I moderate r/warhammer over on Reddit. I run a weekly thread where noobs can come in and ask noobular type questions, and its a good time. One of the most common questions I see is "what tools do I need for this hobby?" Well here you have it. I have plagiarized my own work here from another blog I ran a few years ago (The Wargaming Anarchists Cookbook) but it seemed a nice place to re-introduce this post. I hope its a nice starting point for some of you noobs out there. Enjoy!
Here we have the standard tool of tools, the hobby knife. You want to get the kind with removable replaceable blades, so when they get duller than the current Chaos Space Marine Codex you can replace them. Unlike this one here. I will change it when I'm damn good and ready. In all cases, be fucking careful with these... a fresh blade will slice through your hand like it ain't no thang.. you won't even feel it at first this shit is so sharp. Next thing you know you are dripping blood on your new pants your mom just bought you, feeling woozy and SLAM! Head right down on the table amidst your plastic space men parts. Use caution okay kids?
Here we have the sprue cutter. This is an invaluable tool. I use mine for everything... removing parts from sprue, trimming parts, conversions such as cutting off hands and heads, and the occasional back-alley Bris. Also handy in the bedroom, and fuck, it even makes fries in 7 different ways! 7! Anyswayze, you want this to safely remove parts from the sprue, cause I know what your little nooby ass is thinking, "I will just twist them till they come off!" NO, BAD MOVE MY LITTLE HOMBRE. This is a good way to break those delicate parts, and generally ruin a perfectly good piece of expensive plastic. Use sprue cutters you goofy bastard.
Super glue. Get some. I prefer the thicker kind. This will allow you to add a drop, and it not run all over the goddamn place while you are fumbling to get the other piece lined up with it. Use sparingly, or don't listen to me cause I glob this shit on as though the fate of the universe depended on it. Whatever you decide keep your hands away from your naughty bits if you get some of this on you, nothing is more embarrassing than going to the ER and having to explain to the Doc that you glued your hands to your nutsack while trying to make plastic space men. Trust me on this.
Plastic cement. This is an option for you, obviously only for gluing plastics. Thus the name, Plastic cement. I hate that I have to bring that up, but as usual, I only bring it up cause some goofball has probably tried to glue metals or other shit together with it. No Mr. Wizard, its time for you to head back to Hogwarts for another semester... plastic cement is for plastic only. Anywhoo, I don't like plastic cement as much, because it creates too strong a bond for my taste... sometimes I get all antsy in the pantsy and want to remove an arm or a leg to redo a model, and a superglued joint will snap apart nice and clean... not so with plastic cement, it melts the plastic together, and once its together, its together... if you try to pull any arms off you will find the weaker parts of the model snapping off, and there you are with the elbow joint of your favorite xenos, thinking to yourself, "I need to switch to superglue."
The pin vise... this is a handy little tool that is nothing more than a drill bit on a nifty little handle. Use this for drilling out gun barrels for that realistic look (pew pew pew!!) or for drilling holes to attach pins, for pinning heavier bits of models together. Also handy for drilling tiny peepholes in bathroom walls. Hehehe.
Get some files! Super handy for removing those exta bits of plastic, or flattening out pieces to make them fit. Get different shapes and sizes if you can. Keep some brushes around to clean them off!
Ok, so I think that's the basic shit to get you started. Check out any decent hobby store nearby and get your shop on. At the very least get a hobby knife and some good glue. Over time you will find the tools that work best for you, and you will soon find out what you really need. Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously, we are playing with little plastic guys for fucks sake.