesting chemical factory terrain piece.

01-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Going to have to go with the Toothpick, or similar wooden implement. My friend has sticks that are used in soldering that are about 8 in long, and have flat tips on either end as well. These are great for everything from modeling to applying small amounts of glue to hard to reach areas.

I'll have to put a shout out to the windows screen too. I spent $5 on (literally) hundreds of square feet of the stuff... I'll never run out, and it makes fantastic industrial bases :-P

Also, we must all bow to the paperclip :-P (though I usually end up using bought steel wire as it tends to be quite a bit stronger).

02-02-2010, 12:05 AM
I used bottles to help build my tyranid battlements. Put a little drywall adhesive on it and it can look very organic, especially with a little cutting of plastic. Toothpicks and i also used the bottom part of a champagne plastic cup for a spore mine launcher.

02-02-2010, 06:36 AM
Have you ever heard of Quonset huts? They're those semicircular metal sheds that the military uses for pretty much everything. Wikipedia article. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quonset_hut)

2 liter plastic bottles make GREAT Quonset huts. All you have to do is cut off the bottom and the top parts, leaving a perfect cylinder. Measure and cut the cylinder in half. Get a cereal box, and cut out a generous part of the box. Grab one of your half-cylinders and stick it up against the cardboard, then trace the outline of the semicircle on the cardboard. Cut out the semicircle, and then trace it on the cardboard and cut out a duplicate.

These cardboard semicircles will be the front and back walls of the hut.

Next, take another face of the cereal box (and I'm assuming you're using fairly large boxes, like Rice Krispy size boxes) and measure out a base that will be longer and wider than your half cylinder. It should be pretty easy to figure out how large you need the base to be, but not TOO large.

Cut out your base. Get out your Elmer's School Glue (or a gluestick, if you prefer) and slather the two sides of your half-cylinder. Attach it to your cardboard base. Play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for an hour while you wait for it to dry, then apply glue to the front and back wall pieces and attach them to the plastic half-cylinder. Go back to Call of Duty and finish hunting down General Sheperd.

When you've watched the ending cutscene of MW2, return to your now-dry Quonset hut and add details, such as doors, skulls, aquilas, perhaps a skylight or two, and maybe even a window, if you're feeling adventurous. (Alternatively, you could build a door into one of the wall pieces before you glue it to the rest of the hut.)

Rinse and repeat with the other half of your soda-bottle. This also works with cans of Quaker Oats, except Quaker Oats cans are made from cardboard and thusly are a little easier to work with. For the cutting of the bottle, I recommend sharp scissors rather than an X-acto knife, because you'll get a cleaner cut. (But remember, safety first! NEVER run with scissors!)

In the end, it only takes about an hour and a half to do 1 of these (minus the time spent playing Call of Duty while you wait for the glue to dry) and they're a fun afternoon's project. Plus, since there's no foam in them, you can just get out a can of silver spraypaint and voila! Your Quonset huts are done! They're great terrain pieces.

Also, as Laz said, the kind of foam that they pack electronics and stuff in makes excellent terrain! Especially if you have spraypaint that doesn't eat foam, like Krylon H20 brand. They sell it here for 9 bucks a can, but you could probably get it cheaper at a local hardware store. (http://www.wallacks.com/catalogue/catalogcolour.php?cat=sp1&table=paint)

06-02-2010, 04:07 PM
If you coat the foam in watered down PVA glue you can use any spray on it :happy:

18-02-2010, 03:15 PM
I've been using packing peanuts as gap fillers for terrain. Crush them in an empty space then cover with drywall filler. Saves on the spackle.

18-02-2010, 03:53 PM
Wit the bottles if you have a heat gun you can flatten them out pretty good. but the plastic off of blisters is handy for windows and such.

18-02-2010, 06:57 PM
I saw a Stompa scratch built from a 2 Liter bottle. It was really well done. As for stuff to use, I am currently working on a city and have extra parts for a thunderhawk that I am building from scratch with pieces from an old TV.