Sunday, 21 August 2011

Operation "Table Clear" Begins

I am probably not alone in having the dilemma, that I simply don't have the space I would like to store my hobby stuff and so, am stuck cramming what I can, in where it fits. And the same goes for my painting table. Which periodically gets overwhelmed with piles of bits. Sometimes gaming related, other times not. And so I am now faced with this!

The Painting Table - It is under there somewhere!
And so "Operation Table Clear" swung into action today. Sadly courtailed due to me not feeling well, but I got a bit done. 

On a more practicle and informative note, to my rambling. Though cluttered and a mess. There is a logic to the layout. I have two day light lamps with floruescent bulbs that I can pose and move round. The reason for two, to counter the contrast shadow! Ie, one lamp gives heavy shadow in the opposite direction. So haveing two, facing roughly 45 degrees toward each other when I am paitning helps cut the shadows and see the detail properly. That way I know for sure, when I accidently paint over it and can curse accordingly. Yes we have all done it, havent we?

At the base of the right hand lamp is a stack of paintbrushes and pots i store them in, sometimes. I work with a range of brushes, but for figures I have been using the sable brushes by EM-4 Miniatures. They are not Series-7 quality, but they are good. The other big thing I use, and is hidden in that pile somewhere, is a pot of "The Masters Brush Soap". Its seriously good stuff. If you want to keep your paint following off your brushes and make your bristles last. Then buy some. Its not cheap, for the amount you get, but it lasts a long time, so don't worry when you see the size of the pot. It helps condition the bristles of sable brushes. It keeps the organic oil content up and thus helps retain an even flow and surface tension, meaning you don't get blobbing of paint or streaking as badly as you drag the bristles over you figure or surface.

It is also handy for recovering brushes which have accidentaly been left to dry solid with paint on. Simple brush across the soap, slightly wetted and leave for a few hours. Wash out and repeat and even the worst caked bristles can be liberated. It also works on oils, enamels and acrylic paints I believe. Though I solely use water based acrylics for my miniatures.

I have two pots of water on that table. A wash pot, or Jam-jar where I wash out, my brushes between colours. And the small blue egg cup. I use this to hold distilled water. Why distilled water.. ie the stuff for car batteries. Because minerals in water, like carbonates etc can effect our paint colours over time as they oxidise. Ie the lime scale factor. By keeping my dilution water separate, I avoid tainting the paint on the pallet and so get less wastage.

Talking of paints, I use cheap plastic art pallets, but have been tempted to try a "wet palette". If you don't know what one is, look it up on you-tube for the moment. I will do a full review once I give it a try and see how it work with the paints I use.

I tend to work with one colour at the time. I try and ensure I have all my paints to hand, but have a separate storage box for those, I keep by the side of the table. I tend to take out about four or five colours at a time and work with those,, painting my miniatures from the inside out. Ie lower layers of cloths, then out layers and finally shoes, and webbing, kit, armour, etc.
Once I have it tied up, I will run over the benefits of a well laid out work space.

But at least my shelves are holding up to the weight of white metal..

The majority of what is on the black shelves is 28mm White Metal WW2 Figures, and 1/56th Scale Vehicles. Infact the clear 35ltr storage box, contains over 30 or more. I am surprised the shelves haven't collapsed.

So my intended productive day of tidying up, went by the wayside, due to not feeling to well. But at least i located my first bag of vietnam figures from Force of Arms. See my next post.

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