Today we take a look at The Army Painter's Hobby Tool Kit, a great value box to start or expand your tool collection. Included are a diamond pattern file, a hobby knife, a drill with 3 drill bits of various diameters, a side cutter, a sculpting tool, two pieces of green stuff and a bottle of super glue. All for a competitive price point of 24,99 Euro. Let's see if it's a good deal or not.
When you start out, you might have a cheap knife and plastic glue, maybe clippers. Games Workshop's 40k and Age of Sigmar starter sets come with clippers, a (lousy) mouldline remover or glue. The Army Painter also offers a "Plastic assembly set" for exactly that purpose, including plastic glue, clippers and a scalpel knife. This will allow you to build your first couple of plastic models.
Once your hobby gets more serious, you want to proceed to more advanced modelling techniques like assembling and preparing metal and resin models, filling gaps and pinning. At this point, the Hobby Tool Kit is perfect to expand your tool collection.
The Tool Kit comes not only with tools, but helpful three pamphlets and brochures. The first one is the detailed Painting Guide that can also be downloaded here, then we get some modelling and safety instructions, which can also be downloaded here, and an overview of The Army Painter's tool range. Great resources for starting out!
Now, onto the tools.
This is a sturdy and weighty hobby knife with an ergonomic rubber grip. Great for applying pressure (just take care to not break the tip of the blade) and/or larger hands. The scalpel blade is sharp, but unfortunately, the set comes with only a single blade. The Army Painter doesn't offer spare blades, but the knife fits X-acto blades, which are probably the best quality hobby blades out there. You might find them in well-assorted DIY and stationery stores.
The knife itself has an RRP of 7,50 Euro (but comes with five blades when bought separately).
I'm really fond of this high-quality drill. It's made of sturdy metal with a fancy red paint job, and the end rotates so you can rest the drill easily in your palm when drilling. It comes with three drill heads and three drill bits (1 mm, 1,4 mm and 1,8 mm, perfect for pinning and drilling gun barrels). The top can be removed to store drill heads not in use.
The drill has an RRP of 9,99 Euro when bought separately. A set of 10 drill bit from 0,7mm to 3 mm is also available from The Army Painter when you need more sizes or need to replace worn out bits (RRP of 8,99 Euro).
This rather large pointed file has a diamond coating that cuts in every direction for a more even finish and easier use. Diamond coating is perfect for metal miniatures or for removing large chunks of resin and plastic. However, the finish is quite rough on plastic and resin, so in addition, I recommend to get some sandpaper with a grit of 1200 for smoothing and polishug. Even though the tip is small, you might also want to invest in a set of micro diamond files (like from Gale Force 9) if you work with infantry sized metal models a lot.
This file is also available in a set of three, priced at 6,99 Euro from The Army Painter.
This is a pretty basic side cutter. It's good for what it does, removing chunks of white metal or cut soft brass rods for pinning, but you might want to invest into the upgraded version from The Army Painter in the long run, and keep this one for heavy duty work when you don't want to damage your more expensive cutters.
Next Saturday we'll take a closer look at The Army Painter's Precision Side Cutter and Plastic Frame Cutter.
Green Stuff and Sculpting Tool
Green Stuff is a two component modelling putty that hardens once you mix both the yellow and blue resin together. It's perfect for sculpting details and to close larger gaps. Included are two small stripes that will lead you a long way, plus a sculpting tool with two different ends.
Both the green stuff and the tool are of high quality, my only complaint (and this is probably personal preference) is the pointed end of the sculpting tool, I'd have preferred something more rounded.
Pro tip: Chop green stuff strips into yellow and blue putty und and keep them separately in cling foil. Put them in an air-tight container to keep them fresh longer. When you keep green stuff in one piece, it will harden over time at the join, as the yellow and blue putty react to each other.
The Army Painter also has a set of three sculpting tools on sale (RRP of 9,99 Euro), and also sells Green Stuff separately.
A solid super glue with medium thickness and a long point for precision. Used for glueing metal and resin components when plastic glue won't work. 5g is a good size in my opinion, I prefer buying super glue in smaller quantities as it will dry out inevitably (I never had a bottle of super glue I completely depleted before it dried out, lol).
The Army Painter's Hobby Tool Kit is a fantastic way to expand your tool collection with almost all tools needed for advanced modelling techniques. The quality is decent, my favourite tools are the drill and knife, and the value is excellent – buying all those tools separately would be over 30 Euros, much more if you would stick to Games Workshop products.
Some ideas for expanding this set are some sheets of sand paper with a grit of 1200 for polishing plastic and resin surfaces, then, a bone saw (also available from The Army Painter) for cutting metal, large chunks of resin or thick plastic walls from terrain kits, a set of micro diamond files (e.g. from Gale Force 9) for removing flash from metal miniatures, some thin brass rod for pinning, and, a set of The Army Painters miniature magnets if you want to magnetise weapon options.
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