The first thing you will need is a storage box or drawers for your equipment. A small box with a lid will be OK to start, but as you do more models the amount of paint and tools will grow and you will need more storage.
You will also need the following, although not all of these items are essential to build a model:-
Paintbrushes – at least 3 different sizes with a very small one for detailing.
Adhesive – A tube of adhesive or a bottle of adhesive with a lid brush.
Model knives, a small pair of scissors and wire cutters or sharp pliers
A bottle of thinners or white spirit
Small slotted and Phillips head screwdriver (a lot of kits come with these supplied if required)
Shallow dish or bowl of warm water (for decals)
Tube of model filler
Selecting a suitable model kit:
If this is the first kit you are going to build, it is wise to choose one that is fairly straightforward or frustration can set in if you find it tricky, and you will end up disappointed with the finished model.
In my experience the smaller the scale of the model the more detailed it is. Therefore, a 1/8th scale car will have larger but fewer parts than a 1/12th scale kit. The larger scale (1/8th for example) kits generally have pre-painted parts, i.e. bodywork, wheels & engine cases which are easier to build. With the correct methods however, even a more basic kit can look great.
It is also a good idea to pick one that is of a type that interests you, i.e. if you prefer rally cars it would be best to get a model of a rally car instead of a formula 1 car, that way you will find it more enjoyable to build and will take more care to ensure it turns out great.
Check the box contents:
When you open the box, check everything is there before you start to build it otherwise you may have problems returning it to the store. You may find a form in the box to order certain parts or decals if you find later something is missing. Most kits now come wrapped with cellophane so this shouldn’t be much of a problem but it can happen.