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​Best UK-made tools for model making

​Best UK-made tools for model making

30th Jun 2022

Everyone knows it’s the finer details that make a model impressive.

But for fine detail, you need the right tools.

In this post, we’ll go over our favourite model making tools for your next creative project.

Best Model Making Tools

Here are the essential tools you need for model making, all made in the UK:

Best Smooth Jaw Pliers

Winner: Smooth Jaw Parallel Pliers

Pros:

  • Ideal for holding, gripping and manipulating model pieces without damage.
  • Parallel jaws grip securely along their whole length.
  • Wire can be threaded down throat of plier.
  • Jaws case hardened to HRC 57 for durability.
  • Available with or without a return spring.
  • Zinc-plated handles with detailing for added grip (also available in comfort grips).
  • UK made.

Click here to check the price

Best Serrated Jaw Pliers

Winner: Serrated Jaw Parallel Pliers

Pros:

  • Serrated jaws for improved grip.
  • Multi-purpose tool, perfect for holding, gripping and manipulating.
  • Built to last, with a robust construction and rust-proof finish.
  • V-slot to feed and hold wire and rod securely along jaw length.
  • Jaws case hardened to HRC 57 for durability.
  • Available with or without a return spring.
  • Zinc-plated handles with detailing for added grip (also available in comfort grips).

Click here to check the price

Best Modelling Side Cutters

Winner: Diagonal Cutting Pliers for Hard Wire

Pros:

  • HRC 64 induction hardened cutting edges for exceptional durability and a long service life.
  • High leverage – they come with a compound-lever action that multiplies your hand force by either 18x or 22x, depending on the size of tool you choose.
  • They have a robust, long lasting return spring.
  • You can choose between zinc-plated handles for grip, or softer grips for comfort.
  • Ideal for making accurate cuts.
  • UK made.

Click here to check the price

Best Modelling End Cutters

Winner: End Cutting Pliers for Hard Wire

Pros:

  • 14x hand force multiplier – using a compound-lever action mechanism, they multiply your hand force by 14, creating a compact, but very powerful cutting tool with minimal hand effort.
  • HRC 64 hardened cutting edges for durability and longevity.
  • Long lasting return spring.
  • Available in zinc plated handles for better grip, or soft plastic for comfort.
  • The smaller size fits nicely in your hand and avoids excess weight.
  • Ideal for creating clean cuts onto model pieces.
  • UK made.

Click here to check the price

Best Safety Ruler

Winner: Metal Safety Rule

Pros:

  • M-shaped profile to protect fingers in the recessed area.
  • High quality stainless steel.
  • Easy-to-read scale graduations.
  • Available in metric or imperial measurements.
  • Ideal for measuring and marking model pieces for accuracy.
  • Use them to accurately measure rigging for scale model planes.
  • UK Made.

Click here to check the price

Other Essential Tools

Here are some other essential tools for model making:

1. Cutting mat – go for a strong cutting pad to protect your workbench. A dark pad makes it easier to see model pieces on it.

2. A good knife/blade – a sharp blade can be really handy for quickly removing nubs or making small adjustments to wooden models.

3. Tweezers – you should invest in at least two sizes of tweezers. You will use them on every model project, exceptional for holding small pieces.

4. Glue – a strong glue is essential for putting your model together. You will need three types: plastic cement, super glue and PVA glue (clear drying).

5. Clamps – robust clamps are useful to keep things together. You can also use bluetac for lighter pieces.

6. Filler – water soluble filler is great for filling gaps, simply sand it down after it has dried.

7. Scissors – choose a good pair of decal scissors for cutting our more intricate decals for your models.

8. Tape – masking tape is great for when you’re painting certain model areas, to prevent any spillage or mistakes ruining other areas of the model. When painting curved surfaces, choose an elastic tape that can be stretched across the curve, as it’s more effective.

9. Mixing Pucks – mixing pucks are useful for pouring your paint out for painting by hand or mixing. Opt for one with a pour spout, and pair them with a metal stirrer for easy blending.

10. Small Bottles for Custom Blending Paints – once you’ve got a custom paint blend, you need to keep it in a sealed container like a bottle. Opt for one with an easy to open screw top for simple application.

11. Pointed Tip Applicators – small pointed tip applicators can be used to clean and remove paint from small areas of the model; great for fine detailing.

12. Brushes – you will need brushes of multiple sizes for painting your models. Make sure they can be used on all types of paint, including oil based paints.

13. Files & Sandpaper – you should invest in several different types of sandpaper, as they’re good for smoothing down model edges.

What Tools Do You Need for a Scale Model Ship?

The best tools for making a scale model ship are:

1. A knife (with spare blades)

2. Files (multiple sizes)

3. Tweezers (multiple sizes)

4. Small hammer

5. Mini drill

6. Small try square

7. Clamps and pegs

8. Helping Hand

9. White glue

10. Super glue

11. Pencil

12. Cotton buds

13. Files

14. Safety rule

15. Razor tool

What Tools Are Best for Airfix?

The best tools for completing an Airfix set are:

1. Side cutters

2. Tweezers

3. Knife

4. Pin Vice

5. 2mm Drill Bit

6. Finger sander

7. Mini clamp

8. End cutters

Should You Paint a Model Before Assembling?

Whether you should paint a model before or after assembling depends on the model. If the model contains areas which will be hard to reach with a paintbrush once assembled, then you should look to paint those areas first.

Should You Prime Plastic Models?

Yes, you should always prime your plastic models, as it helps the paint stick and makes the paint job last longer.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our article on the best model making tools.

Feel free to leave a question in the comments, or read some of our similar articles below: