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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.

Categories
Miscellaneous geekery

A high-tech worry stone

I’m often full of restless energy, and I like to fiddle with things while I think. A year or so ago I finally figured out that, hey, maybe it’d be useful to keep some dedicated “fidget toys” handy to keep my hands busy, rather than just using whatever’s nearby.

I’ve tried and set aside a lot of different options over the past few months, and last week I found one that hits a lot of high notes for me.

Not just any worry stone

Most worry stones I’ve seen are smooth, sometimes with a recess for your thumb. I find textured (or mixed smooth/textured) things more fun to fiddle with, so I wanted something different. I considered a coin, but as interesting as coins are, they don’t always offer much texture — and the ones large enough to fiddle with tend to be heavy, too.

I wanted something light, textured, silent, air travel-friendly, and pocketable that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows in social settings. I also wanted something that would, if possible, convey to other folks that I’m not bored, just bleeding off energy.

I stumbled across a worry stone by SoCal Knifeworks, in their Etsy shop, and I love it.

A tiny ottoman

The top is polished galaxy green Kirinite:

And the bottom is green/black G-10 with irregular “bites” taken out of it:

I know Kirinite and G-10 primarily as knife handle materials, and I imagine that’s part of the reason this knifemaker uses them for worry stones: He’s already used to working with this stuff. G-10 and Kirinite are light, incredibly tough, and come in all sorts of flavors.

There’s a lot going on in the Kirinite, including sparkles, swirls, and occlusions; it’s hard to capture in a photo. The G-10, being composed of layers of fiberglass and resin, can have some texture to it depending on how it’s finished. My “stone” has a mix of polished and slightly rough surfaces on the bottom.

And it looks like a little ottoman:

Dimension-wise, it’s 1 11/16″ long, 1 3/8″ wide, and 3/8″ thick, and weighs almost nothing — just 0.7 oz. This is a great size and shape in-hand, but also for spinning on the table, standing on edge, setting flat so it won’t slide off the desk, and so on. I love fiddling with it.

It’s exceptionally well-made (good knifemakers are amazing with details!), with no sharp corners, a well thought-out shape and form factor, and a completely seamless transition between the two materials. I couldn’t be happier with it.