whats in your toolbox

Hello again one and all, as a newbie with little actual knowledge I was wondering what tools you recommend having in your toolbox, right now I have very little in the way of anything. I plan on working with almost any material except for metal (at least for now), and I am currently trying to build a vac-forming table (so far so good on that one) and I have a few x-acto knives a hacksaw some basic tools and not much more. Basically I'm asking you guys to tell me what I should carry in a "starter" toolbox so I can make a shopping list.




Sr Member
A Dremel and lots of accesories. (or a power drill with a chuck and lots of dremel accessories)

A Power Sander.

Glue gun

Heat Gun




Machine files

Painter's Tape

2-Part Epoxy

Soldering Iron and wire

That's what I use the most. Shop around at pawn shops and yard sales for the power tools and even the hand tools. You should be able to get everything for under $100 altogether.


Sr Member
I would add, (even though they don't technically fit in a tool box) a scroll saw and a disc/belt sander combo. I just got one last year and I can't believe how I did without it for so long.


Master Member
Gone but not forgotten.
Definately add a Dremel, none of those no-name jobs, but a real Dremel. Lots of accessories. If cost is no option, get an airbrush and compressor. A miter box for making square cuts in plastic strip, rod, etc. Lots of No. 11 blades. Throw a few chisel blades and other special blades in there as well. A friend of mine, George, gave me a real useful tool I never thought of, a floor tile. It is a polished black stone tile. It weighs a ton but is great for use as a cutting board, checking the squareness of parts, soldering on, etc. The more your skills advance you will get a good understanding of what else you need.


Active Member
Just a few things that I use when modeling that I don't see listed and is a must have, a plastic spruce cutter, paint thinner, I go with MM paints when I started building in Sept I ran out and bought the little testors bottles at Michael's, big mistake!, that may work for light detail painting but you might want to go with some of the model master or tamiya paint.
Oh and tooth picks buy a box of them I constantly use them. An asortment of paint brushes some of the detail is amazing and you will be frustrated if you don't have the right brush for the job. A different varitey of sand paper, rubbing alcohol, airbrush and compressor, don't make the mistake that I did and buy a cheap air brush cause like me you will have realized you should have just gotten a good one to begin with.. My last air-brush was an iwata and was like $140.00 you have to be anal when it comes to cleaning them but it will work great..
Oh man just thought of some more must haves tweezers, super glue, wire, triangle, metal ruler and electrical tape. If working with fiber optics you will need another type of glue is use elmers all purpose white glue for that.. I think thats about it I am few months in and it always seems like I needed something but I am just reaching that point where I can work and have me basic needs.

Hope this helps!!