10 Helping Hands for Assembling and Painting Models

Sometimes you need a hand when you assemble models and miniatures. Are you trying to glue small parts together in your scale model or miniature kit, and wished you had an extra hand? Do you need to airbrush a subassembly? A helping hand holder stand can go a long way to help.

In this article, I review a few of the helping hand systems that I’ve tried or researched during my earlier years in the hobby.

  • Even super glue can take some time to cure properly. Waiting for adhesive to dry can be risky when a model isn’t held together by other means.
  • A helping hand tool of some sort would be great in these situations when you’re trying to assemble scale models. Warhammer 40k miniatures, scale model trains, and other hobby kits require assembly.
  • I’ve tried all sorts of holder and helping hand systems, including soldering magnifying glasses with alligator clip stands.


Are you looking for soldering holders or clamps for model building? Need gluing hands to assemble or scratch build models for your next diorama? Take a look at some of these helping hand tools that could assist you in your hobby!

Top 10 best hobby assembly stands and helping hand tools

This is Games Workshop’s version of a third helping hand.

This is a fairly unique product in that it is designed to hold the bases of models from the Citadel line of miniatures. I’ve reviewed the other Citadel painting handles here. I love them so much I purchased 8 of these handles. For painting miniatures, there are other great model painting handles.

The Citadel Assembly Handle is the most versatile painting handle available on the market. It uses flexible arms attached to plastic clips (which are quite strong for holding plastic parts).

The entire system is useful for gluing and assembling miniatures. And, they don’t need to be miniatures from Games Workshop. Any model sub-assembly that can fit in the clips, and aren’t too heavy, could work well with this system.

Citadel Assembly Handle


  • Durable
  • Ergonomic
  • Will clamp model bases up to a medium-sized diameter
  • Flexible arms for the clips
  • Inexpensive


  • Limited to the assembly and holding of small light-weight parts
  • Clips are not strong (i.e., the clamping strength)
  • Length of the arms may limit the usefulness for larger models

This is a “gluing hands” or clip type holder for assembling models. The 6 alligator clips are attached to a flexible system of “sticks” or rods. They can slide along an arm-bar on the weighted-base.

Notably, the base is magnetized and sturdy. This is especially useful if you have a metal surface to attach this on.

It could even work against a vertical metal surface. The magnets would hold the system in place (as long as the weight you’re clipping isn’t too much).

The design helps to keep your hands free for an easier time working with fine scale models and sub-assemblies.

This is great for assembling small parts with glue or painting delicate, fine detailed parts. This is also superb for holding parts for airbrushing in a spray booth.

If you’re soldering any wiring, I might DIY an extra holder or use one of the other options, however; as this may be not be rigid enough for that application.

ABEST Hobby Parts Holder


  • Metal construction
  • Versatile applications
  • Stable with magnetic base
  • 6 independent clips for holding parts


  • May be a fragile system for heavier part assembly
  • Lower quality construction based on user reviews

This is a simple, but incredibly useful hobby clip and stand design.

There are 20 clips with rubber padded tips. The sticks and clips are ideal for holding parts together for spraying such as airbrushing or aerosol spray can priming application.

However, the sticks are not flexible in the stand, and therefore they are less useful for assembling model parts together.

Evemodel Painting Stand


  • Multiple clips (20)
  • Ideal for spraying applications
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Simple design and intuitive to use


  • Limited mostly to spray applications, e.g., priming and airbrushing
  • Not a flexible system
  • Clips may have trouble holding very small parts

This is similar to the Evemodel Painting Stand, except it is cheaper and comes with 10 clips and a stand.

The system is ideal for holding model parts and miniature assemblies for spray paint applications. The clips don’t have the rubber padded tips like the Evemodel system.

The sticks are not flexible so there is some limitation as a helping hand for assembling miniatures and models. I would recommend this for use in a spray booth or a means to hold painted sub-assembly parts as they dry.

Yamix Painting Stand


  • Small footprint (e.g., barely takes up space)
  • Portable
  • Great for spray applications
  • Inexpensive


  • Limited usefulness for assembling miniatures
  • Clips may have problems holding very small parts
  • May not hold heavier model parts, e.g., pewter or large sub-assemblies

This is a classic helping hands system for those of you who solder wiring and other electronic elements. You can buy this at any local hardware store, such as Home Depot.

A sturdy base with two clips on pivoting arms create a third hand tool that you may find useful for a variety of needs. Set screws tighten down the pivoting arms to keep the clips stable and your parts steady.

The two clips may be too far apart to hold model parts together while you wait for them to dry. But, for someone who needs to spray paint sub-assemblies or working with soldering, this is a classic tool.

Pros Kit 900-015 Helping Hands


  • Simple
  • Small footprint
  • Sturdy base
  • Locking arms with set screws


  • Arms may be too short for gluing and assembling multiple parts
  • Only two clips

This third helping hand system is designed as a soldering magnifying glass system. In fact, this is designed primarily as a soldering station with all the accessories that could help someone assemble (or disassemble) electronic parts.

