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My Tools

The most common questions I seem to revolve around the tools I am currently using to make my models.

Here is the complete list of tools I use on most of my kits, I've listed the tools in each category by the frequency that I use them.

If you're interested in purchasing any of the tools listed here please consider buying them through my Amazon links just click the picture. Every purchase helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!

Cutters

Light duty nippers



Tamiya Sharp Pointed Side Cutter - Great for fine work when cutting cleanly with minimal stress on very thin plastic is required; durability leaves something to be desired.

Medium duty nippers



Xuron 410 Micro-Shear Flush Cutter - Good work horse and great value for the money.

Hobby Knife



X-acto Knife - Many companies make handles and blades similar to X-acto but in my experience the basic metal handle and basic blades are the best combination you can get.

Adhesive

Thin Cement

Tamiya extra thin - unlike "normal" plastic cement thin cement flows into crevices via capillary action making application super easy (for me at least) one bottle should last for many, many models.

Cement



Mr.Cement - If Tamiya's Thin cement is a scalpel then Mr. Cement is a hammer. That being said it's not as clean or neat, but it does a good job holding parts especially pla-plate in place.

Putty

Liquid putty



Mr.Dissolved Putty - Is applied with a paint brush and flows into defects in the plastic this is often a great way to clean up after fusing a seam line or fill out low points. In many ways it's similar to a very thick primer.

Putty



Tamiya White Putty - This is your typically 1 part putty that is applied and hardens over the course of a few hours. I prefer using the white color over the grey because the grey color can slightly discolor certain bright colors and white.

Abrasives

Fine File

 

Mr. Hobby file fine - a lightweight semi-flexible file that's great for removing nubs and light reshaping duty. I prefer to use a file on flat geometric shapes to retain their edges.


Sanding Files



Alpha Abrasives 1/8th inch files white and blue-  The blue files are coarse but the white files are finer. I've been using AA files for a few years now and they're by far my favorite disposable sanding implement. The files gradually break down over time producing finer and finer grit. The narrow form factor also provides very fine control.

Sanding Files Finishing


Wave Sanding Sticks Finishing- These are very fine sanding pads so fine in that they're not given a grit rating. These files are good for polishing plastic or paint. 


Coarse File 

Mr. Hobby file coarse - Substantially thicker and sturdier than the fine file. This tool quickly chews through plastic and is very useful when reshaping pla-plate and kit bashing. I don't recommend using this file for standard kit builds.

Scribing

Guide Tape


Dymo label tape - This stiff tape is a fantastic way to keep your panel line scriber where it should be.

Basic Panel Line Scriber



Tamiya panel line scriber 2 - This panel line scriber is the introductory tool most modelers will start with, and it's a good choice. It's easy to use and includes additional blades. The only down size with this tool is that it can only create one width of panel

Panel Line Chisels 




BMC Chisels Various Sizes - BMC produces a variety of tungsten tipped chisels for model builders that are perfect for creating panel lines. I currently own 5 chisels from this line .15mm, .2mm, .5mm, .6mm and 1mm. the .15mm and .2mm are the most useful chisels of the lot as the .15mm chisel creates perfect 1/144 scale panel lines and the .2mm chisel creates excellent 1/100 scale panel lines.

Because of the material and quality these chisels can be very expensive ranging from $15 to $35 per chisel! They are also frequently out of stock. I don't recommend purchasing the separate handles for these chisels as I very seldom use them.

Painting

Brushes

Various - I use various paint brushes purchased from my local art supply stores. I prefer chisel tip brushes.

Standard Colors - Mr.Hobby



Various- I use Mr.Hobby or Mr. color paints on my kits. I like these paints because they're widely avaiable from sites like ModelGrade, Gundam Planet and Amazon. I typically thin Mr.Color in a ration of 4 parts paint to 6 parts thinner.

Metallic Colors - Gaia Notes



Various- Gaianotes can be hard to purchase in the US. Tatsu hobby carried many colors for a while, but the last time I check their site they were sold out of nearly every color. You're best bet is to use ebay and purchase these from overseas. You can use Mr.Color Thinner with Gaia Notes paint.


Thinner - Mr. Color Thinner



Various- Nothing too special here. I will use Mr. Leveling thinner with colors that I want to appear glossy, particularly metal colors.

Primer - Mr. Surfacer 1000 grit



1000 Grit Surfacer- It's a good compromise for a primer, it has enough filling power to level out small scratches but still leaves a smooth surface for paint. If you need to have a super glossy surface try out 1200 or 1500 grit primers instead.

Air Brushes

Badger Patriot 105

Patriot 105- I like using this brush for high volume work like primer and topcoat.


Badger Renegade Krome

 

Renegade Krome- I use the Krome for more delicate work that the Patriot isn't suited for. The Krome is a great brush for shading.

Compressor

Badger Whirlwind 80-2


Whirlwind 80-2 - I have had this same compressor for a while, it was purchased for me way back when I started scale modeling casually in 2003. It's been serving faithfully ever since; even with a long lapse of service between 2004 and 2007. Unfortunately this compressor is discontinued, but you can still get them used on ebay for under $75. 

Measuring pipettes

3ml pipettes (disposable)



Pipettes - I have been using pipettes since 2010 they make measuring, moving and mixing paint a breeze. They also hold up well to the lacquer paint and thinner.