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November 29, 2011 by elromanozo
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Romain sets aside his paint brush to take a look at the Humbrol Tool Kit.
Listed at £8.99 on the Airfix website Think I paid about £7 for my sprue cutters about 10 years ago so the set does seem good value
The blade handle is of the XActo type so blades should be easy to get hold of at hobby shops
Need some tweezers like that. They look less likely to send small parts pinging into the maws of the dreaded carpet monster!
that is a good deal for what you get. And yes I myself have had more than one battle with the carpet monster.
Look for the Mascot Tweezer with a slide lock. They keep the piece you are working with firmly gripped. I tend to drop stuff when changing my grasp / angle on the tweezers that are holding the piece I am working with. The slide lock lets you set the tension of the grip.
The humbrol kit is a pretty decent little set, and it is much cheaper than a kit you’d find on the shelves of a certain large miniatures company, but personally I’ve gone with the army painter set, which is about twice the price but gives you spare blades and a pin vice and “free” superglue. On the blades, the ones in the kits seem pretty good, but when you need more don’t , you can find a pack of 100 or so for a tenner compared to £2.50 ish for 5 xacto branded, and they are quite brittle whichever ones you buy so nip into a pound shop and buy a box cutter set, use that for when you want to chop a model in half and the scalpels for fine cuts and mould lines.
Yes… there are more complete kits out there, but this one has the basics, and it’s cheap.
I didn’t like the file, but it performs well in a pinch… What I liked was that the cutters are real ones, and won’t bend and break if you try to cut anything harder than plastic with them… At least not too much.
The best kit you can get, of course, is a self-made one from a real hardware store… But it’s convenient to get it all in one box from your model or hobby shop.
The best set for any given person will vary a lot-for example I like big chunky handles on files, but people with better fine motor skills(I blame the booze) will maybe find them too bulky but the clippers in the Humbrol set are pretty much as heavy duty as you’ll ever need- if you cant cut it with them you shouldn’t be using clippers anyway- the knife is pretty much what you’ll get from anyone else- and as @chibi said if you were to buy them separate the clippers alone are near the price of the set, so you cant do far wrong using it as a starting point then buying other tools that suit you as you go.
(So in the US West Coast you tube is giving us Disneyland Commercials. What are you guys getting?)
I have an X-acto knife with a big plastic handle that I quite like. The larger handle lets you get a good firm grip on the knife, which you need if you are cutting thick pieces plastic. The twist shank that is used to grip the blade is made of metal though. Your comment about safety got me counting all the scars from knicks on my hands over the years… (only 2 really bad ones, and not from the hobby, from other acts of stupidity)
Wire cutters have a rounded and fairly thick head, where as a the spru snips have a flatter head – lower profile, which allows you to get into tighter spaces. Like any tool, you have to use it for its designed purpose. If you are using a sprue snip, don’t use it to cut your pining paperclips or metal bits.
As for value, if the blades of the cutter are not hardened steel, then they may get damaged by attempting to cut certain material. Usually I find that cheaply priced tools mean cheaply priced base materials. (Chinese tool syndrome.) @elromanzo Please cut some thick wire – something that you might use to pin a large metal wing (and yes I know we are moving away from this with resin casting) with the tool and see if the cutter blade does not mar or dull.
The file is good for large models but a bit too big for mold lines for 28mm minis.
Good to see you’re agreeing with me… lol
This isn’t a tutorial on how to pick your tools, just an unboxing of this one kit !
Hey, I think you are doing an excellent job! Seriously. My comments here are not meant to disagree, just to point out alternatives, and some perspective differences. For example, with the plastic handle thing, I was just pointing out how a plastic handle could be useful in some situations. (eg. high torque.) My main hobby knife is just a slight variant on the one you showed and it is very useful. And as far as the wire cutters go, I’ve bought similar cutters (fairly cheap) just to have the blade section on the cutters actually gap out after cutting paper clips due to soft / cheap metal. No fun! Did you get a chance to try those out on some thick paper clips to see if they gap?
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