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  • How to make a painting rig

    by Harry Colquhoun, reprinted with permission of New Wave Games Inc.

    How to Make
    a Painting Rig
    Have you ever been painting a
    miniature only to find that your thumb has rubbed off all the paint on a
    part of the mini? Or maybe, while trying to reach that small nook on the
    miniature, your paint-covered hands have smeared a streak of black over
    the part of the mini you just spent hours delicately blending? Or the very
    worst - you are almost finished painting only to watch the figure slip out
    of your hand and disappear into an open paint pot. This article will show
    you how to make a dirt cheap painting rig so that you can save your rage
    for activities such as driving, while greatly simplifying the painting
    process for you.

    Many painters attach their figure to a paint pot with a bit of tacky
    putty, but I've found that once in a while the mini will fall out
    (especially when turning upside-down), or that the paint pot was to small
    to really grab well. Here's a picture of one of my painting rigs in
    action, so you know what I'm talking about:

    The above
    rig cost me all of ten cents to make.

    To make something like this is very easy. The first step is to go
    into your local hardware store and find their lumber section. Most
    big stores around here carry a wide range of trim, and the stuff
    you're looking for is the semi-circle trim. I bought a twenty-foot
    piece of it for $3.50 at Home Depot, and then asked the salesperson
    to cut it into 4" pieces for me (look ma - no tools required!).
    If you don't have any copper wiring, I'd suggest picking up a small
    bit of it while you're at the hardware store as well.

    Now that you have the necessary parts, it's a simple task to put the
    thing together. Miniatures that have attached bases are a bit harder
    to work with, and they're covered in the next paragraph. For
    miniatures with slot bases, simply line up two 4" pieces of
    wood and put the slot of the miniature in the middle. Press real
    hard, and tape the two halves together right at the top where the
    miniature is. You can also tape around other parts of the stick to
    make it grip the miniature a bit better. See the picture below for
    an illustration of this method.

    Miniatures without that convenient slot are a little bit harder to
    set up, but with a bit of copper wire, anything is possible. As per
    the diagram below, wrap a bit of wire around the base of the mini
    and twist it up under the base so it is nice and tight. Do this
    twice, to form two pieces of copper hanging down. Then use this
    hanging bit of copper to secure the mini between the two pieces of
    wood. Tape it real tight, and that thing won't budge while you are

    Now you have a convenient handle on your mini!

    If you are really ambitious, you can also take a block of wood and drill holes in it to match the diameter of the mini handle. This way, you can stick all your current works-in-progress off together and in a place where nothing can rub up against them while you slave away bringing them to life. Plus, to the uninitiated, it looks like some bizarre voodoo shrine of little people. J

    The biggest benefit to having this type of handle is obviously for when you are painting your miniature, but an added bonus is that this makes priming your mini a breeze. You can spray the entire mini in one shot and get every nook and cranny, without having to touch a still-wet mini, or wait for one side to dry. There are fancier ways to make a rig like this, but considering the total $5 price tag for 20 plus rigs, this is a simple and cheap way to make your life easier.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Blutrilobite's Avatar
      Blutrilobite -
      Well, this is a different technique. I like to use a large cork stopper, the kind you find in the jar and bottle section of your local arts and crafts store like Hobby Lobby, regular corks from wine bottles also work well too. I simply place a small blob of Blu-Tak on the large cork stopper and stick whatever I'm painting to it and that's it!
      It might be a bit of a hunt to find a large cork stopper but it's worth it and comfortable too.
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