Sunday, January 2, 2011

Product Review - Cutting Mat, Drawing Tablet, Testor's, Gouache, Stumps

A quick trip to the Hobby Lobby where you can't find anything, can't get help, and most importantly can't check out in a timely manner.  I hate the place, but it is close and I can get what I need there if I pack a lunch.

Today's pickings...

 Cutting mats are close to making my "mandatory" tool list.  They are handy for cutting almost anywhere and won't allow the work surface to be damaged.  The most popular use for them at my house is for cutting wallet size pictures apart with a razor blade.  They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and shapes.  I keep a large 2'x2' and some smaller ones at the desk, mostly green, but I do have some black ones.  The lines for measuring are worthless.  I do wreck them quite often, mostly with paint, so I replace them every time I can and usually when Hobby Lobby provides a 40% of coupon.
 Planning means drawing.  I sketch a lot, usually in charcoal or pencil.  Drawing pads are a nicety as you can draw on printer paper.  But for key model design sketches (like my upcoming diorama) I want a good "keeper" drawing.  This pad was more expensive than I would normally buy.  Usually I wait for them to go on sale but I've lost my pads during the move and needed one.

 Who doesn't have some Testor's paint running around the shop!  It is mandatory to have a can of Dullcoat, one of the most useful paints in existence.  It is also very popular to have a can of Flat Black.  My local hobby shop was wiped out of paint during the holidays, so I picked up a can until they have more in stock.  I use a lot of it.  It is mainly needed for the two water tanks I'm about to start on.

 Gouache.  Ok, say it with me... gwäsh - very good! Gouache is a water color type paint that is used for weathering.  It has more pigment than watercolor and is thicker.  I got the idea from using it from legendary diorama builder Chuck Doan.  We'll test his technique on the water tanks.

Artist stumps and tortillons.  These are used mostly for charcoal and pencil drawings to make "smudges" and to blend colors.  We use them for weathering.  Mostly for blending and smudging colors such as rust.  The stump is the larger stick but is wrapped tighter.  The tortillon is smaller and loosely wrapped so each gives a different effect.  These, too, will be part of the tank project.

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