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What’s in your tool box?

As modellers we need a collection of tools to aid the construction of our awesome models!

I use a collection of tools on a daily basis, and have listed some of the more common ones I have around my work area that you may find useful when starting out with your models.

Disclaimer – All tools can be dangerous, please read the manufactures instructions on the use of their tools, and keep away from little ones.

Craft Knife & Scalpel – These two items are my most used tools, and need to have the blades changed regularly to ensure clean each cut is crisp. Just keep in mind blunt blades are more dangerous than sharp ones!

Drill – There’s two main types hand operated and power drills, and I use a combination of both. I have a pin-vice which is operated by hand and is great for using very small drill bits and getting into some of the more challenging areas, whereas the power mini-drill I use is great for all the other work. This drill can use other attachments such as grinding wheels, shaping tools and wire brushes to name a few.

Small Headed Hammer – Sometimes to solve a problem you just need to hit it! You will need a hammer to put in nails (sometimes panel pins) and to make items fit.

Glue Gun – Glue guns are great when you need something to stick immediately. I have used mine to great effect for temporary fitting of mounting blocks for my running gear while the main adhesive sets. Be warned, glue guns get very hot and so does the glue! Make sure you read the manufactures instructions carefully!

Needle Nose Pliers – These are great for fitting in those hundreds of stanchion pins, or holding small brass panel pins while you start to hammer them in.

Screwdrivers – Small screwdrivers can be used to gain access to your models mechanics and to service them. They are indispensable for poking and prodding things into place.

Wire Cutters – Used for cutting wire, and pleased don’t use scissors or craft knives to cut wire! It will not cut as well, and will blunt your other tools and it could be dangerous!!

Scissors – For cutting, and believe me there is a lot to cut. Can be used instead of a craft knife but is not as good.

Soldering Iron – This is another must have tool if you are planning to incorporate electronics into your model or when working with photo etch fittings. There are alternatives to soldering but in some instances there is no alternative. You can use solder to join wires, to connect wires to motors, switches etc as well as to join pieces of metal. I am no expert in soldering! It’s best to do some research online for advice on how to use a soldering iron. Make sure you read the instructions carefully as just like the glue gun the soldering iron can burn!

Hack Saw – This can be used for cutting small pieces of both metal and wood. I found it best to put the material into a vice to hold it so that your fingers are kept well away from the blade.

Vice – This should be fixed to your work bench (table). It helps with cutting, filing, bending, and holding. It can be used with the soldering iron so that both hands are free to hold both the solder and the iron. It should also help stop you getting burnt.

Paint Brushes – Used for painting the finer details on your model and for spreading glue as required, try to use separate brushes for glue as they can become clogged up with glue.

These are just some of my basic tools I use on a daily basis, and over time you will find what works best for you.
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