Friday 29 April 2011

'Free' Modelling Materials

Seil Harbour, Argyll
Following a 'Day oot' with the current good weather, me and the guid wife found ourselves at the Island of Seil, just south of Oban. A beautiful drive but the usual west of Scotland single track roads and more English folk than in London, over the 'bridge over the atlantic' we found ourselves at the harbour and did the usual sitting about eating, drinking, enjoying the sunshine etc.

Having mentioned on the drive up that I needed to return to my local haunt (Loch Lubhnaig) to replenish my stock of slate and grit  for modelling purposes, my wife pointed out while we were sitting on the harbour jetty that Seil harbour was once (1881 when the place closed) was a slate quarry, and looking down I noticed that the whole jetty and indeed the whole quay was made from slate.

Finding a suitable receptacle, I duly filled it up and now have a life-times supply of slate chippings of all grades.
'Slate chippings of all grades'
Looking at what I had picked up after a very nice day out, I figure if I'd bought this at a modelling shop I'd have paid something in the region of £28 for a similar amount. Even if you decide to go the cheaper route of picking this kind of thing up at your garden centre or similar it's still going to cost you a few quid.

I've always tried to source my terrain materials, where possible, naturally and therefore free. Admittadly this time I had travelled a reasonable distance but I was going there anyway. Bark from fallen trees, sand and grit from the beach, twigs etc, recycling packaging for card and polystyrene, the list can go on and on, you get the idea I'm sure. Interesting what you can pick up if you keep a weather eye open for opportunities which will save you a fair bit of cash.

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