Introductory: Customizer's Tools

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by REDLINE, Jan 28, 2008.

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    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

    Dec 2, 2004
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    Customizer's Tools by: Lobo

    “Having the right tool for the job” is a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard before. But the tools needed to rebuild an engine don’t really help when it comes to customizing toys. Below is a list of the commonly used tools for customizing Transformers. All of these can be found at most hardware stores and hobby shops at various prices. Some can be expensive and it’s important to only use them for their intended use and always work safe. Use what works best for you on your project.


    1.) First things first. A good solid work bench with plenty of lighting.

    2.) Screwdrivers. A good set of small screwdrivers is a must. Used for dismantling and assembling Transformers. You want both Phillips Head and Regular. There are a lot of them out there and quality varies.

    3.) Dremel Set. It makes customizing a lot easier but is not absolutely necessary. Dremel sets can be very expensive and can be awkward to use if you’ve never used one before. They come in both corded and cordless versions. Used for just about anything from cutting to drilling. It’s a good idea to also have a wide selection of bits. You’ll need cutting heads, sanding drums, and cut-off wheels. Also, whenever you use a Dremel Tool, it’s a very good idea to wear safety glasses and gloves. Safety First!

    4.) Exacto Knives. Great tool to have. The #11 Exacto blade is a standard. It's always a good idea to have some extra as the blades will dull quickly depended on what you’re cutting. Just be careful, these things are sharp!

    5.) Pliers. A good set of hobby pliers is very helpful. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

    6.) Rulers/Pens/Pencils. Petty basic. When doing a ktibash you’ll have to measure and mark for cuts.

    7.) Files. A good set of needle files is useful to have. Used for smoothing out cut edges and generally shaping. Needle files are smaller and can get into areas where bigger files and Dremel bits can’t get. A larger crosscut file can also be used for shaping larger parts.

    8.) Scissors. A good set of scrap scissors is a good idea. Can be used for cutting thin styrene and sandpaper. Depending on what you’re cutting, they will dull quickly.

    9.) Paint Brushes. The best way to paint large parts is with a spray can or airbrush. But a set of small detailing brushes is needed for the final detailing.

    10.) Glue. Used to attach parts together or building parts out of styrene. Use glue that’s made for plastics, such as Super Glue and Testors Model Glue.

    11.) Masking Tape. A must when painting. There are a lot of different manufactures out there. Use what works best for your project and your budget.

    12.) Pen Vise. A small, hand powered drill with small bits (less tan 1/16”). Used for drilling small, precise holes in plastic. Also works good for drilling pilot holes.

    13.) Exacto Razor Saw. Works very well for cutting plastics. Leaves a nice thin line and is more precise than using a Dremel tool.

    14.) Block of Wood. Used for pin removal and as backboard when you drill. Helps save your workbench.

    15.) Sand Paper. Comes in various grits and material. For repainting, a 400-600 grit paper works then best.

    16.) Soldering Iron. Only needed if you’re using a heated pin technique for removing pins.

    17.) Drill and Drill Bits. When doing a kitbash, you’ll most likely need to drill a hole. A good drill and a set of bits (1/16” to 3/8”) are very useful.

    18.) Hammer. Used for pin removal.

    19.) Old Magazines. Used as a cutting board when cutting styrene, etc. Helps save your workbench.

    20.) Paper Towels. Kitbashing and painting can be messy. It’s always a good idea to have a roll around.

    21.) Extendable Magnet. If you’re like me, you tend to drop small screws and pins on the ground that always seem to go where you can’t reach them. This makes picking them up a whole lot easier.

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