Agora Models supplies everything needed to build the model, but I have put together a list of items that I found that improve the experience. These are just suggestions, there is no need to do it exactly this way.
This model is going to take a long time to build, so having a good work space to assemble it is important. I created a dedicated location with a small table and laid down a self-healing 24×36″ craft mat by Dahle:
This has a black background with a 1/2″ grid, imperial and metric rulers, and is big enough to cover my workspace.
This partwork build requires a lot of super gluing parts together. Super glue or CA (CyanoAcrylate) glue is quite common, but I have had really good experiences using these Loctite liquid and gel applicators:
A few basic tools are provided along with the build parts. However, I found that these tools are not that great, so instead I used this precision screwdriver/tool set by ORIA:
This set has many other useful tools such as different sharp-point tweezers, razor knife, magnetizing block, pry tools, etc.
Another screwdriver set I picked up is fantastic, but it does not contain any of the other tools. This is the iFixit Manta Driver Kit:
This model is assembled using hundreds of tiny screws. The screws are marked by Agora Models with designations like AP, BP, AM, CM, etc. As there will be many types of plastic screws (ending in P) and metal screws (ending in M), keeping them organized is extremely helpful. And, since extra screws are included in every stage, you will need someplace to store them all.
I bought a cheap 36-slot organizer from Amazon but any similar product would work fine. I taped the small designation labels included with the screw bags into each compartment to keep everything tidy.
I still recommend pre-threading all of the metal holes with the correct screw before attaching things into place. This simply involves driving the intended screw into each hole and removing it before actually fastening anything together. The screws are made of harder metal than the die-cast parts so they should create threads in the metal. This will make the actual connection straighter and easier to use.
However, a complete game-changer for installing metal screws is to pick up some 3-in-One Multi-Purpose Oil and add a tiny bit to the tip of each metal screw (or into the hole). Using this oil, the metal screws go in much easier and will rarely bind, break, or strip.
Custom Modifications (Mods)
If you plan on modifying your ship, you may want to look into some of the many mods available to us before you start building.
See my MODS page for details.
Finally, there are a lot of other Agora Models 1:24 scale FDNY Tower Ladder 9 model builders online where you can learn more about the kit, build tips and tricks, videos, ask questions, and join discussions. Don’t be a stranger, we are friendly!
World of Wayne
This set of videos from Wayne Green documents his build of the Agora FDNY Ladder 9 over in the UK. His videos are fantastic and provide a lot of detail and camera angles for each issue.
The Makers Cave
Steve Willans in the US is also building this fire truck on his channel from a beginner’s perspective. They are a great watch!
There are also Facebook groups dedicated to the build. There is a ton of information and help to be found. Some of the groups I visit are:
Stage 01 – Rear Left Tires/Wheel/Hub Cap, Ladder Name Plate, Hose Pack/Nozzle/Connector