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"Most used/useful non specialized tool?" Topic

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22 May 2012 4:16 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Jakse37529 Aug 2011 9:48 a.m. PST

Looking about my desk today I noticed came to contemplate the tools of our hobby. When i say specialized what i mean is that it's a tool that can be purchased from a miniature company for the express purpose of gaming. ie side cutters, pin vise, exacto style knives, files, glues. etc. If you can buy it from a distributor it doesn't count. So what item not expressly marketed for gaming purposes do you use the most?

For me it's wax paper. liner for my wet pallet,low stick table cover when gluing and flocking bases. a close second would be flat head 2" nails that I glue minis to to paint.

Angel Barracks29 Aug 2011 9:52 a.m. PST


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Aug 2011 9:53 a.m. PST


Chris B29 Aug 2011 9:54 a.m. PST

Popsicle sticks

Black Cavalier29 Aug 2011 9:57 a.m. PST

Paint stirring sticks to glue my figures to while painting

Dynaman878929 Aug 2011 10:05 a.m. PST


Measuring tape.

As for buying the most rather then use.

paint (I use craft paint)

elmer's glue.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2011 10:15 a.m. PST

At present the most used tools are scalpels, Stanley knife, riffler files and spring loaded clamps (I'm kit bashing at present.

I'd be very unsure as to what is marketed for gaming as I don't recall buying any tools from gaming specialists and am unsure as to all that they stock.


Black Cat Bases29 Aug 2011 10:54 a.m. PST

Corks, dental tools, dress makers pins, baby powder, plastercine, lego, floristry wire, electrical wire, pieces of copper pipe hammer flat and attached to old paint brush handles, plastic drinking cups, lolly sticks, I could go on most of our tools are not specialist tools at all!


ming3129 Aug 2011 11:22 a.m. PST

Alligator clips ( hold figures during paint …slot abs)
double sided tape .
35mm film vials
coffee stir sticks ,
q tips , make up swabs ( really dense q tips) , emery boards ( nails sanders) , JB weld, Washers , elmers glue,
For the record Harbor Freight is your freind and NOT the crack house of tools ,

Sundance29 Aug 2011 12:02 p.m. PST

I use toothpicks, tweezers and needlenose pliers pretty regularly.

richarDISNEY29 Aug 2011 12:21 p.m. PST


redbanner414529 Aug 2011 12:31 p.m. PST

box cutter or carpet knife

Don Manser29 Aug 2011 12:49 p.m. PST

Burnishing tool for shield decals


Evil Bobs Miniature Painting29 Aug 2011 1:00 p.m. PST

I like richarDISNEY's tool set…

endrju9429 Aug 2011 1:07 p.m. PST

Needles – for sculpting small details, making rivets, unplugging the superglue bottle.
Steel ruler, scalpel.

McKinstry Fezian29 Aug 2011 1:54 p.m. PST

Popsicle sticks, toothpicks and good old white glue.

dampfpanzerwagon Fezian29 Aug 2011 2:26 p.m. PST

I think for me it would have to be the 18mm Olfa Snap-Off bladed knife.


Flat Beer and Cold Pizza29 Aug 2011 2:33 p.m. PST

Popsickle sticks
White glue

But most important of all: my notebook. I use a Moleskine sketch and watercolor book for the purpose, and it works a treat. The simple act of writing down and then saving color "swatches" of mix combinations has made my painting more consistent, if still bad.

Ambush Alley Games29 Aug 2011 2:53 p.m. PST

My trusty Kershaw Leek.


PJ Parent29 Aug 2011 3:03 p.m. PST

Opposable thumbs.

John D Salt29 Aug 2011 5:04 p.m. PST

Swann-Morton craft knife.

All the best,


John the OFM29 Aug 2011 6:09 p.m. PST

Screwdriver. Pries open the can of Minwax, stirs the goop and deposits it in the blister.

Toothpicks. My goodness, how much more useful can tou get?

Beer can cartons. I tear them apart, and line my washer to mask it when I spray prime or Dullcote.
Un-broken down, they also make fine stands for spraying. easy to pick up and rotate for the 180 degree comeback spray. Or the 90.

Latex gloves.

Old tupperware or similar containers that have gotten too grim to actually put food in.

Old toothbrushes.

Andrew May30 Aug 2011 2:52 a.m. PST

It seems that "things that you glue figures to for painting" is the dominant theme here, I my cas that means bottle tops. Beer caps for infantry and soft drinks or milk bottle lids for bigger minis.

religon30 Aug 2011 4:13 a.m. PST

I use a lot of wire for pinning…

florist wire
16 Gauge steel wire for larger models

Grand Duke Natokina30 Aug 2011 10:30 a.m. PST

Toothpicks. But I also have my Swiss Army Knife, just in case I run out of toothpicks. I can always whittle more.

Ranger32230 Aug 2011 11:12 a.m. PST

Needlenose pliers, sandpaper, elmer's glue…

Paper towels probably tops the list, though.

pphalen30 Aug 2011 6:52 p.m. PST

I use my Dewalt cordless drill and an 1/8" bit for drilling instead of a pesky pin vise

pphalen30 Aug 2011 7:44 p.m. PST

Coping saw for hacking arms, legs, and heads off of miniatures…

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2011 11:46 a.m. PST

Toenail clipper – more power than a nail clipper – great for trimming figures. Also tweezers, x-acto knives of various sorts, small rat-tail file, piano wire and beer

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2011 3:22 p.m. PST

Medicine bottles are useful for storing various washes, etc. Apparently everyone in my household is at death's door, because I have a huge collection of them.

I also have a cylindrical rare-earth magnet glued to a cut-down chopstick. Since I put everything on metal bases, this makes it easier for my shaky hands to keep single figures relatively still while I'm doing detail work or touch-ups.

Acrylic caulking compound (the kind that comes in a squeezable tube) turns out to be extremely useful. I stick figures to bases with it, make terrain out of it, generally use it as a temporary adhesive on things I don't need to get to right away.


Don Manser06 Sep 2011 9:07 a.m. PST

Extra wooden miniblind slats removed to fit the window height. I cut them in half and hot glue figures to them for priming, painting and sealing.

Blisters from blister packs are great for mixing washes and holding glue for basing.


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