Good idea this thread is & some ideas I didn't think of either.
I decided to have a quick look around my house to see what I can come up with.
I live in Australia so the terminology of some things may be different people living in other countries.
Some may have already be mentioned but here goes - spent 20 mins looking around.
So imagine if it was an hour or 2 ?
Here we go -
Baking Soda -- For making snow etc.
Flour -- for making the ol fashion glue
Old butter kinves -- good for spreading plaster
Old strainers -- use to get a better result with fine grasses/soil
Pastry brushes -- good for texturing & spreading wet plaster
Spice Rack -- Lotsa goodies here to make plants/leaves etc.
Tea Bags/leaves -- for leaves or ground scrap
Pill Bottles -- good for paints or storage of small parts
Bandages/Gause -- For tarps/netting/flags etc.
Nasal Spray -- Basicly a mini spray bottle, more precise than a normal spray bottle.
Computer -- Finding information, designing dioramas/ buildings printing decals,posters & other peper accessories.
Bulldog clamps -- to hold part & keeping plastic bags sealed
Old 3.5" Floppy disks -- stripped down the plastic can be used
Old 3.5" Floppy disk storage boxes -- great for parts storage, paint rack or even placing painted parts in to dry (protected )
Old Cd/dvds -- good for paint palettes or with the ones that can be printed on, these can be used to make road signs etc. using your printer.
Old Computer Parts -- If you carefully look at old motherboards (with imagination) you can use bits n peices for your models. The small wiring on some parts a perfect size for radio/electrical cables on your model.
Old Pens -- Good for piping, I read a article somewhere about making miniture bottle from old pens
Paperclips -- Wire is useful
Rubberbands -- Holding part together etc.
Staples -- Various uses from the nomral use to rail handles etc.
White Out -- Filling gaps, even gives a good texture on road signs.
Ceiling Paint -- I normally use this as a base coat on plaster bases & plater parts.
Electrical Cords -- Srtipped down the copper wire can be used for various things. The small plastic coating on wires can be used as hoses, feul lines.
Fish Tank -- Diorama cover, or maybe a diorama with a real waterfall ??
Solder -- Excellent using it for power/phone lines, can be heated/flattened to make other parts like hooks,grab handles.
Wire -- Various grades/types useful for tow cables etc,
Wood -- Always need wood
Clay -- Raw clay gives a great finish for arid dioramas
Dirt -- For the cheapo person who don't buy it from a shop
Leaves -- Some plant leaves when dried, then crushed are good for ground foilage litter.
Rock,Pebbles -- Good for building up rubble, or just natural rocks.
Plant roots -- Some plant roots when dried make excellent trees or bushes.
Tree Bark -- Good for adding to rubble for that damaged wood look, also various types of bark can be flattened which can be good for woodwork feature on buildings.
I think just about anything found in gardens can be used - IF
- It meets the exact enviromental nature of the diorama.
- Able to be dried & possibly painted.
- Able to be preserved & not rot.
In The Bin::
Aluminium Cans -- Useful for many things, sheet metal, corrogated iron etc. or even the adveturous who want to try to make accessories similar to photo-etch parts.
Food Package Trays -- Useful for paint palettes, or building material
Plastic Bottles -- Lids for paint palettes, plastic cut down to make windows.
Plastic containers -- For storage of parts, plaster, powders etc. etc. etc.
The Wife's makeup kit::
***CAUTION**** this can be very dangerous
Cream Containers -- Nice stroage or paint containers
Emery Boards -- Disposable file, basiclly 2 gades of sandpaper stuck to a paddle pop stick.
Makeup applicator -- Not sure it's proper name (the small stick with sponge at both ends woman use to put eye makup on), these are good for appying dust/chalk to models & soaking up excexx water/thinner/paint from small areas.
Nail file -- Small metal file (cheaper than a model or hardware store)
Nail Clippers -- Good for clipping small wires, excess plastic etc.
There alot of other everyday items I didn't worry about like:
& so on
Alrighty, I went a bit overboard but who knows it may give you some new ideas.