Welcome to scalemodelling wiki series of articles covering almost every aspect of the bench. If you are either new to the hobby or an advance modeler, we are sure you will find some useful information along the way.
Much needs to be say about “the bench”. As eager as one is to start a kit, it is imperative to have a working space that will be suitable to build the kit and most importantly to yourself, so before we start talking about products and equipment there is some aspects we need to cover first.
Is all about ergonomics: a bench needs to be well lit, comfortable and useful. You may have seen on social media “dream benches” which are very costly and high standards. I can tell you that if you have an undisturbed comfortable space, preferably with natural light then you are already halfway through.
- The chair should be comfortable. One needs to aim for the most comfortable chair one can afford since you will be spending hours sitting and it not natural positions like holding small tools and items for periods of time and your back curved towards the table… we can tell you that after a while it will pay itself off enabling you to sit for longer periods of time without getting sore back.
- The lighting is just as important when it comes to look after your eyes. Good lighting has a double benefit: as we said before is to avoid eye strain and the other to be able to see your model properly. A low light will make your eyes tired quickly and you won’t be able to see all the model details, especially in smaller scales like 1/72, 1/100, 1/200. Too strong light and it will create unnecessary reflections which will affect the final painting and weathering. Place the lamp in a place where will create a minimum shadow. Nowadays good lamps with adjustable LED light can be found and proven to be very useful.
- A cutting mat is a must. Invest in one even if is A4 format, you won’t regret it. A good part of scale modelling is about cutting pieces from sprues and photo edge parts as well as resin so a good base to do cutting as well as resting the paints and the models is essential. They are cheap, they come in different colors and it protect your table.
- Shelves: yes… you will need space! This is a hobby where we will always want more space. One reason is as you build models you will want to naturally display them somewhere and second because your inventory of paints and products will grow in accordance to your needs. A natural solution to this problem is to grow “upwards” hence shelves. While on this subject, and depending on your personal circumstances, you will want to keep paints and chemical products in a safe place. It is always good working practice to be methodical when working with chemicals to avoid accidents. Once used… store it away.
Remember to keep your bench in an orderly manner. It is easy to say than done but it serves many purposes: you will see your model better; you will have more working space and minimized the risk of pouring the whole cement jar all over the kit and mat. Accidents will happen and is all down to experience, but if we start with a good working routine, we will soon get used to it and will be able to accommodate few builds at the same time.
I hope this article has been useful in trying to build your first bench or for the advance modelers to organized in a safer and more productive manner their ones. Keep an eye for the next article where we will go through tools needed to be able to start your journey into your first kit.