Tamiya’s Diamond file for PE ideal for smoothing the nubs off of photoetch after its removed from the fret.
00 Paintbrush (high quality, detail brush) dedicated for Testors Liquid Cement applications and applying Molak Stucco Putty as thin as paint to hair line seams.
HobbyTrax - Generic Track Tool had it for years, never used before Carpel Tunnel. Now it’s invaluable for track assembly holding white metal links in alignment to insert wire pins. Can be reconfigured for different sizes of links.
Search for Manwah model, they are a Chinese manufacturer so good price but also good quality. For files I recommend:
These are tiny diamond files, and if you are careful will do the job well. I tend to use them when cleaning up figure clothing and seam lines, they can get everywhere. Keep in mind they are aggressive so be careful when cleaning up model kit piece you do not go too far.
This is from Ustar, another Chinese company
The big flat file is my most commonly used tool. Four grits so you can use the one that suits the piece, but most importantly, you can easily feel when a sprue gate or detail you are removing is gone and the piece is flat, and you cannot beat the price.
Also a useful tool I use often is one meant to spread solder paste over stencils in chip soldering. The blades are thin spring steel, and they are perfect for spreading putty in hard to reach areas
My dial calipers in metric. Measuring, scribing parallel lines, marking off styrene sheet for later scribe-n-snap cuts, cutting thin styrene strip stock to multiple uniform lengths…
Get a quality set, though, all metal manufacture. The set I have is a Mitatoyo old version of the current 505-731, 0-200mm with white face dial. Had and used this set since the late '80s and they’re as good today as when I first got them new.
A Kirkland Products Ring Clamp. A jewelry maker’s tool repurposed for model making. The leather-lined jaws gently but securely hold small parts while you get medieval on them with knives, files and other instruments of torture, saving your precious fingers from cuts, scrapes and assorted abuse.
I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to tools, and don’t mind spending good money for quality or innovative tools. When it comes to modeling tools, the old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true for most tools.
This is easily the best modeling saw I’ve ever purchased, incredibly fine, razor sharp teeth and simply a high quality tool (that had a price tag to match):