GUNPLA tools part 2: Specialized tools

March 9, 2020 at 00:15 | Posted in How-to | 1 Comment
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So after introducing some basic tools in a previous post, this time I’d like to introduce some rather exotic tools that I have. These specialized tools are not essential, but if you like to modify your kits, they can make your gunpla life pretty easy.

Ultrasonic cutter:


It’s like a hobby blade on steroids. Cuts through plastic like a hot knife through butter.
Pros: Cuts through gunpla very quickly and easily. Good for someone who kitbashes a lot.
Cons: The blade vibration generates heat, leaving melted plastic around the cut area. Not recommended if a neat & clean cut is required. Also not cheap.

 

Amazing cutter:


It’s like a hobby nipper on steroids. This cutter by Godhand makes very clean cuts on fairly thick (up to 2mm) plaplate or plastic rods. It uses typical box-cutter blades, so the maximum length it can cut is 80mm. Also pretty expensive but if you need to cut a lot of plaplate for scratch building or mods, then it’s a God(sent).

 

Cordless polisher:


Sanding manually can be tedious, especially when sanding excess basic putty. That’s why I bought this battery operated polisher.

It’s like an electric toothbrush, but with a sanding sponge at the tip. The pre-cut circular sanding sponges are available at various grits:

 

Vernier caliper:


Sometimes I need some precise measurements. That’s where the caliper comes in handy.

 

Chisels:
I have a few of these, ranging in width from 1mm to 3mm. I use these to gouge out bits of plastic to make indentations and grooves on the surface of gunpla. The ones here are by Wave & Hasegawa.

 

Scriber:
The main purpose of this tool is to scribe new panel lines, and to make existing ones deeper. I have a pointy type by Hasegawa:

And a couple of BMC Tagane scribers. Unlike the pointy scriber, the tip of the BMC Tagane is square, like a chisel. It comes in various widths: the 0.15mm wide is mostly for 1/144 scale and the 0.3mm fits 1/100 scale gunpla.

 

BMC Danmo:
This specialized tool is used to carve grooves perpendicular to the edge of gunpla parts. See this guide on how to use it.

 

Spin blades:


Attached to a pin vise, these spin blades by GodHand are used to create flat-surfaced holes on gunpla surfaces. Can also be used as a chisel.

Starting from the top-left, drill a hole with a normal drill bit. The use the same diameter Spin Blade to spin around the drilled hole, and the result is a flat bottomed hole (top-right).

Hobby router:


I got this from a 100yen shop. It’s battery operated and I use it to make holes and gashes to simulate battle damage.

 

Chamfering tool:


This piece of metal is used to scrape the edge of the gunpla part, creating a chamfer. Here’s a photo of it in action:

There’s also a rounded version, called R-Boko:

It’s specifically for smoothening rounded surfaces. Sorry for the Japanese text, but the bottom-left figure shows the benefit of this tool, as opposed to using a flat file in the top-left. I use it to remove melted plastic from seam-lines on parts like a bazooka or rifle barrel.

 

Workstation:


This is a totally non-essential item, but what I like about it is the grill holes that allow small bits of plastic to be collected on the tray below. It also comes with a small cutting mat and nipper holder on the side.

An empty Gunpla box can basically do the same thing, though.

 

Summary:

So that’s what I have so far. I might add to this list if I found any new tools. Like I said in the beginning, these tools are totally non-essential and some are pretty expensive & hard to find. But they do make like easier if you like kitbashing, scratch-building and detailing.

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