You are going to need some basic tools in order to get going on your first kit.
These are the tools that you need to get your models off of the sprues (see Miniature Basics) and built into something that looks like a paintable model.
1. Sprue Clippers- this invaluable tool will allow you to clip the model components off of the sprue, rather than breaking them off. This is a must have tool right out of the gate.
2. Super Glue- works great on plastic, resin, and metal kits. This is best left for an adult, as if you are not careful you can either glue parts to your fingers, or glue your fingers together. Glues are available at both hobby stores and places like Target. Try to find one with a fine tip so that you can control the flow of glue out of the “bottle”.
3. Undercoat- regular paint does not “stick” very well to plastic or resin. You have to first undercoat or prime your models with paint that is designed to bond with the plastic and provide a nice smooth layer for the paint to go on top of. Think priming a piece of wood before painting it. This undercoat comes in two forms, paint-on and sprayable.
The sprayable version is the one that I use, but it can be a bit temperamental. You have to use the spray when it is not too hot, humid, or cold, and you have to maintain an even coat, to prevent clogging the detail on the model. It comes in black and white. I use black as all of my models tend to be in a darker style. Use white if you are going to paint really bright colors, or use white as one of your primary colors.
There is also an individual paint that you can buy to hand paint your undercoat on.
Here is an example of an undercoated model…
There are other tools that are not essential, but that you will probably accumulate over the years.