The Materials We Use
Plywood | Acrylic | Walnut | Matboard
We have experimented with a wide variety of materials to use for our various products. We have chosen the best materials we can find for each job.
Regarding acrylic plastic, we have over twenty five colors and shades of standard acrylic and more than half dozen more of mirrored acrylic. Our standard acrylic products are a bit cheaper than the mirrored versions, a price reflecting our own costs to acquire each kind of material. We do have access to a good many more colors, thicknesses, shades and styles than what we offer is the "standard" varieties. If you are looking for something special, or of differing thickness let us know. We can do a lot more than we have listed if you have a special project in mind, they are just materials with enough specialization we do not have them in stock on a routine basis.
Baltic Birch Plywood
Our use of Baltic Birch plywood, always 3 mm thick (approximately 1/8") was settled on to do most of our model making. It is very strong, smooth, sand-able and easily glued with many kinds of glue. It paints well, and with some dilution, you can effectively "stain" it using standard acrylic paint with a mix of water. Normal wood stains and wood finishing products also work effectively.
Walnut and Other Hardwoods
With our more expensive, classic hardwood options, we use only solid hardwood, not plywood. The products we make with the walnut and other hardwoods, unless specified otherwise, come hand oiled as standard. It should be noted that if you want a different finish other than oiled, please specify when ordering. Once oiled, they will not accept other wood finishing products.
We use 1.5mm thick framing matboard for a few products, though mostly focused on our Etsy and Ebay stores and not as much here. On the war gaming side of things, we use it as a detailing material for smaller parts for models requiring a thinner material. It is durable, easy to cut and work with, and comes in a huge variety of colors. Color choice is actually one place we cannot be that consistent in our supply. We recently had the chance to purchase all of the matboard from a framing shop that was going out of business. In the process we have acquired hundreds of sheets, enough to supply our business for some time. The problem with this situation, is that we have at most only a few sheets of any given color. This should not be an issue, however, as almost all of the places we use it is in products that will require priming and painting as part of another model.
Other Materials and Why No MDF?
Finally, a few words on Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), or rather our lack of it. Many companies like ours use a lot of this material. It works very well, is easily cut and has a smooth surface that accepts paint very well. That said, most of those companies are European, and it seems much more readily available on that side of the Atlantic than it does here in the United States. We are always looking for new materials, and while we have found sources of 3 mm MDF, most of these sources are prohibitively expensive, especially when compared to our other materials. Until we can locate a more affordable supplier for MDF, we will reluctantly have to refuse to carry it. If this situation changes, we will we be sure to incorporate it or any other material that we chance upon.