Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Way: Paint Stick

The Paint Stick: I am absolutely certain that I’m not the first to think of this technique, but it’s new to me and it has struck me so firmly that I felt it best to share. I mentioned last time that I’m trying to re-think even some of my most basic, commonsensical habits with the hobby, if for no other reason that many of these have become exactly that: commonsensical, habitual. 

Quick Note: Primer. I've been using Armory's Black Primer and I've enjoyed the results tremendously. I don't have a strong opinion here, as I've found them to be much a muchness, but Armory seems to bring quality to the table.

Back to the stick: In yet another recent re-organization of material (baby number two is on the way in January), I lost the tray that I would normally use to shuttle figures back and forth to the rooftop where I do nearly all of my priming (my nerd kingdom is adjacent). If I am to be candid, the tray was a bit of a mare because, as often as not, I would overspray in my enthusiasm and leave odd marks on the brickwork; it’s the roof, so no big shake, but still. For just about the entirety of October, this was neither here nor there because I lacked time, and therefore, material to prime.

I’m back now, and refuse cry in my milk about the lost tray. Instead, I found this solution after a brief perusal of the paint aisle at Home Depot. The mixing sticks were free (although I’m not certain this would be true had I not purchased paint as well), and so I helped myself to three. Cheeky. I know.

I’ve placed the models onto the paint stick with generous dollops of sticky-tack, or whatever you might call it, with ample space between each figure. The plastic models are so light that the sticky-tack holds them in place beautifully.

By comparison, the old tray was terribly unwieldy and, in regrettable moments of clumsiness, the “hands on” approach it necessitated sometimes left my fingerprints firmly pressed into the drying primer. The shame of it. Moreover, I invariably found myself with blackened fingers from either repositioning the models or the tray or holding them upside down to get those odd nooks and corners; I found the primed fingers a bit unsightly for a man of my general disposition. 

The real advantage of this technique, however, is that the stick allows me to twist the models while priming and hit them from just about every angle one might desire… away from the brickwork, away from my hands. As you can see below, no primer -brick or hand. Triumph.

It’s an idea made of win.

In summation, I’m a convert to the paint stick approach. More hobby goodness on Friday.


GDMNW said...

Welcome brother!

When you have achieved mastery you may progress to the 1"x1" stick which may support models stuck to it on three sides for mass undercoating action!

Loquacious said...

A little while ago I was complaining about primer problems and a guy shared a brilliant idea- putting an individual fig onto a wooden dowel with sticky tack and then turning the guy as you prime. I thought it was perfect for small projects, so I might as well share.

Flamed84 said...

This is a really good idea, thank you. I have been having trouble hitting the undersides of models, unless i do them one by one on top of an empty paint pot (slow...), i never thought of lining them up on a stick of some sort (i'm guessing anything would work almost as well - an old ruler etc). Cheers.

thatguyjames said...

Nice little tutorial here, but the real winner is that last picture. There's something so surreal about the angle, it's like they're either running up the wall or the wall itself is on the edge of the world. I love it.

Von said...

I too am converting to the ways of the Man Stick (or, in my case, the Nid Stick - anything to speed up painting all those Gaunts).

Brian said...

@ GDNMW. Thank you. I feel like I should learn the special handshake or something. Also, the 1x idea is brilliant. Thanks twice.

@ Loquacious. Indeed. That's a fine idea. Thanks for spreading the good news.

@ Onyx Icarus (great name, by the way). The pleasure is all mine. Nice thought about the ruler. That would certainly stand in if necessary.

@ thatguyjames. Thank you for noticing! Something is askew. I was playing around with camera angles and had both camera and minis flush up against the side of the chimney. It's a very strange effect that doesn't necessarily announce itself as such -perfect for the DE, methinks. I still kind of squint a little each time I look at it.

@ Von. Good luck with the Nid Stick!

Big Jim said...

Nifty idea, I am sure there is a Popsicle joke in here somewhere, but I am at a loss!


PS: word verification is Jawa! lol

Scott said...

Hey, I do this too. I use soem old strip of balsa wood I had, but this home depot stick looks much better.

Limey ElJonson said...

Love iiiit! I'm off to HD to get some priming handles - er, paint stirrers at my first opportunity.

I have been doing a similar thing for small pieces. I wrapped 2" packing tape, sticky side out around a 2x4 the long way. Stick small pieces to the tape and prime. When dry, pop them off, put them on the other side of the 2x4, other way up and do the other side. Works like a charm.