I am as new to this hobby as one can get. I have two kits arriving soon and would like to know what basic tools and equipment that you all are using out there in model land.
So far I have made a few basic structures and even had a go at scratch building one structure. I still haven't got my painting/weathering technique right yet, but I keep reading and keep on trying.

I would like to order any tools that I don't have to arrive at about the same time as the kits.
A list of tools would very helpful.



  • Welcome to model railroading! I remember how overwhelmed I was when I first got into this hobby.. I still am! Here is my "must have" list

    -Sheet of glass to work on. Makes cutting, mixing, painting, building weathering etc. much easier and its easy to clean up.
    -NWSL Chopper. Makes cutting strip wood for kits MUCH more easy, quick, accurate and painless. One of my favorites
    -No. 11 blades
    -Rembrandt chalks for weathering and coloring. Bretts kits are perfect for learning how to use them
    - Blacken-it for various weathering
    -ACC Glue and 5-Min apoxy
    -Tweezers and needle nose pliers
    -various sand papers
    - jewelers files or modeling files
    - Wire brush for texturing wood. A must have.
    - various needles

    Thats all I can think of for now. SWSM kits are by far the best I have ever built and I have learned the most from them. Brett makes it easy to build a great model and his kits come with comprehensive list of tools needed and techniques on how to use em. Good Luck.
  • edited February 2012
    Yep, Bryan seems to have listed all the essentials, everything else is really just luxuries.
    With Bryans list you should be able to build pretty much any thing.

    A couple of things I'll tag onto the list,

    add basic wood glue into the mix ..... ie:- water proof/water resistant carpenters glue
    a metal scale rule ... comes in handy now and then
    single edge razor blades .... cheap, so change out often, nice clean cuts.
    A couple of set squares for 90 angles on wall assembly... however a post-it pad or CD case will also work... ;~)

  • I also find a dremel style rotary tool useful. Mine is a Ryobi, and the whole kit cost me forty dollars on sale at Bunnings (like a Home Depot...) Greg.
  • Im sure Karl will agree, but some ice cold beers is also nice to have while modelling:)
  • -dedicated plastic, metal, wood files (large #8's and needle/jeweller's)
    -opti-visor for fine work (you will need to deal with the wonderful
    detailing on Brett's kits)
    -sanding blocks to be sure of square edges
    -lots of (I repeat lots of) paint brushes (cheap one use and high
    quality many use) for applying weathering, glues, stains, etc.
  • Ok. So the chopper arrived today. I have most of these tools, files, clamps, Dremel, drill bits,wire brushes, paint brushes. Any one would like to recommend a good optivisor. I think we have the beer thing down pat (worked out) here in Australia.
  • Only thing I can think of that was not listed above is a pick. Something like a dental pick for scribing. I prefer a straight one.
  • edited April 2016
    One tool I have not seen mentioned is the glass nail art manicure files which are used for fine polishing of those must have long nails! Much finer than most emery boards and perfect for removing the almost non existent tab remnants from the "Best Yet" new windows in O'Neills.
    Cheaper than chips on eBay from China or Hong Kong.
  • I recall being overwhelmed at first - now my wife is with all the crap! Don't forget a "true sander". I also like the distressing tool one finds on Micro Mark but not essential. Water soluble inks. One thing I've found is to buy the smallest ACC you can - it has a short shelf life and you don't need much.
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