Brand Loyalty, or Not

Several people have asked me what I use for sculpting. It got me thinking about my brand loyalties in general. There are some hobby supplies for which I do have a preferred brand or supplier, and others for which I’m much less picky. As I outlined in a previous post, I’m a fan of Testor’s Dull Cote, Aves Apoxy Sculpt, and Krylon Primer.

On the other hand, there are some items that I use regularly which I am much more flexible about, particularly when cost or availability vary. I understand why other people are more selective. But as a cheapskate amateur, I can afford to be a more adaptable.

Acrylic Paints – For starters, I’m a terrible acrylic painter. I use them almost exclusively for details where pastels won’t work, or for painting props and dioramas. Therefore I am really not picky about my brands or the nuances between them. My paints have been acquired from a variety of sources from my college’s book store and various art stores to garage sales or my mother’s studio. So when I reach for a color, it might be Liquitex, Grumbacher, M. Graham & Co., Golden, or Ceramcoat, depending on when and how I acquired it.

Pastels – Many hobbyists swear by one brand or another, and if I had unlimited income it’d be nice to try them all. Instead, I use the set of chalk pastels I owned before I ventured into customizing (Rembrandt), supplementing with a basic, inexpensive, and hobbyist recommended set of earth tones (Alphacolor). But when I run out of a color or happen to find a cheap source, I’m willing to try what I find most easily, provided it comes in a color and price range that works for me.

Colored Pencils – I started using colored pencils after reading about it online. I wanted to try it, so I just grabbed what I had on hand- a nice, full set of Derwent pencils and some Loew-Cornell watercolor pencils. I liked the results and when I ventured out for more colors ended up buying Faber Castell Pastel Pencils and Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils. I like all of these, and they seem to have varying effectiveness depending on what is it that I’m trying to do with them. Even when I’m using them, I just keep trying one after the other til I hit the one that works. And so when I see them at the store it’s a bit like candy, and I just pick up a few more here and then- resulting in the hodge podge of brands in my pencil drawer.

Dremel Tool – In this case I actually practiced backwards brand loyalty by avoiding the Dremel brand. What I actually own is a Chicago Rotary Tool. Dremel is the most well known brand, and also the most expensive. Handily, once you’ve bought the tool itself the attachments and bits are largely interchangeable, so you can find what you need at your local hardware store regardless of the exact manufacturer.

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