Scale Modeler's Man Cave

June 08, 2018

Scale Modeler's Man Cave

Every man have his own private room for his hobby, may he be an avid sports fan, a writer, a weekend game hunter, a musician or a gamer. Most people call these private rooms "man cave" for I guess they don't get out of that room unless called for lunch or dinner (so that means the men are considered "cave men"?). These so-called "man cave" can take in different forms, from just his own bedroom to a workshop which doubles as his office too.

Hobbyist's man cave, especially of those scale model builders, belongs on the latter category, where they usually spend hours on ends to finish a specific model, sometimes may take up to a month for some high-end models with very intricate and delicate parts (which is from about a hundred to thousands of them). Scale model builders need just only a table and a few tools but those hardcore ones may require specialized set-ups for their man cave.

Some Scale modelers turn their hobbies into a business, selling model kits of all sorts, like:

  • Scaled-down model airplane kits of all sorts for the aviation enthusiasts

  • Scaled-down model car kits, from racing to basic car models for people who enjoys collecting them

  • Scaled-down model armor kits such as tanks and military vehicles from WW2 to the modern ones

  • Scaled-down model ships for the avid naval hobbyists

  • Scaled-down science fiction ships and robots for people who loves to collect them, such as anime lovers and science-fiction film buffs.

    These scale models are not your typical die cast or plastic models which you can buy pre-made, these are the ones that come disassembled and come in multiple sprues.

    Also, the scale model builders are also the ones who paint them and add decals using sophisticated methods to attain that realistic look on their finished models.

    Other scale model builders will take it to the next level by making it a part of a complex diorama complete with a detailed base.

    So, how can a scale modeler achieve this? Of course, just like other hobbies, you need the knowledge to build one, the imagination to visualize your goal, long hours of tedious and meticulous work, and of course, a place where they can totally focus on their build complete with all the tools needed to complete the task.

    So, how can you turn your desired place into a scale modeler's man cave/workshop?


    First Thing is First

    For you to be able to focus on your work and also to have a place where you can build your scale models and keep them, you need to look first for your ideal location. There are a couple of things that you need to remember and plan ahead. Ask yourself these questions:

    How much space do you need?

    How many scale models do you have and can they all fit on your planned room for display?

    How much will it cost to renovate the attic or the basement for my man cave?

    Once you completed your current stock of scale models, will your man cave accommodate other future projects and builds?

    Aside from your scale models, both unassembled and ready for display, can your planned room accommodate other things like a compressor for painting?

      After answering these questions, you may already have a clear picture of what your man cave may look like. You can also check this one: CUSTOMIZING A MAN'S CAVE. If you decided to have your man cave at your home, then you have a few options on where you can place your man cave/workshop:

      If you have a spare room in your house, like a guest bedroom which is not used for a very long time, you can use it as your base of operations.

        Good thing about this is that it is already furnished (since it is a spare bedroom, there is no need to repaint the walls or double check the wirings).

        The only thing you need is to take out the furniture that you thing you will not use (such as the bed) and take in the shelves and a workshop table.

        Opting for the attic, it will be tricky unless all the things you'll going to need is already inside. You may need to clear out the attic, like setting aside the stored items which you will not need in one corner, or even bring them down and look for another location to hide them (this will be a very arduous work, moving down things from the attic, especially heavy things that may not fit into the staircase).
          If you choose the garage, the advantage of this is that all the tools that you need (plus some extra ones that you may not commonly need, but may come in handy on some situations) are already present and kept here, the only thing you need to worry about is that will you and your kits fit in even the car is parked inside. And also, I cannot guarantee that this is a greaseless and clean place for your kits.
            And lastly, if you go with the basement, well, the nice thing about this is, this is the most peaceful and quiet place in the house (you are underground and no one will hear you scream! hahaha! just kidding). And also, it has the same issue as the attic for there are also a lot of things that is in there that you need to either move out or set aside.

              Once you already have chosen your ideal place, let's go down with the preparations.


              Prep Time

              At this point, you have a lot of things to move around and also, prepare yourself for a lot of cleaning. Basic tasks will include:

              • Clear out all the things inside the room, and dust off the walls, ceiling corners, and windows (for the spare room and attic). Sweep the floor clean too.

              • Check all the wires for possible damage and replace them if needed. After that, tuck the wires within the walls or run them along the ceiling corners or pillars and secure them with cable staples.

              • If repainting is needed, (especially if there are large patches of paint shaved off or discoloration on the paint due to dripping water or moisture) you need to scrape off the original paint on the wall before repainting or adding wallpaper.

