Thanks for the tips. I am trying to be careful to only buy tools that do two things, save time and give better results. If a tool does not meet those requirements, I don't bother. That said, I am also capable of getting what I call "the big eye", when introduced to a new shiny new tool, and have bought things that I probably don't need as well. But for me, money is so tight, I have to be extremely frugal and have resorted to making my own gear. For instance, those little paint sticks sold by model shops, basically a alligator clip attacked to a stick, they sell at ridiculous prices. I bought 50 clips and 100 BBQ sticks for less than a set of ten pre-made paint sticks. Took me ten minutes to assemble 15 sticks. The next home made, or really bought tool, a cat scratching board. It is exactly the same as the paint stands sold for modeling, only cost one third the price. I also made my own PE bending tool, it's not perfect, but does the job that the Small Shop wants $100 for.
As for paints, this is where living in the Philippines really sucks. There is very little support for model building, with only a handful of hobby shops in the entire country. They have a very hard time keeping stocks of paints, and they are usually overpriced. I am looking into making my own thinners, as that will free up money for actual paint. Mostly the only brand available at these shops, is Tamiya. The other paints, AK, Vallejo, lifecolor etc, are "exotic", what limited stocks there are, are expensive.
Kits are also extremely limited, so most of mine come from ebay, shipping and import duties are killing me. Like you, I focused on modern US equipment, stuff that I either drove myself, or worked closely with/caught a ride on. Once I fill those desires, I will move towards WWII gear. My scale is 48th and 35th, but I want to go bigger when possible, the price between these scales is often very minimal, so worth it in my eyes. Speaking of eyes, 72nd is way to small for me. My eyes are getting bad, but my sausage fingers make those tiny part impossible to manipulate.
Anyway, I am still trying to figure out this site, it's very different than my other forums (britmodeller.com, arc). I did not even know how this site worked for the first 6 months. Once I figured out how to find kits and the aftermarket upgrades, it became my "go to" site for all things model building. I will see if I can check out your WIP, hope to talk with you there.
15. July at 06:28:58