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'Balsa Foam' in SA
Mech_Inf
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Gauteng, South Africa
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Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2010 - 08:58 PM UTC
Guys

Where in SA could one find this product (or similar) mentioned in this SBS on the Military Modeling site?

http://www.militarymodelling.com/forums/postings.asp?th=22888
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Monday, February 15, 2010 - 01:16 AM UTC
Hi Hendrik,

I remember working with a 2 part insulation years ago, I can't remember the name unfortunately

Depending on how much you're looking for you could possibly get some cans of insulation foam from Builders... not cheap though.
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 11:54 PM UTC
Donovan

Thanks. Okay, so it is similar in composition to 'high density' foam. I know the 2 part stuff. Like you said - pricey.
matt
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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 01:11 AM UTC
Foam used for 3-D signs can also work. It comes in varying densities

Maybe you can find something similar? http://www.signfoam.com/
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 01:22 AM UTC
Yeah Hendrik

I know you can get the stuff in sheets as well, no idea where though...

The problem Matt is that we're stuck in deepest darkest Africa...
matt
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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 02:21 AM UTC
I'd think they're be some signshops even in the bigger cities.... Maybe not so much in the deepest dark spots of the country.


I'd be willing to help you guys out if need be.

Edit:

here's a place in Australia:

http://www.bunyanfilms.com.au/balsafoam/balsafoam.html
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 07:16 PM UTC

Quoted Text



:-?
We're from South Africa... The USA is closer than Australia

Thanks anyway M8
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 - 05:58 PM UTC
Thanks, Matt, but as Donovan says: We're from Africa. There should be some application for this stuff somewhere in SA.

That is part of the challenge of our hobby here in SA. some stuff is just difficult to get, while others are damn expensive. Well, we learn to be more innovative.

Recently I looked for cork tiles - nada. The closest thing I found was little cork squares that you attach to furniture legs to stop them scratching up the floor. Well. they did the job I needed them for. Will be posting pics soon.
Tarok
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 - 09:01 PM UTC
I found cork tiles at the likes of De La Rey hardware - all over the Western Cape. I suppose you'd find the same at your Mica hardware stores. Alternatively try a kitchen fitment place or an arts & craft store.

If you can't find the high density polystyrene foams they use for insulation (in South Africa you don't really have timber frame houses so don't really need that type of foam for building - hence the price, it's simply supply vs demand), try using the 'normal' polystyrene foam. It's the sort of bubble type. I managed to buy sheets of it from De La Rey, IIRC. I know most modellers don't recommend using it due to it's lower density, but I managed to cover mine with a paper mache type mix (I forget the specific brand at the moment) without any problem.



Mech_Inf
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Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 12:29 AM UTC
Rudi

Thanks. I'm up in Gauteng and have looked at all the big hardware places for cork tiles. The salespeople don't even know what I'm talking about. I'm going down to George soon - will have a look at one of the smaller hardware places.

Currently I use polystyrene foam as well, but you need to cover it with stuff. I use terracotta coloured tile grout (See my Crete Dio - Unternehmen Merkur - in my photo album) I also used it on the David Vs Goliath dio for the groundwork. That high density stuff just looks interesting as you can carve detail directly into it.

I'm always looking for new scratchbuilding stuff to try.

Thanks for your help, guys
Tarok
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Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 01:14 PM UTC
Hi Hennie,

Are you really all that surprised that hardware staff don't know what you're looking for? It's the same in all the big hardware chain stores all over the world. Your best best is to try find a small, old fashioned, "mom and pop" HW store.

Alternatively, try a tile place. I was pretty sure I saw cork tiles in my local Carlo Tito Mario ( ) when I lived in the Western Cape's Northern Suburbs not too long ago.

For the foam, what about a place like this? http://www.plasticsportal.co.za/css_pages/sondor_performance_foams.html or http://www.isover.co.za/Product-Range/Product-Range.aspx

Maybe places like this can sell you some waste or off-cuts.

