[Beginner] Rundown of Starting Equipment - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-07-13, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Default [Beginner] Rundown of Starting Equipment

Here's a brief list of everything you need to start building and painting in the Warhammer world!



Can range from 2-10. GW price is 8.20 at the time of printing. I suggest looking elsewhere, such as Ebay or your local hardware store. Just make sure the cutting jaws are small enough to get models off the sprue without damaging the model itself.

Tips on Use

Use for removing models from sprues, adding battle damage, and cutting pins (more on pins later).

Be careful of pieces of model flying in the direction of your eyes, especially on metal and resin models.

If you’re cutting something thick consider using a saw or knife instead as clippers tend to distort the area around the cut.

If cutting out small fiddly bits, cut the piece out by leaving 3-5mm of sprue still attached. This enables you to cut the last little bits off the item without worrying about distorting it. Also you can use a knife once you’ve got it out of the main sprue if you need more precision.



Can range from 2-10. GW price is 8.20 at the time of printing. Once again I suggest looking elsewhere, such as your local hardware store. Make sure the blade is small and thin – a classic Stanley Knife is generally too big and bulky for a lot of model work, ideally you want a dedicated modelling knife or scalpel.

Tips on Use

Use for cutting through small or thin pieces of metal, plastic or resin

Can be used to remove mold lines (the lines that run down most models) by carefully scraping the blade away from you while having the edge pointing towards you. Resist the temptation to cut the lines off with the blade facing away from you, you will almost certainly go too deep and damage the model.

Careful of your fingers! Always cut into a hard surface such as a table or worktop, and have a cutting mat or piece of wood in place to avoid accidental damage to your desk – card or paper isn’t enough.



Can get a 10pc set for approx 4 on ebay. GW only sells Emery boards at time of printing, which I would avoid.

Tips on Use

Use for removing mold lines and small remains of sprue from model parts and cleaning up joins once you’ve glued the parts together.

Useful for tidying up after you’ve green stuffed a big gap.

On metal models you can get a nice effect by very carefully and gently using a file on rivets, it makes them all shiny and can save you a lot of highlighting time.



El cheapo options can be had for as little as a few pence per tube, but given that it’s what holds your model together I’d be inclined to splash out a little more. GW offers thick and thin varieties for 4.10 at time of print but I rather like the Loctite Control tubes – they have little buttons you press on either side to squeeze the very thick superglue out, which allows you to place it exactly where you want it without any fear of it running or getting on your fingers. Just make sure to replace the lid quickly.

Tips on Use

Use for gluing resin and metals and anything else that isn’t wood, plastic or flock.

All the obvious things about not sticking yourself to stuff apply, and if you’re using it for an extended period of time then watch your breathing as well.

Polystyrene Cement (Plastic Glue)


Again, can be had cheaply from lots of places including GW for 4.10. My personal preference is the Revell Contacta Professional with the needle applicator.

Tips on Use

Use for gluing plastic to plastic.

If you have a needle applicator that is blocked, wave a lighter or match under it. The glue will sputter a little bit out of the end and flame up. Leave it to cool before using it again though, otherwise the heat will cause the next load to block up as well, leading you to having to heat it every time you want to use it.

Whatever you do, don't use it on expanded polystyrene (i.e. the polystyrene that delicate and electrical goods often come packe in) as it will simply melt it into a pile of fumes and goo.



Get the cheapest stuff you can find. Hobby shops or hardware stores will have it in abundance. Don’t even bother with the GW one, it’s totally overpriced.

Tips on Use

Use for gluing wood, flock and other misc materials.

An easy way to base your models quickly is to fill an old empty paint pot with 50/50 PVA and water, and just brush it onto the base before dipping it into a container full of your chosen flock. Obviously you’ll want to have your model glued in place before you do this. You can then paint another layer of PVA on top of the flock after it dries, and this will seal it in place.

You can get chemical waste effects very easily by simply adding paint to PVA and then applying it to the end of pipes, in little puddles and so on. You can also get a kind of water effect by varnishing it afterwards.



I actually use the GW brushes most of the time, they’re better quality than they used to be. Other makes you can consider are Italeri and Tamiya but they can be more expensive than the GW equivalent. Just don’t be tempted by the cheap tacky ones you find in hobby stores.

Tips on Use

Obviously you use them for painting, and I don’t have the space to go into depth here. There are loads of tutorials floating around, and if you go into a GW store then they’ll be happy to help give you tips and stuff, although they’ll try to sell you something at the same time more often than not!

Remember to clean your brushes thoroughly after every use, and try not to let paint go more than halfway up the bristles.



You can get a manual one for 5-10 or use an electric Dremel for 20+. GW offers a nice body for 10 but only gives you 1mm bits, which is pretty inflexible! you’re probably better off getting a drill you like the look of, and then a separate box of bits such a the Microbox HSS Twist Drill bits which set you back about 3 for 20 bits from 0.3-1.6mm.

Tips on Use

Making bullet holes in armour

Pinning models. You can find a more detailed guide for pinning elsewhere, but the basic concept is you drill a hole in model piece A and model piece B, and then glue them together with a rod connecting them inside both holes. Most often used for arms and legs etc, and pretty much a mandatory inclusion when building an old large metal model like a Hydra or Giant.

