Monday 19 February 2024

Can you buy good modelling accessories from AliExpress in 2024?

I have been playing Wish and AliExpress bingo for a while now.  It can be a dangerous game, but if you've got a few quid that are burning a hole in your pocket, there are worse ways to spaff it up the wall. 

Now this isn't one of those exercises.  I genuinely needed some specific items and thought I would put each store to the test.

AliExpress Modelling Accessories

HobbyMio Sci-Fi Decals (maybe a bit of a Gundam theme here) - £1.83 - 4/5

You may have seen my recent print of Trix Robot Rider on these pages.  I'm really happy how she came out but the robot hand is crying out for some decals.  I had a look on AliExpress and was stunned by the sheer volume of waterslide decals that are available at some extremely good prices.  Most of these are replacements for specific Gundam kits but there are some which are just generic.  

I chose the HobbyMio Model Decal Vol 1 set and I'm really impressed with the diversity of symbols warning signs numbers which come in the set.  They are a mix of black, white, red and yellow with plenty of variety to sticker up your robot.  I'll update this post when I've used some to let you know how they come out and how easy they are to lay down.

12Pc Set 21x15cm Leopard Print Grafitti Stencils - £4.21 - 3/5

When I painted the wings of my Ulimate Radical Centrist B'lakor Demon, I used an old orange bag as stencil mask to get a diamond pattern.  It was okay, but very fiddly and I had seen some of the AFV modellers on YouTube using some splatter masks so thought I'd try one.  

I think I ordered the wrong thing as these are considerably larger than I expected.  With 12 different patterns to choose from these are still very useable for bigger models.  In the set are a:

  • Leopard Spots - each spot ranges from 1 to 2cm 
  • Waves - 11 different wave patterns should look good for water effects or Chris Foss inspired shampoo bottle spaceship patterns
  • Bubbles - well I don't know how to describe this stacked bubble design.
  • Large Tiger Stripes - again very useable if you are doing a tiger striped camo theme on a vehicle.
  • Voronoi - small holes measuring 1 to 1.3cm across.  Very useable for dragon hide or interior wing patterns.
  • Square Cells - an irregular collection of 4 sided holes with rounded corners.  This is going to be an absolute must for that cracked earth look.
  • Large Zebra Stripes - same as the Tiger stripes
  • Lizard Skin - a tighter mesh of diagonal holes.  Great for any large lizard (wink, wink)
  • Squished Lizard Skin - a mesh of varying sized organic shaped diamonds large on the edge to tiny in the middle.  this is going to get a lot of use I can tell.
  • Rust Splatter - that collection of irregular shapes which the AFV guys go wild for 
  • Swoopy Curves - this is less useable in my opinion and will probably see action when I just want to define a swooping curve in much the same way you might use a french curve.
  • Large Irregular Cells - again this is likely to see use in large base texture shading.

I will give them a whirl on my next 3D printed mega project which is currently staring at me with it's five fearsome heads.

Hobby MS Small Wet Pallette Set - £3.59 4/5

I've always wanted to try out a wet palette, but they are kind of intimidating and come in at around £20 or so.  I thought I'd try out one of these little travel palettes to see how I get on.

The box measures 21cm x 7cm and has two compartments, one for the palette and the other I am guessing is a water supply section.  Included are 10 sheets of "baking paper", two absorbent blotters, a thick white foam pad and a strange square metal grill.

I will have to learn how all of this goes together and how to use it as it did not come with instructions, but I did find this video on how to use it.

I'll report back with my findings...

Postage Not Included

The total I paid for all three items was only £15.83 so that was £6.20 for flat rate shipping and delivery took just shy of 8 calendar days.

Given that a pint in a london pub in 2024 is about £10 these days I think I'll try this again.  Tune in again soon for a review of some model making goodies.

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