Friday, 28 August 2015

Rubbish or Raw Material?

In Doctor Who – Pyramids of Mars, Sutekh tells the Doctor: ‘Your evil is my good.’ The same reversal of truth often stands with scratch building models.

You can spend a huge fortune in a model shop buying polystyrene strips and blocks, thin strips of wood or sheets of cardboard to use in the construction of the model in question, and then throw away exactly the same materials as rubbish the next day.

It’s no secret on here that I collect up old coffee sticks and firework sticks post Bonfire Night to use for the wooden planking and beams on my models instead of buying strips of balsa wood, but there are so many other raw materials for building that can be sourced cheaply or for free that can make this a very cost efficient hobby indeed.

My mind has sometimes been described as a scary place. I admit it can tick over slightly differently to many others. It has been known for its darker side, as you would know if you have read the Karl trilogy, but it also tries to see more than is obvious.  Hence any unusual packaging that comes my way is almost always sized up for its potential.

A colleague at work came back from vacation with some chocolaty treats to share. Very nice they were too. However my greater excitement came at the packaging, there I could see exactly what I needed to make more window panes or broken windows from. This is just the right sort of stiff plastic that I need, and this time it is slightly cloudy hence these windows will be either misted over or dirt smeared depending on what effect I’m going to go for this time.

With a growing CD collection of audio drama I have had to invest in a couple of new storage towers. These came as flat packs, and once the Krypton Factor (Look it up) test had been completed without any of the listed pieces being left over I did have left over pieces that were not going to end up in the rubbish skip. These blocks and strips of polystyrene packing will make excellent starting points for walls and other constructions.

All the items in the above photo have been viewed as potential in one way or another and later I’ll share more of these thoughts. In the meantime since my coffee stick mountain is growing I am going to add a couple more cheap and simple buildings to the ghost town layout. The exact style and shape of these will depend solely on the next few empty boxes that come my way.

The first will be made from the Nature Valley, Cupasoup and Gu boxes...