The Little World – Inadvertantly Frugal

dscf0209Frugal is a popular word – just Google ” frugal “, Dougal, and watch your screen fill up. Overflowing with minimalism, if you will.

Well, very few of us modellers will. Be frugal, I mean. We may practise the trait in other parts of our lives – re-knitting jumpers and saving bits of soap to put in the shaving mug and such – but when it comes to a lashing out on something for our miniature building hobbies we suddenly become Lotto millionaires. It is nothing to be ashamed of – any hobbyist worth their ” Home Brand ” salt will buy the groceries at the discount market and save the money for the goodies.

This may not apply to the people who regard eating foie gras and drinking champagne as a hobby, but they probably resort to liverwurst and goon at the end of the paycheck fortnight anyway…

Back to frugality in my own workshop. I did not start out my latest project with that in mind. I did not start out with anything in mind. I have a mind like that. But I did want to make a modern car diorama – right now as opposed to the middle 60’s – and I decided to do it with a local Australian flavour. West Australian, if possible. I drove round to the local franchise coffee bar for a hot chocolate and sat pondering what scene to make…

The heading image is the result. I will detail the building process in another post, but the chief characteristic of this model, and of the diorama that it is going into, is the cheapness. Cheapness without sacrificing success.

Cheap because nearly every bit of raw material was sitting in derelict form here in the workshop. The side walls were discarded photographic matt board. The interior structure is off-cuts from foam-core board that were left over from two other building projects. The baseboard was the remains of a cabinet. And all of the other bits that make up the detail of the place were fashioned from fragments sitting in the wood, plastic, strip, or card bins here. The only purchases were two lengths of Plastruct ” H ” beam and two vials of acrylic paint. I now have more purple and lime green than any decent person needs…

The cars that will visit the Muzz Buzz or be parked nearby are all cheapies too – the sort of average suburban vehicles that attract no great interest from model collectors. So far, no 1:18 scale modern car has cost over $ 50, and several of them are half that price – discounted as non-sellers in the hobby shops. I am scouring the off-beat toy places for other unwanted vehicles. The wonderful thing about getting ’em cheap is you have no qualms about weathering or modifying them – they become truly your own once you have dinged them up. Just like the 1:1 scale cars, there is bugger-all resale value once you have owned them for a couple of years…

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2 thoughts on “The Little World – Inadvertantly Frugal

  1. The miniature looks great and what an interesting read! Thanks for dropping by the store to show the Team as you’ve whet their appetite to see the finished scene you are putting together. FYI- the excess paint is also suffered by many others. Nice work Uncle Dick!

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    1. I’m glad you understand. I’ll be making a series of the construction as it goes on, with pictures of the parts in the building. When it is all completed I will take a series of pictures and supply them to your office. I’m hoping to display the diorama at several scale modelling and miniature shows in Perth this year.Sort of 1:18 scale advertising for you…

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