One of the most common questions a new modeler makes in modeling is what tools I need and how much money should I give?
Seeing pictures on the internet our eyes fall on multi-dimensional workbenches with countless colors, small tools,compressors, airbrushes, brushes, glues and many other small items that are eaten by dust and in fact only 10% to 20% of them are used during the construction of a model.

Our bench doesn’t need to have many and expensive things. Few and ideal things are the best. The right bench is the organized bench and not the one which is a mess. From personal experience I tell you that my bench is big enough with too many colors, tools and other similar things. From all these things, only 5 to 6 are my basic tools, the rest I use them from a little to none. So don’t make any purchases on items that you are not going to use just because you saw it in a model magazine or from a friend of yours. Few and simple is the best.

Let’s see, however, which the basic tools are for starting a model kit.

  • Cutting Plier
    It is undeniably the most significant tool that someone must have on his workbench. Just a simple cutting plier will certainly have a satisfactory result . It would be good to have thin and pointed edges so it can cut the small pieces with relative accuracy.

  • Cutter or blade
  • Furthermore a basic tool is the cutter with removable blades. With this tool we can remove the plastic sprues of the model from the plastic tabs. A tool that we have to pay close attention to, when it’s beingused, because with it all modellers are sometimes injured, some light and others seriously. It is the tool that does not forgive mistakes in both the model and our fingers.

  • Pinchers
    The tool that is always in the modeler’s hand. It’s undoubtedly the most common tool that a workbench can have. That tool helps us to put or remove a piece from our model kit. There are too many types, shapes and forms. There are regular, pointed, shooting, wide, upside down and many more. But there will be this one and only that will fit in your hand and you will never change it. You may have 5 different pinchers but always you will prefer that it suits the best in your hand.

  • Brushes
    Brushes are also an integral piece of equipment for a model bench. There is so much in the market that we could write a whole book just about them. There are pointed, wide, small, large, synthetic, with real hair, and much more. As with the tweezer so the brush applies the same rule, there will always be this one you will want to paintAlways with it. For starters 2 to 3 brushes would be the best. A small one for the details one medium and one bigger for large eminent

  • Clamps-Clogs
    The last basic tool that a workbench should have is the clamps-clogs. The reason why we want them is because the glue requires some time to stick the pieces together. Clamps-clogs help us to hold the pieces together until they get stuck , allowing us to do something else. Alternatively, you can use  simple clogs from the laundry if you overcome the obstacle that is called MOM…. !!

  • Glue
    Glue is the basic tool to stick the pieces together. Also here there are too many glues to choose. There are viscous, regular, odorless, aromatic, with a tube or brush and many others. I would say that  a glue with a tube it would be the best option for a beginner. But becareful because the most of them have a strong odor (like colours that we will see in another article) and a well-ventilated area is been required because, as we know, when we breathe for a long hour glues and other similar products we will start seeing dragons chasing us, rather than seeing our model kits.

  • Rasps & Cardboards
    In order to make the plastic surfaces of our model smoother we will need something to rub the plastic. To achieve this, we use rasps or different cardboards. There are hardness categories (how much material can be removed) and they are numbered. A cardboard with number 600 is enough hard and rough on its surface. A cardboard with number 1600  is smoother on its surface and hurts the plastic surface less. They are already  sets for sale with a large variety of these cardboards.

So these are your basic tools. Certainly there are more tools and some of us may consider that we should  had include more tools and not unfairly. But with these basics tools someone can assemble the first model kit. Do not hesitate to ask your local hobby store, assistants and experienced modellers will guide you safely to the purchase of these first tools. Expenditure should be done precisely. Tools should be consumable and we should not exaggerate.

Finally, I would like to remind you once again that some of these tools pose a risk of injury during their use. If you believe that you are not able to handle them, ask from someone to help you or ask for a supervision from an experienced adult during the construction of your model kit.

Good modeling and when there are questions, always ask someone experienced and don’t do something that we are unaware of the repercussions.

Text: Alkis Paraskevopoulos
Translation: George Petridis



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