Essential Modeling Tools

8 must-have modeling tools, using a Dremel


This page is kinda old and outdated. So, don't be alarmed if you find newer/better tools. For instance, I use Gundam Planet Nippers as sprue-cutters. And I use Bondo Glazing and Spot putty as my main putty/filler. The point is is that my information is not always perfect and it CHANGES from year to year...hopefully for the better. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email me.


  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Tweezers
    • You need a few pairs for holding small parts, decals, etc.
    • Self-closing tweezers are great for holding parts for painting
  4. 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)
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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

To Dremel or Not to Dremel

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.

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