Here are our recommendations for materials, glues and paints needed to construct our models.
Most of our models can be built in 4mm scale using three thicknesses of card; 2mm, 1mm and 0.5mm. The 0.5mm size can in most cases be any size up to 0.5mm, cereal boxes are useful for this. If ‘Mount on thin card (please see assembly notes)’ is specified on the model rather than just ‘Mount on thin card’ then the assembly notes will specify the thickness of card required to successfully build the model. In many cases two thicknesses of thin cereal box card laminated together are about 0.5mm, but measure to check.
If you choose to model in scales other than 4mm to the foot (1/76), then the thickness of card used should reflect the scale chosen. See the section ‘Different Scales’.
We prefer to print on good quality A4 label paper suitable for our printer. You may wish to print on plain paper and glue onto the card templates. Whatever your choice, use good quality paper. Matt photo paper is recommended by many of about 100gsm paper weight. Some of our models require you to print sheets on transparency film. Please, only use transparency film that is suitable for your printer. Remember to insert the transparency film the correct way round when placing it in the printer.
Although our models can be constructed using a general purpose adhesive and paper glue (UHU and PrittStick for example), our preference is to print on A4 sticky label paper and use PVA type glue and a precision glue applicator (see the section on tools).
Normal PVA adhesive is fine, the only problem is the slow grab and setting time. We use a brand called Fast Tack available from a firm called Hi-Tack which has a much faster grab time and allows speedier construction. We do keep both UHU and PrittStick glues on hand as well – just in case.
Colouring is used on our models to touch up the exposed edges of card templates and card wrap paper.
There are a number of ways of achieving this. One is to run a felt tip marker of the appropriate colour along the edges. Another method is to use water colour paint (remember those little water colour sets you had as a child with the small hard squares of pigment). Both methods can work fine but bear in mind that you may need a large number of felt tips for the colours required and that both methods will not lighten a darker surface, grey card for instance.
Therefore, other than when we need to colour something black when a felt tip pen is quicker and a bit less messy, our preference is to use an opaque paint such as acrylic or poster paint in tubes. Remember, you will only require the three base colours, red, blue and yellow, together with white and black to create any shade of colour you may require. A positive bonus is that both of these are water based which is safer and makes brush cleaning easy.
When weathering your model it is a good idea to have a small selection of artists pastels available (see the section on weathering).
Some of our models require a small amount of plastic rod to complete the kit, for downpipes usually, sometimes for chimneys or as formers for chimney pots or flower pots. A small selection of 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm is useful to have ready.
Transparent Plastic Sheet
Some of our models require you to mount paper wraps onto transparent sheets. Most windows in our models can be glazed using printer transparency film (or the transparent lids of soft cheese tubs). However, where the window is a major structural part of the model, in our greenhouse models for example, it may be better to use transparent plastic sheet of a suitable thickness. If this is a recommendation it will be mentioned in the assembly notes and and a warning will be printed next to the pertinent card wrap on the model sheets.