Rudi
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Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 01:56 PM UTC
I have not tried this myself but would the green foam blocks that florists use to make displays be any good for what you have in mind?
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 - 10:21 PM UTC
Rudi, I'm not surprised. By now I'm used to it. Unfortunately, these big chain stores have killed off all the 'mom and pop' places in our area. Also, the LHS's in Guateng are all going the RC Aircraft route. The only decent place is still Jix hobbies. Luckily I've discovered HobbyEasy and I'm awaiting my third consignement from them - like a little kid at Christmas

I've tried CTM and all the other tile places for cork tiles - no luck. I think that it's no longer in vogue in our area. I'm sure I'll find some in some backwater somewhere. Just to find the time to go searching.

Darren, I've thought about that stuff. I'll experiment with it. I suspect that it may be too porious, though.
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2010 - 07:05 PM UTC
Hi again Hendrik, Darrens suggestion of using "oasis" definitely has some merit...

Have a look at this: http://www.hobbybokhandeln.net/?p=4908

If you're in the Pretoria area (assuming so as you're talking about Jix) You can also find model shops in the Kollenade (can't remember the name) & Model Mania in Centurion... Not the biggest or best stocked places on earth but worth having a look at

What has your experience been with HobbyEasy?
I'm always concerned with the whole tax thing
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 06:16 PM UTC
Well, that link on the use of 'oasis' clears up any doubts I had, thanks

On LHS' in my area: I haven't been to the one in the Kollonade yet (I'm in Centurion). Model Mania is one of those shops that went the RC and slotcar way. I was bitterly disappointed in their 1:35 scale selection when I visited recently. I only use them for Tamiya Acrilics as they have the whole range.

Donovan, on HobbyEasy: I have only had good service and value from them. My first 2 consignements only cost me an additional R25 at the local post office. however, my wife just informed me that the current consignement has arrived, but we need to pay R170. The previous times the invoice was inside the parcel, but it seems that this time it was attached to the outside, hence the extra money. I'll remember next time I order and will remind Daniel at HobbyEasy to place it inside the parcel instead.

I worked out that postage (included on Hobby Easy side) is about 35% of value. With the additional money now to be paid this side it comes to 46%. However, if you add 46% to the listed prices at HobbyEasy and you compare to prices at your LHS, you still win. For example, a Trumpeter T55 in 1:35 still costs less than R100.

Also, hobbyEasy has a much bigger selection than any LHS in SA. Difficult to come by items such as Eduard Photo Etch for example.

I'm sold on HobbyEasy, as you have a currency converter and can actually see prices in ZAR. Also they have a special where you don't pay postage on any Bravo 6 figures! They're still pricey though.

I hear good things about LuckyModel and they apparently 'doctor' invoices to reflect a lower value - thus less tax.
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 06:41 PM UTC
I wanted to say that I use Model Mania mostly for paint as well...
I think the one in Kollenade is F1 models, the same people that used to be in the Centurion mall.

Thanks for the info on the international alternatives, I'll definitely give them a try!
I remember when I imported stuff from the states previously, sometimes the shipping & tax is more than the value of the stuff you bought!
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 07:09 PM UTC
Donovan, you're so right. Also thanks for clarifying the fact that the guys in the Kollonade are the ones that used to be in Centurion Mall - they had a nice selection of 1:35 Armour stuff and I was really sad when I realised they were no longer there. I'll make a point of going up there.

Perhaps I need to clarify: I work outside the country and only get 'home' every 6 weeks, so I often find surprising 'changes', especially with all the new developments, pre- SWC. The upside is that I have 2 solid weeks of modelling once I am home, as my wife works and the days are mine

Yeah, I once tried buying something on the US Amazon site, but the tax and postage was ridiculous. Go East, young man, go East
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 07:47 PM UTC
What line are you in? (If I may ask)

Now you've got Pet Shop Boys - Go West stuck in my head... thanks

Mech_Inf
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 08:50 PM UTC
Sorry

I'm in Risk Management. (Ex soldier)

Enjoy your tune
Delta-Papa
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Posted: Monday, March 01, 2010 - 09:26 PM UTC
I did my time way back in the day as well... I ran around with dogs all the time

Judging by your call sign you were in

Now that's just sadistic...
Tarok
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 12:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm sold on HobbyEasy, as you have a currency converter and can actually see prices in ZAR. .....
I hear good things about LuckyModel and they apparently 'doctor' invoices to reflect a lower value - thus less tax.



