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TipSheet: Sanding Sticks & Paint Chips

I buy a bag of "popsicle sticks" which you get a few hundred sticks for $2-$3. Then I buy 1 sheet each of all the various grits ( 80g to 600g ) of sand paper at my local hardware store ( $1 per sheet for 3M). Place your stick on the sheet of sand paper, and with a hobby knife, trace around the shape of the stick. Now glue your paper to the stick with Elmers Glue-All.

There you have it - your own sanding stick. You can also use both sides of the stick, making one side fine grit & the other a medium grit. Also 2 grits on one side ( half & half), giving you a 4 grit stick. You can also cut & sand the sticks to different shapes and thickness - so you can get into tight & narrow spots. With a sheet of sand paper for each grit & the bag of sticks - you'll be well stocked for many years - saving you many dollars!

I like picking my colors by eye, and not by what the "colors reference name" printed on the bottle or tin says ( Ex.- "Military Brown" - " Field Grey" ). I've been thrown off from the color I needed too many times by relying on its given name.

I go by matching the color of the subject to the color in the bottle. So to see the color & get a good idea how it will look when dry, what I do is buy the small round white adhesive labels which fit perfectly on the caps of Model Master Paints. I apply the label on the bottle cap - give paint a good stir - then add a nice size dab to the label stuck to the cap. Every bottle of paint I have, now has its own paint chip on the bottle cap. Its makes for a very good reference of how that specific color will look when its dry.

And all I have to do is look at the color on the label instead of wasting time looking for a specific name. In my opinion " if the color fits, the model should wear it ".

Ralph Persico

About the Author

About Ralph Persico (screamingeagle)

Machinist by trade. ------- My interest in the hobby ( military scale modeling ) started as a young boy at age 10 continuing into my late teens, building model aircraft. After almost 20 years away from the hobby I renewed my passion for military scale modeling with a change over to armor & figures...