Essential Modeling Tools
8 must-have modeling tools, using a Dremel
- Xacto knife and blades
- Get some number 11's and a chisel blade
- Xacto makes Stainless Steel blades that are denoted by an SS on the blade and they won't rust like the regular ones
- Sprue Nippers and Cutters
- Invest in a good pair of Xuron cutters. These will last forever if you only use them on plastic
- Get some flush-cutters as well for smaller parts
- You need a few pairs for holding small parts, decals, etc.
- Self-closing tweezers are great for holding parts for painting
- Pin Vise and drill bits
- I love the Zona brand with the large rear part to the handle, it won't dig into your hand while drilling holes
- Drill bit sets can be bought online in various sizes (I prefer metric)
- Sanding pads, sanding sticks
- Get a set of sanding pads for curved surfaces, sanding sticks for flat surfaces
- Sticks can be cut and recut as the edges become overly used
- Use an eraser to remove build-up on sanding surfaces
- Swizzle sticks are a cheap/great investment
- Tamiya putty (or some kind of modeling putty)
- Used for filling seams
- The Tamiya/Squadron putty stinks and shrinks a little when curing, but dries very hard and can be wet-sanded
- Tamiya/Squadron putty will bond to the plastic better than most other putties
- Clamps, rubber bands, and clothespins
- All are valuable at holding things together as the cement/glue dries
- Berna clamps (seen in picture) are great for light-pressure use
- Blue-tack or Poster Putty
- Reusable putty that is great at holding parts, masking, and much more
- Good for dry-fitting pieces
- Use a large ball of blue-tack to pull up and leftover residue
- Not affected by acrylic paints, but enamels, lacquers, and alcohol can dissolve it making a gooey mess
If you plan on doing more extreme conversions, scratch-builds, or kit-bashes, then you should invest in a Dremel rotary tool. I prefer the Dremel Stylus if you can find it at a decent price. The Stylus is just the easiest to hold, and it allows more control than most other rotary tools.
- Start off a mid-speed and adjust as necessary. Most people use it at too high a speed, which melts the plastic.
- Dremels need other collets to fit smaller bits.
- However, be careful with smaller drill bits, as they will snap easily.
- Get some sanding drums, drill set, and high-speed cutters from Dremel.
- Off-brand accessories include the big saw blade you see in the picture.