One of the great things about HE is that currency calculator, unfortunately I suspect it's also the culprit in slowing down the page load speed.

I bought from HE when I was in SA as well. Always great service.

LM is excellent as well, but beats HE on the price of postage. LM don't really "doctor" the bill (our estemed comrade Julius doesn't work for them ), what they do is declare a lower value for customs purposes. So what it appears they're doing is declaring their replacement cost, not ours. They also offer the option to declare it as a gift, and send it with minimal company logos.

The sums you did were pretty spot-on, Hendrik. Those were the same figures I came up with way back. Good to see things haven't changed

Pity about the LHS's, but I suppose they do have to try survive, and if the market what's RC instead of static, that's what they've got to do. Still sad though.

If you think ordering from the US or UK is pricey, try ordering from Spain. I ordered some figures from Andrea Miniatures in Spain a few years ago - the postage to SA was the same as the cost of the figures!

Sterkte

Rudi
Tarok
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 01:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text






I just remembered what the stuff was which I used to cover the polystyrene foam: Celluclay. It's the same stuff Richard Wondrow uses in the Osprey terrain books. It's basically just a commercial version of paper mache You may find similar products in art stores, or perhaps (baie slim kans) in the craft aisle of De La Rey or Mica Hardware.
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 05:25 PM UTC
Donovan, yeah, I was in the mechanised infantry.

Rudi, I have never tried Lucky Models, but i did do a price comparison with Hobby Easy and HE seems to be about $1 cheaper for every $10 spent. Multiply that by R7.5 and the postage issue becomes less important. I just spent R1200 with HE

I'm not knocking LH, I just haven't used them before.

On the demise of the LHS industry; I suppose we're to blame too. We buy directly from overseas. The LHS owners also have to import their stock (same postage, taxes etc.) and still make a profit.

I can believe that the stuff from Spain could be expensive. I once made the mistake of adding some MiniArt items to my list on HE. Suddenly the postage was way more than the actual order. I read the small print and it turned out that the item is shipped directly from Poland. I scratched that item from the list ASAP.

This may also be why Mig items are so hellishly expensive in SA. I'm sure they are neat to use, but I sometimes think it's a question of 'The Emperor's cloak'. Everyone believes that it is the be-all and end-all of weathering. I actually like the idea of having to solve a weathering problem by other, more innovative ideas.
Tarok
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 05:44 PM UTC
Hi Hendrik,

Fair enough re. the postage. I seldom spend more than $100 (AUD) in any single transaction so the lower postage is a determinant (sp?) for me - but I get where you're coming from.
As you've noticed, a lot of what HE does is act as an agent - hence the MA stuff coming from a dealer in Poland. Incredible really, since one would think they'd rather deal with a Ukrainian since that's where it originates from.

That said, both Spain and Poland are known for their high postage charges.

I bought my MIG stuff from Michael (?) Kalkwarf. He's a member here although I forget his call-sign, if you dig through the Springbok Club posts you should find discussions between him and I. If I remember correctly at the time his MIG stuff (filters) wasn't badly priced. I use the MIG stuff only because I had experiences with varying qualities of oil paint pigments and preferred to go the MIG route (over artist's pigments). I reckon it's down to personal preference. There are many more model pigment manufacturers now than when I was shopping for pigments so much more choice, and they all appear to be similar in quality - but that's a debate I'm not getting into

Lekker dag.

Rudi
Mech_Inf
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - 06:34 PM UTC
Thanks, Rudi

I'll have a look.

Lekker dag daar ook.