by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
When I started into this hobby as a very young child building AirFix Models with my Grandfather I was not allowed to even touch knifes. As I got older and began to take on more advanced models a chisel was used on wood in my Grandfathers shed. When we get to where I am today the use of chisels has become a fairly common and routine occurrence for many modellers, the Mission Models Micro Chisel saw to that. But as they are no longer available what do we do now?
A few weeks back I purchased a couple of chisels from Master Tools, closer inspection leads me to believe this is one of Trumpeters lines, but at £4.99 each I was willing to take a punt. The chisels are single piece offerings; no separate blades to mess with or come loose here. The body of the chisel is about the thickness of a good paint brush or 5mm if you prefer. The chisel is supplied in a very nicely designed plastic case, the case holds the chisel firmly, but at the same time it is easy to remove. There is a small piece of foam at each end of the case to protect the blade and also has a clear cover that fits firmly in place. Another plus point is that the bottom of the case has two foam pads to prevent scratches on the dining room table.
Moving back to the chisel; each chisel is just over 170mm long, the shaft is comfortable in your hand and easy to control. The two blade sizes I purchased are 2mm and 3mm, but a search online found 6 variants flat chisels of 1, 2 and 3mm, a round chisel of 2mm, a diamond blade (great for scribing panel lines I suspect) of 2.8mm and a bevelled chisel of 3mm. the blades on the two I have are sharp and with a 10mm depth of cut should handle a few sharpening sessions as required. I used the chisels to remove some moulded on grab handles prior to replacing them, like a knife through hot butter is the expression I believe. The only thing I donít like about the chisels is behind the blade. I would have liked the face flat of the blade to go further up the shaft, this would have made removal of detail on flat surfaces easier regardless of the depth of the detail from the edge.
These chisels are affordable and easy to use. The packaging has been tackled nicely, especially for those with little hands that appear near the modelling bench. Despite the reasonable price they do look good and are easy to use. The cuts are easily achieved, but I do recommend a little practice in order to prevent the chisel digging into areas you donít want it to.