Model building is an incredibly rewarding hobby that can teach you a variety of skills including researching, sculpting, cutting, and painting. Furthermore, the hobby does not require a lot of space! This simple guide shows you how you can set up a permanent or portable tabletop workshop.
Modelling your workshop
When setting up your model building workshop, the organisation is something that should be carefully considered. Having an organised workshop will ensure your time is well spent building your miniature marvels instead of foraging for parts!
When thinking about the organisation of your workshop storage is essential. Model building, and in particular scale model building, involves working with microscopic parts and materials. Small plastic storage containers are invaluable for keeping those small parts organised and under control. Knowing where these small parts are will increase your workshop efficiency by taking out the time you’ll spend looking for the parts.
Along with storage for your materials, it is also worth thinking about storage for the tools you’ll use. A small toolbox or something similar is handy for keeping any hand tools, including cutting knives, tweezers, files and multitools. In addition to keeping your tools organised and accessible, toolboxes are great for keeping your tools in good working order.
If you’re using your kitchen table or another temporary location for your workshop, storage containers and toolboxes mean you can pack up your workshop whenever.
Another factor in model building that’s worth considering is the chemicals you will inevitably wind up using. Products such as finishing paints, paint thinners and adhesives need to be stored somewhere out of reach. A toolbox is an ideal storage solution for these types of products, you’re able to lock them away and keep them out of sight.
Illuminating your tabletop
It goes without saying that a well lit workshop will be important whatever the task is you are doing. However, in model building, illuminating your workspace will be key to you achieving perfection in those close up detailed tasks.
When considering the lighting in your workshop, it does not necessarily need to be an extremely bright light. You just want to make sure that the lighting is even to minimise any shadows and glares. The positioning of your light will help to reduce shadows and glares. You want to avoid having the light placed behind you or between you and your work. Ideally, you want to position the light either directly behind your work or even better to the side of you and your work. This will provide even lighting that does not cast any strong shadows.
Portable lamps are available if your workshop is your kitchen table. LightCraft offer lamps to fit all types of workspace including portable lamps. If you are lucky enough to have a more permanent workshop then money spent on fluorescent fixtures will be money well spent.
Great tools to kickstart your model workshop
The PROXXON FET Table Saw is an excellent choice for model building. Made specifically for work with fine detail, the saw has a micro-adjustable, precise cut length stop which will allow for cuts as small as 0.1mm to be made. Furthermore, the saws compact design makes it portable and means you can store it when you’re not using it.
The PS 13 Pen Sander from Proxxon is a great tool for the model maker! The sander is durable, quiet, precise and vibration free; easy to manage and perfectly suited for delicate work. It is ideal for working on surfaces in recesses, slots and other awkward to get at areas. The mains adaptor includes a foldable tool rest which provides a secure place for keeping the Micromot tools at the ready.
This unique and ingenious equipment piece is perfect for model makers, dolls house builders and any craftsperson wishing to make smaller sized, precision components. The router table is great for attaching to any worktop. Furthermore, the small and lightweight design makes it easy to store and move.
The Swann Morton Knife Set consists of 3 handles and 13 precision ground carbon steel blades for a variety of craft cutting. The set comes in a robust plastic case to keep them safe in one place.
Hopefully with this guide you’ll be able to get going and start modelling in your very own workshop. If you’ve already created a model workshop and have tips or ideas on what makes your perfect setup, let us know in the comments below.