I have three bottles of nail polish and it is the start of a collection.

No, I have not gone all strange and despite the funny looks I get browsing the cosmetic section in Poundland, I have plain ordinary nails with no adornments.

I’m no stranger to the cosmetic counter. The big fluffy brushes are ideal for applying Carr’s weathering powders and those little abrasive sticks are perfect for taking off the bits left after removing a piece from a sprue. It’s where I found tweezers with a light in them and I’ve idly browsed there for many years. Yet there is so much more there and I have been introduced to it now.

You can buy brilliants (little glass gems) for headlights for models but you’ll pay about a pound for five or six. Nail art suppliers on eBay will sell you about 3000 for £2. They do just the same thing – nothing – they are just sparkly glass.

Nail art brushes are available in a big set for bugger all money on eBay and they are ideal for small models. Yer actual model brushes are seriously expensive for the tiny ones, but these are so cheap you could use them once and throw them away. Naturally, all this time spent among the Scots means I won’t do that. Even so, I won’t be upset when one wears out.

Some years back I made and sold a model of smokers in a Jaguar to raise money to help out Amusing Bunni. I had started on another but sadly she passed away before I finished. I put the model aside. Later, things happened that made me lose interest in models altogether. I lost interest in my garden, in writing, in pretty much everything. I became a machine who worked to pay the bills and not much more.

Now it’s all coming back. Apart from the garden, because you don’t get those in an upstairs flat. The model making is back big time. The writing is coming too, there will be a story here for Halloween.

I have been working my way back into model making starting with an N gauge bus. At 6 cm long, it’s an exercise in patience and determination but it’s getting there. Some tiny vehicles to get me in the mood.

And the nail polish? It’s a modeller’s dream. You can do so much with this that you cannot do with modern acrylics. It’s as if a whole new range of paint options just opened up.

I have revived some part-done models (I’ll get to the sub, it’ll happen) and picked up where I left off with others. The model building station is smack in the middle of my living room, where it should be. It looks like this, clipped to hide the shambles I naturally live amongst.

truckIn the background are some other things I’m working on again but the truck is the main thing here. It’s a 1/72 scale fire truck but it won’t be that when it’s done. I have not yet decided on flatbed, dropside or box van. Box would be best, I think.

Clicking the pic should get you a better look. It’s painted with acrylics then dabbed with a sponge coated with sparkly nail polish as tipped by our resident nail art genius. You can get nail art sponges but I used bits ripped off a kitchen sponge, then hit with a sticky lint roller to avoid getting spongy bits in the paint.

Splatter the nail polish on the sponge, one dab on a bit of spare plastic gets most of the big sparkles off and then dab the model until it’s as sparkly as you want. Careful, overdoing it will take off the acrylic paint.

The window glazing is just a clear box display window cut to fit and stuck in with clear nail polish (they call it top and base coat). That clear polish is thick and glossy and at £1 for 10 ml it’s cheaper than acrylic clear varnish too. One tip – as soon as you feel the brush start to pull, stop and reload the brush. Otherwise it will take off all the work you’ve done.

I know, I should be ranting about antismokers and antidrinkers and anti all the rest and I will be, but for now I’m kitbuilding.

You know, that little bus needs an advert on the side. I can print decals so it can be anything. Smoking is cool. Booze is good for you. Fruit gives you piles.

I think I’ll put it up for sale when it’s done, with the choice of side advert entirely up to the buyer. Could earn me a few pennies.

Could even be the start of a new career…


22 thoughts on “Kitbuilding

  1. Nice one. I recently started using the nail polish meself. I’m building some creatures for Halloween and wanted to have the eyes lit from within. I needed some kind of cheap translucent paint to go over the clear Pepsi bottle plastic eyes and nail polish was all I could think of (3 for a pound in Poundworld).

    Liked by 2 people

        • It went on PET bottle plastic OK and ‘Dr Cranky’ uses the stuff on his kit builds. I did have a problem airbrushing it. The acetone I used as thinner killed the little soft plastic tube in the paint jar. It just kind of rotted. I replaced that with a piece of metal tube from a broken telescopic aerial.

          Liked by 1 person

      • That plus postage. I’m out in the sticks here. I hadn’t tried this before so I also needed to experiment a bit to get the effect I only vaguely had in mind. Ended up with a dark blue ‘lens’ with a red LED in the back. I thought the blue would kill the red but it does work.

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  2. Golf balls have to be marked in competition to identify the player – say by initials. Having drawn the mark with an indelible pen, you then paint it with nail varnish to make the mark last longer. When a large masculine man is asked what he is doing with nail varnish, he has the priceless opportunity to reply “I’m going to lacquer my balls”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be the weather; I’ve just built my first model in twenty years. It cost £1.99 in a bargain shop took an hour to build and is a 500mm span rubber-powered biplane. As always there are things which need improving but it’s a bit of fun and I’ve already had to retrieve it from the roof of a nearby caravan . . .

    Liked by 2 people

      • To be honest, I really do wonder how many UFO reports have been down to aero-modellers playing around, to see what they could make fly. Chatting to the model aircraft guys way back when I was learning to fly hang gliders, it appears that the Baildon Moor lot had a regular competition for this.

        Apparently this chap’s fondest memory was of having made a toilet door fly, and fly quite well.

        Certainly the section of the RAF dedicated to investigating UFOs seems to have been interested in spotting enemy aircraft rather than little green men, and was shut down round about the time it became glaringly obvious that pretty much everyone could build decent drone aircraft, so anything weird would either be a drone.

        Or a flying toilet door.


        • Good point. Those UFOs are real now that circular flying toys are readily available and yet reports of them are scarce now.

          The black triangles preceded the appearance of stealth jets. Did nobody think ‘prototype’?


  4. Old man, one day when I win the lottery, I will build my Two Scale Miles (visible track) of four-track main line railway over the top of Exmoor, from Wilton Junction to Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, in 00 gauge. On the plane, there is a steel arched viaduct of six spans carrying the four-track railway (Faller B548 x 14 full kits, already here) as part of it, between two rather large hills as they’d have to be. As some of the engines are nuclear-powered Gresley-Bulleid 2-8-2s, the speed-limiters on the “Down Fast” line say “275”. It’s Southern Railway Outline, 1952 (non-nationalised…)

    Liked by 1 person

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