Part 2 – Basic Tools

The chances are a lot of these tools you have already. Simple tools use well are just as effective if not more so than fancy gadgets used badly.

One of my most used tools in modelling is a Stanley Knife. These come in many different styles, mine is a folding one that cost about £5. And most home will probably already have one.

The key to the knife being a good tool is to make sure it’s not a blunt instrument. Knife blades are very cheap at about 10p each. As such you should not be afraid to replace them. Sharp knives give much cleaner cuts.

I also make a lot of use of a craft knife / scalpel. This is a vital tool for finessing the finish and tidying up bits of swark on models. Again like the Stanley Knife a sharp blade is key

Next up is tweezers. Even if you don’t have any I’m sure the ladies of the house will. I have a variety of styles just because my fingers are not too nimble and they help a lot. Just remember if you borrow them from family to clean up before returning them. With them available at less than £1 a set it may be a sound investment to buy your own though.

Screwdrivers for Railway Modelling

I manage to do everything with just two screwdrivers. Again they will be common sizes that most people will already own too.

I make use of a size 2 Pzd pozidrive screwdriver, and a small flat head one. And that’s it – and they work for all but the tiniest screws. If a screw is too small for either of these then the point end of your knife will usually do a very good job I find.

Marking Out

Again I have a very simple taste in tools for this also – I use a pencil, and I also carry a Sharpie. As a fine permanent marker the Sharpie (other brands are available) gets a surprising amount of use.

Hopefully this list shows that you can model in any gauge, even N gauge with just a small selection of tools. Personally I started off with a very limited number, and I’ve never really felt the need to add to what I already owned.

The craft knife I talked about is the only item that goes against that idea. Even so – if I didn’t have it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, I would just have to go a bit more carefully with the bigger knife.

Part 3 will follow shortly and will focus on glueing, filling, and filing. Hopefully you will find it useful.