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Tools and Materials

The average plastic model car can be constructed with simple hand tools and a few basic materials.  Here are some items commonly used. 

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Hobby Knife - For removing model parts from the frames ("sprues"), trimming off excess plastic ("flash"), and many other applications.   Common brand is X-acto knife, the #11 is most popular and useful.

Safety glasses - Protect your eyes when cutting, sanding, painting, applying any solvents.

Sand paper - For smoothing of plastic, removing excess glue, and creating a fine finish before paint.  Get a range of grits (400 - 1000, or even 2000). 

Fine tweezers - For holding small parts securely.

Paint brushes - For painting small car parts.

Pins - For applying small lines of glue.

Toothpicks - Useful for stirring / mixing paint.

Glue - Must have.  The basic Testors Glue in the tube works well for plastic models.  White glue is good for attaching canopies. 

Filler - Used to fill gaps between poorly fitting parts. 

Tape - Nice for test fitting parts, and masking areas while painting.

Paint and Thinner - Another must have.  Get the thinner recommended by the paint manufacturer. 



Cutting pliers - Helps remove parts from the plastic trees (sprues).

Razor saw - Also for removing parts from sprues.

CA - Cyano-acrylate glue.  Useful for filling gaps; use only with safety glasses.

Airbrush or Spray Cans - Much better than paintbrushes for model car bodies.  See Painting section.

Air Compressor - Used with an airbrush.  Better control of air delivery, and more economical in the long run.

Paint Booth - Used to prevent excess paint from going everywhere. May have exhaust fans to direct fumes outside the building.

Turntable - A rotating table for cake decorating, which lets you paint all sides of a model very conveniently.

Dremel motor tool - For cutting and grinding plastic.  Comes in handy for advanced modelers when modifying a model car, adding wear and tear, etc.

Hot-glue gun - Hot glue is used to position small parts on a piece of material, so that they can be brush-painted easily.



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