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Building great looking models depends on a lot of different tools. Some tools can make a job so much easier.

The 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.

Bare 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.

Hobby 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.

Photoetch 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.

Files 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.

Good 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 my project).

There 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.

Workbenches are so varied, there are probably a million different kinds people use. It usually breaks down to two kinds.

The indoor desk: This is a model work area that's probably inside the house, maybe a bedroom. That's a bench that's usually much neater for visiting guests, and a closet may be used for storage. These typically use quality desks and furniture, meaning, they won't likely be made out of old pallets and a 55 gallon drum. If you live in an apartment, especially in the city, where you can't modify any of the structure, chances are, you have a nice model desk to work from. These are model desks that usually allow you to be in a sitting position with a chair.

The "outdoor" desk: This is usually in the garage (as mine is), in a basement, or out in a shed separate from the house. Anthing goes here, and modelers will make a desk, or bench, out of whatever materials might be on hand. Most of the benches I have seen in these locations are higher, and use a stool, and / or allow you to stand while modeling (as mine is). Some are lower and use a chair, but not to many. I like the taller option because I won't be constantly getting up and out of a chair all the time. (and if you have back issues, you know what I mean). It's easier to slide off a stool and get some painting done, or do some work on another bench (I have 2 for different stages of a project).

Whatever type you use, a permanent modeling area allows you to get more modeling done, with no previous setup. You can come home from work, sit down, and start modeling right away. Once done, you can just get up and leave it. So there's a great advantage to having a specific area set up for building models.

Like 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 to build.

Modeling supplies, such as tools, glue, paint and much more. Anything to make your models better and easier to do.

garage and workshop gear guide and tools

Garage and Workshop

Click here for the page with Glue & Putty products

 

bare metal foil for models

GOLD Bare Metal Foil

 

bare metal foil for models

CHROME Bare Metal Foil

bare metal foil for models

BLACK Bare Metal Foil

bare metal foil for models

COPPER Bare Metal Foil

molotow chrome marker 1mm

Molotow Liquid Chrome Marker 1mm

molotow chrome marker 1mm

Molotow Liquid Chrome Marker 4mm

flexifile sanding set

Flexifile Set

micro mesh polishing kit for models

Micro-Mesh Sanding Products

flexifile trim set

Flexifile Cut & Trim Set

lumberton sanding sticks set

Sanding Sticks Set

squadron sanding sticks

Sanding Sticks

durasand sanding twigs

Sanding Twigs

micro mesh sanding sticks

Sanding Sticks

jewelry sanding tool

Sanding Tool

tamiya sanding sponge set

Sanding Sponges

wood sand paper assortment deal

Sandpaper Assortment

file set tools

Premium Grade Needle File Set
Much easier to hold and control than the smaller, cheaper sets.

diamond hones set

Diamond Hones Set

safety glasses hobby

Safety Glasses
(a must when using a Dremel Tool, or when cutting small model parts)

hobby anvil

Hobby Anvil

curved fle set

Curved File Set

riffler fle set

Riffler File Set

excel hobby knife with blades

Grip-On Hobby Knife

#11 hobby blades - 100 pack

#11 Hobby Blades - 100 Pack!

xacto hobby knife

Comfort Hobby Knife

precision hobby knife

Precision Hobby Knife

novus plastic polish kit

NOVUS Plastic Polish Kit

mothers plastic polish

Plastic Polish

xuron photo etch cutters

Photo Etch Cutter

xuron sprue hobby cutters

Sprue Cutter

photoetch pliers set xuron

Xuron Photoetch Set

tamiya photoetch pliers

Photoetch Bending Pliers

scale model ruler

Scale Model Ruler, Aluminum
Helps determine scale on model parts or when you're fabricating pieces

xuron bending pliers

Micro Bending Pliers
For bending wires, photoetch, etc.

xtrumpeter rivet tool

Rivet Maker Tool

trumpeter zimmerit tool for tanks

Zimmerit Application Tool Set

Click here for Airbrush Supplies

 

wire bender tool

Wire / Solder Bending Jig Tool
For bending wire or solder, to make car headers, military railings, almost anything.

 

purple power cleaner

1 Gallon Purple Cleaner
(Strips paint and chrome
off plastic models)

tweezers set of 6

Steel Fine Curved Tip Tweezers

rubber tipped tweezers

Rubber Tipped Tweezers

long-hobby-tweezers

Extra Long Hobby Tweezers Set

locking tweezers

Locking Tweezers

model rivet making tool

Model Rivet Making Tool

hasegawa bamboo tweezers

Bamboo Tweezers

hobby cutting mats

Modelers Cutting Mat

hobby cutting mat

Modelers Cutting Mat

airbrush paint clip stand

Holder for Painting Small Parts

airbrush alligator clips for model parts painting

Model Parts Painting Clip Holders

craft paint and hobby tool carousel

Tabletop Hobby Carousel - Black

craft paint and hobby tool carousel

Tabletop Hobby Carousel

draftsman dusting brush

Dusting Brush - (Good for quickly cleaning off your hobby desk of shaved plastic parts and sanding residue!)

