Materials #1½: Containers & Treasures

Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Materials 1½ ?

Well, just before we move onto other materials and cover "wet palettes" in the next post, I wanted to elaborate on containers.


This weekend my fiancée and I visited Reverse Garbage in Marrickville.

It's literally a treasure trove for miniature fx artists and really, anyone who's creative.

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You could practically lose yourself in this massive shed filled with useful items normally dumped in landfill and so on. These guys share the view that things should be re-used rather than recycled.

There's everything here from massive sheets of polystyrene to rolls of paper, cardboard, boxboard, wooden skirting and boards of all sizes, plus containers galore.

I fished out a bunch of old, never-used medicine bottles and an empty Epoxy resin jar to convert into containers for everything from plaster to PVC glue & sand mixes, to custom washes or flock, lichen and other terrain materials.


There were more spray bottles and spray triggers than you could poke a stick at and plenty of other bits and pieces that could be used for terrain building.

Get yourselves down there, have a rummage around and see what you can find of use. You'll be doing a great deed for the environment and satisfying your miniature-artist craving for treasure hunting.

The prices are unbelievably cheap and they're constantly being stocked with new items. Check out their site for some more information and pictures.


For those of you in Queensland, there's a great looking Reverse Garbage in West End.

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If anyone knows of other similar Co-operatives fueling the "re-use" movement around Australia, post a comment here.


As a side note to the previous post's discussion on selecting water jars - here's a little tip on taking off labels.

I've got here a Master Foods jar (for ginger) that's been washed and "de-labelled" and is currently my prop for keeping brushes upright while painting (never ever leave your brushes head-down in your water jar, you'll damage the point way too quickly).


Now, to take off the label a lot more neatly than what you normally would, my Dad's got a great trick he learnt about 30 years ago.

1.) Tear off a piece of clear cling-wrap, enough to wrap around your chosen jar;

2.) Stretching the piece of cling-wrap open, gently hold it under a tap of running water for a second or two;

3.) Once the cling-wrap is wet (do not let it buckle in on itself - keep it stretched open) wrap it right around your jar covering the label. It doesn't matter if it overlaps several times;

4.) Leave the jar out in the sun to dry for a few hours;

5.) Once dry, you peel off the cling-wrap, then use your nails to scrape away a small section of the label. Then the majority of the label will slip off nice and easy with very little adhesive markings left behind;

6.) Dab some methylated spirits on the corner of a cloth and use it to wipe down and polish up the exterior of your jar.

Happy "de-labelling".


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