Model ship building, whether from kits or from scratch, does not require a vast array of exotic tools.
To the right of the sanding block is a bulk pack of replacement blades for the hobby knife below and to the right of it. Some entry-level ship model kits either come with tools (such as the Artesania Latina kit at right), or can be purchased with a tool set. Building model ships is an absorbing hobby, but it can be even more enjoyable if the correct tools are used.
Not only used for measuring, a steel ruler makes a great straight-edge for cutting long, straight lines. A hobby knife is probably the single most used tool in model ship building, and a good supply of spare blades should be kept on hand, and changed often, so you are always using a sharp one. The pin vise holds the drill bits for drilling tiny holes, a common task in ship model building. Rigging thread is drawn across the beeswax to reduce its fuzz, as well as to help it lay more realistically.


The only differences in the set pictured here with our tools above is the addition of a couple needle files, a magnifying glass with part-holding clips, a wire cutter (handy mainly for removing cast-metal parts from a sprue), paint, and a paint brush.
There are some specific tools necessary to do the job, such as a good hand drill with a selection of miniature drill bits, something in the region of 0.5mm and 2mm as a general rule.
If you don’t have one, a scrap of wood with a flat side with sandpaper wrapped around it and thumb tacked to the top will fill in its place. The locking sort prevent a brief relaxation of your hand sending a tiny part down to the floor, where it may never be found. If you don’t have one, sometimes you can cut off the corner of a die-cut parts sheet to make one. Don’t worry about beginner tool kits with much more than this, as you will probably end up with tools you seldom use.
Small files and wood rasps are very usefull, not just for cleaning up the decorative fittings, but also taking off any waste wood when releasing frames from laser cut sheets. A small pin hammer is a must, and can be used in conjunction with the Amati pin pusher, this clever little device saves on injured digits by allowing you to guide a tack gently into the frame with precision.


Obviously a good selection of modelling knives is crucial, and the Expo metal shaft handles allow for a variety of cutting blades to be fitted, not to mention specialist chisels & gouges. Curved blades are best for making straight cuts, whilst a straight blade allows for intricate cuts.
Miniature needle nosed pliers allow for manipulating small fittings as would a good set of tweezers. Vices and clamps are effectively a third hand, and a good magnifyer is also important, preferably one that's suspended on a free standing base.



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