If you have never built a model of any kind, I recommend starting with the IHC kits. These kits are available for under $20 and are a good place to start. The IHC kits are all around the same level of difficulty, so choose any of the kits that you prefer.
If you have some experience with model building and would like to start with a Faller kit, I recommend starting with the less expensive kits, such as: Octopus, Jupiter, Tea Cups, Chairoplane, Merry-Go-Round, or Swingboats. The more expensive a kit, the higher the difficulty.
Supplies & Equiptment Needed:
You will need a good hobby knife with some extra blades. "Exacto" knives are inexpensive & do the job.
You will also need model glue. I started with Testors glue, using toothpicks to apply it to the model pieces. This works just fine, however I have since moved on to using Faller's model glue. This glue comes in a bottle with a needle tip, so is much easier to apply.
A transformer or power pack is needed in order to operate the models off of household current. One of these is capable of operating several rides at the same time. Prices range from $20 - $200, giving you a range of power & features.
Be sure to select one that has both AC and DC connections. The Faller rides operate from the AC connections and the IHC rides operate from the DC connections.
Testors enamel model paint gives a durable & glossy finish. Enamel paint does take some time to dry, usually several hours. Testors does have a large range of colors - including some great metallic colors & brush-on metal flake. If you plan on using enamel paint, don't forget to have some paint thinner on hand to clean your brushes. Odorless paint thinner can be found at art supply stores.
Acrylic paint, although not as durable as enamel, gives a matte finish. Water based & quick drying, this type of paint can be mixed easily to create any color. There are many brands available such as: Apple Barrel & Folk Art. 2oz. bottles are usually under $1 & a little goes a long way.
You will need to have on hand a few different sizes - ranging from the smallest you can find (size 00 or size 000), to something in the range of 1/4" or 1/2" wide. You may want to have a separate set for enamel paints and acrylic paints. If you are anything like me (I paint a lot!), get several of the smallest size - as you will wear them out pretty fast.
measuring tape or ruler
Some of the Faller kits require you to measure. You will need a measuring tape or ruler with metric measurements (millimeter/centimeter).
Clamps are always good to have on hand. Every now & then you will run into situations where you need them. They are also great to hold the figures while painting them & enable you to set them down between coats of paint. Sometimes you can get away with using a clothespin (spring type).
I have a great small metal file that came in an "Exacto" kit. It is rounded on one side, flat on the other & tapers to a point. Great for filing the kit pieces smooth. Emery boards will also work for this purpose.