What do I need?

Let's start off with equipment. If you are going to tackle a hobby, you need the right tools. You'll find most of the basics already in your house.

Pliers and cutters. Most toolboxes already have a pair of these. Use the clippers to snap your models from the sprue. You can also use them to remove large pieces of flashing. Don't use this for fine clean-up, however. You'll want a modeling knife for that.

Plastic glue. If you're collecting Citadel Miniatures, you can save a bundle by purchasing the boxed regiments. Of course, the models will all be plastic in these sets, so you need plastic glue. This is a liquid cement that will actually melt the plastic pieces together. It's recommended to use a small brush to apply the glue where the pieces will meet. Hold them together for about ten seconds and they will weld together.

Super glue. Don't get your fingers stuck! Metal figurines, such as Reaper Miniatures and special units from Citadel Miniatures, need this to seal their bits together. Also use this for bonding plastics to metal. Essential for customizing.

Epoxy glue. This is a two-part glue that you mix together. Get the five minute variety. I confess, I haven't used this much, but I imagine I will be using it more as I customize.

White glue. Let's hear it for Elmer's! I mix this with water and paint it onto the base before flocking.

Temporary. You might use some tack (used extensively in school for sticking anything anywhere) to hold bits in place while your deciding how to set up your model.

Putty. Green stuff. Like epoxy, this comes as two separate glues that are mixed together -- yellow and blue make green. If you want to lengthen a model's hair, or add some trim to a breastplate, or a tentacle to a Chaos Spawn, this is your stuff. Take a small amount, mix it, and shape it onto the model. After it is dry, you can shape it with your modeling knife. Which brings us to...

Modelling knife. The famous X-Acto knife with No. 11 and No. 10 blades. No. 11 is the most useful and you can and should buy several packages. Use this to scrape flashing from the sides of your model. You can even use it to add detail to a model, such as cutting some more lines of hair.

There are certainly other tools available, such as fine-tooth razor saws for your modeling knife, Dremel power tool, needle files, sanding materials, dental tools, etc., which are all great, but aren't essential. You can even get by without many of the glues I've mentioned, but the plastic glue and super glue are a must--and who doesn't have a bottle of Elmer's sitting around somewhere?

I'll be adding more articles soon on modeling.

Copyright 2002 Brian Byars. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 15, 2002 .