Hobby Elements Molding Flash Sander Review
|Date of Review||November 2014||Manufacturer||Hobby Elements|
|Subject||Molding Flash Sander||Kit Number||HE7001T|
|Primary Media||High quality steel bits||Pros||Turns your Dremel into a precision sander|
|Cons||Nothing noted||MSRP (USD)||$25.00 + postage|
I was recently contacted through our Cybermodeler Online Facebook page by Hobby Elements in Hong Kong who have produced a new tool set for Dremel and similar rotary tools. This is a molding flash sander set that contains five bits ranging from rough to ultra fine and fit perfectly in my Dremel Stylus or Dremel tool. They had published an interesting video on YouTube which got my attention and they graciously sent along a set for review.
Each of the five bits are made from a very high quality steel and according to Hobby Elements, the abrasive is not diamond but a similar material that is uniform in grit and bonded to the steel for extended life. These bits are cleaned using a brass wire brush (not included). Of course I had to try these out.
Here is the intake trunk from a Kinetic Models 1/48 F-16C kit and while I focused on removing the seam inside the intake during assembly, you can see that there is a definitive step on the outside of the trunk.
I started with the medium grit bit running at around 5000 rpm and the step disappeared rather quickly. The pointed tip allowed my to get into the corners of the intake mounts and remove any remnant of the step as well. I followed this with a quick pass using the super fine bit and take a look for yourself:
While the set is designed for removing mold lines (which it also does nicely), you can see how well it takes care of seam problems as well. What's nice about this concept is that you can't bear down on the tool without quickly gouging the plastic. If you don't bear down (like you would with a sanding stick), you're not creating a flat spot on your seams. There are no flat spots in the seam lines above and any slight imperfections were removed using the finer bit. The design of the tool allows you to get into areas that are already assembled or otherwise hard to access and take care of a molding imperfection that may be causing assembly/fit problems.
After trying out the tool, I contacted Vincent Po, owner of Hobby Elements and he shared some useful information. While I was using the bits at roughly 5000 rpm, he recommends 12,500 rpm for optimum performance, though the modeler can start at a lower speed (like I did) and work up to a speed comfortable for them. The bits work as well with resin parts as with styrene so you can open flashed-over areas or casting imperfections with ease and without harming the intended details.
I decided to try this on the tubular frame of the AMT 1/72 Space 1999: Eagle kit and filmed that trial for you:
At present, Hobby Elements does not yet have a website though they are on Facebook. You can contact them for more information or to order via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like my Iwata airbrushes, these Molding Flash Sander bits have just become an essential tool set on my workbench as I work through my backlog of build projects.
Here is a look at their YouTube demonstration video.
My sincere thanks to Hobby Elements for this review sample!