Scratch Building Tools

Howdy All,
I am a new poster to this group, and was wondering about something.
I am going to begin the process of teaching myself scratchbuilding. I am a
wargamer and the companies that are out there do not produce what I want. So,
I'm gonna do it myself.
I am going to need to assemble a pile of tools that are essential to this new
phase of my modeling career. This is where I want to enlist your help!
The main two things I will need to create are vehicles & buildings. These should
be the easiest things to start on, as the shapes are pretty standard. The
vehicles will be used in 15mm wargaming. So they are going to be fairly small.
Something akin to N scale railroad scale. What are the best tools to get that
will make my life easier when designing these little beasties? I can see that I
will be needing to create angled surfaces along with simple cubed types as well.
Are there tools that can help me keep my angles proper, or is that going to be
my eyes and a good set of rules?
Another thing I'm curious about. I know not every tool people use are out of a
catalog or a website. There are homebrewed tools that you can't live without.
Who here has something that they cannot model without? I'm curious to see what
sorts of things that you've bashed together so you can model the way you want to
rather than how some catalog wants you to! So, lets see your ingenuity folks!
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Some suggestions: - Dental pick: GREAT for scribing lines, diging tiny holes, more stuff than you'd ever imagine. - Lotsa exacto #11 blades! Obvious reasons - Small C-clamps: These are available at LOTSA places, I bought mine at Radio Shack two decades ago. - Pin-vise (hand drill) and some tiny drill bits, for obvious reasons - Clothes pins. Should be obvious here... :) - Razor saw, available at any good carft/hobby shop - Hobby Mitre saw and Mitre box: X-acto makes a good one - Jewelers saw, gets those hard to reach places and angles. Once again, X-acto makes a good one. - A sheet of magnet and some metal blocks of various sorts. That way you can set of the blocks to hold things while the glue dries. - French curve/protractor, available danged near anywhere! - METAL scale ruler/straight edge. You know why... :) - Liquid paper. This sounds really stupid, but I like it because it will act as kind of a quick drying cement/filler that can be EASILY scr- aped away when done
Almost all of this stuff is available at your local craft shop, hobby shop and some of it can be picked up at the corner store.
Hope this helps!
Reply to
Drew Hill
My suggestions (from a "figure guy" point of view):
If you are going to do any sculpting with epoxy putty, the best "sculpting tools" (popularized by the incredible Bill Horan) are toothpicks! Carve and sand a number of toothpicks to various sizes/shapes of points and "rounds". Seal them with "super glue". Sand them with #600 paper. Seal again, etc...etc...This way you can construct and endless supply of *cheap* custom sculpting tools.
Reply to
Greg Heilers
I don't know that 'scratchbuilding' tools are really any different than basic modeling tools, but then I may have a different take on what constitutes 'basic'. I couldn't live without four different styles of long tweezers, jeweler's drill bits and pin vise, miniature miter box and a couple jeweler saws, hundred year supply of X-acto blades, a few dental picks, scribing tools and a machinist's ruler. I also have an eraser guide that comes in quite handy, for scribing short lines, and oddly enough, for its original drafting purpose of an erasing mask for drawings. If you're going to be working with any photo-etch pieces, or thin sheetmetal you might get a photo-etch bending jig. Personally, I think the most important scratchbuilding tool of all is a good imagination, and the ability to translate that into something 3D. This is precisely why I don't scratchbuild anything more than VERY basic items. Someday, maybe, on the outside chance I do wake up one day blessed with talent and imagination I have made it a point to collect odd pieces of plastic. I have pieces of old VCR and computer cases; painted black, the texture might pass for a flight deck section. I collect old disposable razors; the studio model of the StarWars Stardestroyer has countless pieces of them in it. I also have a few hundred odds and ends of vac-formed packaging that may come in handy someday. What wargaming do you do? I was looking at some of the 40K stuff once upon a time that looked pretty cool, but I have no idea where to find it any more. I'm not a gamer, but some of the armor was prety cool.
Reply to
in addition to the tools I use on kits, for scratch building I use a lot of wood, which necessitates saws. I also use a lot of brass tubing and strip stock. So I use the following tools in addition to those Disco58 mentions
Table saw jig saw Drill press Soldering gun Sheet metal nibbing tool Needle file set.
Power tools have really dropped in price, and today I could buy the saws and drill press for less than I paid years ago in actual dollars, not even accounting for inflation. A small drill press these days goes for as low as fifty bucks at my local hardware store, a table saw for under 100.
Disco58 wrote:
Reply to
Don Stauffer

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