Hobby Advice

There’s hundreds of modelling tips out there and we’ve have collated just some top ones that we wish we knew when I started out.  If you have suggestions for other useful tips, or a change to the ones listed. Please send me an message using the form below!

  1. Take your time and enjoy yourself.  This tip is No.1 for a reason!
  2. Always remove ALL the residue of the sprue gates from the part. 
  3. When sanding, let the sander do the work. Don’t push down.
  4. Always lower the tackiness of your masking tape by sticking it to your hand first and then your model.  Less paint will be pulled off when you remove the tape.
  5. Don’t use to much glue, don’t use too much of anything.
  6. Take photos of your models, and your building steps and keep a log so you can look back on your progress. Take final photos using the guidance below
  7. Don’t worry what others think we all start somewhere… show your progress and finish builds off.
  8. Join a local model club, share your experiences and learn from others.  This is so important!
  9. Use thinners to thin acrylics, not water.
  10. Cut away from your body rather than towards your body.
  11. Join an online model forum. There’s lots on facebook including the private group for Models for Heroes beneficiaries M4H Modellers Mess.  And lots of online forums.  Find one that suits your level and interest. 
  12. Don’t be afraid to test yourself. Build that big difficult model, don’t wait.
  13. Read through the instructions first and check each part is present before you begin.
  14. Label each sprue with some tape and letter so that you can find them easily.  Some models have many many sprues.
  15. Always use side cutters to cut the plastic parts away from the sprues. 
  16. Always cut with some plastic to spare. Its easier to take plastic away than it is to add it.
  17. Always use a hard edge file to take away the sprue nubs.
  18. Use a small sharp instrument such as a needle or a toothpick to apply glue to small or hard to get to areas.
  19. Follow the instructions step by step until you are confident to do otherwise.
  20. Circle or mark  the instruction sheet and cross off as you complete the section.
  21. Always dry fit first and make sure parts fit before you apply glue.

There are literally basquillions of modelling websites, forums, clubs and magazines to feed your modelling appetite. 

There are lots of different Facebook Groups setup to cater for anyones interests.  If you are on Facebook, consider joining our own M4H Modellers Mess. It’s a private group run by our volunteers for our beneficiaries.  

Here’s just some resources for beginners to this glorious hobby that we’ve used and have had recommended.  In no particular order.

We are listed on the Collection Calculator. A website that focusses on the value of wargames collection.  The site has a fantastic searchable directory of all wargaming and model manufactuers, clubs and societies. 




..has become incredibly accessible to so many people including many modellers.  Instructional videos, opinions on kits and modelling products are all there to be consumed.  These are some YouTube videos that may inspire you and encourage you and push your own skills.

Models for Heroes cannot be held responsible for the content of external links. However we have chosen to include these videos for their valuable content and approach to scale modelling.

Jamie provides a beginners guide with his straight forward approach to modelling through the Help for Heroes initiative ‘Creative Force’ in 2018.



Bob Greig agreed to make a video for us of him building an Airfix starter set.  He chose the kit and used the materials in the box to the best of his ability.  If you’re a beginner watch this professional tackle this kit and get back to basics.



Owen’s calm, cheerful approach is soothing to the soul. You`ll enjoy his videos even if you had no interest in scale modelling.



Will’s firm but fair approach to modelling is entertaining and deeply informative.


Scale War Machine’s ‘How To’ guides are an excellent resource for beginners.  Martin’s calm approach to the videos makes them entertaining to watch too.  Have a look at their website: scalewarmachines.com


Brett approaches complex techniques in his videos but explains in a simple and approachable way.

Bob uses a wide range of supplies and tools and explains every one concisely.

Phil builds a huge variety of subjects and goes through each build step by step. 

Paul inspires you to buy an inexpensive 1/48 Airfix Messerschmitt and follow along with each and every step.



Jon literally got our Founder back into scale modelling again after a hiatus with this salivating Millennium Falcon project.