There are times when I am seeking to replicate a certain type of detail and have need of relatively small circles or discs. As is frequently the case, the military modeling community has recognized the need and already developed a solution.
Many years ago, Waldron produced two punch and die sets. One was dubbed “miniature” and the other was “sub miniature”. They were excellent tools that did the job well. Unfortunately, mine were submerged in a basement flood and the thin rods developed rust, which was not conducive to smooth operation. Compounding the problem, Waldron ceased operations, making it difficult to find replacements.
Enter RP Toolz. They produce a set that is more robust than those from Waldron, and also include a small hammer. As soon as I found out about the set, I ordered one. Unfortunately, it took about a month for the parcel to arrive from eastern Europe. Patience...
What do I use it to do? Primarily any circumstance where I need a circular disc-shaped piece of material. While I use it for many things, the two most common details are simulating the attachment portion of a grab iron, towing loop, door handle, etc., and push pole pockets.
|Wire grabs (plus sill steps and scratchbuilt route card holder) on a Proto 2000 flat car)|
|Ladder detail and wire towing loop on a Proto 2000 box car|
|Push pole pockets on a kitbashed Proto 2000 gondola|
Yes, it's not a cheap tool, but it is one I use regularly.