Monday, February 11, 2013

Humbrol Tool Set

Humbrol Tools

If you put yourself in the mindset of a complete beginner to model making, one of the first problems you will face as you look at your freshly unpacked project is where to find suitable tools to work on it. Looking around most modern houses, I bet you will be lucky to find a selection of large screwdrivers and perhaps a Stanley knife. None of these will be suitable for small scale assembly.

Experienced hands will suggest you head over to some specialist tool suppliers and pick the best. That's fine, but if you just want to get going, or don't know where to find the specialists, then you could do worse than buy this little pack of tools from Humbrol.

For £8.99 SRP (£4.99 from Amazon) you become the owner of a knife, cutters, tweezers and a flat needle file.

The first thing that has to be said is that none of these is the best quality tool ever made. They are good enough to get you going but will eventually be replaced with better items as the owner gains more experience. I know that some will think this a bad thing but I'd far rather someone got going than didn't do anything because of a whopper bill for the basics.

Starting with the knife - this is a Xacto look-a-like. I think I started out with one of these and it didn't do me any harm. The round aluminium handle is easy to hold. Changing the blade involved unscrewing the end, easier than the fiddly pliers efforts required for my preferred Swann Moreton. Blades are presumably available from any model shop that has a Humbrol rack. A cover is provided to protect the sharp edge.

Those things that look like wire cutters are apparently for removing parts from plastic kit sprues. They will cut wire though and should last as long as any cheap pair of cutters used this way. On plastic, I bet they go on forever.

For some reason, the tweezers remind me of a Duck Billed Platypus. It's probably the spade ends which recall the creatures beak. I've never had a set like this and am not sure what to make of them. The metal isn't stainless steel, at a guess it's an aluminium alloy which seems a bit soft. They will probably last forever and still be found in the bottom of the toolbox for many modellers in a decades time.

Finally the flat needle file which is probably better than the ones on my bench as it's got a non-slip handle.

Not a bad set then. I've seen worse and if given to a newbie along with a plastic kit, would make an excellent present. If I have a criticism, it's that a couple of spare knife blades would have been a good idea. I suspect that people will forget to buy them when they get the tools and that Humbrol rack is a long way away on a Sunday!

Humbrol AG9150 Modeller's Tool Set


Steve Fackrell said...

The tweezers are similar to those used by stamp collectors- I still have mine from years ago.

Phil Parker said...

Well spotted. A quick search reveals that spade ended tweezers are sold for stamp fans, Interesting - good to know that they last too!