I usually do all my modelling work with small hand tools as the materials I normally work with are soft ones (plastics and card). Rarely have I had to resort to power tools, though my Dremel Multi-tool has come in handy occasionally to cut small metal rods and to drill holes quickly.
However, now I am starting to get 'into' wooden toy soldier making - even in a modest way - it soon became apparent that access to basic power tools would be very convenient. Sanding and cutting by hand is quite tedious (particularly thinking ahead, when I may want to make small 'regiments') and my initial tests have demonstrated that my hand sawing is somewhat 'wobbly'!
The problem is that I only have limited space and funds to invest in this hobby (as I have several other hobbies) and I don't want to buy expensive specialist tools that will just lie unused a lot of the time. So, I was very excited to find a mini bench-sander on sale at a local store that was exactly the sort of price I can afford and was also small enough to sit in the corner of my worktable...
At just £29.99 the Parkside Mini Bench Sander was exactly within my means and it is tiny. Obviously, it's intended for lightweight materials of a small size, but that's exactly what I will be working with. It will be great for smoothing off and rounding off my peg figures and also will allow me to sand at specific angles.
It also - rather importantly - comes with a a nozzle so that you can attach a vacuum cleaner to the machine so that you can such away sawdust while working. This is great as I don't want to make too much mess if I can help it. Here's a handy video review...
Aside from a circular sander, I'm will also be looking for a similarly small circular bench saw, a vertical drilling rig for my Dremel multi-tool and, finally, a mini- lathe (for turning my own 'peg soldiers). I already have a Dremel fret-saw.
I'll be getting a chance to try this sander out this week as I will be experimenting with some ideas for arms and feet for my peg soldier, which I will be sanding into shape from popsicle sticks!