One of the primary tools that I use is a Panavise. This highly adaptive tool performs it intended function flawlessly. The size and ease of operation, its quality and high level of accuracy plus wide range of accessories allows the user to configure the vice to their specific needs making this an excellent choice for any model builder.
I use my Panavice to hold the primary sub-assemblies (hull, turret, etc), allowing me to utilize both hands as required, especially when attaching small parts. Additionally the vice is utilized during the painting and fishing process as well. Since the vice is designed to rotate through nearly 360 degrees of multiple axis allowing you to position your model in almost any angle that is needed. When mounted onto the five pound (2.3kg) base you are assured that your model will not move on you while working on it but is not permanently mounting it to your work surface, allowing you set it aside when not in use.
The Vice come in three boxes and goes together quite easily and in a matter of minutes.
The photographs below give the general dimensions of the vice in its full extended and lowered positions.
After a short time of using the vice I discovered that if I wished to hold a turret from the inside by the turret ring the jaws of the vice would need to be modified a little.
The next few photos show how I use the vice to hold the major assemblies of the lower hull and turret. For the lower hull using the modified jaws allows you to utilize an inside grip and the groves allow for an outside grip. And once more the turret held from the inside.
WARNING: When using this method apply only the enough pressure to hold the item.
DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN AS THIS WILL DEFORM AND/OR WARP THE PLASTIC PART
WARNING: DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN AS THIS WILL DEFORM AND/OR WARP THE PLASTIC PART
In a previous build I used a plastic cylinder fitted with shims to attach to the bottom of the turret. I then placed the cylinder into the vice and tightened just enough to firmly hold it.
My preferred method of holding the model in the vice is to attach the lower hull to a block of wood. This prevents any possible deformation/warping of the parts. However there are some draw backs. A hole is drilled through the bottom of the hull so that an attachment screw can be used to fix the build to the block. And if you are planning to do an interior with complicates the building process. The following photos show how I use this block method.
These last photos show the vice in use.
If you have any comments and/or question please feel free to leave a comment.
Enjoy and Happy Modeling