Wire sizes

What size lead wires are handy for 1/35 tanks and AFVs? I want to pick up some different sizes for detailing hoses, handles, engine bits, etc.

I have a spool of 15 thousandth (0.38mm) solder that I use for wiring purposes. That works out to just over 1/2 inch (12.7mm) in 1/35th scale thickness. I also have some .05 thousandth that I use for hoses. In addition, I have some very fine wire (.0045) for things like headphones, mics., etc. If those are not suitable sizes, then it’s off to the spare parts bin for whatever wire I can find. For grab handles I use .020 inch brass rod (0.5 mm), as solder is too soft for these types of parts.

For handles and similar sizes you can also take a look at the insides of electrical cables.

The finest wire to be found, about the diameter of a human hair, is from the motors that spin the disk & drive the reader head in DVD/CD players.

The “old school” headphones for mobile phones and 20th century portable music devices also contain very fine copper wires

Edit: Peters image below reminded me that some of those head phone wires also contain an
electromagnetic shield made of a very thin and narrow strip of copper wrapped around the insultated wires.
Might be useful as flat straps, webbing bands, safety harnesses, seat belts et.c.

And the “shields” of TV antenna cables yield wire of a different color:


TV antenna wire is excellent to make chains. You just have to twist a pair of them together and then flatten them with flat pliers.


AK released some different sizes of copper wire a few months ago, including in black and silver colors. Relatively cheap, but still more per meter I’m sure then sourcing from an electrical store or of course using scrap wire, but still an option.

The youths on here are saying “what’s a CD?”… :grin:

Never throw away electricals - they are great for harvesting wire and other goodies!


If you live in the US. Cabela’s & Bass Pro stores sell a single set with an assortment of lead wire for fly-fishing lure making. .010, .015, .020, .025 & .030 - Perfect for our purposes!

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I keep a small variety of scrap electronics wire on hand. However, my go to is UTC Ultra Wire, it bends, coils, and holds acrylic paints very nicely.


Works very well for grab-handles and engine ignition wires.