Modeling Products

Reviews of general scale modeling products such as paint, glue, etc.

Pro Photo-Etch Scissors

Published: January 2nd, 2013     
Pro Photo-Etch Scissors
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Company: Xuron Corporation

Xuron has released another pair of high-quality clippers from their line of consumer products used by modelers.  The extra-long, ultra-sharp tips cut through PE like butter without bending or twisting it.  The ergonomically shaped handles offer superb control and stability, as well as comfort.  A return spring brings the tool back to the open position after each cut.

First and foremost, these are scissors, not clippers.  The shearing point comes mid-way between the two blades, just like a pair of scissors.  What this means is that they are excellent at cutting PE parts off the sprues, but they do not cut them flush against one edge, as Xuron’s excellent sprue cutters do with plastic.  I was hoping that the company had come up with a way for me to snip off PE parts without having to sand the edges where the tiny metal nubs might remain, but that's just personal preference on my part.

Alclad II Accurate & Precise Airbrush Sets

Published: December 27th, 2012     
Alclad II Accurate & Precise Airbrush Sets
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989
Company: Alclad II

  • Accurate airbrush ( ALC 9200 ) $ 69.99
  • Precise airbrush ( ALC 9220 ) $ 79.99

Alclad II has brought to market two styles of airbrushes manufactured by one of the well known airbrush suppliers. The brushes bear the Alclad II trademark.  There are two models available, both single action with internal mix.  These are offered as complete sets that include the following:

  • Airbrush
  • Braided Hose
  • Flush-mount color cup
  • Adapter for bottles of Alclad II 1 oz bottles**
  • Protective cap for airbrush nozzle

**This is a major time saver in that all that is necessary is to shake the color to be applied, screw on the adaptor cap, and spray. (All Alclad II products are pre-thinned and ready to spray.) Easy cleanup as well by simply shooting lacquer thinner through the brushes.

Xuron Professional Sprue Cutter

Published: December 19th, 2012     
Xuron Professional Sprue Cutter
Reviewed by: Michael Scott, IPMS# 43177
Company: Xuron Corporation

Xuron Corporation makes a number of hand tools useful for modelers. One, the Professional Sprue Cutter, is the subject of this review.

Often, sprue cutters (diagonal cutting pliers) are hard on plastic parts, especially small ones, when removing them from their sprues. The compression forces they impart can damage small parts, especially when cutting the first of two or more sprue connections.

These Professional Sprue Cutters are designed to shear, rather than compress (or pinch) the plastic, reducing the compression force. Xuron calls this a Micro-Shear®. To quote Xuron, “Shear cutting reduces cutting effort (as compared to traditional compression cutting) and extends blade life because the sharp edges are not meeting edge-to-edge. Shear cutting also produces clean, flat cuts.”

I found this to be somewhat the case. If a part, or sprue, is cut with the tip part of the blades, then there is mostly flat cutting with only a small amount of compressive cutting evidenced. The further back away from the tip one cuts, the more compressive cutting occurs, leaving two small beveled areas and a central flat area of the cut.

Trytool Tweezers

Published: September 19th, 2012     
Trytool Tweezers
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Hasegawa

From time to time, Hasegawa blesses us with a new high quality tool that seems like just the thing that model builders need to make their tasks a bit easier.  The most recent item in Hasegawa’s Trytool line is exactly that.  It is a set of precision stainless steel tweezers with a pair of small flat tips that should hold anything firmly during parts assembly or painting.

Cutting Templates A & B

Published: September 9th, 2012     
Cutting Templates A & B
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Hasegawa

There are many tools on the market, and Hasegawa offers a wide variety of those that many modelers have on their workbench. This review looks at two such items, Cutting Template A and Cutting Template B.

Both Templates are made from a sheet of metal using the same overall dimensions, those being 0.3mm thick, and 90mmx200mm. Those numbers translate to about 3.5”x8”.  Template A can be used to generate angles and straight lines, while Template B provides guides for curved lines. All measurements shown on both templates are engraved into the metal, not just printed on the surface of the template where they could eventually be worn away. These markings are permanent.

It may sound a bit silly, but I verified that the measurement markings on both templates matched the measurement markings on other tools on my workbench. I found no discrepancies in any of the markings on the Hasegawa tools.

Sprue Cutter

Published: August 28th, 2012     
Sprue Cutter
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Company: UMM-USA

I have used many sprue cutters from a lot of different companies, all with different designs, for many years, and this is the first time I have tried this design.  I was a little skeptical at first, but these have turned out to be quite nice.

The tweezer design is nice and easy to hold.  The ergonomic design makes them very user-friendly.  I love the way the head is shaped, the extension of the cutting head making it easy to fit into tight spots.  The cutting heads are very sharp, so beware.

As for using, just put the head against the part you want to cut off and squeeze.  You get a nice clean cut with very little cleanup afterwards.  This works great for small parts.  When it comes to the larger ones, you really have to squeeze, and I mean squeeze, hard.  I had to resort to my other cutters for these.

Blast-Away Sandblasting Cabinet

Published: August 21st, 2012     
Blast-Away Sandblasting Cabinet
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Blast-A-Way

The Blast-Away Sandblasting cabinet is also labeled as the Blast-A-Way Sandblasting cabinet. For the purposes of this review it will be labeled as the “Blast-Away” cabinet. That is the manner in which it is identified on the instruction booklet that accompanies the product.

The Blast-Away cabinet is made from corrugated plastic and arrives in a box roughly 40x 24x3. Within the review sample was the cabinet itself,  the clear “window” items which will be attached to the cabinet, and the 10 page instruction booklet. Additional parts can be purchased – those being additional clear plastic lenses, a replacement liner, and an exhaust manifold.

Setup is an easy process; it is recommended that you skim the instruction booklet to get an overview of that process, but use the video on the Blast-Away website to watch the inventor set up the booth in about 90 seconds. That video is on the “demos” page and the link is http://blastawaycabinets.com/demos/.

Wooden Stand for Building, Painting, and Transporting Biplane Models

Published: August 19th, 2012     
Wooden Stand for Building, Painting, and Transporting Biplane Models
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: JH Models

JHmodels offers two different wooden stands, sometimes called “jigs,” that look similar to one another. A major difference, however, is that the item described in this review is for biplanes while the previously reviewed product, (No. 4801) is primarily used for monoplanes. There is an easy way to remember the difference….. No. 4801 is for a single wing and No. 4802 is for 2 wings. The other wooden stand, No. 4801, is reviewed at http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/wooden-stand-building-painting-and-trans...

This product (4802) has more parts and looks more complicated than the single-wing stand (4801). That being said, this jig took about 45 minutes to assemble, and I did it, as any true modeler would appreciate, without using the instructions to any great extent. Of course, I had previously assembled product 4801 and had gained some experience with it which probably allowed for faster assembly on No. 4802.