I haven't made a model since the 70's but boy was I enthusiastic then.
I am looking to construct an airfix 1/48 electric lightning. I am
needing to build my modelling supply kit from scratch. What should be
on my shopping list ? I used in the past to do mainly figures so I have
not had need of an airbrush until now.
Can anyone recommende a good online supplier for the US ?
Paasche makes a good double-action airbrush and it's reasonably priced.
There are a couple other decent reasonably-priced airbrushes out there but
I've only had experience with a Paasch VL. Iwata makes a really nice one
capable of getting some really fine lines but the price is through the roof.
If you're going for an airbrush, you should look around for a reasonably
good air compressor withg a storage tank - the tank doesn't have to be real
big, just enough to even out the pulses of the air compressor. Alternately,
some use a compressed air or CO-2 tank to power their airbrush. I haven't
tried the compressed gas propellant but others here say it works well. In
either case, you'll need a pressure regulator so you can adjust the pressure
to the airbrush. Many better hobby shops carry or can order a Paasch and
the other medium-priced airbrushes. Not that many carry the high-priced
Iwata but you should be able to fine about any brand from on-line
distributors and hobby shops. Welcome back to the hobby.
If you can afford to get them I would suggest the following
Xuron Sprue Cutter from either Micro Mark or Model Expo
Tweezers Straight, Hooked, and a Self Locking Pair
Zona Saw to cut large sprue connections
Also, don't forget the adhesives. I found this to be the biggest
change when I came back to modeling about a year ago after 25 or more
years from being out of the loop. I suggest you go to
and click on the hobby adhesive tab. You
will get a wealth of information of the different types of super
bonders modelers are using now. You also should bet familiar with
teenax glue available at most model stores. I would also suggest
checking out the new acrylic paints. Yes they dry fast but if you thin
them correctly they airbrush and brush nicely and clean up is a breeze.
For paint, I prefer Xtracolor or Modelmaster enamels.
Filler - Squadron Green and White. I use Green for general filling
and then if I need to do more filling I use the White (it's got a finer
"grain" to it). Gap-filling super glue also makes a good filler, but
you need to file/sand it right away or it gets too hard to sand easily.
Sand Paper - Make sure you get "wet 'n dry" paper. It's the type of
sandpaper with a cloth backing and not the paper backing you get on
regular sandpaper. Most are a dark gray color. Also invest in some
tri-grit sanding sticks (look in the cosmetics department of your local
Wal-mart or whatever). Used properly, these will even let you polish
clear plastic canopies.
Thinner - For thinning paint I like to use the paint mfr's thinner.
Altho you may not HAVE to use their brand, I seem to get in less
trouble with the paint when I do. For cleaning your airbrush out (when
you get one), I spray lacquer thinner through it to do the initial
Brushes - Get the best quality brushes you can afford. I've been
steered to Windsor-Newton brushes and have been well satisfied with
Knive(s) - Get your basic X-acto knife (at least one, I've probably
got two or three on my desk that I use on a regular basis), and then
get a variety of blades for it. I usually use the #11 blades. Also get
a saw blade or two for it, they can be very useful for seperating parts
from the sprue when the attachment points are very close to the part. A
chisel blade is highly useful, too. That's primarily what I use for
applying putty to seams. I also recommend getting a scalpel set. I
bought one from Micro-Mark a while back and they are very handy. I got
one with the thick plastic handle and use it mostly for trimming sprue
attachment bits from parts, for trimming flash and cutting masking on
canopies. These are extremely sharp, so you do need to be a little more
careful with them than you would with an X-Acto.
For masking tape, just get a good quality tape. You don't want the
"Dollar General" tape, you want some good quality stuff. A lot of guys
here swear by Tamiya's masking tape, but I've never used it so I can't
Good luck, and welcome back. 8-)
Future acrylic floor polish. It is used as a gloss overcoat (which is
important to provide the best surface for laying down decals, after
which a flat overcoat can be applied to reduce the overall sheen) or to
provide a gloss finish after using matte paints. It can also be used as
a decal solution to minimize silvering (tiny air bubbles under decals),
it is used on transparencies to make them look clearer, it can be tinted
with inks or other pigments to allow tinted transparencies, and it can
even be used as an adhesive to attach non-stress-bearing small parts,
especially to transparencies. It is cheap, self-leveling, very
forgiving, easy to clean off if you make a mistake, dries quickly,
smells nice, and will not ask for a divorce.