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I have a birthday coming up in the next month or so and SWMBO asked me what I would like, adding that she's not going to buy me any more models because now that our building work is complete and I have located all of my stash into one cupboard in the loft, she can see how many I have!  So since the only thing I could think of was the Atlantic Models HMS ANDROMEDA, I strated to look fuirther afields and wondered about getting some more tools.

 

So the question is, what is the most useful tool that you have for ship modelling and why ?  If you can link to a supplier even better!  So far the only thing I have thought of is some micro PCB drills because I have broken all of my 0.3 mm diameter ones that bought 5 years ago.

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There is a start. Bin your PCB drills, buy titanium coated micro drills. Much stronger in my opinion and I use 0.3 to 0.5mm on an almost daily basis.

 

https://www.proopsbrothers.com/5-x-titanium-coated-hss-drill-bits-metric-7699-p.asp

or

https://www.proopsbrothers.com/10-x-titanium-coated-hss-drill-bits-metric-7628-p.asp

 

HTH

 

Kev

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Beside a knife handle and plentiful blade supply, I use the following tools in most of my builds. I didn't list sources, as all of mine are in the US--not so useful.

 

  • JLC saw and mitre box
  • 0-, 2-, 4-, and 6-cut Swiss pattern needle files. I really like Vallorbe Grobet files. Not cheap, but they're oh so nice. Equaling files are my most commonly used file, followed by crossing files. I like the ~7cm cut length  (14 cm overall length). I primarily use needle files for any sort of abrasive work. The 0-cut file will aggressively remove material while the 6-cut will produce a perfectly smooth surface. After that, I use flexible sanding sticks and sometimes a sheet laid down on a glass sheet.
  • PE bending tool. I like The Small Shop's The Bug Hold and Fold® PE bending tool.
  • Mission Models Micro chisels. I have 2 handles with rounded and flat types.
  • Punch and die set. I have a Waldron set, but I'm not sure they're still available. Get a good set or don't bother--there's no middle-quality here.
  • Pin vice. There are good and bad brands. I like the Walthers double-ended pin vise, but there are other good and better brands.

 

 

  • Albion sliding tubing sets. I also use these in most of my builds. They cut nicely by rolling them under a sharp blade. Here I used them to build the shafts and A-frames of this 1/350 YMS.

fulmar-screws.jpg

 

HTH

-- 

dnl

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Thanks everyone.  A few things there that will be added - especially the titanium tipped drills as I am forever breaking my smallest PCB drills and it seems you cannot buy them in one size; my larger ones are still intact.   And I do like the look of those needle files.  I have one very old rat tail file about 0.5 mm diameter that I have had for over 40 years still taped to the original strip of cardboard I bought it on (but still gets regular use) and then my next step round file is a very coarse cut and about 3 mmm diameter.

 

I started looking for a punch and die set but the RP Toolz one (that I recall getting rave reviews on here) seem to be out of stock.

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For me, the best modelling tool is a magnifier! Mine is a rubbish one, the lens keeps flopping out of line but it is still way better than my reading glasses! Roll on when shops open and the show circuit opens so I can trial run another set!

 

@longshanks those drills look the biz! I will get myself some of those, thanks for the links!

 

Cheers,

 

Ray (who has been away from Maritime for too long!)

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55 minutes ago, Ray S said:

For me, the best modelling tool is a magnifier! Mine is a rubbish one, the lens keeps flopping out of line but it is still way better than my reading glasses! Roll on when shops open and the show circuit opens so I can trial run another set!

 

 

 

I think I'd agree with that the way my eyesight has deteriorated over the past 10 years.  When I was flying I almost used to be able to read the printer's name at the bottom of the eye chart; now I struggle to see there's a chart there at all!  Until recently I used a desk hobby magnifier but at Christmas I was given a headset with 5 interchangeable lenses and built in LED lighting.  Absolutely brilliant.  The middle size is perfect for 90-95% of what I do going up to the top magnification for really intricate work.  It's unbranded unfortunately so I can't even tell you what make it is let alone where to order it from - just marked "Made in China"!

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These comments remind me of another tool I have which I don't even think about. Extra magnification reading glasses. I asked when I was at the opticians and he said no problem what magnification do I want. I use 4x all the time only occasionally resorting to a head band. Brilliant

 

HTH

 

Kev

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15 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

It's unbranded unfortunately so I can't even tell you what make it is let alone where to order it from - just marked "Made in China"!

