Sunday, April 10, 2011

DIY Miniature holders

Something that always irked me when painting is that it's kinda hard to hold your mini while painting it, and at the same time avoiding to touch the still curing paint. No matter how you do it's inevitable that you put your greasy paws on it. Unless you utilize some sort of "holder" for it.

The immediate solution is usually a paint jar and some bluetac. It kinda works, but a standard GW-pot (that's usually the best) is still a little too small. And a pot, still filled with paint is pretty light.

I used a bunch of the, now old style black fliptop, filled up with coins and some bluetac. It kinda works OK but it's not ideal. I especially hated to try and remove the bluetac from under the base after the mini has been sitting there for a couple of weeks.

Enter the wooden dowels!

The hate-o-raider, snikrot and some mini-holders.
I got myself a one meter long 30mm diameter wooden dowel that I cut in 10 centimeter pieces. I drilled a shallow hole in both ends and epoxied some left over magnets in the holes. The bottom magnet will hold the dowel in place on a steel ruler (handy if you're painting a squad) and the top magnet holds a mini. That is after you've added some cut up paperclips or similar to the bottom. For squads I guess it's just easier to buy a bunch of metal discs – like these – and glue them to the bases. Easily done when you're basing, and it adds some much needed weight for top heavy minis. (And you don't have to waste coins)

Paperclip secured with some Milliput
Heavier models, like Snikrot, will benefit from having some bluetac on the bottom of the wooden dowel. Lighter ones stay pretty much upright, even when you have two cats running around on the table.

Another benefit is that since the dowel is pretty thick, you can use two pins in the feet of heavy minis and secure them. I had a bunch of pin vices for stuff like this. But heavy models start to spin after a while and you have to reglue. Or you find yourself out of pin vices and have to remove a figure from one of them in order to be able to drill holes in something.

So, there it is! Now stop reading and finish painting that army! :)


  1. One paint pot might be too small, but I find that two pots tac'd together work quite well.

  2. i use an empty pill bottle with blue tac on the top. it seems to work well.

  3. I have two of the pill bottles from a US military first aid kit. Filled up with coins and some bluetac on top it works pretty well. If I didn't live in Sweden (where we don't have those pill bottles) I'd use them all the time.

    The only downside to the pill bottles is when you have to paint the mini and the base separate. It's hard to get the pins to sit properly without the mini moving around.