14 May 2024

Miniature Model Tools needed

Posted by Crazy Knitter22 at 12:29 am

 When I started with the first "Future World" I hade nothing but some glue and varnish from my decoupage hobby, tweezers, scissors and paper knife and a cutting board.

That's minimum requirement. But when you make it an obsession and really love it then you suddenly find tools and glues you really need or it turns really annoying.

Like I said, I had the basics. But then you suddenly need to clamp something together and you hunt around the house trying to find something that opens wide enough and is strong enough.

Then you need wire cutters and pliers which I thankfully already had spares. I bought a set a while ago for my jewellery making but they were the wrong ones. They were not toothless and would leave marks and I had to buy a new set. 

You need some wire cutters, pliers and some looper pliers. For some scenes you have make some tiny coat hangers and other stuff with wire and you just can't do that by hand. Some will ask you to make balconies from wires or a bumper grill. I explain later alternatives.

Let's talk about glue. There are many glues and even when they say they stick almost everything, don't believe it. They don't.

For the Underwater World you will need a Silicon glue. You have to cover the ground with sand and after you have to stick a lot of stuff onto the sand and the sides and the top and a dab of silicon glue works wonders. You don't have to hold it until it's dry.

They say you should use silicon glue to attach the paper covers. I tried it with one and I didn't like it. It's very hard to spread it evenly and not too much. I found something much better. The trusty Pritt stick. You just smother the whole area and you place the paper and you can get it off if you have to move it.

Those sets that have a fabric backing Copydex glue is perfect. It dries quickly

You will have to glue a lot of little fabric pieces and little curtains to windows. I recommend either Mod Podge or Impex HT1400 Hi-Tack Fabric glue.

To glue all the pieces including the boxes I use Galt Washable PVA Glue. It sticks the wooden pieces really well and if you made a mistake you can take it apart again without causing any damage. Which isn't possible using professional wood glue.
I have some small shallow plastic bowls (sold to use for dips) they are perfect for paint or glue. I just poor a puddle into the bowl and work from there. Even if it starts to dry up it still works and actually sticks much quicker. I always add the glue and then leave it dry for a few minutes before I press the pieces together.

And last but not least, get some clear glue, but not the PVA type because when that dries it literally vanishes. Some of the sets you have to make water drops and puddles and you need a clear glue that dries as a layer. I received with one set a bottle of Chinese glue to make the water drops and puddles and I realised that it's like UHU glue. It makes strings when you pull it away. Also it dries quicker than PVA glue. I bought this one. But the original UHU glue works just as well.
That was the glue section now let's talk about clamps.
I recommend a couple of  Silverline Mini Clamps 150mm for when I glue the box together. 
I also bought a 300mm, somehow there isn't a size in between, so I had no choice. But I can just glue it a clamp it and leave it,  without having to stack books on top and hope nothing moves.
Then I bought 2 sets of Wolfcraft Microfix Spring Clamps 30mm. You probably get away with one set.

I also bought a set of Wolfcraft Quickfix S Mini Fast Clamping Tools

A pair of Wolfcraft microtip 60 Pointed Spring Clamp

10Pcs Nylon Spring Clamps 2Inch Mini Clips 

That's the clamps out of the way.

You will also need some metal rulers.

You will need some good precision paper scissors like these or cheaper ones

I recommend some smaller scissors as well. You will find sets that include smaller scissors.
I also recommend some small curved scissors. 

Also very helpful is this set. It's a basic modellers tool kit. It's perfect and includes everything you need.

And of course a heavy duty multi layer cutting mat. I have an A3 size, because it's my working board at the same time. I work at my computer desk and it covers enough so I don't mess up my mouse mat.

Optional but certainly helpful is a good lighting source. I have a magnifying lamp I bought ages ago from Aldi. It's perfect and if I have something really tiny I have the magnifying glass right there. Mine is mains powered but something like this would work really well.

That's about it. OK, you might want to get a tool box to put everything away. 😂😂
Anyway, I hope I could help and inspire more people to start a new hobby.
The next book nook is already in waiting.

PS: Almost forgot. If you are struggling to make those balconies, I recommend to look into model train fencing. N gauge or smaller. You will have to chop it to size, but still better than trying to fiddle something out of wires.

PPS: I forgot to mention another tool you want to consider if you want to have decent cable connection. Because just twisting the wires and put a tape around it, I find rather lazy and not very secure. You don't want to rip everything apart because you accidentally ripped the wires apart.
You can get soldering iron kits for just over a tenner, they are more than good enough.

And get some heat shrink tubing. Max 2mm


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