I suspect its this ...

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnifier-Handsfree-Magnifying-Detachable-Electronic/dp/B0794PNBLT/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=EW6X80FHPYMP&dchild=1&keywords=headband+magnifier+with+led+light&qid=1615111005&sprefix=head+band+magnifier%2Caps%2C177&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyVUpSRTFKMEoxMVFDJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTAyNjc3MUlXSjc1UlJSNEtUVSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTk2ODQzMjFZOEtOQ0tMWE9CRyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

 

Or one of the many variants on Amazon

 

Agree it does the job well BUT I find the arms aren't very robust ... I'm on my second pair, and its on its last legs with the arms heavily taped up and epoxied. Still at the price replacing them every year or so is acceptable. While not up to the manufacturing standards of some other types, I've found these the most effective and useable magnifiers I've tried. To be honest, I don't find the LED much use (I have good lighting), so leave the batteries out which of course makes them lighter.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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3 hours ago, longshanks said:

These comments remind me of another tool I have which I don't even think about. Extra magnification reading glasses. I asked when I was at the opticians and he said no problem what magnification do I want. I use 4x all the time only occasionally resorting to a head band. Brilliant

 

HTH

 

Kev

Silly comments about bandsaws notwithstanding; I would have to strongly agree with this recommendation. I have normal reading glasses - for general office work - but separate modelling glasses that are made to the same prescription but set to a much closer focal length. I use them all the time when modelling.

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I have a set of the ones shown, and agree the arms are crap, I also have a optivisor which is very good but you do feel sort of locked in when using it, as if your trying to pick another tool up that you need they block out your peripheral vision. the ones from Amazon are open so you can look around the lens for what you need

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21 hours ago, dnl42 said:

Punch and die set. I have a Waldron set, but I'm not sure they're still available. Get a good set or don't bother--there's no middle-quality here.

 

If you can't find a Waldon Punch and Die Set RP Toolz (available from Historex Agents of Dover) are a recommended alternative - as @dnl42 says you do pay for quality.

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21 hours ago, ckw said:

I suspect its this ...

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnifier-Handsfree-Magnifying-Detachable-Electronic/dp/B0794PNBLT/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=EW6X80FHPYMP&dchild=1&keywords=headband+magnifier+with+led+light&qid=1615111005&sprefix=head+band+magnifier%2Caps%2C177&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyVUpSRTFKMEoxMVFDJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTAyNjc3MUlXSjc1UlJSNEtUVSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTk2ODQzMjFZOEtOQ0tMWE9CRyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

 

Or one of the many variants on Amazon

 

Agree it does the job well BUT I find the arms aren't very robust ... I'm on my second pair, and its on its last legs with the arms heavily taped up and epoxied. Still at the price replacing them every year or so is acceptable. While not up to the manufacturing standards of some other types, I've found these the most effective and useable magnifiers I've tried. To be honest, I don't find the LED much use (I have good lighting), so leave the batteries out which of course makes them lighter.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

That's the one.  I took one look at it and decided that the arms weren't wide enough for my head and would break so I ditched them and use the elasticated headband instead.  This far, 2.5 months in, they're holding up really well.

 

8 hours ago, Richard E said:

 

If you can't find a Waldon Punch and Die Set RP Toolz (available from Historex Agents of Dover) are a recommended alternative - as @dnl42 says you do pay for quality.

Thanks.  I did look at RPToolz yesterday after @dnl42 suggested a punch and die set which is one thing I don't have and the only ones I could find in stock were the hexagonal set which I don't really need.  But that is something for which I will keep an eye out.

 

19 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Silly comments about bandsaws notwithstanding;

 

I must confess Steve, I did give the bandsaw comment a stiff ignoring.  I think some people are born with the ability to work with wood, and some are not.  I struggle to even cut a square piece of MDF for a baseboard so a bandsaw would be totally wasted on me.  Mind you, I did see a very nice mini pillar drill which appealed but I struggle to see how I would use it though.

 

Thanks everyone for your continued suggestions.

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The Waldron set will rust and the storage system for the punches is a joke, so I would definitely recommend against buying it. The RPToolz sets do not rust, have shorter punches that break less easily (and you can order new ones if you break them anyway), have nicer punches too. And the set comes with a tiny  hammer! I use both large and very large diameter sets, most convenient.

