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Miniature painting Miniatures Painting tools Space Hulk WIP it good

WIP it good: trying out the painting handle

For today’s painting progress I queued up my favorite work/create album (shit, one of my overall all-time favorites), Nicolay’s City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya, and sat down with a couple of Terminators.

First up was yesterday’s throne boy, as I noticed I’d missed a couple of spots. I touched those up, then grabbed my new Citadel Painting Handle (paid link), dropped in Brother Scipio, and took it for a spin.

Throne boy and Brother Scipio

I also switched from painting over a paper towel to using my Gunpla cutting mat. Getting paint on that won’t cause any issues, and when I’m ready to start nipping my Deadzone minis off their sprues and trimming them down, it’s what I’ll be using anyway.

A decade ago, I used putty to affix a mini to a paint pot, wine cork, or other suitable object as a painting handle. It was fine, but always a bit of a pain — and sometimes they fell off. Metal minis in particular would work themselves loose over time.

One of the coolest things about this handle is that working upside-down is a breeze.

Turn that grim frown of eternal darkness upside-down

I also like that it has two “layers” of base grips built in. I’m using the top layer for Scipio. The bulbous grip shape is also easier on my fingers, which are a decade older too . . .

Like the Citadel water cup (paid link), the handle is one of those things that sounded unnecessary at first but is proving to be quite nifty.

Scipio, nearly fully base-coated

I need to finish up the base edges (and a couple hard-to-reach spots by his feet), and then go buy a pot of “Terminator visor/eye green” and dot those in — but apart from that, he’s fully base coated as well.

Base coat colors, as ever for these guys: P3 Khador Red and Marrow White, GW Leadbelcher, Lothern Blue, and Auric Armor Gold. TDB: green for the eyes.

Observations

Having gotten off the assembly line for two miniatures now, I’m 100% happier with this approach (as I speculated might be the case). Sure, it’s less efficient — but given that these miniatures have been in my possession for 11 years, is efficiency really my top concern? Completion is satisfying; seeing real progress in one painting session is satisfying.

I also found myself solidly in the mindful, relaxed yet focused state I talked a bit about in my post on realizing I secretly enjoyed miniature painting — that state of “washing the dishes to wash the dishes, not to have clean dishes,” of enjoying painting for the joy of painting.

Case in point: Brother Scipio, who never met a craft store he didn’t walk out with another yard of locally sourced vellum and a jar of decorative glass gems, is covered in scrolls and jewels. I discovered I love painting the little teardrop-shaped jewels, and I enjoyed taking a deep breath and trying to capture the “tails” of his decorative chest scroll. That feels damned good.

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Miniature painting Miniatures Painting tools

Laser-cut MDF paint racks from WarpedMindGames

My previous storage solution for miniature paints, brushes, and supplies was a fishing tackle box. It was nice for transporting my stuff to a friend’s place to paint together, but that didn’t last long and my paint collection has since outgrown the box.

It was time for a new solution, so I did some homework and landed on two racks from WarpedMindGames on Etsy. I bought the Imperial Paint Rack Linear and the Imperial Paint Rack Mini, both with holes sized for GW pots since that accounts for 90% of my paints. From price point to design, with the WH40K-esque eagles and staggered paint slots, these looked fantastic to me.

They arrive unassembled and smelling like burnt wood — which makes sense, given that they’re laser-cut MDF. Oddly, they smell like Christmas to me; it’s not at all unpleasant.

WarpedMindGames MDF paint racks, fresh out of the box

The larger one holds 45 GW paint pots (they offer other sizes, too) and has some slots for brush storage. This will juuuust about hold all of my current paints. I think.

The large rack

The mini includes a storage drawer, and I figured I could probably use it as a “local travel” rack — basically to stock it and set it wherever the best light is at the moment, which isn’t always at my office desk. (I know I should have a proper lighting setup — or, fucking A, a light arch — but one step at a time.)

The mini rack

I’m going to air them out a bit before assembly, so I extracted them from their shipping bags (they were quite nicely packed, with bubble wrap and all of the more fragile bits shielded from harm) to improve air circulation. Sometime in the next day or two I’ll get them assembled and see if they work nicely — which I expect they will.