How To Buy Model-Building Tools and Supplies

Model-building is a great hobby for anyone who likes to build scale models of buildings, cars, ships, war machines, figures and many more.  Model builders either build from store bought modeling kits or create their own from scratch.  Models come in different materials like plastic, wood, resin, metal and more. You can buy pre-built or pre-painted models that you simply snap on.  There are also models that you need to construct, paint and glue together.

To become a serious model builder, you need to have a number of tools and supplies for your creative hobby.  The items you will need greatly depend on the type models you are building.  For instance, some tools used for model airplanes are not used in building model cars.  The material used for the models is also a big factor.  Metal models may require different tools from ones that are made from plastic, wood, rubber, clay or porcelain.

Here are some of the tools and supplies you may need for model-building:

1.    Knives.  You need different sizes of knives for cutting, carving, trimming as well as for chiseling.  Knife sets usually come with assorted blades that you can use on plastic, wood, rubber, clay, etc.

2.    Clamps and Vices.  When you are working on a model, you need to keep them in place with the use of clamps, vices as well as clips and grip pins.  Some hobby shops sell mounted alligator clips with a magnifying glass for intricate modeling jobs.

3.    Tweezers and Pliers.  Needle nose pliers, wire cutters, tweezers in various styles (sharp point, self-closing, curved and stamp) are all useful in model-building.

4.    Hammer.  Mini-hammers are important tools in fixing parts together. 

5.    Ruler.  For precise measurement, no model-builder should be without a ruler which can measure thickness as well as length.  Dowel and rod measuring holes are also a plus.

6.    Paints.  Paints come in three types:  acrylic, enamel and spray.

  • Acrylic paints dry quickly and are water resistant.  Comes in basic, gloss, semi-gloss and flat paint colors.
  • Enamel bottle paints come in many different colors from basic colors to military colors, colors for cars and many others.  When you use enamel paints, you get a glossy and shiny finish on your model.
  • Spray paints come in basic, metallic and gloss colors and more.  Aside from spray paints being easy to use, you get a smooth appearance when painting your models with this type of paint product.

With paints you will also need to purchase solvents and thinners and an assortment of brushes.

7.    Adhesives.  Depending on the material the model is made of, you will need some of the following adhesive products:

  • Duco cement for glass, china, ceramics, etc
  • Epoxy which bonds materials in seconds
  • Plastic Welder for fiberglass, ceramic, metal, wood, concrete and more
  • Thread locker for nuts and bolts
  • Silicone Sealant used in mending, sealing and securing different types of materials
  • All-Purpose Glue

8.    Others.  There are other tools and supplies that you will need for model-building such as cutting tools like saws, finishing tools like sandpaper, cleaning implements, drills and many, many more.  Seek advice from other hobbyists, read books as well as online forums for model builders to find out what other tools you will need.

It is easy to buy tools and supplies for model-building from your local hobby shops.  These items are also available online.  Start out by buying tool sets and tool kits that already come with the basic tools you need.  You can add more tools to your arsenal over time. 


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