Visit any modeling forum or hobby shop (online or otherwise), and it’s pretty apparent that we spend a lot of time obsessing over gear, from cutters and tweezers to paints, masking materials, and even the cameras we use to record our builds.
This page is intended as an ongoing work in progress where I’ll be collecting posts that discuss the gear I use and the gear I’ve tried and cast aside.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2016
There’s no right way to build a model, and no single right gear. All of this is my own personal experience and observation, and your mileage may vary. Got a product you like better? Let me know in the comments!
Preparation and Construction
- Sprue Cutters – Tamiya Sharp-Pointed Side Cutters are my go-to sprue cutters. I’ve tried others. Xuron makes some good stuff (their PE cutters are great). But I’ve never found anything that cuts as cleanly, or as flush, as Tamiya side cutters.
- X-Acto Knives – Buy a lot of #10 and #11 blades! And multiple handles. There never seems to be a spare handle around when you need one.
- Tweezers – Various normal and locking tweezers.
- Glues and Solvents – MEK for plastic-to-plastic, Gator’s Grip and Loctite Ultra Gel for damn near everything else.
- Old Airbrush Needles – Bend a needle? SAVE IT! Busted old needles are some of the best, most versatile tools on my bench.
Sanding and Filling
- 3M Acryl Red Glazing Putty – I hate that it’s red. But it feathers nicely, dries fast, and one tube will last you until the Apocalypse and beyond.
- Flex-i-File Sanding Sticks – I’ve tried other brands of sanding sticks and these are my favorites. I think. My last batch proved to be pretty prone to “shedding” grit all over things.
- Wet/Dry sandpaper –
- Tamiya Tape – Great for most basic masking needs.
- Eduard Masks – Great for saving time with canopies.
- 3M Artists Tape for Curves – Need to mask around a cowl or something? This is your ticket.
Stuff I Airbrush:
- Primer – Gunze-Sangyo Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black (See: Black Basing)
- Gunze Mr. Color
- Tamiya “Acrylic”
- Mr. Paint
- Metallics – Primarily Alclad II, though I’ve been known to use Gunze Super Metallics and I was recently quite impressed by Mr. Paint Super Fine Silver.
- Clear Gloss – Tamiya X-19 Clear + Gunze Mr. Leveling Thinner, followed by a misted coat of straight leveling thinner.
- Clear Semi-Gloss- Gunze Semi-Gloss Clear
- Clear Matte – Vallejo Matt Varnish
Stuff I Brush-Brush
- Vallejo Model Color – Good coverage, paints well, stays where you put it.
- AMMO Acrylics
- Iwata CM-B Custom Micron
- Iwata HP-C Plus
- Iwata HP-CS Eclipse
- Iwata Revolution M
- Grex Genesis XGI
- Microscale Micro-Set
- Microscale Micro-Sol
Weathering and Detailing
- AMMO and AK Washes
- Oil Filtering
- AMMO Panel Line Washes
- Oils and AMMO/AK stuff for streaks and other effects
- Pigments when needed