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Model Car Building Tools For Beginners

Aug 1, 2008
Have you ever considered building model cars but were unsure where to get started? You might have wandered the aisle at your local retail store and looked at the boxes and thought that it could be a fun hobby to pick up. You also might have had a model given to you as a birthday present or for some holiday. It might have sat at the back of your closet and you have just ran across it while cleaning. Any way you might have come by your model you have now decided to try your hand at putting it together.

You open the box on the counter, lay out the parts and open the instructions to see where you need to start. The first thing you should notice is a list of recommended tools and items. The tools that the kits may tell you to have on hand are some that can make assembling your model car and any that might follow much easier to build. It can be very handy to pick up each of these tools and then store them in a shoe box or an old model box for the next time you get ready to use them.

While the list of tools here is by no means comprehensive it will get you started on your way to building your modeler's toolbox. As such the first thing you need to know is which cement to use. Model cement can sometimes contain toluene or styrene and as such can be hazardous if you breath the fumes for extended periods. The way the cement functions is to react chemically with your plastic model to bond the parts together. As such it is similar to a welding process. Make sure that the cement you choose is rated for craft and hobby use.

A piece of safety equipment that is well worth the slight expense is a NIOSH approved face mask. An N95 should do just fine. This will also help you to limit exposure to the fumes of the cement. To protect your hands a pair of latex gloves will do just fine. You will know if you get an excessive amount of cement on them however because it will sometimes cause them to rip. Now that you have your cement and safety equipment you are ready for real tools.

The first suggested tool is a decent hobby knife. Best bought in a set with multiple blade shapes and sizes a hobby knife is your best friend in model building. It will allow you to remove parts from the sprue (the plastic frame that holds the parts) and will also help you to do any trimming that may be necessary. Sometimes the plastic will come with a bit of extra plastic sticking off of it. This is called flashing and is just a by-product of the manufacturing process.

The next tools you should consider having is a couple of hobby clamps. These will allow you to hold your parts together as the cement is drying so you don't have to do so by hand. They can also hold your car still while you are trying to paint it once you get to the point where you feel comfortable doing so.

With just these few tools and safety equipment you will be all set to start your new hobby of model building. Remember building model cars is rewarding and can help you to build skill and creativity. Enjoy!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car building, model trains, and model trucks.
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