Model Building Essentials 101: What You Need to Fast-Track Your New Hobby

by whatsmind

Model building is a fun hobby with minimal startup requirements.

With a few useful tools and a bit of patience, you can start building models and indulge in a hobby that outlasts your leisure time. Model building is accessible for all skill levels, and as you progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced kits, you can add to your list of model-building essentials. 

If you’re still on the ground floor of your new pastime, here’s a list of building essentials to get you started. 

Paints and brushes

A premium collection of model-building essentials requires a colorful set of paints. The Testor brand of paints is made specifically for model builders. These little paints come in fan-favorite car colors as well as anything else your model architect’s heart could desire. You’ll also want a collection of brushes with tiny bristles so you can cover the detailed crevices of your models. 

For a premium look, you can also invest in an airbrush kit to give your models a realistic look. Airbrush kits aren’t expensive, especially in the small sizes you’ll need for a model building hobby. Don’t forget to wear eye protection and a respirator mask when spraying paint on your creations.

Sandpaper and sanding sticks

To smooth and prime your model for the painting, you want to sand it. You can sand off metal burrs and smooth down windows, so they look shiny when you apply paint. Sanding sticks let you reach into the crevices that the sandpaper can’t reach. 

LED lights

After you’ve crafted your models, you can put on the ritz by adding battery-powered LED lights. You can use these lights as headlights and taillights on model cars, or you can use LED lights to display your final creations with the flair they deserve. 

Model-building tools

Model builders rely on many handy tools to start their hobby. An essential tool kit should include Exacto knives with extra blades, tweezers, scissors, and flush cutters. You won’t need expensive tools, but you will want a set of tools dedicated to model building. This way, they’ll stay clean and sharp, so they work efficiently. 

Different types of glue

To hold your model’s pieces together, you’ll want a collection of quick-drying and clear glue. Model cement is a good choice and many intermediate model builders like using clear super glue. Make sure you always cap the bottles tightly, so the glue doesn’t dry in the bottles. 

After you’ve glued your model pieces together, you might want rubber bands or small vice grips or clamps to hold the pieces in place. If you are prone to making mistakes, you’ll want a bottle of debonding solution to take your models apart. 

Magnifying glasses

Because models can have tiny pieces, many people benefit from magnifying glasses to see everything. You might enjoy having a hands-free magnifying glass with a light attached to increase your visibility even more. 

Wrap up

Model building is a rewarding hobby that leaves you with a collection of fun items. Whether you build cars, airplanes, ships, or something else, you’ll enjoy the process more when you have a complete inventory of necessary tools and supplies. Fortunately, model-building essentials are inexpensive and easy to find at any craft or hobby shop. 

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