Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hobby Tips: Hobby Tools

Pardon me, for this will be a bit of a public service announcement.  I don't know how much of this blog's traffic is new gamers/modelers, but I'll be trying to add some minor advice bits in here and there.

In this blog post:

I discuss the basic tools every modeler/gamer will likely need (or you'll end up with them eventually).  However, I didn't mention the vast variety and disparity you can find when searching for these hobby tools.

A common mistake amongst new modelers/gamers is that they frequently buy hobby tools from the manufacturer of their chosen game(s).  This is frequently a HUGE mistake.  It's normally because the newer gamer isn't aware of the market.

General rule: Do not buy branded hobby supplies from the manufacturer of your chosen game. 

Let's look at the Games Workshop hobby knife.

A quick glance and the casual gamer will say "Hmmm, looks an awful lot like a run-of-the-mill X-acto knife."  It even uses X-acto branded blades.

X-Acto is "the" name in craft knives.  Has been for decades.  They're nothing special, but they're reliable and they work.

X-Acto Knife Cost: $3.40-$5.20 (depending on retailer)

Games Workshop Knife Cost: $32

Yep, you read that right.  $32.00 USD.  For an X-Acto knife which is available for almost 10% of the cost.  X-Actos can be purchased in large sets with numerous handles and dozens of blades for $20-25.00.

How about the pin-vice drill --- a common tool which uses various bits to allow you to hand drill small holes into models (for all types of purposes).

The Games Workshop branded drill?  $26 USD.  Available from other retails, all day long (yep, on Amazon) for between $7-12 dollars.

Games Workshop "PVA Glue"?  News for's Elmer's Glue (and is not quite as good as something like Elmer's Wood Glue Max - my preferred glue).  Pay $8 USD for 4 oz. from GW or $12-13 for a gallon from Elmers.

In closing, if you're new to the hobby, do not pay extra for something just because it has a brand name on the label.  This is the usual retail trickery and you get nothing better for your money.  This is an easy way to throw out a lot of money for no reason.  I picked on Games Workshop here because they're one of the most egregious practictioners - but you'll find the same stuff from many companies.  Skip all that nonsense, find the type of product you need and do a little research.  Your hobby tools will last you 10-15 years if treated well, so just look a bit harder before you  plunk down the cash!

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