Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scratch Building Tip - Put it on Your Card

I may be one of the only people on earth that gets excited when the balance on their gift card reaches $00.00. And there is always a smile on my face when one of my credit cards expires. I have to be quick to reach my wife's expended or expired cards before she cuts them up and throws them in the trash.
That is because these spent little rectangles of plastic are an invaluable resource for scratch building. Instead of purchasing sheet styrene, why not just use these cards that are otherwise going to be tossed in the garbage? They cost virtually nothing when compared to what you would pay at a hobby shop for styrene and they are easy to come by. I can always count on relatives with a lack of creativity to purchase a gift card or two for me on holidays or birthdays.
Once they have been used to purchase my next model kit, or (if I'm smart) my next tank of gas, I toss them in a box full of other cards just like 'em. They are a tiny bit thick though, so all manner of scratch building may not be ideal but new credit cards these days are actually getting thinner. But I can't wait several years for my latest debit card to expire, so when I need a thinner material I have an ace up my sleeve...

...or a jack, or a two for that matter, I'm not picky. The higher quality playing cards are made of card stock, almost plastic material. Matter of fact, there are plastic playing cards in existence but I'm not that much of a high roller so I'll stick with the deck I've got. These are slightly thicker than paper, cut and shape easily and attach to plastic very easily with super glue, and even plastic cement. They can make thin sheet armor for side skirts, for instance and, with 52 in a box, its an almost endless supply of material. I've had my deck for years now with only a handful of cards missing now.
That's it. Just a simple tip to help you get some cheap material and recycle. Next time your gift card is spent, think twice before heaving it into the rubbish bin!

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