wood clothpins

50 Clothpins / Model Parts Holders

photo etch tube bending tool

Photo Etch Bending & Rolling Tool

photo etch bending tool

Photo-Etched Bending Tool

photo etch wire circle tool

Photo Etch / Wire Forming Tool

bug photo etch bending tool

Photo-Etched Bending Tool

metal shear brake tool

Mini Shear/ Brake Metal Forming

nutter photo etch bending tool

Photo-Etched Bending Tool

precision pin vice tools

Precision Pin Vise

pin vice tools

Mini Micro Drill Bit Set and Pin Vise

helping hand magnifier  tools

Helping Hand Tool

hasegawa panel line scriber tools

Panel Line Scriber

needle file set

Needle File Set

fisker knife tools

Fisker Knife

fisker soft grip hobby knife

Softgrip Hobby Knife

fisker circle cutter knife tools

Circle Cutter Knife

squadron scribing tool

Scribing Tool

excel mitre box and saw

Saw & Mitre Box

dremel butane torch set

Dremel Butane Soldering Torch

hobby knife set

Hobby Knife Set

round magnets

Round Magnets
(good for holding removable
model parts in place)

hobby desk organizer

Hobby Desk Organizer

bachmann right angle glue and hold tool

Right Angle Hold & Glue Set

bachmann angle clamps

Angle Clamps Magnetic Adjustable

file set tools

7 Piece Drill Bit Set

tamiya tool set

Hobby Tool Set

wood miter cutting tool

Miter Cutting Tool

portable table saw

Portable Tabletop Saw

jumbo hands tool

Helping Hand with LED Light

micro drill bits

Micro Drill Bit Set

tamiya model scribing tool

Scribing Tool

 

tamiya cutting tool set

Cutting Tool

bendable wire

Bendable Wire

metal foil tape

Metal Foil Tape

wood ship plank builder

Electric Plank Bending Tool

 

wood ship jig for keep hull

Wood Ship Hull Alighnment Jig

ship hull plank vise tool

Ship's Hull Planking Vise

dozuki z saw

Dozuki "Z" Saw

xacto hobby knife cutting set

Hobby Knife Set

hobby knife cutting set

Hobby Knife Set

hobby duplication countour gauge tool

Contour Duplication Gauge

tube cutter

Hobby Tube Cutter Tool

spring tube benders tool

Tubing Bender Kit
Allows you to bend tubing without
getting kinks or collapsing

desk lamp tools

Browse Model Desk Lamps

tamiya weathering brush for models

Weathering Sponge Brush

craft drawer cabinets

Browse Model Parts Organizers

blunt syringes

Blunt Tip Needles and Caps

eyedropper paint bottles

Eyedropper Paint Bottles

 

model-mini-clamps

Modeling Clamps Assortment
Good for holding model parts together while the glue dries.

irwin bar clamps

4 - Quick Grip Model Bar Clamps

Click here to see these in action

model-mini-clamps

Magnet Set

irwin bar clamps

Metal Pan Base for Magnets

(Large Pan - Click here)

The magnets, used with a metal pan, can help you line up
parts to be glued as a jig. The magnets will hold them in place while the
glue dries, and make sure the parts are squared.

hobby mini clamps

Spring Clamps, 20-pack

paint brush holder tool

Paint Brush Holder

soldering helping hands tool

Helping Hands Soldering Tool

led magnifier headset tool lens

Illuminated LED Magnifier

storage bins for parts

Table Top Bins for Model Supplies

dremel bits tool set

Dremel Assortments & Bits

excel rotary cutter

Rotary Cutter

vacuum forming machine

Vacuum Forming Machine

balsa stripper tool

Modelling Visor Magnifier

stanley mini hacksaw

Mini Hacksaw

long cotton swabs

100 Long Cotton Swabs

trays for model parts

3-Pack Trays For Tiny Model Parts

mini bending tool

Mini Bender Tool

shear brake metal tool

Mini Shear Brake Tool

mini milling machine tool

Milling Machine

shear brake metal tool

Mini CNC Lathe

mini drill bits

Mini Drill Bit Set

hobby bench vise tool

Mini Bench Vise

mini bench block and hammer

Bench Block and Hammer

forming block anvil tool

Forming Block Anvil

More:

 

Scratchbuilding
Materials

 

led lights for scale models

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tools Deals!

 

dewalt tools

Dewalt Tools

 

dremel tools

Dremel Tools

 

stanley tools

Stanley Tools

 

black and decker tools

Black & Decker

 

bosch tools

Bosch Tools

 

makita tools

Makita Tools

 

 

 


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