Replacement for styrofoam

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One day while painting some pieces of a model I went to move the Styrofoam that my skewers/alligator clips were placed in and not only did some of the skewers slip down the overused holes in the foam but also numerous small bits of foam were left all over my workspace.

This isn’t new though, it happens every time I paint or topcoat anything. Getting tired of this I decided to try to use a different material than Styrofoam. The obvious replacement would be the 2nd most popular choice for this which is a block of wood. The thing is though I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t have easy access to a hardware store plus drilling all those holes seemed pretty arduous. I remembered though in a modeling video I saw a few Japanese modelers use some kind of special piece holder base that looked like a Honeycomb Filter and that’s when I realized all cardboard has corrugated edges like that. After making one and using that in conjunction with Styrofoam to hold pieces I decided recently to replace all the foam entirely and make a few more.

First I went to a Costco and got some free boxes for the bases and a few more to cut up, I also got some extra boxes to cut from a hardware store.

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All you need is a ruler, a X-Acto knife, and an already cut piece of cardboard at the right size as a guide. You want each line of cardboard to be similar in height and to always be on the corrugated side.

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Cardboard piece holders really have all the strengths of both wood and Styrofoam with none of their weaknesses. Like foam you can put pieces anywhere and can fit all types of stick diameters and like wood there is no chance of the holes getting overused and weak or there being a mess left behind. While making them is time-consuming when done you will never have to worry about this again and will have the perfect place to hold your drying model pieces.

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