Get it now during the holidays. Wired ribbon. Comes on a roll in the ribbon section of the store and there are many sizes ( super fine to very open) and styles of mesh so you can get it to be sized correctly for 1/24 scale or any other scale you can use. It is really cheap per roll but even cheaper the day after Christmas during the sales. I have been using it for grille inserts and scifi projects for years and it is easy to shape too.
Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart and any place that sells holiday ribbon usually has it. I am sure all you guys can figure out something else to use it for. Never tried painting it.