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Salvaged Materials

If wargaming is damaging your wallet, then remember that many items for making scenery etc. can be salvaged from the home and workplace for absolutely nothing. As re-use is the perfect form of recycling, you will also be helping save the planet. So what are you waiting for? - go out and loot. The only problem is that you will need somewhere to store all this stuff….



  • Plastic cutlery, particularly spoons.
  • Freezer bag ties (extract the wire).
  • Bamboo skewers.
  • Cocktail sticks.
  • Dried Tea.
  • Ice lolly/popsicle sticks (strong and about the right size for 28mm planks).
  • One-shot filter coffee containers. (Ideal sci-fi vents).
  • Yoghurt pots.
  • Matches
  • Plastic straws (black are the best, as they don't show so much if paint chips off).
  • Card (usually thin) from packaging.


  • 12g CO2 canisters from paintball and airguns.
  • Rifle cartridge casings.
  • Plastic packing strip (the stuff with a diamond shaped grid on it)
  • Humbrol plastic paint pots - (good sci-fi barrels).
  • Corrugated cardboard with fine ribbing. (Usually found in packaging of lightbulbs, small electrical items or kitchenware).
  • Guitar strings, the thinner ones make good antennae.


  • Hard plastic tops from bottles and jars.
  • Hair curler inners.
  • Aerosol caps (v. rigid plastic).
  • Pill dispensers.
  • Drain and soil pipe sections (but difficult to glue).
  • CD and cassette cases.
  • Film containers (use as paintpots).
  • Sprue from plastic model kits.
  • Cassettes, CDs, floppy disks.
  • Tic-tac boxes


  • Tiling spacers. (The grid on this bunker was made from them).
  • Unused rivets (this one is just over an inch long. An unused rivet
  • Old nuts, washers and bolts.
  • Tightly threaded screws & bolts. (Ones with a very open thread are very recognisable, tightly threaded ones just look like ribbed piping).
  • Off-cuts of plastic and copper piping.
  • Wire.
  • Cable ties.
  • Lino - the best is the non-slip stuff with grit in it which can be painted as tarmac.


  • Shampoo tops. Timotei ones make excellent turrets.
  • Disposable razors.
  • Shampoo bottles (bit flexible but OK with glue gun). This dropship body was based around one.
  • Plastic tube from cotton buds.
  • Loofah (foliage).
  • Sponge (dye and then glue on flock for foliage).


  • Dried seed pods.
  • Twigs.
  • Moss


  • Electrical fuses (cheap enough to buy - about 10p each).
  • All old electrical items.
  • Starters from fluorescent tubes.
  • Watch batteries.


  • Pens and propelling pencils.
  • Staples (glue in a row for ladders or cut up for surface mounted wire).
  • Paper clips.
  • Card inner ring from adhesive tapes. A large one can be turned into the walls of a round hut.
  • Fountain pen cartridges.
  • Disassembly

    Everything was put together somehow, so it can be taken apart again by reversing the process. This may mean cutting through clips or tearing glue, but there will always be a way. The following tools will help you break everything down into its smallest constituent parts.

  • Screwdriver (multi-head)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Clippers
  • Heavy-duty craft knife (eg X-acto)
  • Hacksaw

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