              • You can use liquid paint removers for they use chemical activity to break down the paint's chemical structure, making it soft and easy to remove with your scraper.

                If you choose this option, read the safety directions carefully and follow it thoroughly.

                • Wear protective gloves and eyeglasses and work in a well-ventilated area (don't use this if your basement is not ventilated). Apply the liquid as directed and let it do its job for the specified amount of time.

                • Clean the floor afterwards.

                • Prepare the walls for paint or wallpaper application. Apply the primer first and let it dry, and then apply a few coats of your desired paint (you can choose your ideal color for the walls and ceiling).

                • If you want to show off your artistic side, let the base coat dry first before painting your desired design on the walls. You can also purchase some "man cave" wall art and place it on the wall if you like.

                • Make sure to cover the things that you don’t want to paint (such as the switch, power outlets and bulb sockets) with masking tape.

                • Check if the floor too needs repainting (unless if it is made of tiles, of course). If it does, clean the floor first and if it has an existing paint, remove them first, and afterwards apply your desired floor paint (either rubber-based or epoxy-based). Read the directions carefully too.

                • After the cleaning, paint application and drying, place in your lights (Visit Man Cave lights for awesome tips) and it is time to bring in the furniture that you need.

                    Bring in the Big Things

                    At this point, you have now a clean yet empty room; so far we are already through with the hardest part. Now it's time to haul in the "man cave" furniture. Keep in mind that you need to let in first the most important ones, such as:

                    Your work table where you will do all your builds. I suggest having a long table so that you have a lot of space to put in all the things that you might need during your work.
                      Shelves, and lots of it, depending on how much model kits you have or planning to have in the future.

                        Have at least a few wall-mounted shelves installed and at least one installed just on top of your work table (just overhead when you work) to where you can place other important things (such as your paints and paint bottles) that you may need.

                        Reserve the shelves with wall riser for your model kits (don’t forget to label the partitions so that you won't get confused later when you place your kits later on according to their categories).

                        Your own office chair so that you can just roll around your work desk. It is a good idea to either choose an office chair maid of either mesh or leather and has a head rest on it, just in case you will get asleep while working.
                          Also include a few "man cave" stools just in case someone would come over. Ready at least 3 stools kept under your work table all the time. Who knows, your wife or your friends would come over and see you work. (you can look for our available stools at gentsterritory.com.au for the best ones that will suit your budget).
                            A shelf with a glass cover on where you can display your finished builds.
                              This is optional if you have small place but if you can fit in your computer or a laptop, then go ahead.

                                Net connectivity is important if you frequently order model kits abroad (like Japan or Hong Kong) and would always get updated with your order details.

                                If you are planning to buy a compressor, choose the smallest one available if your don't have a enough space for a large one. If you really need a large compressor, you can install it outside and run through the wall to your man cave/workshop in you need to paint small parts.
                                  A sound system, if you like, although optional.

                                    Those are pretty much the essentials that you need on your workshop. Next and last thing to do is adding the decorations.

                                    Setting Up the Theme

                                    This is pretty much the last thing you need to add on your scale modeler's man cave/workshop. Do not over-decorate your workshop since you will be having limited space left. In this category also includes all the small yet important things that you need.

                                    Arrange your work table first by adding all the necessary things that you need when building your model kits, this may include a small plastic drawer to be placed on top of your work table to keep screws, bolts, air brush and other small tools inside, a cutting board to protect your table (much better if the cutting board have measurements on it), and few containers just in case.
                                      A tool rack just directly in front of you for easy access.
                                        A magnetic white board where you can write some reminders and clip there some important receipts using magnets.
                                          You can use a metal mesh rack installed instead of the tool rack, where you can hang things using hooks.
                                            A table lamp with a bendy neck (much better if with a magnifier)either installed on the table or on the wall in front of you.
                                              A few notebooks just in case you need to write down something important.
                                                For decors, you can use any "man cave" décor that you want, such as manufacturer posters, calendars, banners and so on, as long as they can still fit on your wall after installing various wall shelves and also as long as they won't impede you from easily accessing the things that you would like to get from the shelves.
                                                  You can also add led strips running on your ceiling corners to add ambience to your place.
                                                    A fire extinguisher, just in case.

                                                      So there you go, those are just a few things that you can add on your man cave/workshop. Keep in mind that all the things here on the guide are just basis on what you might need, and at the end of the day, it is still your own personal space and you can pretty much do anything you want with it. 

                                                      Just remember, the purpose of your man cave is to disconnect you from any distraction outside and to let you focus on building your project build to the fullest. So go ahead and let yourself do the thing that you want the most.