Tools and Magazines


I’ve finished my big house painting project… at least the biggest and first painting project of the summer and mostly recovered (aside from still having some aches and pains from my ladder incident, and the garage is a mess). I haven’t yet made it to doing any actual modeling yet but over the last month or so I have collected some modeling specific tools I can mention.

First off I picked up a new magazine the other day, thanks to my wonderful parents we had a few days without the kids around to get our painting done. On the last evening without kids we decided to have a little date night since we were free. But lacking anything good to do we ended up with dinner and a stroll through Barnes and Noble (yeah we are kind of nerds). As a habit I usually checkout the magazing section of any store I’m in that sells magazines to see what they have in the train department. I was surprised to find there were actually a few different options and I picked up and flipped through the April issue of the British magazine Model Rail. Not planning on actually getting anything I put it down and continued browsing and eventually made it back and picked up a copy to buy. The anglophile in me just couldn’t pass it up.

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I have to say I was seriously impressed, I’m subscribed to Model Railroader and I occasionally get inspired by it, and occasionally find a “how to” that’s useful but having just flipped through this thing I’m impressed. It’s more than model railroader (and definitely worth more) but not terribly cheap for a subscription in the US (about double MRR for a year, probably has to do with the currency translation and the shipping). I’ll probably subscribe but plan to set aside some of my modeling budget before I do so.

Just before my San Francisco trip I ordered and recieved a modeling pick set, I’ve seen this recommended for gluing P87 tie plates down and found some pretty cheap on Amazon.

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Or should I say, I ordered and recieved a package purporting to be a modeling pick set. Instead I got a modeling spatula set but the selling company quickly resolved the situation by sending me the proper item and giving me the spatula set for free. I didn’t really have a need for the spatula’s at the time but have come up with some ideas on how to make use of them.

As part of my San Franciso trip I had to pick up the tab on some things that I later got re-imbursed for by work. Some fairly spendy things like a few nights in a really nice (i.e. expensive) San Franciso hotel, having an otherwise unused Amazon Credit Card (got it for a discount on my Christmas shopping and it’s otherwise unused) I was able to turn it into some Amazon gift card credit and got myself an optoviser:

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Maybe it’ll help me see those tiny P87 spikes πŸ™‚ and a Xuron 450BN needle nose pliers for free.

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The 450BN (which I understand is special for model railroaders as it means Burlington Northern… or Bent Nose πŸ˜€ ) I also got to try and help with those pesky P87 spikes. For comparision this is the size difference between the Xuron and my next smallest needle nose pliers

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Hopefully I’ll be able to clean off the accumulated debris of a busy month off my projects/train stuff and get some modeling done soon as I’ve got a couple projects going that could all use some action.


2 thoughts on “Tools and Magazines

  1. Hi Matt, For handling the P87 spikes, I’ve found that the most important feature of pliers is that they must not shear at all. That is, the jaws must meet without being able to shift against one another. If they shift, the spike disappears. I use my less-favourite pliers because my faves are worn out and don’t hold their plane.

    Good luck!

    1. I could definitely see that, the problem I have with my old pliers is the end is rounded and the serrations are quite large so it’s difficult to get them to hold a spike… and even more so in a position I could spike with it. Luckily I was able to pick these up for free to me so if they don’t work I’m not out anything. I’ve also considered using a hemostat (locking tweezers) and may still if the Xuron doesn’t work out.

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