Monday, October 22, 2012

Hobby Tip: Use Satin Floss for Straps

A recent post on From The Warp discussed straps for bolters, so I figured I'd share my favorite non-hobby hobby item for this. Oral-B (a common dental manufacturer in the U.S.) makes a type of dental floss branded "Satin" that is a wide tape instead of a twisted cord like most other floss.

Yup. Looks like dental floss.
I've been using it for a few years for any leather strap or cloth wrap that I need to create. It's already the right size to represent am approximately 4" wide strap, and it's thin and durable. It takes superglue beautifully, and I typically glue the end to what I'm working on, then wrap the floss around after the glue has set and cut/glue the other side in place. This saves me a lot of trouble cutting putty sheets or styrene to shape/size. Plus, at 25m per container there's something like 1.5km of scale material. I'm thinking about buying a second box just in case they stop making it before I run out.
It's about the right size for a rifle strap.
Here I've used it for leather reins for a wolf, more to justify the crazy outstretched hand of the goblin shaman I wanted as rider than anything. The execution is a little clumsy, but you can see how the floss looks used as leather strap.

For my Skaven Giant, I wanted to attach some dwarf shields that  were painted in the scheme of a friend's army to replace the Empire shields that are normally on the giant's left arm. I cut holes in the shields and threaded floss through them to wrap around the arm, then painted it to blend in with the cloth straps that were already sculpted there.

Does anyone have a similar material they use out of the box for these sorts of tasks?


  1. That's _very_ clever!

    I've started do a lot with paper: cut it, shape it, and slather it with a lot of CYA glue to turn it into plastic. I think I got that from Ron.

    The other thing I do is slip bits of wire from a spare piece of Cat 5 (networking) cable.

    1. I really should consider paper beyond just banners. Good tip. The CAT-5 cable is funny. I have a piece of frayed CAT-3 cable I found in a parking lot that I've been snipping pieces off for years.

  2. I would have never found this little trick, mainly because I can't use that kind of floss. Brilliant.

  3. Isn't it too thin ? I meant... in 28 mm "heroic" scale everything is a bit oversized like belt buckles, etc. so it being as thin as it should be, suposed to scale looks a bit out of place to me. Just saying.

    Wouldn't rubber bands suit better ?

    1. Very good point, and I hadn't considered using rubber bands. Nice tip. I think the dental floss would work well in a more heroic scale when you need to wrap something. A material with thickness won't look good after more than one layer.

    2. Rubber gets brittle and flakes apart after it dries out. I wouldn't recommend using it on something that you plan to keep around for any amount of time.