The Little World – The Pickle Jar For Scale Modelers

dscf0206Here is a hint for all scale modellers – Polski O’Gorki.

Those of you who do the weekly shopping may recognise the word – it is a form of dill pickle popular in middle Europe and North America. I would be willing to bet it is a form of preserve that is enjoyed wherever in the world that people can find cucumbers, salt, vinegar, and dill.

We used to get the Bick’s brand from Ontario in Canada and I always made sure that we picked up the largest glass jar. The pickles were excellent. The Bick’s seem to have disappeared from the local shelves but now we get Hengstenberg gherkins from Esslingen in Germany. Equally good food and equally large glass jars – and it is the jars that we are concerned with as modellers.

Leaving aside the classical use of glass jars to store nuts and bolts – a workshop thing – I have now found that the jars and their tops are vital to my model painting ventures. I use a lot of the acrylic paints from Tamiya and Mr. Hobby and the little glass jars they come in are too good to waste. When they are empty I seal them up and set them aside for cleaning. This used to be a real chore as I tried to brush all the residue out of the jars under running water – if they had dried out at all, the task was all but impossible.

The turning point came when I started to keep a large pickle jar half full of a water/methylated spirit mixture and got to dropping the freshly emptied Tamiya jars into it straight away. I now seal the pickle jar with the metal top and leave it as the weeks went on. When the jar is full of old paint pots I empty it out in the laundry trough and the long soaking means that the labels come off slickly and the softened contest frequently rinse straight out with minimal brushing.

Okay, I am about to start trying the lacquer-type of paint and will devote the next pickle jar to it with the appropriate solvent inside. It will probably be equally successful.

If we can eat enough pickles between now and April…that may mean putting them on the cornflakes…I will also dedicate one to a spray cleaning catchment jar with a filter top. I’ve seen the commercial jobs and there is no reason that I can’t make one for free.

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