Friday was my second COVID vaccination and the first trip to the city for several months. I was pleased to have a chance to browse the aisles of Poundland because they do have an excellent selection of bits to use in scenery making and for 3D printing. I'd built up quite a list of things that I needed, so let's have a little browse to see what useful items we can find:
Parts boxes/ multi-compartment organisers. I’ve been 3d printing out lots of small pieces of scatter terrain and these are just the job to keep them organised and safe from damage. More on 3d printing in a future blog post.
|Lot of compartments with removable dividers.|
A silicone spatula is ideal for wiping out the resin bath of your 3D printer or for stirring plaster when making scenery. Don't use the same one for both! When the resin is cured or the plaster is set, just flex the silicon rubber and the waste should flake off.
Pop-up silicone funnels are just the thing for pouring resin neatly back into the bottle or decanting varnish, glue, paint etc into different containers. Not sure about the fleshy colour, I wonder if there is a reason they come as a pair?! As with the spatula, a gentle flex should flake off anything that has set, leaving them clean for their next use.
|Not a pair of novelty breasts.|
Metal Machines "Sandstorm" (white medical) and "Epic" (black SWAT) vehicles. Although I didn't get any this time (already about 10 awaiting repainting), they're still available in Poundland and are an excellent 15-20mm scale version of the Canadian Terradyne Gurkha MPV.
|This one actually came from Poundstretcher.|
Paracetamol (not pictured) are just the thing to take after your COVID jab to reduce any side effects!
Clip seal tubs to use for isopropanol for washing 3D prints and for securely storing small bits and pieces, scenic wash etc. Small tubs come in packs of 3, the 1.1 and 500ml together in a double-pack. Larger sizes are available but I only needed the smaller ones at the moment.
|Small clipseal tubs.|
|Large clipseal tubs (1.1 litres and 500ml)|
Although I didn't get any, plastic jugs are always handy for measuring and mixing things like foam flock when making scenery.
|A jug purchased on a previous occasion.|
Travel bottle sets usually come with a couple of mini spray bottles (I use them for isopropyl alcohol and heavily diluted PVA/varnish), a couple of small bottles (not pictured - use upside down as storage tanks in your scenery) and a tiny funnel (also not pictured but great for making sure your varnish or glue go in the bottle rather than all over the table/floor etc.).
Make-up brush - I grabbed one to try because I've heard they're really good for drybrushing terrain. I wish I'd grabbed one of the hard foam eye shadow ones too, I think they'd probably be good for shaping plaster when you're trying to sculpt it to match rock moulds.
|Soft and fluffy!|
Craft knives - two of each type, always nice to have some spares so I can keep a couple in each place I do my scenery and model making.
|6 craft knives.|
Cake decorating bottle - with the multiple holes, this will be useful for saturating larger areas of flock with dilute PVA/varnish to seal them. Should be faster than a dropper bottle and I never seem to be able to get the PVA thin enough to spray from a plant mister.
|Cake decorating bottle.|
Non-stick plastic mesh chip trays. No picture of this, but they're plastic-like mesh with stapled corners sfor cooking your oven chips. I find them the perfect thing for drying out Hirst Arts plaster blocks. Cast your blocks (you could use it for rock moulds too), chuck then on the tray, stick 'em in the oven as it's cooling after you've taken your food out. The residual heat dries the bricks well and the mesh construction means that the warm air circulates freely round the plaster blocks, drying them evenly and avoiding any patches of condensation that you sometimes get with a solid tray. They also cool to room temperature within a few seconds so you can easily handle the tray just after you've taken it out of the oven. Be wary of the staples in the corners and the plaster blocks though, they'll stay hot much longer!
I feel obliged to point out that there are many other cheap shops out there, many of whom also sell similar or identical items, sometimes cheaper.
If you come across them, Home Bargains in the UK sell "Jane Asher" baking essentials which include a silicon spatula with a more ergonomically shaped handle. A few of the items listed above were more expensive than £1, plastic tubs and diecast cars seem to have increased to £1.25. I did spot a few other interesting things, some artificial plants that woule yield large quantities of small-leafed foliage for low-level jungle, assorted water pistols that could be converted into chemical works. And I haven't even mentioned the wide range of chocolate snacks that can keep one going in late-night craft sessions (and the toothpaste and brushes to use afterwards!)