While not specifically tools, adhesives are so closely tied to model building that I thought I'd mention them here. More information on each type can be found at my Adhesives Tips page.
These six types (including the hot glue below) are probably the
most useful of the lot. Zap-CA gap filling CA is very useful for
attaching small parts and to tack parts together while fillets of
another adhesive such as Devcon Plastic Steel epoxy are setting up.
Testor's liquid cement is for use on styrene only. GOOP (Marine
GOOP in this case) is an advanced silicone sealer. Marine GOOP is
similar to the other kinds, but it is UV resistant. Contact cement
is useful as a flexible general repair adhesive. It is very good at
adhering to surfaces that other adhesives won't bond to.
One tool that is very handy is an electric hot glue gun. This tool melts a thermoplastic adhesive that can bond paper and cardboard. It is very useful in building the cardboard stripping that is used to support plaster hardshell.
An airbrush is a precision paint sprayer. There are many kinds of work that can be easily done with an airbrush that can't be done with regular brushes at all, such as quick weathering. See my Airbrush Tips for more information on airbrushes.
These are the four most useful model paints for weathering with an airbrush. If you've ever seen any of Mac McCalla's work, he does it all with these four paints. See my Airbrush Tips for more information on model paints.
There are some products that are useful in conjunction with paints and decals. MicroSet is a solution that partially dissolves decals and makes them adhere better to plastic surfaces. The edges become less visible and the decals will settle down across even the finest surface details such as rivet head. Blacken-It is an etchant that chemically weathers and blackens brass, copper, steel and many other metals. It leaves a flat finish that looks like old paint. Plastic Prep is a surface conditioning solution that allows paint to adhere better to plastic surface. Airbrush Thinner is used to dilute acrylic model paint so that it can be airbrushed in even thinner layers. Even though the paint makers claim that acrylic paint can be thinned with water, don't believe it. Use this stuff to thin paint.
© 1999 George Schreyer
Created Dec 4, 1999
Last Updated Dec 4, 1999