Combining the helping hands with a magnifying lens and light is why I put this on the list. In many aspects of our miniature and scale modeling hobby, we simply need to see what we’re doing better.

This means better light and magnification.

The lens included in this system have a 2.5x to 10x magnifying power. The LEDs seem to be a bit weak and I would not rely on them.


Along with clips that can hold small pieces as we work on them, this fits all of these needs.

I would note an obvious point that this would be a poor choice for holding parts for spraying applications, e.g., airbrushing and priming.

Beileshi LED Light Helping Hands Magnifier


  • Classic design for soldering and working with magnification
  • Versatile magnification and LED combination
  • Great for holding and see small parts
  • Magnifying lens have variable power


  • Not good for spray applications
  • Clip arms will be limited for assembling needs (too far apart)
  • LED brightness is weak

This is the same helping hand magnifier system as the Beileshi system. But, the Ram-Pro is smaller, preferring a minimalistic approach.

The LED is attached to a flexible arm that allows you to focus the the light on particular areas of your working surface. The lens is glass and of sufficient power to see detail.

In both systems, the working distance between the lens and the subject is short. So, be aware that you won’t have a ton of room to work in under the magnifier.

The helping hand clips I reviewed above are the same kind as any other soldering helping hand system. The pivoting arm-clips can be locked-down using set screws.

The stand is weighted and should provide a stable system for holding your sub-assemblies for light duty detail painting, or gluing.

Ram-Pro Helping Hand Magnifier Stand Flexible Light


  • Small footprint
  • Flexible LED light
  • Useful magnifying glass for light duty work
  • Clips and arms are flexible and can be locked down with set screws
  • Low cost


  • Limited assembly application due to clip distance
  • Not useful for spray applications
  • Magnifying glass may not have enough working distance for every task

Take the soldering helping hands system in #5 (the Pros Kit 900-015 Helping Hands Soldering Aid), add a magnifying glass attachment, and you have the the system described here.

The Ram-Pro Helping Hands Magnifier Glass Stand with Alligator Clips does have a slight advantage over the other soldering assembly tools I have listed.


The arms and pivots have greater length and degrees of freedom. This makes this system more useful as a scale model or miniature kit assembly tool. The same locking screws keep the arms in place.

Given how inexpensive this helping hand tool is (~$10), it’s the best value of the bunch.

Ram-Pro Helping Hands


  • Simple, versatile design
  • Longer arms than other soldering helping hands
  • Clips operate with greater degree of movement
  • Sturdy, low footprint stand
  • Magnifying glass
  • Inexpensive


  • Top heavy in certain configurations
  • Does not have full arm flexibility for assembling small parts
  • Only two clips
  • Not the most useful tool for spray applications

Of all the helping hands systems, this is one of the most compelling tools on the market for holding components for gluing and assembly.

The four arms are useful for working with miniatures, scale model kits, crafts, jewelry, and other hobbies that require a third, extra hand for holding small parts.

The arms with clips are fully flexible and attached to a non-slip steel weighted base. This helping hand design is particularly useful for working with scale model trains and railroad kits.

Of course, this is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it is one of the better products I’ve found for assembling miniatures and other small-sized tasks.

KOTTO Helping Hands Soldering Tool


  • Four flexible arms with clips
  • Weighted base provides a sturdy foundation for work
  • The clips are strong enough to hold most miniature kit sub-assemblies (or combine clips for more holding strength)
  • Great for assembling as well as spray applications


  • More expensive than other third hand clip-holder products
  • Takes up a bit more space than other systems

This is the same product as #9 (KOTTO Helping Hands Soldering Tool), but with 5 arms instead of 4 arms.

Is this the best helping hand for assembling miniatures and working with scale model parts? It all depends on your need.

The flexible arms with clips has come in useful for me when I’m working with several parts at the same time. Gluing legs to a hip piece (i.e., 40K dreadnought, or Warmachine Warjack model) can be challenging because you need the position just right.

Moreover, this is one of the best helping hand holders for working with scale model trains and railroad kits. The flexible arms are great for scratch building pieces for your model railroad layout, and holding parts that need to be glued.

The neat part I noticed about this helping hand tool is the ability to combine the holding clip strength of two or more clips. If your subassembly is too heavy, just reach over and clip on another arm to hold everything together.

Sure, this is a little more expensive, but it’s worth the cost when you realize how much frustration you can avoid.

Finally, this works well as a holder for spraying applications, e.g., airbrushing or priming. It’s small enough to fit in a hobby spray booth, too.

KOTTO Holder Five Arms Helping Hands


  • 5 clips attached to fully flexible arms
  • Stable holding power
  • Configured so each clip can interact with another
  • Works well for assembly and spray applications
  • Good value


  • More expensive than other clip-holder systems

Final Word

The reason assembling miniatures and models is a risk for frustration is because we only have two arms.

It’s kind of like motorcycles. Wait, what? Yup! The reason motorcycles are so dangerous is because they only have two wheels. Riding a trike or quad is a much less risky.

Best third helping hand soldering stand for assembling and spraying miniatures

In several respects, adding more holders (aka helping hands) makes your hobby easier as well, and simply more enjoyable.

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