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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Thanks.  I did look at RPToolz yesterday after @dnl42 suggested a punch and die set which is one thing I don't have and the only ones I could find in stock were the hexagonal set which I don't really need.  But that is something for which I will keep an eye out.

 

The two circular RP Toolz Punches are "Punch and die set" (RPTPD) and "Punch and Die set 2 - 4.5mm" (RPTBPD)

 

Quote

Mind you, I did see a very nice mini pillar drill which appealed but I struggle to see how I would use it though.

 

 

But it is a shiny thing to sit on your work bench, just remember to brush the dust off it occasionally so it keeps looking shiny :)

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I had the RPToolz rivets and was not impressed. Slight smear of the plastic and difficult to fix cos they are cup shaped. I ground the ends flat and never looked back brilliant tool. I have since bought the large set

 

Kev

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Other than the items already mentioned, I’d suggest a waterline marking device of some sort.

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22 hours ago, Richard E said:

The two circular RP Toolz Punches are "Punch and die set" (RPTPD) and "Punch and Die set 2 - 4.5mm" (RPTBPD)

 

Thanks Richard.  I was looking at the smaller of the two but everywhere seems to show it as out of stock

 

Here's a follow on question then.  One of the things that I find somewhat frustrating is trying to pick up tiny pieces of PE or resin in tweezers and then seeing them taking a lovely ballistic trajectory into the hungry mouth of the carpet monster and wondered if one of those silicon pick up tools might be any good.  I've seen a few all of which get somewhat mixed reviews.  Anyone got one that they could recommend?

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I've tried various of those things. I never quite figured out the best way to use them, so I usually end up using my #7 forceps. This is another tool I didn't mention above. And again, a quality tool will serve you well here.

 

One key tip is to not squeeze too hard--just enough to grip the part. Instead of launching parts into low earth orbit, I tend to drop parts. 

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Another option is to separate the individual brass parts from their fret and, as much as possible, handle them inside a large clear plastic bag.  This limits their misguided escape routes into the merciless clutches of the carpet monster.

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Not used the specific pick up tools but I use the Deluxe materials Tacky Wax dab the scalpel blade into it or a cocktail stick to pick up the small bits. No outer orbit experience so far using it the carpet monster grows hungry though.

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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Another trick for PE is o put in on the sticky side of masking tape. When you cut a piece from the fret, it stays put. You can then lift it off and have it fly to another universe but at least you had it for a while.

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Thanks.  It's not so much cutting bits from the fret that send them into orbit but when I have the CA on the model and I pick up the tiny piece to put in place.  Or in some cases not even the quite so tiny piece!

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How about a soldering Iron? Good tool to burn yourself on  make brass masts with? https://modelshop.co.uk/Shop/Tools/Soldering no idea if these ones are any good but it's a start?

 

Something for picking up PE that works for moving small bits are these pen pickers for Diamond dot pictures, got a few free off my wife. https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/diamond-dotz-accessory-pack/646128-1000 

 

Tamiya Diamond File For Photo Etch is something I'm looking at getting https://www.scalemodelshop.co.uk/product/diamond-file-for-photo-etched-parts-tamiya-74066/?utm_source=Google Shopping&utm_campaign=CSP Feed&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=13446&gclid=Cj0KCQiAv6yCBhCLARIsABqJTjYaVBn1ab3bI0uZVu2kxHlXHmL00CR476rGTBwT9FuDPSgJbxEzDI4aAuKjEALw_wcB I'm sure it was @robgizlu who was singing their praises?

 

Getting to be quite a list now!

 

Geoff

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For scratch building I find the following essential      INCRA Precision Marking Rule 150mm (Metric)

 

https://woodworkersworkshop.co.uk/collections/incra/products/copy-of-incra-rule-precision-straight

 

Broaches are also very useful for clearing or enlarging holes. Typically when you use a scalpel to cut a brass tube the edge is slightly turned in. A broach quickly clears this

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modelcraft-0-6-2-0-Cutting-Broach-Grey/dp/B001JJZ76I/ref=asc_df_B001JJZ76I/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=256184816614&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14878163500627982409&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1007013&hvtargid=pla-422910410143&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

 

 

HTH 

 

Kev

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