From what I’ve seen over the years, the very first question a beginner asks is always related to what tools/paints/equipment. And the answers from the more experienced modelers varies across the board. If you bring up these questions in a modeling forum, everything from cheap alternatives to brand name products will recommended by a variety of people.
The truth is, everyone started out in this hobby in a different way.
Since it’s only a part-time hobby, most of us have this notion in our heads to save money on supplies to purchase more kits. I’ve been there, done that, and regretted it. No matter how much research you do and how closely you follow the suggestions made by others, you can only learn if you try it for yourself.
This is where I do all the assembling, mods, sanding, and decal application. I recently did a clean-up. My desk has not been this clutter-free for years!
Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve spent more than $5000 on equipment and supplies. I’ve bought tons of paint, a handful of knives, plastic/wire cutters, paint brushes, air brushes, electrical wiring tools, drilling equipment, adhesive glue, sculpting putty, polish compound, masking tape, magnets, option parts, raw plastic supplies, recasting materials, and so much more…that’s not even half of it.
I think it is necessary part of the learning process to experiment with your tools. Unfortunately, the cost of tuition doesn’t come cheap. Sometimes the cheap stuff is a sufficient substitute, but most of the time it isn’t. The more experience you have, the easier it will be for you to avoid making the wrong decision when purchasing stuff. Good Luck.
The following pictures are from my current workstation. I am in no way recommending any of these products and will not guarantee that you will be able to produce the same quality of work I do. But I know some of you will definitely fall for that mental trap.
Painting Work Station:
This was my painting set up in Fall 2011. Haven’t actually started spraying yet…
But once it begins, it’s a totally mess. It’s a good thing that I have a fine memory and I know exactly where everything is at any given moment.
I love my airbrush to death! Gravity feed cup holds up to 2 oz of paint. It has pressure control, trigger limiter, and the 3rd filter after the air goes through the compressor. I had to get a table clamp airbrush holder because the nozzle doesn’t fit the holders included with my compressor below.
This compressor provides way more than I actually need. It has an air tank and can support up to 2 airbrushes at a time (although I currently only have 1). It comes encased within metal shell to provide stability and ease of transport, although it does weigh 30 lbs!
Everyone who uses an airbrush should have a spray booth AND wear a respirator mask. It’s for your own health and safety. It’s not worth the deterioration to save a bit of money. You can make your own booth if you look up some tutorials online but I coughed up a bit extra for industrial grade ventilation and I kinda wanted it to be made of metal.
Paints, there’s never enough of them…So many colors, shades, opacity, finish, and base properties makes it impossible to have a sufficient amount of it. Plus, I mix a couple of my own shades. This isn’t even 1/10 of what I have.
Soldering equipment. The iron stand and the 3rd hand are absolutely necessary if you’re going to do wiring.
To be continued…