9 Basic Tools For Easier Model Assembly

So you’ve just opened your first box of models and are staring at the sprue. Now what? Every wargamer has their favored specialty tools and techniques, but what if you’re just getting started? Here is a list of the absolute basics. These tools will streamline the assembly and painting process, and get you gaming in no time.

Self-Healing Cutting Mat


If you’ve never used a self-healing cutting mat, you’re missing out! I absolutely love this mat, and use it for all sorts of projects aside from model assembly. This mat protects your work surface, heals from those sharp knife cuts, and has built in measuring units and rulers. This is an all around essentail for the hobby.

Detail Painting Brush Set


These detail paintbrushes really make all the difference when you get around to painting your models.

Sprue Cutters


These are an absolute life saver. Sometimes X-acto knives can bend or distort the tiny detailed pieces within the sprue, expecially if the blade is dull. These sprue cutters were designed with modeling and tiny pieces in mind! Get a clean cut every time with these sprue cutters.

Precision Hobby Knife Set


Once the pieces are off the sprue, you’ll need a good set of blades to do the detail work. These blades also work wonders for DIY terrain and adding texture to models.

Sculpting Putty


Sculpting Putty, aka: “Green Stuff,” is one of my favorite ways to customize models. You can easily add little details to make your models unique like flames, scars, spikes, etc.

Paint Set


This is a great starter set if you’re not sure where to begin. Going to the local hobby shop can be intimidating to see racks full of all sorts of different paints. As you get more comfortable with trying out new techniques, you’ll get the hang of which paints do what, but for now, this is a great starter set!

Brush Cleaner


Get the most out of your tools by making sure they are getting a proper cleaning. This brush cleaner works wonders for every kind of paint you’ll encounter!

Wash Set


Pro tip: If you want your paint jobs to instantly look 150% better and more detailed, simply paint a wash over everything. Yup, it really makes that much of a difference. This starter set is worth the investment.

Metalic Sharpies


This is a recent discovery for me, and I can honestly say it’s been a game changer. Easily add metalic highlights and details with a sharpie marker on a black base! It really is that easy. Stay tuned for a full tutorial soon!

Now that you have all of the right tools, watch this tutorial on building your first model!