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Tools & Supplies
Discussions on the latest and greatest tools, glues, and gadgets.
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Starting out tools
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 29, 2016
KitMaker: 9 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 02:19 AM UTC
As a beginner to scale modeling can anyone recomend a basic set of tools that would allow me to build with confidence. Ive started building my fist model of a Chieftain MK.5 from Tamiya in 1/35 scale and despite taking my time to remove flash and sprue edges Im not overly happy with my results so far.
I have a good set of electricians micro side snips that Ive used to cut thru sprues and a assortment of sand paper (320-1200 grits) that have been used for general clean up. for removing flash Ive a scaple type knife. For larger areas of smoothing out Ive been using a old set of needle files that have been well broke in from years of tool making service. Im using Revell contacta glue using the metal aplicator on the bottle.
The minor problems Ive had so are ruff finishes on my cleaned up parts even though Ive worked thru the grits Ive available & small gaps in seams.
Am I jumping the gun and panicing about things that will come together more when I begin to prep for paint?
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Utah, United States
Joined: December 14, 2007
KitMaker: 3,356 posts
P47 Heaven: 20 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 05:14 AM UTC
I don't think you are jumping the gun. You just want your work be your best. I have seen a lot of fancy tools but most of mine are from the hardware store or auto parts supplies. You can use steel wool to help finish off any rough parts, and a good, simple putty can do a lot for filling seams. I use Perfect Plastic Putty and Squadron green, but stretching some sprue out and using that to fill gaps works very well also. It reacts to the glue so you don't need anything extra special.

For me, it works best to start with a fine sandpaper and then move to a heavier grit used gently, as otherwise I scratch the surface up too much and end up causing more damage than I started out with. I will remove as much as possible with a blade first.

The only tool I don't see on your bench is a good set of tweezers.
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Spain / España
Joined: November 18, 2004
KitMaker: 456 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 02:29 PM UTC
Hi Dave,

You might be interested in trying the super thin glue from Tamiya. You put the parts together and apply the glue with the supplied brush and the glue will use capilarity to get between the parts and join them.

Another usefull glue is the other liquid glue from Tamiya or humbrol liquid glue. This one you have to apply to both pieces and then put the pieces together.

I myself have three types of glue: Tamiya super thin (I use it the most), tamiya normal glue or humbrol (second most used) and then another one similar to the one you mentioned from uhu (I use it when I need the glue to fill in some seams but normally try to avoid it).

Regarding the needle files check how coarse they are. If they are too coarse you might be interested in buying a set that is less coarser.

I also use a metallic nail file which has a coarse side and a finer side.

Another files that are quite use are the non-metallic nail files. You can find them in different grades and some of them have four grades of coarsenes and are quite usefull.

Something that you might also be interested is Gunze Mr. Surfacer. It can be very convenient to fill in seams and many times is more convenient than normal putty although you can thin putty with acetone or nail paint cleaner. I normally use the Mr. Surfacer with the smallest figure (500) since I find the other two too thin.

I hope this is usefull to you.

Best regards,

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Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 06:51 PM UTC
I recommend sanding sticks(the foam kind). You should be able to pick these up; in the cosmetics department, at your local department store. As far as putty goes, I have had great success with Deluxe Perfect Plastic Putty. You may also use white glue, for very fine gaps. The only problem is that you can not sand it smooth. My preferred glue is Testors in the black bottle, with metal tip. I also use Tamiya extra-thin cement. When I used up my first bottle, I filled it with lacquer thinner. You can use MEK, as well.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: September 15, 2004
KitMaker: 4,694 posts
P47 Heaven: 39 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 07, 2016 - 08:24 PM UTC
The Revell contacta pro with the applicator needle is fine I've used it for many years however I also use Liquid weld and both the Tamiya super thin plus their normal liquid for different tasks. Must mention that some of my glues stay in my travel tool kit for when I go to shows, club nights etc while now the Tamiya ones stay on my bench, so I almost have two tool kits.

The foam back sanding / polishing sticks are the ones to go for, these can be got from SWMBO (nail polishing sticks) but don't let her catch you or from many of the model shops around just be aware that the prices can be anything from dirt cheap too astronomically high so shop around. If you place an order for over £50 with MFS you can add a pack of sanding sticks to your order for free worth looking into if you are looking at getting any more kits.

Filler, Perfect plastic putty, is great but you may also want to keep some basic Revell or Humbrol or other brand filler around.

Regarding the Cheiftain, it's a good kit for it age and being Tamiya goes together well, just be aware that it's not a Mk.V it's a bitza, it's part MK.II, part Mk.III and part Mk.V, but for something to cut your teeth on its a good start.
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: May 17, 2012
KitMaker: 1,980 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 10:23 AM UTC
In regards to the sanding sticks people have mentioned, only buy a few. After you wear them out, peel off the sandpaper (but not the foam backing), and coat the foam with rubber cement. You can then cut any grit sandpaper you want to size, stick it on, and you're good to go without spending a dollar or two on another stick.

As Russ mentioned, buy some tweezers. Though I have 6 or 8 different sets, the ones I use the most are about 5" long, end in a point, and have a 45 degree bend towards the end.

Another thing to look for is a good magnifying system, like a bench mounted lighted magnifier or an optivisor. You won't believe how much easier small parts are to deal with. Not only that, one can help you spot those flaws in sanding and filling you mentioned.
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Metro Manila, Philippines
Joined: May 06, 2007
KitMaker: 2,702 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2016 - 06:37 AM UTC

Foremost, welcome to Armorama. I'd echo the foregoing responses. While I don't have a tool to add, in the physical sense, what I'd encourage you is to sign up for a group build or campaign as it's called here at Armorama. Given the exposure and interaction one gets from fellow modellers of varied skill levels, I consider such venue as a "tool" helping hone one's skills, and as you say, get to build with confidence.

Incidentally there is one campaign -- Back to Basics, that you may want to check out. There are other campaigns as well. Good luck and happy modelling.


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Queensland, Australia
Joined: September 04, 2015
KitMaker: 1,453 posts
P47 Heaven: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2016 - 06:58 AM UTC
i buy these set and compare with Mastertool tweezers....exactly the same but a lot cheaper with duble number of piece,and good quality for the price