“Wait…wut? I thought cotton buds are just cotton buds!”… No no… not to me at least. I use cotton buds to clean the excess ink off my panel lines, wipe off excess paint, and apply waterslide decals; cotton buds/swabs/q-tips are very handy. It is only natural I’d choose use ones that are a bit higher quality than cheapo ones. For example, you can easily buy a pack of 500 q-tips for around $1 but I’ve recently bought a canister of 200 for almost $3… and it was the best $3 I’ve ever spent on Gunpla supplies.
The one on the right is the “cheapo” one (500 for $1) which I’ve found in the bathroom drawer that I’ve been using for most of my models. The one on the right is from the new pack I bought… see how tightly packed the cotton is? You can’t see any fluff or fuzzy stuff like the former.
Sometimes the cheap stuff are inconsistent… with some more fluffed out than others. Why I like the cotton tightly packed (the tip is quite solid) is that I can see almost exactly where I am cleaning and I have a little better fine control of how much the bud is taking off so I can thin the panel lines to my liking. It is also helpful in wiping excess paint on the edge of parts since you can see that you are not wiping into the painted area you don’t want to touch.
Lastly, the most important thing about a higher quality bud is that it lasts longer. The one you see out of shape had only been used for the HG Arios’ body and one arm… it looks like that on both side. The newer cotton bud? I’ve only used just that one end for the rest of the model. I used to go through maybe 6-15 of the cheap cotton buds for one MG project but now I think I might be able to get through with just 1-3 of the new buds. Since the bud stays relatively in shape, this will also make applying waterslides a bit easier as well. My point? Sure I paid a couple of bucks more for less… but the quality, results, and durability I get is at least that much better than what I’ve been using. Quality>>>Quantity. Just my 2cents.
Argh… school starts tomorrow and I haven’t even packed a single thing yet… >_<