In the past several years I’ve had no less than four friends and relatives diagnosed with lung caner or similarly grave lung conditions. Most can not pinpoint the cause but none were smokers. This is a reminder to maintain a healthy respect for some of the materials we work with as a modeler and take proper safety precautions. At the top of the list is a respirator. No, a fabric dust mask is NOT a respirator. A decent respirator can be picked up at most hardware stores for around forty dollars. You can also order decent respirator masks online from companies like SciQuip ( for more information). Because there are so many ways to get your hands on a good respirator, there should not be an excuse for anyone who works in conditions that could prove hazardous for the lungs. Most people are smart enough to understand you need protection when working with spray paints but other work procedures aren’t so obvious. Individuals in metalwork professions ought to also wear welding safety respirators to protect themselves from things like detrimental respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Always wear a high-quality respirator when:

  • Spray painting indoors, even with acrylics

  • Using a hot wire foam cutter

  • Using a power sander on styrene or styrene/filler putty

  • Applying static grass

  • Cutting large resin castings such as piers, tunnel portals, etc.