An explanation of some of the terms , and how to use them
Throughout these articles, we will use many shorthand terms and jargon. It will be
assumed that you know a certain level of modelling, but for those who need a little
more help, we shall explain some of them here.
Click on the Titles for more details:
Brushes: A selection, from small ones for detail work, to large-area ones. PVA glue,
and dry-brushing, can ruin a good brush, so it is best to have some older ones to
Glue: PVA is best bought in 1 litre tubs. It can be thinned with water, and washes
off hands and clothes easily.
Flock: Artificial grass, usually available as coloured sawdust, in a variety of
Bitz Box: This is where all those extra little pieces go. Usually built up from unused
extra options from model kits, an experienced modeller will have an extensive collection
to choose from.
Paint: Scenery can use a lot of paint, so small model tins don’t go far. Tester pots
from DIY stores can provide better value for money.
Spray Paint: For base-coating large areas, cans of spray paint are useful. Make sure
to use in a well-ventilated area, where over-spray will not ruin anything!
Rough Coat: This is also known as Textured Spray Paint, and is used to give a stone
effect to your models.
Things you will need:
Dry Brushing: This very useful technique involves taking some paint onto a brush,
and then wiping most of the paint off, onto a cloth or tissue. Once there is very
little paint left, it can be gently rubbed onto the highlighted portions of a model.
It is usually done after a base-coat, using a lighter colour, to accentuate the raised
areas, where light would naturally reflect more.
Washing: The opposite of Dry-Brushing, you take a brush of thinned-down paint and
apply it to the recesses of a model, deepening the shadows. When combined with dry-brushing,
this leads to pronounced contrasts, and a more natural look than plain colours.
Flocking: To coat an area with flock, apply a generous amount of PVA glue, and then
sprinkle the flock on to it. Use more flock than is necessary. When the glue is dry,
the excess flock may be tipped off onto a sheet of paper and returned to its storage
tin for later use.
Carving Polystyrene: This is a messy business! Using a SHARP knife, carefully make
long strokes through the polystyrene, being careful not to cut anything that should
not be cut (other parts of the model, fingers, tables etc). Slice, rather than saw
or hack, at the polystyrene. Remove excess sections frequently. It is better to remove
too little, and then tidy up than to remove too much!
Paper Mache: Easily made from watered down PVA glue and ripped paper. Newspaper works
well, as it is very absorbent. The paper can be shredded and scrunched in to the
PVA, or kept in small, torn sheets and layered into place. It can take some time
for this to dry, but once it does, it is usually very solid and resilient.
Spraying Base-coat: ALWAYS USE SPRAY-CANS IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA. It is also best
to use a spraying-box that protects from the inevitable spray that goes anywhere
but on the model! Use a light touch, you can always put more spray on. It is difficult
to take off! Over-spraying can obscure details on the model.
Using Roughcoat: A light spray of rough-coat onto a plain surface can add interesting
texture. Always leave to dry thoroughly, and clear the nozzle after use by holding
the can upside down and spraying until clear.