great looking models depends on a lot of different tools. Some
tools can make a job so much easier.
basic hobby tools you need starts with the knife. Normally these
all use what is called a #11 blade. A tapered blade with a very
fine edge and fine point. The hobby knife is used to cut model
parts, shape them, trim them, open holes, make holes, make slicing
cuts, and dozens of other uses. It would be hard to build a model
without at least one. Try and choose one with a soft grip that
can be more comfortable.
Metal Foil is popular with model car builders, especially those
that build older 50's and 60's cars which had a lot of chrome.
But Bare Metal Foil is also made in gold, which is good for Lowrider
cars, or NASA kits, such as an Apollo LEM, or anywhere you think
a gold finish is needed. Black chrome is popular when doing black
trim on a car for that modern, all blacked out look, like Special
Ops or something.
Mat cutting boards are an essential tool as well. They are great
for when you use a hobby knife, because they offer a soft backing,
so you can get a more consstant cut. The cutting mats are self
healing, meaning, your cut marks nearly disappear from the surface,
and you can get smooth clean cuts over and over for many years.
The mats come in a variety of sizes, from 8 x 10 to as large as
4 or 5 feet.
tools come in handy when bending photo-etch, which is primarily
produced on flat frets. It's up to you to bend the small parts.
Brass photoetch is a softer metal, and can be bent and minipulated
by hand, but some are stainless steel, and require more force
to bend. A tool to bend photoetch is the only way to get a nice
EVEN bend, especially on large straight parts. Some modelers don't
use photo-etch much, but once you have the tools to get photo
etch to bend to your will, you'll find you will use it more and
more on your model projects.
are a handy tool to have. They can make short work of a model
seam on a project, and can get into many places your fingers can't.
I usualy use them before using the rougher sandpaper because I
feel they are faster, and on a primed model, help me tackle a
seam better. Files come as an assortment: some are flat, some
are rounded, even triangle beveled, so they can be uses in some
unusual places where sandpaper will not work. Hobby files are
also great for cleaning up model parts. A good set of files is
a must have tool.
lighting is essential for building model kits. Especially for
those of us that are getting older. The better you can see what
you're doing, the better your model will look. Some desk lamps
provide much sronger light, and some use a magnifying lense to
work on very small, detailed model parts. I recommend you get
the brightest lamp you can use, or one that will fit in your model
area. (I use two myself to help prevent "shadows" on
are many ways to keep a lot of stuff on your work area, but small
trays and bins can help store a lot of needed things in a small
space. Small trays keep model parts separated, and within arms
reach. But more important, they keep you from accidently loosing
the tiny parts from falling on the floor, never to be seen again.
Or getting crushed or damaged on the work bench while building.
Trays can also hold tools, like glue, paint, tweezers, hobby knives,
and other tools you to keep from moving all around on your workspace.
any craft or hobby, it's the tools that get the job done. Start
out small with the basics, and add a tool now and then as you
can afford. You will find that learning how to use more and different
tools will help make your models better and better, and more enjoyable