This a frequently updated list. These are all products found on Amazon. You might find them cheaper elsewhere.. but I am posting them here for convenience sake.
Cereal cardstock. Packaging cardstock is a great way to upcycle. Is it me or does it seem like products are getting more wastelful packaging these days? Regardless, a lot of recycling is never actually recycled. So keep it out of the landfill and make something cool with it!
Medium weight cardstock. This stuff is much thicker than cereal cardstock and very very versatile!
Oyumaru / Blue Stuff. This stuff is amazing. Its technically a thermoplastic. It allows you make very precise molds by simply softening it in hot water. Its cheap and versatile. This is the most inexpensive source I have found anywhere.
Better than a Proxxon!
Durhams Rock Hard Water Putty. This is just plaster with some extra stuff that makes it much harder than plaster. Its also really close in price to plaster. There are are harder products out there (like “Merlins Magic”) but they are more expensive and harder to find.
Apparently, you can mix hot water and toilet paper with it, and get an inexpensive compound that is identical to “Sculpamold” (I haven’t tried this yet but it seems like a good idea).
Don’t buy this from Amazon though. It costs double than it does at your local hardware store!
Loctite Repair Putty. I like this material because it cures quite quickly; fully cured within an hour but gets unworkable in about 15 min. It can be cut and sanded and has a comparable hardness to green stuff when its cured. I have had trouble with it not coming out very smooth though. Its fine if you are casting something that is supposed to trashed and rough looking.
Make sure to use gloves when mixing it.
Magic Sculpt. This stuff is great for casting because it can be sanded and cut but is also quite hard once it is fully cured. Currently it is my favorite casting material.
It is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. The only downside is that takes a long time to cure (overnight).
Note that Apoxie Sculpt is probably more popular and is reported to be identical though (I don’t have any so I can’t test this). They are priced identical.
Folk Art craft paint. This paint is about $1 per bottle. I prefer it over Apple Barrel but it is almost the same. I think Cermacoat brand is comparable to Folk Art brands.
Cheap craft paint can have low pigment but you can always add a few drops of acrylic ink to fix that problem.
Elmer’s E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler. This is perfect for filling gaps in MDF kits. It is really easy to sand and does not shrink. If you are in the USA, note that Ace Hardware has it for $3.99 while on Amazon it is much more expensive.
Dremel cutting tools. The tiny saw blades are essential for cutting MDF terrain kits. The sanding disks are super useful too.
Titebond Original Wood Glue. Amazon sells this for about 4x the amount it costs at your local hardware store. At my Hardware store, there are three types of Titebond glue and this is one kind is quite inexpensive.
This glue dries fairly matt, dries quickly and is quite strong. It is not “rubbery” as other PVA glues and tends to have a yellowish color even after its dried. However, it takes paint well and is still strong after being watered down. Unlike rubbery pva, this glue is slightly more brittle. I actually prefer it now and use it on all my terrain.
Any of the plastic kits for Stargrave or Frostgrave. Also, Oathmark, which is also made by Northstar. They are universally all very good. I am not a fan of their Stargrave metal miniatures though as they are too retro for me.
Any kits from Wargames Atlantic are great. I just discovered them and they might be my new favorite manufacturer. I have a few of their kits now and they are next on my workbench!
Personally, I think GW kits are good when they either core troops type or unusual finds from ebay. I am not a fan of their rulesets. Not all of their stuff is overpriced and the quality of the sculpts has been the industry standard for good reason.
Let’s be honest here; GW makes some amazing terrain kits. Sometimes they are overpriced but usually they are not overpriced and are just really high quality.
Archon Studio makes kits that are comparable to gw quality but for a fraction of the price. Also, they are modular.
The only miniatures I like from Mantic are their zombies. They are great. Mantic terrain is all really good though. The terrain crate plastic is a bit soft but it also pretty affordable. Deadzone terrain seems great though (it is hard plastic) and I really want to paint some.
The only experience I have with MDF kits are the ones from TTcombat. I really like them because they are affordable and I can customize them because they are cheap. My only complaint is that the sides fit together in a way that would make it very difficult to make the roof come off. My current solution is to cut off the floor with a dremel. Then glue it to chipboard for the base. I have some photos how I did this on this post.
Six-sided dice in various colors. Having a variety of colors can help because they represent different things. I prefer these small 12mm dice over larger ones. These is great for games like 5 Parsecs / 5 Leagues and Games Workshop games like Warhammer 40k.
To be continued..