Starting Scenery: Basic Tools and Materials

Starting Scenery: Basic Tools and Materials

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We all have our favourite tools and materials and this video covers the basics that I personally use. I’m sure you will have your own favourites and please let me know in the comments.


A selection of my basic tools. I do use many others but these ones get the most use.
The materials I always have to hand and come back to every time I do scenery.

Materials

The Amazon links are all items I have either bought or bought something similar for myself. Clicking on any links to Amazon will give me a small affiliate income which I use to produce more videos. Every little helps!

Most of these items are readily found at home though so you shouldn’t need to go out and spend loads!

Basic Tools:

1. X-acto knife and box cutter plus cutting mat and metal ruler.
X-acto knife https://amzn.to/2DmPUX5 Knife sharpener https://amzn.to/2Dqa0zH
Spare X-acto blades https://amzn.to/2DqfuKG Utility knife https://amzn.to/2vVPnbj
Metal Ruler https://amzn.to/2DqgDBY
Acrylic metal-edged ruler https://amzn.to/2OMGMw0

2. Tweezers and small pliers.
Tweezers https://amzn.to/2BXNcqs
Small pliers sethttps://amzn.to/31xE9au

3. Spray and dropper bottles for scenery glue.
Spray bottles https://amzn.to/3bkLcVo

4. Sanding tools – small files and emery boards.
Needle Files https://amzn.to/2CsIMb9
Emery boards for filing https://amzn.to/2tyIU5d

5. Weights and squares to hold items whilst glue dries.  I use bricks a lot for large areas.
1-2-3 Blocks https://amzn.to/2Tr8dxO
Set Squares https://amzn.to/2D6urhF

6. Paint brushes in all sizes including disposable ones for glue.
Disposable brushes https://amzn.to/3al1j61

7. Disposable plastic containers for mixing paints and resin, diluting glues etc.
Disposable small cups https://amzn.to/31xzDJ4
Disposable pint glasses https://amzn.to/2BsjoCC
Plastic Shot Glasses https://amzn.to/2IktbNT

Most important – protective equipment!
Protective Safety Glasses https://amzn.to/34uwbxl
Disposable Gloves https://amzn.to/34pOl3a
Respiratory Mask – https://amzn.to/2Zp9A77

Hot glue gun – this is one optional item I find myself using more and more. 
Hot glue gun and glue https://amzn.to/2WKDxu2

Basic Materials:

1. Range of glues – white (PVA) glue, super glue and hot glue are my favourites.  Some tasks may be easier with specialist glues but I get by with white glue 90% of the time!
White/PVA glue https://amzn.to/2Tx8aU5
Tacky Glue (thicker white glue) https://amzn.to/2y5QWBJ
Gorilla Super Glue https://amzn.to/33CojZC

2. Wet water – I use 1/3 isopropyl alcohol to water to break down the surface tension so when you are gluing scenery, the glue will sink in.  Some people use a few drops of washing up liquid which is much cheaper.
Isopropyl Alcohol https://amzn.to/2PiXT91

3. Paints – it’s useful to have large pots of your earth and sky colours.  I use emulsion/latex paint for my sky and have it custom mixed to match a photo at my local DIY store.  My earth colour is generic Raw Umber which I buy as an artists’ acrylic colour.  A range of other earth, rust and greenery colours are also needed but I buy them as I need them.
Raw umber https://amzn.to/2R81PwF

4. Tile grout, sand and earth – I use tile grout a lot as it’s easy to get hold of, sets with very little glue as it is a cement and comes in a range of colours.  I find it needs a 1/4 sand mixed in if it is unsanded as otherwise the glues don’t sink in leaving the lower layers unstuck.  Earth is also useful but you will need to sieve it to remove large stones and lumps.
Tile Grout – best to use sanded if you can. If you can’t add about half sharp sand to it. https://amzn.to/2TDwEet
Beige tile grout https://amzn.to/37QAcgN

5. Ground foam – this is exactly what it says – finely ground foam – but comes in a range of colours from earth to green.  I use it in all my scenery to add texture or vegetation.
Woodland Scenics ground foam – various colours such as earth fine turf T42 and green fine turf T45 https://amzn.to/2pKaBT6 and https://amzn.to/2Pl18wx

6. Static grass – we are so lucky to have this product.  You don’t necessarily need a static grass applicator as you can use an inexpensive nylon puffer bottle but if you are doing large areas, you’ll want the ease of an applicator.  
WWS or Peco Scene (they’re the same product) 2mm spring grass https://amzn.to/2wmIMmJ
4mm summer grass https://amzn.to/2Nfkdze
6mm spring grass https://amzn.to/2wnBM9i
10mm Peco/WWS patchy static grass https://amzn.to/2TeZGOA

7. Natural materials you find everywhere from the gutter to a garden and they are free!


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2 thoughts on “Starting Scenery: Basic Tools and Materials”

    1. Jeff

      I always say to start on a small section and just start. It won’t be the best modelling you do but you will learn so much!

      Good luck

      Kathy

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