Some Tools

When I set the budget for The Northern Pacific Project, I didn’t take into account the tools required. I have a lot of tools, but they’re mostly related to car repair and building construction. Not so useful for model building. The Northern Pacific Project is going to go over budget, but not grossly so, and the primary reason is a few specialized tools have been purchased.


Left to right, we have The Chopper II, Magnivisor, and Fiskar’s media cutter. And there’s a pair of readers in the foreground, because I’m old and can’t see.

Chopper II

This device, like the hedgehog, does one thing exceptionally well. It cuts material to a standard length. Employing a single-edge razor blade (100 for about $7 at Home Depot), the Chopper, well, chops. It’s my go-to device when I need straight, clean, cuts.


I was back and forth on a magnifier. On the one hand, I needed one, because like I said, I have old eyes and they don’t work like I’d like. On the other hand, it’s money.  I opted for the Magnivisor over the Brand O selection. My reasoning was that the Magnivisor included a light and four lenses of varying magnification standard. Brand O offers these features as an option. In practice I’ve found the device to be comfortable to wear for hours and the multiple lenses are a boon. For my money it’s a good deal.

Fiskar’s Media Cutter

I bought this device to get straight cuts in a variety of media; styrene was what I had in mind. The literature claims cutting ability to 4 mm thickness. I haven’t seen it. The device is very good at cutting paper, and as I’ve moved to cardstock models the device works well. It’s a bit hard to realize exactly where the cut line will be, but the machine does make clean cuts on a straight line. The pretty floral pattern on the cutting surface gives an idea to the market, but it works well enough, and it’s a useful addition in the tool stable.

So a few useful tools as the railroad transitions from boilerplate to modeling. As scratch building appears to my thing, I expect to get a lot of use out of these tools.

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