Keeping costs under control

My stash is LARGE so I’m picky about what I’ll buy. I buy good tools that will last. I use finger nail emery boards rather that brand name sanding sticks. I use supplies from the big box hardware. I can’t really mix my own colors because of my color blindness so if I think the color is close I’ll use it. Plus I spend less on models or supplies in a month then in-laws and friends spend on golf in a week

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I’ve found that several other hobby/pursuits I have had help control costs for me with a little OTB thinking. The brass and lead wire and some other odds and ends for tying flies have found their way into kits. My gunsmithing kit I’ve assembled gives me a nice range of smaller hobby pliers and the steel and brass punch set for removing pins has been way cheaper to form some PE than specialized PE tools. Harbor Freight (misc air brush cleaning tools) and a variety of hobby/craft stores for decent brushes, artist oils and pastels I’ve ground myself (using mortar and pestle from Target). I’ve borrowed misc small tools from my garage rollaway, scratch made an airbrush booth. While not a cost control I do try to stick to paints that my lhs Carry, saves on shipping and supports them. I’m going to try my hand at resin casting miscellaneous storage items to stretch what I’ve accumulated vs going crazy w tons of aftermarket add ons, I don’t do that to small suppliers I’ve bought from but if I cast an extra dozen backpacks from a Tamiya kit I don’t think they’ll feel the effect.

Just some of the ways I try to save a few cents which kind of equals what my opinion is worth lol. Thinking outside the box has helped me save a few bucks to put towards kits, which I try to buy as often as possible locally. We actually have two independent shops here in Billings MT so I do try to spend there hence I’m heavy on Tamiya from one shop and a wide range of other manufacturers from the other store, that guy is a train centric store but he has his distributor send what’s hot from time to time so it’s a surprise sometimes.

Hi Montanahunter, you’re lucky having two stores - where I live we have none! (Can I “borrow” one of yours?) Casting a few items can be fun, but watch the alleged savings - I did casting back when I was big on detailing trains and the cost of rtv rubber and resin supplies pretty much wiped out any real savings vs just buying ready-made details…

There is a 3rd store but he’s just RC cars and planes but I’m lucky for sure, pretty sure these are the only 2 stores in about a 6-8 hour radius. Closest other ones are Denver and thats an overnight trip. The one shop I just happened to trip across cutting through between main streets, his main interest is HO and N gauge railroading but he’ll carry a smattering off stuff. I’ve tapped out his Dragon, Meng, Trumpter and RFM kits. He also stocks Tamiya paints which is nice and his HO detail parts lines have come in handy. The other guy is Tamiya centric which is nice, spread the dollars between them and always have a quality kit between the two to pick up.

Easy question to answer. Get married!! :face_with_head_bandage:


I’m modelling from when I’m 13 Now I 've a 2 son a a wife and I cannot spend a lot of money in this hobby. So I prefer use can instead photo etched parts, plastic dish instead egraved plates and more…
old models if is possible are recicled too and I simple airbrush (the copy of the Holden…) is enought to made a superstellars models.

"I spent most of my money on alcohol, women and fast cars, the rest I squandered. " George Best

Most of what you mention (airbrush, tank, compressor, tools) will last quite long and should not need replacement.

As for the rest of the products, it’s a personal decision. The type of finish and accuracy you want. In my case, mixing is not an option except if I need a few drops for a certain item, as I want correct colours and do not mind paying for them. I know some people can make wonders with four basic colours, but not me.

Same for weathering products, most of the times they are not simply replaceable with other products which may look similar, the result is not comparable. Again, I have seen excellent finishes with a few oils and pigments but I have not the skills needed for that.

So I am in line with @justsendit above, a wise selection of supplies and not changing brands helps a lot.

The most expensive part for me is all the reference material as I don’t build OOTB.

I see you missed earlier discussions on that. Robin has a good system or two.

I have stopped buying certain types of kits when I found YouTube Channels like BlackMagicCraft and guys like Gerard Boom the HardFoam Master. No more MiniArt buildings! I use XPS (often available for asking at building sites - they have to pay to dispose the remains) as a base for buildings. (Examples are for TT games/WIP but still)

I use cheap “craft” paints for coloring terrain/dio bases. Really cheap ones.

I have mostly stopped buying after market. Modern kits are “good enough” for me and my skills with very small PE parts are not that great. I do use grills (but those are often “in the kit” anyway these days)

I have shifted my interests a bit. Mainly because the “all military, all realistic” stuff got a bit boring for me. These days more cars and MasterBox “SciFi” figures. Occasionally an older kit that I can “interpret and change” in a “Post Apo” or “SciFi” setting.

The rest - cost of having fun. In this times with most other hobbies gone and often gone for good here in germany they become more and more acceptabel