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soothsayer
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Posts : 1417
Join date : 2011-06-30
Age : 45
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PostSubject: Tools   Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:07 am

These are the items which I find essential when assembling a model. naturally, your list may be different... if that is true, if you have found that something else works better than what I use, please let us know!

1. X-Acto hobby knife. What kind of person wouldn't use this in conjecture with their modeling? They're cheap, blades are easy to replace, and they're sharp! Don't wastre your time with the likes of Testor's hobby knife, as those dull quickly and can't be replaced. With different handles and different blade types for any application, X-Acto to me is the best. Prices range from just over a dollar for a single knife with blade to about $30 for a three piece handle set with numerous blades. Repalcement blades cost a few bucks, but you get several blades. Well worth it.

2. Walmart craft clippers. These look like wire cutters, and in essence, that's what they are... but, because they are for crafting (jewelry), the cutting head is smaller and thinner, perfect for removing pieces from the sprue. I used to use my hobby knife to remove the pieces, but I've found that there is less chance of piece damage should you slip with the knife, and there isn't a way for small pieces to go flying across the room when the connection is cut through. you also won't cut into your cutting / table surface, or like what I've done in the past, severely cut into a finger. Damn that bled a lot... A cutter at Walmart costs $5 (make sure it is from the craft section). In comparrison, a hobby cutter from games Workshop costs about $16, and it's the exact same thing.

3. Hobby files. I had purchased a six pack of habby files from Menard's a few years ago for $5. They come in different shapes, for any hobby project you need: square, triangular, circular, half moon, flat, and a flat tear drop (has a point, flares out). Good for major hobby projects, ie, when you are removing large pieces of plastic from the piece itself, where using a knife would be overkill. These really aren't needed, but they are still good to have. Prices probably have come up since when I bought mine.

4. A metal emery board. You know what an emery board is, right? Those fine files the womenfolk like to use for their nails. these are great for smoothing out any unsightly marks or for doing the fine smoothing of pieces from after trimming them off the sprue (after the majority has been removed by file or knife). Must be used gently! Don't bother with the flimsy cardboard backed ones, as the grit is easily removed or worn thin,,, splurge and get the metal one. it'll cost a little more, but it's worth it in the long run. Costs about $1, maybe $1.50.

5. Tweezers. Don't use the ones in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom! Your wife or girlfriend will have a fit, especially if you leave glue on them! Again, they're cheap... I bought mine from a gas station for around $1.40. Do you really need them? Depends on the model you're making; most of the time, I would say no, but every so often there may be a time where fingers just might not be the best option. Along the same note, I've recently acquired a nice tweezer: it has an attached magnifying glass, hinged so that the glass can overlook the working end of the tweezer. Thank you Cintas First Aid cabinet! If you are working on something with real tiny pieces, get a tweezers!

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