My Gear

One of the most important things in model building is your gear. Some people work with basic tools: a tube of glue, some hairy sticks and some sand paper from your nearest Dollarstore/Poundland/Action while working on the kitchen table. Others have a shed full of model gear. The truth is, as a beginner you don’t need all of that! You can build a good-looking model with just the basics. When I’m not at home and I’m spending a few days in one place I often take a simple kit with me and some basic tools.

Note: the list below is basically a ‘Need-to-have’ list of stuff needed for model building!

  • Hobby knife + some spare blades
  • Sandpaper (400, 600 grit, from your local hardwarestore)
  • Model glue (Revell, Humbrol or Tamiya)
  • Sprue cutter
  • Tube of (Vallejo) filler
  • Wooden coffee stirrers (the ones you find in Starbucks and other coffee shops)
  • Small A4 cutting mat (In a pinch, a placemat or piece of cardboard is also usable)
  • The bare minimum of paint I need

Now this is only a small portion of my gear. In my ‘office’ I have a lot more.

Note: The list below is the ‘Nice-to-have’ list!

  • Three airbrushes:
  • Compressor: Revell Standard Class Compressor
  • Cleaning jar for the airbrushes
  • A selection of paints:
    • Tamiya
    • Revell Aqua Color
    • Vallejo Model Color, Model Air and Metal Color
    • AMMO by MiG Jimenez
    • Tamiya Rattle Cans
  • A lot of glue
    • Tamiya Cement and Extra Thin Cement
    • Revell Contacta (Tube) (Relly useful when the glue absolutely can not flow into somewhere else)
    • Revell Contacta Clear (For clear parts)
    • Revell Contacta Professional (with needle applicator)
    • Humbrol glue (The little tubes you get in kits)
    • Wood glue (aka PVA glue)
    • Superglue (Zap and local brands)
    • 5 Second Fix glue (a UV activated superglue)
  • Digital calipers (a cheap one)
  • Screwdriver
  • Candle
  • A3 cutting mat
  • Kives
    • Hobby knive
    • Swann Morton Scalpel (Highly recommended)
    • Stanley knife
  • Set of model saws and a backsaw (for when precision doesn’t matter as much)
  • Sprue cutters. A cheap one, a slightly less cheaper one and a good one
  • Smaller tools: pinvise, files, rivetmaker, scriber
  • Tamiya Spray-Work Painting Stand Set
  • Fillers:
    • Vallejo Putty filler
    • Revell Plasto
    • Milliput
  • Sculpting tools to use with the fillers
  • Sandpaper
    • Regular hardware store sandpaper: 400-600 grit
    • Tamiya sandpaper: 800, 1000 and 1200 grit
    • Tamiya Sanding Sponge, used for wet sanding
  • Poster putty for masking and holding things together
  • Fishing weights, to add weight to kits where needed (usually aircraft)
  • Crayons / Pastels for making pigments and washes
  • Tea strainer: used with the crayons
  • Wooden paint stand, 52x 17 ml, 8x 35 or 60 ml (yes, it’s full already)
  • Ultrasonic cleaner
  • Ultrasonic cleaning solution for acrylic paints
  • Revell Airbrush Cleaner
  • Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner


Keep in mind that you don’t need all of this! If you’re just starting out you’ll only need the items in the first list.


My workspaces (yes, I have two)

  • IKEA desk. Cost me €30 in total so I don’t really care if it gets paint on it
  • Two IKEA Tertial desk lamps
  • Storage, you can’t have enough storage. Plastic boxes, old kit boxes and jars. Anything goes
  • A small USB powered LED desk light
  • Z-Wave module to turn on the desk lamps remotely


  • Daylight lamp
  • Dedicated photo table
  • Spraying booth (DIY or COTS)
    • DIY: A spray booth is fairly simple: A large box, a filter, and a large fan and some lights. But it’s not as easy to do it properly.
    • COTS: Commercial Off The Shelve: there are a number of spray booths available, but most are too small in my opinion, or too expensive. And spare part availability is an issue. You’ll have to replace the filter(s) occasionally

It’s quite a lengthy list, but there are a lot of ‘Nice-to-haves’ in this list, but this is all I have accumulated since I’ve started building plastic models.