Best Supplies?

ScaleScrapper Feb 23, 2022

  1. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    I'm wondering what all of you think are the best manufacturers/brands for different supplies. I'm preparing to go on a materials shopping spree, and I need some recommendations.
    1. Weathering chalks/powders
    2. Styrene (Evergreen's my personal favorite, but I'm intrigued to see your opinions
    3. Paints (enamel and acrylic)
    4. Tools
    5. Scenery materials
    6. Wood
     
  2. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    A bit hard to answer, since there are a lot of products out there and it all depends on what results you want, especially for stuff like scenery and weathering materials. There is no catch-all brand for any of the categories you have listed. Everyone had different techniques and skills, so they all prefer different brands. Obviously there are major brands like Woodland Scenics, but scenery is an art. There is no formula or product that will guarantee good results. Lots or people use whatever they have on hand or can find around their house or in nature.

    Styrene doesn't really matter. I use a mix of evergreen and plastruct, whatever the hobby shop has on hand. As long as it glues, it should work.

    Paint is a bit subjective too. Tamiya paints are good in the airbrush, although they don't have railroad-specific colors. Tru-Color and Scalecoat make railroad colors, and I like Vallejo for brush painting, although they face the same problem as Tamiya, they are mostly for military modelers, so their colors are a bit generic and neutral.

    Tools? what kind of tools do you need? Just get something good-quality, the brand doesn't really matter. Xuron is well-known for cutters and pliers, but model building doesn't really require than many tools, your local craft or jewelry store probably has everything you need, and those are probably good enough.
     
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  3. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    I plan on using Woodland Scenics scenery for when I finally start building my layout.
     
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  4. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for all of your inputs! I live out in the "boonies", so there's a pretty limited scope of where to find tools. There's a hobby shop a few hours away from where I live, so visits are few and far between. I've found places like Harbor Freight and Hobby Lobby useful for tools and stuff like wood and paints, though Hobby Lobby is a bit overpriced. I'm still relatively new to the whole "scratchbuilding" section of modeling, so I was just seeing is there were any sort of particular brands that were better or worse in quality. I have also found Tamiya paint great, but Vallejo I haven't had the opportunity to try out for myself. I was just seeing if there were any tools that were essential. I'm going to buy a nice pair of Xuron track cutters pretty soon, seeing as how they're almost universally praised.

    Kisatchie, I agree with your choice of Woodland Scenics. You'll want to watch out for good deals, and I personally prefer buying at a brick-and-mortar store because it's easier to find markdowns. Word of warning, though- don't exclusively use Woodland Scenics. Sometimes a different brand does just as much of a good job as the fancier stuff. Buy more than you'll think you need- it'll save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
     
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Seems as though it was not that long ago when folks would mention a company named "Scenic Express". As far as I am aware, still in operation?
     
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  6. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm... I think 80 or 90
    pounds should be suffi-
    cient...
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got a few sets of chalks (pastels) from Walmart years ago--cheapo, but they work just fine. Scrape along them with a sharp blade, use a cheap makeup brush from walmart to apply. I use makeup brushes as they are very soft, and cheap--just don't use your wife/GF's brushes for black chalk, and put back in the bathroom... :confused::cool::eek::D Some hobby paint brushes are useful as well for smaller, detail weathering work.

    Tools: get the best quality you can afford. They will be an investment that will last for years, properly selected. Xuron is a quality brand.

    Scenic materials come is all sorts of types, quality and such. This one is really whever works for you, type of thing. Woodland Scenics is a big name in the business and have a large product selection, but several other are out there. I bought plenty years ago, and haven't needed any for years, so I don't know who is out there now. Hobby Lobby has some stuff available. Amazing what that store has.


     
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  8. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    @BoxcabE50 It looks like it, seems like it's just a brick-and-mortar in Pennsylvania.
    @Kisatchie Hmmm..... Decisions, decisions
    @HemiAdda2d I'll have to look for some of those chalks! Thanks for the tip on the makeup brushes, I'll be sure to pick them up soon.
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    https://www.scenicexpress.com/

    Apparently in Delta, Colorado.
     
  10. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like Google mixed up some info. It says Pennsylvania as well as Delta. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  12. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    The most I knew was that they existed in 2001, so foretold by my secondhand 2001 HO scale Walthers catalog.
     
  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have seen / bought from Scenic Express when they have had a booth at several shows over the years. Last time was at the Narrow Gauge convention in 2019.
     
  14. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    you can make a lot of of ground stuff just from dirt or leaves around your home. for green just dry green leaves in a dark spot to preserve the green color and dirt from various places of different colors screened to get various grits of earth. best of all thats stuff is free and most looks as good as retail stuff . dont for get tea bags, coffee grounds ect all can be ground even finer ..
     
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  15. ScaleScrapper

    ScaleScrapper TrainBoard Member

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    Coffee grounds aren't my favorite to use, mostly because I'm addicted to coffee. :D
     
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