Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:07 AM
Ryan, from heresay that's drifted up I-87 and I-95 to New England, you have an abundance of good hobby shops on the Island. Thake full advantage of them.
And yes, the Revell '55 Bel-Air is a great kit, nicely detailed and very easy to assemble.
1. A selection of small pliers and cutters for manipulating parts and removing them from the trees. Sears sells a nice set in the Craftsman Professional line for around $12-15. They're well-made and function nicely, and will last many years.
2. A set of technical screwdrivers. Sears, Radio Shack, most hardware stores and hobby shops carry them. A decent set will run around $6-10.
3. A set of small files. These can get expensive, but are good to have. Sears and hobby shops are your best bet.
4. X-Acto knife or similar, with #11 blades and the small razor saw blades that fit in the #1 handles will be your best friends. A package of chisel handles can be handy, too. Total will be about $10.
5. A pair of small tweezers. The ones at a drug store are perfectly adequate.
6. Wet-and-dry sandpaper, ranging from 150-1500 grit. Your local Ace, True Value, etc., will provide this for you at the most economical cost.
7. Polishing cloths, available at your local hobby shop. They're about $4-6 each. Or you can buy a polishing kit for around $25. These are used for final polishing on your finsih paint job on the body.
8. Bare-Metal Foil or make your own using thin, cheap kitchen foil and Micro-Mark Foil adhesive, available at your local hobby shop.
9. An assortment of small clamps is very helpful.
Use Plasti-Kote sandable primer as much as possible. It's the most economical and works well. It's sold at auto parts stores, and a similar product is also at Michael's craft stores. It's a bit thinner than the automotive product, but otherwise identical and less money.
Paints themselves. Get used to a lot of things. I've used Testors enamels, both the Pla and Model Master enamels and lacquers, Tamiya acrylics, and Humbrol enamels. They all work well if you use common sense and follow the directions. Always make sure to prime before painting. Testots Model Master Acryl is also a very good product. The Testors enamels can take a while to dry. This can be accelerated with a hair dryer on LOW setting or a used food dehydrator, just be sure to keep the parts away from the heating element.
Some people use touch-up paint to paint their bodies. Make sure you use a lacquer primer under those if you want to try it.
For factory match colors for your car, MCW Automotive Finishes is a great place to buy from. You will need an airbrush or a Preval sprayer to use them, but you'll get great results with their paints. Cheap? No, but you will get what you pay for.
Buy good-quality paint brushes. I'd reocmmend sable or camel. I have synthetics at the moment and have found them to not work as well as natural-bristle brushes.
An airbrush is a nice thing to pick up eventually. A good starter one will run around $25. I recommend using an inner tube for an air supply until you're comfortable enough with it to buy a compressor. Testors makes a nice small compressor for around $65. Nothing special, but good for a starter outfit.
Hope this helps you with some ideas.