Small Tools of Great Use

2oz spray bottle. Useful little thing.

Here’s something I bought largely on a whim from a local craft store that has proven unexpectedly useful. It’s a 2oz (60ml) sprayer, cost about $2, and I find all sorts of uses for it.

Filled (as it is here) with a dilute mixture of acrylic artists ink and water, it’s a highly controllable way of applying washes or stains to scenery projects. In this case it’s got a grungy-looking mix of green and brown inks in it as part of an ongoing experiment in making grassy fields from fake fur (more on the fake fur experiments in a future post!). Due to lack of bench space, I often put projects on an old plastic tray and work on them there; I can spray with this little sprayer without having overspray all over the tray and the table I’m working on.

When basing figures or adding texture to scenery, I’ll put sand or flock down, paint it if required, then once that’s all dry, do a second coat of heavily diluted white glue to really lock the scenery material in place. To get the glue to flow easily into and around the scenery material, I fill the sprayer with plain water with just a tiny dab of dish soap added. The soap destroys any surface tension in the water, making what’s known as “wet water”.

A quick spray of wet water gets a second coat of dilute white glue applied by eyedropper to flow nicely in and around the scenery material. Once it’s dry the flock/sand/whatever is pretty nearly bombproof. I’ve got figure bases a decade old done this way that still haven’t shed a noticable amount of flock.

You could probably spray dilute white glue directly with a sprayer like this, but it might also be a great way to clog the nozzle, and especially when basing figures, I don’t exactly want glue sprayed on them.

Got a favourite small or slightly odd tool? Share in the comments!

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