If you don’t want to shell out for Magnets (and you should) then you can use pins to swap weapons and arms out. For example on a Wraithlord’s shoulder mount then it’s very easy to drill a hole where the mount is and glue in a small length of rod that points up vertically. All you need to do is drill a hole into the bottom of each weapon option and voila! You can change it whenever you want.

With regards to what to use as rod, any metal tube or cylinder of the correct size will work. Paperclips and safety pins can all be found in the right sizes for a very cheap price. Brass rod also works and can be bought online in bulk.

Electric drills save your hands a lot of work when drilling metal or resin, but be aware that even on the slowest speed it's potentially possible for the drill to melt plastic, so I wouldn't use it for small delicate stuff such as pistol barrels or pinning broken spears/swords. You can use it on large plastic pieces though like Daemon Princes or Wraithlords.



I actually use GW paints pretty much exclusively, although I don’t put much stock in their “Super-awesome” novelty paints such as basing paints, edging paints or technical paints. The exception to this is liquid greenstuff, which is a godsend for filling tiny holes or cracks. Other brands include Vallejo and Tamiya.

Tips on Use

Paint the models. Duh. Again, there’s so much to be said here I can’t fit it in. If you’re looking for some beginners guides then there are plenty floating around the net. However I can tell you that rule 1 for good painting is as follows:

Use multiple thin coats and water your paint down.

If you're looking to strip paint, I've had best results with ACETONE FREE Nail Polish remover. Most paint comes off after a 10 minute soak and some brushing with an old toothbrush. Cut a coke bottle in half to get a disposable soaking chamber, and drop your model in. Pull it out and brush gently every few minutes then drop it back in. Be careful of any joins etc so you don't damage the model itself. Watch out for fumes, and you can actually re-use the ACETONE FREE polish remover, just pour it back into the bottle when you're done. After a few uses it'll build up a sludge of dead paint at the bottom, but you can scoop this out with a spoon or just throw the dregs away once you're done.



Can be bought from lots of places, depending on what you want. “Flock” traditionally refers to sand or green powder which is glued to bases to simulate the texture of grass or stone. There are loads of different effects you can get, but the most basic ones are: Grass, Gravel, Sand, Snow, Mud. Once more I suggest avoiding GW’s range of flock simply because of the price. The quality is nice enough, but it’s simply two to five times more expensive than that which can be found on the internet.

Tips on Use

Consider all possibilities when looking for suitable materials. Aquarium gravel can be useful , as can stones used in flower arranging and so on. Even rocks picked up from the ground if they’re small enough!

Most of the time PVA will be fine, but sometimes you’ll need to use superglue for larger pieces.

Modelling Putty


Can be bought from a few different sources. I tend to use Milliput for large projects (monster bases, filling big holes and gaps) and GW green stuff for something smaller that’s still too big for liquid greenstuff.

Tips on Use

You can use it to do anything from fill gaps to sculpt entirely new models! Search for some tutorials and you’ll find some nice easy things you can make such as seals and cloaks.

Remember to lubricate your fingers and whatever tools you’re using with water (for Milliput) or Vaseline (for Green Stuff) so it doesn’t stick to them.

I actually use a set of dentist tools I found on ebay for something like 5, but dedicated sculpting tools are very cheap and worth getting a couple of. GW will charge you 5 for one, you can get three for 1 on ebay.

As a final note, check out Viscount Vash's tutorials and guides in the modelling section for an excellent list of specific products and ways to use them!

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Last edited by Sethis; 12-08-13 at 11:05 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-13, 09:45 AM
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I wish I'd had this when I started out - This is awesome!

Great work and thank you for that tutorial!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-13, 12:37 PM
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Great! Really good and well done.
A personal opinion: a beginner doesn't really need a drill and modelling putty, don't you think?

Or maybe is it better to start with everithing and learn even the "advanced" part immediately?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-13, 12:52 PM
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On drill bits, the best place to look for them is DIY-stores. There are lots of different sizes, and as the bits are not labeled "modelling drill bits", they're a bit cheaper as well.

I suggest getting the tougher (usually diamond) drill bits if you've got metal models. They work with plastic as well and do last a bit longer, but the downside is the slightly higher cost...

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-13, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neferhet View Post
A personal opinion: a beginner doesn't really need a drill and modelling putty, don't you think?

Or maybe is it better to start with everithing and learn even the "advanced" part immediately?
A drill is less important than it used to be with the death of metal models, but I'd say modelling putty is a pretty essential tool to have available simply for filling cracks and basing, and it isn't very hard to use at all.

I'm not saying that you must have all of the above to begin collecting, but they're what I'd consider the "Core" of a hobbyists tools to allow you to customise models the way you want them. Things like Saws, Hot wire cutters, Airbrushes etc are all very optional and person-dependent which is why I've left them out. Thanks for the feedback!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-13, 07:43 PM
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very nicely done.

I think drills are still important as one of the things I always comment on is drilling out gun barrels but with the reduction of metal your right it is less important. But i am glad they are in there as I think they are needed by a beginner.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-13, 06:34 PM
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Very nice and simple tutorial. I have to say that Advanced techniques should always be tried early in my opinion. its always a good idea to have a base idea of how to work with something that reading a book or tutorial just wont give you. Drilling , Pinning and Gapfilling however i would consider intermediate level skills. Most gamers will not bother to gapfill or remove mold lines from their models whereas most Hobbyists will. theyr are not hard to do but quite unnecessary from the standpoint of someone wanting to put a model on the table.

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