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Basic tools and starting construction

Before you rush to the online model stores and load up your shopping cart due to tools and materials, stop for a moment.

Build your first model using minimal tools available in your home or hobby stores near you.

A few things to take care of before starting construction:

- Provide a comfortable work environment. A desk and a comfortable chair at the right height, will improve the construction experience and prevent you from overexertion and probably also back pain  

- Have good lighting on the area where you work. Good lighting is the key to fun and quality construction. Desktop lamps can be purchased at stores like Home Center / Ace Buy and Build

- Ventilated work environment! We work with materials with pungent and toxic odor fumes, it is mandatory to work in a room with a window / several windows open and maintain a ventilated work environment during construction.  

Remember the rule- if you smell it- you breathe it

Here is a list of equipment of basic tools that I recommend to equip (product links at the end of the article)

Work surface for cutting - will also preserve your desktop, and also extend the blade life of your knife 

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Scalpel (hobby knife) - probably the most important and useful tool in the construction process

The scalpel is a knife with a very sharp blade and a remarkably precise cutting ability. However, the scalpel blades tend to wear out pretty quickly. The scalpel can be used to remove parts of the wood and also to clean them of plastic debris, a basic and common use of the scalpel.

Download  Manual parts of the wood can break them, especially when it comes to small parts.

There are plenty of tools for cutting, designing and engraving plastic, but for starters a good knife with a variety of blades should cover the needs of a beginner builder in its first models

The old blades can be used for other uses, such as filling the model connections using Putty, a filler we will talk about later. 

Tips for using the knife:

The safest way to cut is to cut in the opposite direction from you. That is, "out," but many people find it difficult. If you are cutting in your direction, then pay attention, and be sure to use only light pressure. Maintain a strong grip on both the knife and the model. Take a moment to think - 'If the blade slips now, what damage can it cause?'

Always make sure you work with a sharp blade - A non-sharp blade will lead to stronger pressure on the plastic, and if it slips will cause greater damage to the model (at best) or more serious injury (at worst) if the blade hits you. New blades are inexpensive and can be easily replaced, so try to replace them frequently.


A classic scalpel. Immediately assembled and blade replaced


Different types of blades 

Side Cutter  Used for lowering parts from the parts tree. This tool  He's not a regular cutter. The side cutter / cutter has features that allow parts to be removed from the parts tree in a controlled and clean manner, which can save time in cleaning the parts and preparing them for later painting.  

You can also use a scalpel to remove the parts, but this tool will make it easier for you, and is also safer for your fingers.

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Smooth cutting with side cutter. Note how the cutter adheres to the part, thus allowing a clean removal of the part with a minimum of plastic residue

Tweezers - Tweezers may show us a little unnecessary. Indeed, most parts of the model can be worn without the use of tweezers.

The tweezers are used for gluing and connecting small parts, sometimes very small, and make the job very easy.

Tweezers can be found in cosmetics stores, but I recommend dedicated tweezers for building models because their engineering structure is designed for our needs and this is evident when using them

There is a huge variety of tweezers of all kinds; Tweezers with a pointed extension, with a flat extension, with a rounded extension, longer, less long, and more.  

Since tweezers are a small and inexpensive tool, I recommend collecting tweezers along the way as they are always in use.

For starters, I recommend a slightly long pair of tweezers with a bent head.


Such tweezers can be excellent for a start


Other types of tweezers 

Sanding-  Despite the advancement of technology, improving the quality of the plastic and adjusting the parts - sanding work is something that is required in every model. There are many types of sanders on the market, including nail files, dry / wet sandpaper, sanding sponges, and even electric sanders.  

For starters, I recommend purchasing a number of nail polishes at different roughness levels. Available at cosmetics stores / Super Pharm. Coarse-grained nail files are recommended for lowering large amounts of plastic in a short time (suitable when a severe fit problem is encountered), and there are finer nail files that are used for more delicate work.

However, I recommend performing any type of sanding, coarse or fine sanding, gradually, while testing suitability every few moments so as not to get too much sanding that will result in large and unnecessary gains.  

Usually each nail file contains 2 degrees of sanding - coarse and fine, one on each side.

There are nail files designed for models, on which there are four different coarse levels (the middle one in the picture made by CMK)

The other nail files in the picture were bought at a cosmetics store.

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In addition to sanding nails, I also recommend getting "wet" sanding papers - or in the language of car bodywork - "water paper"

Water paper looks like fine sandpaper, but the difference between it and sandpaper is that you can and should combine water with it.

The use of water significantly reduces the amount and depth of scratches on the plastic.  

If you ask me - a must-have product!

Available at Tambourines or stores like Home Center / Ace Buy and Build.


Unlike glass papers, in water papers the higher the number of paper, the finer it is.

I recommend stocking up on water papers from 600 to 2500.

My most useful: 800,1200,1500


Water papers in several coarse grades. Note the word "waterproof" on the back of the paper

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Adhesive models-  Model glue, unlike regular glue, melts the glued pieces of plastic and thus turns them into one unit.  

For starters, I recommend using a "Revell" glue that comes with a needle for spot spraying of the glue.

The glue is available at "Panzland" stores located in several malls in the country.

Sometimes, the needle of the glue becomes clogged. I recommend opening it by inserting a thin metal guitar string into the needle


Adhesive models from the German company "Ravel"


Superglue-  "Glue 3 seconds" - can be useful for gluing stubborn parts, or parts we want to strengthen.  

Quick glue can be used to close small grooves in the model, we will talk about this later.  

Fast glue is not suitable for gluing transparent parts because it leaves white steam on the part.

I recommend a quick glue that comes in a plastic vial rather than the simple tube. The reason is that the adhesives that come in high-quality vials are usually stronger, and the life of the adhesive is significantly longer than in a tube that will dry out after a few individual uses.

Available at hardware stores


Recommended fast glue from "Locktite"


White glue-  White glue is useful in models for only one glue - gluing transparent parts.  

White glue is a little weak, but after drying it becomes transparent and will not leave glue vapor on the windows.

Available at any stationery / craft store


Simple white glue

GLUE N 'GLAZE glue from Deluxe is an adhesive for gluing transparent parts. It looks like white glue, but is significantly stronger. Available at the Hobbitech store  


With these tools you can assemble a model at an adequate basic-initial level. Of course the world of tools and materials is very wide to infinity. In the article "Advanced tools and materials" you will find information about additional tools and materials that will jump your level of construction in a few more levels.

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