Hi there, I've been building models for a while (and was pretty serious for a while). But now I'm in college and living in a pretty small dorm room (I've got some desk space and drawer space). I don't so much mind losing the amazing quality of airbrushes, but I enjoy building models.
Do you guys have any suggestions (most basic tools, small models, etc.) for a guy in really small quarters that still wants to build? What kind of models are best (I'd prefer military airplanes, but I guess figurines and small vehicles might suit my thirst :) ). Maybe some sort of "small space survival kit?"
Any tips are really appreciated. Thanks, Matt Kurjanowicz
I'm in the military, and was deployed for 4 months. Not being able to take all my plastic building stuff on the plane, or have room for it in the tent, I took a wooden sailing ship kit. All I needed to build it was a sharp knife, small drills and pin vice, small hammer, small hand drill, and sandpaper - enough bits to fill a small 12" long plastic toolbox.
Kept me busy, and the results look fantastic. ( getting it home took some doing.....)
A Ramblin' Wreck here in Atlanta, huh? One thing you probably won't need - a hard hat. I was in a crumbling 40 year old freshman dorm there when one of my classmates thought it would be a great mid-term exam prank to set off a stick of dynamite. My plaster ceiling collapsed on my head as I sat at my desk. The perp didn't have to worry about his grades anymore.
On to your question. A suggestion: a men's manicure set in a travel case consisting of toenail clippers (large sprue cutter), fingernail clippers (small sprue cutter and parts trimmer), metal file, scissors, tweezers, cuticle remover (for scrapping seams, cutting rigging, thread, etc.), finger nail cleaner (scribing tool or other pointed tool uses), and other various instruments I'm sure you'll find uses for. Amazingly, it can also be used for personal hygiene!
Minute Maid OJ can lids for paint and glue pallets Clothes pins Toothpicks Small dia. wire solder and/or elec. wire from Radio Shack (or stripped from an old appliance) A cheap plastic tool box from Home Depot to store it all A candle or 100 watt light bulb - for melting sprue which in turn can be formed into all sorts of glue applicators, sanding sticks, etc. Can also be used to heat plastic for "smash forming" canopies. Zip Lok Baggies for small parts and decals
There are many others. Rather than list them all, I have a suggestion. Atlanta IPMS meets this next Wednesday night at Peachtree DeKalb Airport in the Epps Classroom at 7:30. The subject of this month's meeting is...Homemade Tools!
The huge IPMS Region 3 Show is Jan. 30-31 here in Atlanta. See:
You'll be able to buy a lot of small tools and kits CHEAP!!! We have sold
170 vendor tables.
Kalmbach put out 2 great books, Hints and Tips for Plastic Modeling, and Scale Modeling Tips and Techniques. Both have numerous examples of "do it yourself" tools and modeling uses for everyday home products.
I have a friend in the Navy that carries all of his supplies/kits/parts in ammo boxes when he goes on cruise. I would have expected that an enlisted guy on a carrier would be in the LAST place on earth in which he could find time and space for model building, but he does it - airbrushing and all.
What I did was to keep the tools required to build assemblies in my dorm room and either paint parts during trips home to visit my parents, or in another space in the dorm. Most of our dorms had open useage rooms in the basements for such, or a trash room on the floor where noone cared.
Most basic to have would be some single edged razor blades and/or an X-Acto, some files, and some sand paper. A large squeeze-type nail clipper might also prove useful. You can do a LOT with just those tools.
I spent six years at NDSU Fargo building models in dorm rooms. I have a great pool of experience for you to gain knowledge from. :)
One suggestion given display and building space limitations: 1/72 armour. It's small, quick to build, and easy to find in most places. For the most part it also requires few tools and paints. I also spent a large amount of time painting the
1/72 scale ESCI figures and selling them to war gamers. It was fun, made me some money, but tedious on occaision.
I was lucky enough to have my Mom buy me a Tupperware cake 'hauler' for Xmas when I was in eighth grade (1981!) which contains the 1/2 and 1/4 oz Testors bottles GREAT! It also has JUST enough room above the paints to let you store brushes, knoves, hemostats, and other tools. Anything else (spares box, large tools, glue tubes I stored in a single 'utility' type tool box. It's a sys- tem that works well for me, to the point that I STILL have that tupperware cake 'hauler' and brought it with me to Phoenix last week!
A few years back FSM had an article about modeling on the go written by a travelling salesman (?) who brings his kits/tools/etc. with him and models in hotel rooms. He had a special brief case with everything he needed in it.
Did the same, living in a dorm at UND for two years I built tanks and stuff... mostly 1/35th. I used my extra desk and kept everything in a box under my bed and in one drawer. It is amazing what you can do with limited space when you have to.
As for painting, check with the local hobby shop. They may even have a place you can paint in the back room. Also, the NDSU, being the type of school it is, may have facilities for such as well.
Good thing the smell of dope in the room wasn't a bad thing back in the old days, right Milton?
My roomie and I built models. When he left early, the "inspection" of the room ( spilled paint and overspray) went against him when he tried to get his final grades. I helped him clean to get his deposit back.
I did this in the barracks (post 1968) for about three years -- one in language school, four months in AIT, one in Vietnam and four months more in the US. Few problems other than painting and dealing with the so-called "gefingerpokeners".
I did have one problem. While in Vietnamese language schoot at Fort Bliss in
1969, I was called out of class and order to report to my room. I did so and found the company XO, 1SG, and two MPs waiting for me. The XO read me my rights under Article 31 UCMJ (Military "Miranda" rights) and then accused me of smoking dope in the barracks.
His stellar "evidence" was a Badger 250 spray gun which he had found in a dresser. I was initially prompted to laugh but this fellow has dead serious. I angrily explained what it did and how it worked, but he refused to accept my explanation, assured it was a "water pipe" and used to smoke hashish or marijuana.
I volunteered to demonstrate it and he did at least concur. I opened my locker, got out the can of Propel I was using, hooked it up and pressed the trigger while pointed at his chest.
Seconds later, I found out to my horror that I had not cleaned it thoroughly, and here across his nice starched khaki uniform was a 1/2" wide stripe of Pactra Artillery Olive...
He turned red, the 1SG was bright crimson, and the two MPs were in hysterics. I was told curtly to pack it up and get back to class...