What Tools Are Needed for Building Model Trains

Railway modeling in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and UK or model railroading in the US and Canada is a hobby where the train transport systems are modeled on a reduced scale. The scale models include the scale model of trains includes rolling stock, locomotives, signaling, tracks, streetcars, cranes. In landscapes, it includes cityscape, countryside, buildings, bridges, roads, ports, vehicles, lights, miniature figurines, etc. The other items can be cannons, tunnels, hills, rivers, etc.

To build model trains, you will be needing a basic tool kit that is something many newcomers overlook during the initial excitement of building their first model train. The model train kit includes different types of bolts, nuts, and screws that are hidden in the mechanisms. Hence, you will be needing different tools to build a perfect model train.

What Tools Are Needed for Building Model Trains

Craft Knife

Craft Knife

The knife in your toolbox can be of great help for completing millions of weird design jobs. You can use a craft knife for building model trains such as cutting plastic, cardboard, or paper. Also, you can use them for electrical tasks such as peeling off the wire covering to connect the wires.

You can have a craft knife that comes with replaceable blades. As a result, your crafting knife will always be sharp for different designing jobs.

Small Headed Hammer

Small Headed Hammer

There might be some problems while building model trains and a simple hammer will be helpful. Besides correcting mistakes, pushing the chain pins is one of the main problems where a small-headed hammer will be of great use. A copper hammer is recommended for working on and around delicate metals. Building a model train requires small components that can be fixed using the copper small-headed hammer.

It is heavy and strong enough to hammer the dowels and nails in the scale model. Also, you can use it for other DIY projects at home or in the workplace.



Having an assortment of pliers on hand is pretty obvious for building model train or any other scale model. Also, they are used to maintain the model trains. Holding delicate parts in place, you will solder or glue them to pass the wires through the socket holes. For Tortoise and Cobalt tip motors, you will have to bend the piano wire under the rail.

Also, a good set of pliers will help you to pick up tiny components from hard-to-reach places. The 8-piece pliers will be helpful while working on different designs of the model trains. It includes side and end cutters and combination layers as well as curved, round, flat nose and needle-nose pliers.

Soldering Iron

Soldering Iron

As soon as the model train moves beyond the construction of toys and temporary tables, it is time to get serious with the model train. Here you will be needing a soldering iron. A 25W or 30W soldering iron is important. If you are having a smaller soldering iron then it will not help you to heat the wire or rail fast enough. The larger irons will take time while melting the rails.

The interchangeable tips of the soldering iron with different sizes and styles will help you in performing different tasks of melting. The soldering technique can vary on the type of material you want to melt and the solder mixture you are using to do it. Hence, it will avoid bad joints.

Mini Hole Punch

A piercer or mini hole punch is one of the tools that are not of importance until you use them. Hitting small nails like rail pins is something that you will do around the model. Sometimes, a small hammer on top can be a problem. Instead, holding a small pin or nail will make home nailing a lot easier if you have a punch.

It keeps the hammerhead away from the nearby delicate objects in the model. For making mini holes in the model train, a punch would be the best tool you will ever need.

Straight Edge Rulers

A straight edge or a ruler is a tool that is used to draw straight lines and to check the straightness. It is having evenly spaced marks along its length known as a scale or ruler. They are used in various industries such as automotive services or machining industry, etc. to check the flatness of machines mating surfaces.

While building a model train, it will help you to keep the lines straight of rail, train compartments, buildings, etc.

Point Syringe Kit

When you start working on the scale model building, you try easy stuff and move forward. An example is the application of liquids such as glue or oils. It is easy to apply glue with a paintbrush or a needle. You can try to run liquids in place that only have to get glue or paint splatter over the tracks or building fronts. After application, it might be impossible to remove it.

Use of syringe or sharp needs deposits the accurate amount of liquid and you don’t have to remove or clear the extra liquid.


Tweezers are useful for picking up and place small parts or decals on the model trains. They are made in many sizes with serrated or smooth jaws to perform specific jobs. Most scale model builders start with a pair of jagged jaws and end up with different sizes. It is because your fingers cannot reach each end of the scale model while handling tiny components.

A smooth jawed tweezer is helpful to avoid marking the piece. It helps you to position tiny and delicate objects. For example, you can use them for removing the splinters while making skirting boards.

Hot Glue Gun

The glue comes in a wide range of types such as white glue, epoxy glue, wood glue, hot glue, super glue, Polyurethane glue, spray glue, etc. The hot glue gun or hot melt adhesive is a form of thermoplastic adhesive. It comes in solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters. The hot glue gun helps you to stick the small or large components in the place where you want them to be.

Hot glue guns are powered through a cord and there are some portable hot glue guns that you can carry anywhere. When you press the trigger with your finger, the gun gets hot and melts the solid cylindrical stick. The tip or head of the gun targets the place where you want to apply the glue. Hence, instead of using dipping or spray glue, a hot glue gun would be the best idea for building model trains.

Building Model Trains – Essential Tools For Precision

Building a scale model has now become a hobby for most people. They are already having a lot of tools that can help them in building a perfect scale model. If you are planning to build a model train, then try picking tools for hobbies that will keep you within your budget and help you to be precise about everything.

You can use a crafting knife, pliers, straight edge scales, hot glue gun, tweezers, etc. All these tools make sure that you build a perfect model train as your hobby. When you are expert enough, you can take projects and earn money by providing your services to different companies. Model trains might require a lot of effort and working hours, but with the right tools, you can make your work easier.