Home of the modeling savants....Celebrating forty years of modeling fun, education, and history in 2024!

What would you expect?  Smarty pants JR Burggren brought in custom make tooliing for modifying his race car tires.  Look at that fancy tooling!  The rest of us are happy with toothpicks…no not JR!!  ;-)  Great job, JR!

Big Daddy Bridenstein can’t count…but who cares!  He was loaded with great ideas…I guess with great age comes great experience and great ideas!  ;-)
-Pencil with a nail in the easer…used to melt plastic.
-Lighter for stretching sprue.  I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE STRETCH SPRUE THIS FAR AND THIS FINE!!!  He says the key is to use Tamiya sprues.
-000 steel wool for polishing plastic (remove glue residues).
-Beauty supply sanding sticks…good and cheap.
-Homemade plastic filler.
-Loctite two part Plastic Bonder…better than CA for plastic…e.g. track links.  
-Metal twist ties wrapped in paper.  He burns the paper off.  Then you have fine wire to use…e.g. handles.

Skill level 1.55 brought in some tools and such that make him a skill level 1.55 modeler!  So don’t expect much!  He loves his digital caliper.  So accurate and so easy to use…gives instant readings in decimal, fractions, and metric.  He buys his pipettes in bulk for paint transfers.  He had JR demonstrate his method for cutting small diameter styrene and brass tubing.  Wish I had thought of that!  And he is constantly using his battery powered paint stirrer…easy to clean, too!  And check out the alligator clip on a tooth pick.  Use it to hold a part for painting and then stick it in a block of foam until dry.  Sweet!

Stan Carrier had some great ideas, too!  He purchases micro brushes in bulk from China.  He says they come in 16 different sizes.  He uses them for everything.  He loves Maskol for masking.  Most people use in for canopies and such but he uses it like the hairspray technique.  He loves it!  He is an advocate for Silly Putty…don't forget it doesn’t hold its shape for long!  He also recommends Tamiya masking tape and Walther’s Solvaset decal setting solution.  All great suggestions! 

Along with his Chopper, Bill Leger brought in this homemade fixture.  Check out the progress he has made on his scratchbuilt ship!

And a thousand apologies to Keith Lemke.  He didn’t fill out a data sheet and not knowing that, I didn’t take good notes.  He showed how to modify wood clothespins to make them more usable and being senile, that’s all I remember.  Hell, I didn’t even get photo of the guy!  Jeez!  And he’s so good looking!  Sorry, Keith!  (Well, you can see the back of his head in this photo!)

UPDATE:  Keith just sent this photo of his modified clothespin and the clamps with the magnifying glass and light.

Alan Vandam showed us how to use the Tamiya bottle opener.  It also opens several other brands of paint.  Oooooh…a battery operated Tamiya drill!!  Gotta get one!  A glue looper for applying CA adhesive.  A battery powered thread zapper for cutting small parts off of sprues.  And tooth picks…round and square…he says the square ones don’t spin as easily.

Oops...forgot the tooling photo!

See ya at the May S&T!

Dour Seekman was loaded with good ideas: Q-tips to apply decals and the plastic ones are a good source of plastic tubing which can be heated and drawn down to smaller sizes.  Toothpicks for glue application and for holding wheels.  They are also good for removing excess paint from windshields/canopies.  After you’ve had dinner(!!), use those baby food jars to hold small parts and a piece of tape on top will hold small parts after painting, and one of  my favorite, round Avery labels to place on the top of paint bottles labeled with the color so you can see the paint color from the top.  What a time saver!  He said you can also add a little dab of paint on the label so you know right away which bottles have already been opened.

If you missed the meeting, you lose!  I don’t have the space to detail all the great modeling tips and tools.  But here are some:
Let’s start with Judy Jayne’s:
Use your brain (a problem for some!), utilize your friends, use reference books, have a good pair of tweezers, and use toothpicks!
Feller Dewitt recommends the following: an Xacto tool kit, scissors, sprue cutter, tweezers, toothpicks, a pin vise, razor saw, and 5” X 3” rubber gripper for opening bottles.