Some recent discussion on the Auckland Wargaming Club group about dips and washes referenced the Tabletop Terrain blog (another New Zealand wargaming website), and while I’d past by occasionally, I hadn’t had a particularly thorough look around – when I did I came across an interesting reference to Dremel Tools being available locally here in Auckland, NZ, for a reasonable price. Previously I was unaware of them being available for reasonable money – I have seen them occassionally in the Hardware chain stores, but up to NZ$300-NZ$400 for a basic tool with no attacehmnts! So if you really wanted one it paid to import them from the US or Australia but still worked out fairly costly. Anyway needless to say I visited the Test ‘N’ Tools Website (they are located here in Auckland), and found them available (as Stu at Tabletop Terrain had said) for much more sensible prices, so I promptly ordered the Dremel 300 pack (essentially a starter pack with the Dremel Tool in a case and a small selection of attachments).
Like Stu at Tabletop Terrain I also bought the keyless chuck adapter too so I could use conventional drill bits with it as well. I ended up talking to the owner, Grant, who was especially helpful and sounds like a top chap. He is more than happy to discuss uses with customers, and recommend the correct attachments for different uses – so great service. Cost for the Dremel 300 is now NZ$119 (thanks partly to the GST increase in October), and the Keyless Chuck was NZ$32. Having a ‘power tool’ to do some of those monotonous or fiddly wargaming tasks (such as grinding off base flash, drilling out holes for standard-bearer wire, grinding off resin flash from terrain models – careful not to inhale the dust though – or model making & scratch building) will be a real pleasure that will be a big improvement from manual filing/sanding, and drilling with a hand-held pin-vice.
While I was at it I popped down to my local Bunnings and picked myself up a simple desktop vice – this has a suction cup on the bottom so it can be secured reasonably well to any clean, smooth surface (like a kitchen bench or table, or desk, as well as the obvious work bench or such). Having the Dremel it will be most useful to have a decent mount for figures or models when working on some of those more awkward or intricate jobs to ensure the object is held securely, etc. And it features an adjustable ball mount so the vice can be but at any angle or plane. This particular ‘Sheffield’ vice (Imported by AHM in NZ) cost about NZ$44.